Things to Do

The Seven Best Events on the Culinary Calendar This Weekend

Arcana is one of the restaurants participating in First Bite.
Arcana is one of the restaurants participating in First Bite. Danielle Lirette
Sample from the best restaurants Boulder County has to offer, pay homage to a legendary Colorado diner and have breakfast for dinner this weekend. Behold, seven of the city's most savory food and drink happenings from Friday, November 8, though Sunday, November 10, plus more to plan for next week.

Friday, November 8
Before he grew grapes, Fess Parker was known for his portrayals of frontiersmen — Davy Crockett, Daniel Boone and Jim Coates (poor Old Yeller's grandpa) — but after his acting career came to a close, he went west to California's Central Coast and opened Fess Parker Winery in the late 1980s. On Friday, November 8, you'll have the chance to taste the family vineyard's products at Former Saint, 650 15th Street. For $110, the 6:30 p.m. wine dinner includes four courses (we like the sound of poached pears with blue-cheese panna cotta and elk Wellington with local mushrooms) paired with the well-regarded vineyard's riesling, pinot noir and big, juicy red blend. Find the full menu on the eatery's Facebook page, then email [email protected] or call 303-486-4810 for reservations.

If you don't yet have reservations at your favorite Boulder restaurant, you'd better hop to it. Friday, November 8, marks the start of First Bite, Boulder County's restaurant week, and participating eateries are sure to be packed through the end of the event on Saturday, November 16. New this year are two price points (restaurants are offering three-course prix fixe menus at either $29 or $49) and the introduction of Two on Tuesday, a fundraising drive on Tuesday, November 12. On that date, diners can opt to give $2 or more to one of five local nonprofit organizations, with matching donations provided by local businesses. Visit First Bite's website for more information about selected nonprofits and a complete list of participating restaurants and their menus. With more than forty restaurants joining in, everyone's sure to find something they love.

Saturday, November 9

The monikers William Larimer and John Evans may seem vaguely familiar, but most people probably don't realize the lasting impact the two men had on the state of Colorado. Aside from the streets that bear their names, the nineteenth-century historic figures are overshadowed by a much more famous, much more lurid Coloradan: Alfred Packer, whose questionable legacy lives on in musicals and cartoons — and on Saturday, November 9, in the Alfred Packer Cannibal Fast Food 5K and 10K. Starting at Arapahoe Community College, 5900 South Santa Fe Drive in Littleton, you'll run alongside the South Platte River and past Littleton Cemetery, Packer's final resting place, like your life depends on it. Registration for the 10 a.m. race, $30 or $45, helps the Action Center's food bank provide meals for Jefferson County residents that aren't made out of...well, Jefferson County residents. Visit South Jeffco Rotary Club's website to sign up for the dash.

Any restaurant that serves poutine for breakfast is okay by us. Any restaurant that serves breakfast for dinner is even better. Combine the two and add beer, and it's a hat trick of awesomeness. On Saturday, November 9, Berkeley breakfast joint Wendell's, 3838 Tennyson Street, is staying open well past its normal afternoon closing time to serve Beer & Breakfast for Dinner. Starting at 6 p.m., the kitchen will be turning out five courses of brunchy bites (though not the aforementioned breakfast poutine, which you'll have to come back for): a fancy toast flight with smoked beet ricotta and avocado, and creamed mushrooms with braised pork belly; savory oats with caramelized onions and poached eggs; and buttermilk pancakes, clotted-cream waffles and roasted sweet potato ice cream. Beers from Empourium Brewing Co. (among them a coffee blonde ale and a smoked porter) will accompany each course. Call 720-485-3901 or email [email protected] to reserve your spot for the $40 dinner that's sure to be the best breakfast (or brunch!) you've had in ages — and without a two-hour wait.

Grateful Bread Company isn't open to the public on Mondays, so Veterans' Day comes two days early, as the bakery's retail shop at 425 Violet Street in Golden offers 25 percent off all products on Saturday, November 9, to all active-duty military members and veterans. Come by from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. for bread and pastries; we recommend going early to beat the crowd.

Sunday, November 10
In a sea of bad eggs Benedict, bottomless Bloody Marys and boisterous buzzed brunchers, it's hard for a Sunday morning meal to stand out. But on November 10, the Kirkland Museum of Fine & Decorative Art, 1201 Bannock Street, will be serving the trendiest of meals in honor of the establishment of the Bauhaus design school a century ago. From 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., guests will be treated to bites and cocktails — sophisticated diners will be sure to analyze the flavor profiles with an eye toward the Bauhaus precept of function superseding form — as well as a mini-art lesson and the opportunity to enjoy the Museum's collection. And with furniture and art often displayed as vignettes, you're more likely to feel like you're attending a retro cocktail party in someone's vintage home than like you're wandering through the echoing museum galleries. Tickets, $100 or $150, are available fee-free at the Museum during its regular hours, or on Eventbrite, if convenience trumps frugality.

