Coperta is as cozy as a warm blanket — the perfect place for brunch.EXPAND
Coperta is as cozy as a warm blanket — the perfect place for brunch.
Danielle Lirette

The Nine Best Events on the Culinary Calendar This Weekend

Friday marks the official start of Denver Beer Week, and while you can never entirely escape beer in this neck of the woods, we've put together a list of nine food and drink events going on this weekend that aren't GABF-centric, plus a handful of October happenings worth marking your calendar for. For GABF and its satellite events, take a look at Westword's ongoing beer coverage.

Blackbelly's bar, which will be serving up Stem ciders while its butchers break down a Hereford hog.EXPAND
Blackbelly's bar, which will be serving up Stem ciders while its butchers break down a Hereford hog.
Danielle Lirette

Friday, September 27
Boulder's Blackbelly, 1606 Conestoga Street, is kicking off the weekend with the latest in its Farm to Feast Series, this time in conjunction with Sky Pilot Farm, a husband-and-wife operation raising lamb and heritage pigs out of Longmont. Starting at 5:30 p.m., guests will sip Stem ciders and nosh on dishes like nectarines and lardo with a pumpkin-seed dip; blackened broccolini with cecina (thin-cut, seasoned dried beef) and chile aioli; and roasted coppa with roasted-lemon and caper vinaigrette, while watching head butcher Isaac Sullenger break down a Hereford hog. Tickets, $90, aren't for the squeamish, but they are essential for anyone wanting to eat meat mindfully in Boulder County; get them on Blackbelly's website.

Dinner and a show have never been so easy. On Friday, September 27, join Denver's own culinary man about town Adrian Miller (author of Soul Food and The President's Kitchen Cabinet) for the Black Americas Project Dinner followed by a concert by Ozomatli. The night, presented as part of 2019's Biennial of the Americas, starts at 5:30 p.m., with a soul food dinner (not sure what that means? Miller will tell you: He literally wrote the book on the subject), wine and a presentation about the culinary influences of the African Diaspora in the New World. The curtain rises at 7:30 p.m.; both events take place at the Newman Center for the Performing Arts, 2344 East Iliff Avenue, and tickets are available for $85 on the Biennial's website.

The higher the hat, the closer to God.
The higher the hat, the closer to God.
Courtesy Farm to Bottle Fall Festival

Saturday, September 28
Coperta, chef Paul C. Reilly's Italian joint at 400 East 20th Avenue, doesn't usually serve brunch — but on Saturday, September 28, the kitchen is entering the fray for one day only with its Sweet Moon Maple Brunch. Brunch life is brutal (although with a seemingly infinite number of Denverites willing to wait hours for a cup of coffee and a few eggs, also profitable), but you'll feel sweet after getting your fill of both sugary and savory pancakes, creative side dishes and maple syrup cocktails. We're looking forward to the duck buttermilk pancake (served with duck rillettes, scallions, orange gastrique and syrup), maple-cinnamon buns and a maple-infused Old Fashioned. Get your fix from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.; you can skip the wait (thereby proving yourself superior to the horde of brunch-goers lined up outside) by calling the restaurant at 720-749-4666 for a reservation. 

Choose your vibe — down-home comfy, hipster shopper, beer mooch or bougie not-quite-alcoholic — then get to one of these four fests on Saturday, September 28, that will be pouring everything from beer to bourbon. The original Post Brewing Co. (105 West Emma Street in Lafayette) is breaking out the mechanical bull for its annual Howdy Fest. From noon to 5 p.m., $15 gets you entry and a can of the eponymous pilsner, a ride on the bucking Brahma and entry into the chicken toss. Beers from other area brewers, including the excellent Odd13, Stem (bringing cider, not beer) and Liquid Mechanics, will also be sold; check the website for details. Eclectic bazaar TheBigWonderful is setting up shop at Northfield Stapleton (8340 Northfield Boulevard) at noon, and from 1 to 4 or 5 to 8 p.m., shoppers can get unlimited sips from Dos Luces, Ratio, Stem, Station 26 and more for just $25; visit the event website for details and tickets. Improper City (3201 Walnut Street) is celebrating its first year in business with a free patio party; from 3 to 6 p.m., get free beer samples from Cerebral, Boulevard, Avery and Left Hand, then stick around for a drunken silent disco, $12 in advance or $20 at the door. The space's Facebook page has the details. If you're looking for something a little stiffer than beer to keep you toasty on a cool September evening, hit the Farm to Bottle Fall Festival on the 1000 block of South Gaylord Street; over thirty local distilleries and wineries — including Deerhammer, the Family Jones, Leopold Bros. and Peach Street — will be giving out drams starting at 3 p.m. Tickets, $39 or $75, are available along with more info on the event website.

Everything about last year's Black Panther was so unrelentingly cool — from the costumes to the car chases to the computers to Danai Gurira's epic wig snatching and general badassery — we're still disgruntled that the African utopia is only part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and not our own. But on Saturday, September 28, you can suspend your disbelief from 6 p.m. to midnight at Night in Wakanda, a party for the ages. More than twenty South African and Zimbabwean wines will be represented during the Grand Tasting, which runs from 6 to 9 p.m., and a handful of products from black U.S. winemakers will be on hand as well. Round out the night with a fashion show based on the thirteen tribes from the film, a performance by Cleo Parker Robinson Dance, dancing, DJs and a dessert and coffee bar until midnight. The McNichols Building, 144 West Colfax Avenue, hosts the celebration; find details and tickets ($65 to $115) on the event Facebook page.

A man and a woman walk into a bar....EXPAND
A man and a woman walk into a bar....
Flickr/Bernt Rostad

Sunday, September 29
Any female beer lover who's ever ordered a sour ale from Jolly Pumpkin and been told by the male bartender, "You know that's not a pumpkin beer, right?" or taken a moment to decide between the single or Imperial IPA only to find herself the object of an unsolicited lecture by a bearded brewer about the difference between the two will appreciate the opportunity to learn about home brewing in a women-only environment. Altitude Homebrew Supply, 2801 Walnut Street, is offering such a class on Sunday, September 29, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Both novice and intermediate brewers will gain hands-on experience as they whip up a five-gallon batch. Class is in session for just $45 — and you can rest assured that when you're brewing beer during the class, you won't be using water from a well, actually.

Keep reading for future food and drink events.

Vesta's cool, clubby bar is the setting for its sixteenth annual Plates for the Peak fundraiser.EXPAND
Vesta's cool, clubby bar is the setting for its sixteenth annual Plates for the Peak fundraiser.
Aaron Thackeray

Thursday, October 3
Get a jump on the weekend on Thursday, October 3, with Vesta's annual Plates for the Peak fundraiser, which benefits Urban Peak, a nonprofit organization that provides housing, outreach and educational support for young people between the ages of 15 and 24. From 6:30 to 9:30 p.m., the restaurant at 1822 Blake Street will host the casual event, with chefs from three of Denver's most beloved restaurants — good-times stalwarts Steuben's and Ace Eat Serve, along with their fine-dining big sister Vesta — turning out upscale American classics and excellent cocktails that will be sure to satisfy. Visit Urban Peak's website to purchase your tickets ($85 to $100, or spring for table service for groups of six or ten).

GrowHaus hosts five Harvest Week dinners that you can't go to.
GrowHaus hosts five Harvest Week dinners that you can't go to.
Mark Antonation

Sunday, October 6, through Sunday, October 10
Denver's Harvest Week is already sold out! The $55 dinners include a vegetarian meal with chefs from Luca, Urban Farmer, Acreage and the Regional; a zero-waste dinner from Super Mega Bien, Vesta and Bistro Vendôme; plus a straight-up eclectic meal combining the vastly different styles of Mercantile & Provision, Vine Street Pub, Rio Grande and Flagstaff House. All dinners start at 6 p.m. at the GrowHaus, 4751 York Street; watch harvestweek.com for any updates on ticket availability.

Thursday, October 10, through Sunday, October 13
The Flatirons Food Film Festival kicks off its seventh year on Thursday, October 10, and its program for the next four days is more wide-ranging than ever. This year's films shine a spotlight on immigrant and international cuisine, including a pair of films from Africa (Tazzeka from Morocco and Cook Off from Zimbabwe — we highly recommend a visit to one of the African Grill and Bar outposts prior to the screenings for a taste of the cuisine that's underrepresented in the Denver area). There will also be documentaries about Mexico's Diana Kennedy and a couple who traded in their city life for 200 acres of barren farmland; visual-art installations inspired by the films; interviews with chefs, sommeliers and farmers; and, of course, spreads of food from Japanese to Jewish deli. A festival pass will run you $90, with individual screenings and events starting at just $13 on the fest's website.

2017's A Taste for Life boasted beautiful mini cupcakes that aren't healthy for anyone — but boy, were they tasty.
2017's A Taste for Life boasted beautiful mini cupcakes that aren't healthy for anyone — but boy, were they tasty.
Danielle Lirette

Thursday, October 17
Project Angel Heart delivers medically tailored meals to people fighting life-threatening illnesses across Colorado — and on Thursday, October 17, the nonprofit organization wants to provide you with delicious food from Denver's top restaurants at its annual fundraiser, A Taste for Life. Starting at 6 p.m., the Hyatt Regency Denver, 650 15th Street, will be the site of bites from over twenty popular eateries, including Death & Co., Uchi, Tavernetta, the Inventing Room and Hop Alley. There will also be free-flowing drinks, a silent auction with piles of great items and a live auction (which can tend toward the boisterous, thanks to those free-flowing drinks). Tickets, $150, are available now on Project  Angel Heart's website, along with a full list of participating eateries.

Uchi will be serving beautifully plated bites at Westword's Feast.EXPAND
Uchi will be serving beautifully plated bites at Westword's Feast.
Lucy Beaugard

Thursday, October 24
Feast, Westword's annual celebration of the Denver restaurant scene, will make its delicious return to the McNichols Building on a new day and time: 7 to 10 p.m. Thursday evening. As always, though, Feast will be a true feast for the senses, with music, beverage samplings and dishes from more than thirty favorite restaurants. Among those already signed on to sample their food are Uchi, Rose & Thorn, Crush Pizza & Tap, La Fillette, Latke Love, Neighbors Wine Bar, City & County Deli and Sausage, Sushi Cup, Jackdaw, The Veggie Whisperer, Roaming Buffalo BBQ, 5280 Burger Bar, Aloy Modern Thai, Big Daddy's Burger Bar, El Coco Pirata, Esters Neighborhood Pub, GQue BBQ, Lucky Mary's Baking Company and Little Man Ice Cream. This year, VIP ticket-holders will again be treated to a special menu, this year courtesy of the world-renowned Matsuhisa. Bites from Matsuhisa will include spicy tuna crispy rice, chicken gyoza, black cod miso in limestone lettuce, and more, as well as special VIP cocktails to complement the menu. VIP tickets also include early entry into the event at 6 p.m. and a VIP gift bag. Buy tickets and get more info at westwordfeast.com.

If you know of a date that should be on this calendar, send information to cafe@westword.com.

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