The cozy Park Hill gem Bistro Barbès usually serves French-Middle Eastern fusion, but on Sunday, November 10, and Monday, November 11, the bistro is opening up its kitchen at 5021 East 28th Avenue to pop-up dinner company Fork & Path, which is offering a spread of Swedish smörgås (sandwiches) starting at 11 a.m.  Among other Scandinavian sammies, the menu includes juniper tunnbröd (flatbread) with tarragon yogurt, a smoked venison wrap with juniper butter and pickled blueberries, and rye bread topped with wild boar sausage, mustard and cloudberry jam. Find the full menu on Fork & Path's Facebook page, along with info on Monday's military discount and payment details (apparently, paper currency is a foreign concept to Swedes).

Keep reading for future food and drink events.
click to enlarge Chef Jesusio Silva (sushi from his restaurant Misaki on Broadway is shown above) will be cooking at the Taste of Curiosity dinner on November 11. - DANIELLE LIRETTE
Chef Jesusio Silva (sushi from his restaurant Misaki on Broadway is shown above) will be cooking at the Taste of Curiosity dinner on November 11.
Danielle Lirette
Monday, November 11
Food is universal — but tastes aren't. Sometimes preferences are just that, but just as often, food reveals prejudices. (Don't believe us? Take a deep dive into the comments whenever we write about African cuisine.) But as much as our culinary preferences can reveal our biases, they can also serve as a bridge between cultures. If we're curious about trying new flavors, perhaps we can be as interested in the people who create them and the cultures they come from. On Monday, November 11, put this theory to the test at the Infinite Monkey Theorem, 3200 Larimer Street, when it hosts A Taste of Curiosity dinner, a conversation facilitated by food and drink. Chef Jesus Silva (Misaki) will provide the Japanese food, and folks from Breaking the Bias will be on hand to keep dinner from devolving into a food fight (perhaps literally). Tickets, $65, are available on IMT's website; get yours and feed your brain as well as your body.

Thursday, November 14
You were going to head to RiNo for drinks anyway, right? On Thursday, November 14, take advantage of the neighborhood's critical mass of craft breweries to both get your beer on and do some good for Denver's homeless community at Denver VOICE's Pints Fighting Poverty Pub Crawl. Kick off the evening at Epic Brewing Co., 3001 Walnut Street, at 6 p.m., then strike out to five other venues (the Block Distilling Co., Odell, Stem Ciders, River North Brewery and Infinite Monkey Theorem), where you'll get drink specials for every palate and hear speakers at each stop through 10 p.m. Tickets to the crawl are $25 — a small price to pay for not having to dress up in a ridiculous onesie to participate in a pub crawl — and participants are asked to collect pledges to benefit the nonprofit monthly newspaper. Find out more and register or donate on the event website.

click to enlarge Some of the 251 wines submitted for judging at this year's Governor's Cup. - COURTESY COLORADO WINE INDUSTRY DEVELOPMENT BOARD
Some of the 251 wines submitted for judging at this year's Governor's Cup.
Courtesy Colorado Wine Industry Development Board
Friday, November 15
Our state has been described as the "Napa Valley of beer" for decades now, but the continuing growth of the Colorado wine industry means it could be inching toward being known as the Napa Valley of wine. Okay, not really, but there are currently over 130 outfits making wine and mead in a state better known for its varietals of weed. On Friday, November 15, History Colorado Center, 1200 Broadway, will host Colorado UnCorked, a tasting of wines that triumphed at this year's Governor's Cup competition. From 7 to 9:30 p.m., chefs from Julep, Logan Street, Woodie Fisher and Grand Junction's Bin 707 will craft bites to pair with fourteen wines. Awarded wineries include Denver and Boulder's Bonacquisti and BookCliff, as well as the Western Slope's Carlson and Plum Creek; varietals range from cab Franc to nebbiolo to vermouth and riesling. Snag your tickets ($45 or $85) on Eventbrite, where you can see the complete list of award winners.

If you know of a date that should be on this calendar, send information to [email protected].Thursday, November
KEEP WESTWORD FREE... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Amy Antonation knows that street tacos are infinitely superior to tacos that come covered in squiggles of crema, and she will stab you with her knitting needles if you try to convince her otherwise.
Contact: Amy Antonation