The Six Best Events on the Culinary Calendar This Week

Citizen Rail doesn't believe in age discrimination.
Citizen Rail doesn't believe in age discrimination. Mark Antonation

No matter how broke or in the money you are, there's something on the menu for you this week. From free fare to out-and-out luxury (and everything in between), here are the six best food and drink events from Monday, September 3, through Friday, September 7. Keep reading for more events through the end of September (and beyond).

Monday, September 3
We've written about Citizen Rail's Break-Even Bottle Mondays before, but it's just such a darn good deal, we can't think of a better way to honor your labor — and the fruits of it — than by celebrating with high-end Scotch at the bar's price. Show up to the restaurant, 1899 16th Street, at 5 p.m. on Monday, September 3, for at-cost pours of Aberlour A'bunadh, a sherry-tinged whiskey thanks to its time spent in Spanish sherry casks. Even if you're not a whiskey drinker, plan ahead for future installments of the series, which will include Del Maguey mezcal and a ten-year-old bourbon. Visit the restaurant's Facebook page for details. In the mood for a sit-down dinner? Return Tuesday, September 4, for the start of its 365-day dry-aged beef special we detailed last week.

Tuesday, September 4

The Mile High City's annual celebration of culinary culture, Denver Food and Wine, returns to town with a slate of events around town sure to leave you sated and satisfied for the next six days. The festival kicks off on a mellow note with a screening of The Goddesses of Food, a documentary tackling the question of what holds women back in the male-dominated restaurant world, on Tuesday, September 4. Follow up that heavy morsel with (possibly) lighter fare at a six-course dinner cooked by Denver's and Peru's top chefs under the stars; Riedel's workshop on "proper" wine glass selection (we've been known to enjoy drinking straight from a Pyrex measuring cup, but whatever); a cocktail competition; the ever-impressive Grand Tasting, where more than forty restaurants aim to wow; and a brunch festival for those intrepid eaters who haven't yet succumbed to gout on Sunday, September 9. Tickets are still available for all events and start at just $25 at Denver Food and Wine's website.

click to enlarge Namkeen, meet Spuntino; gulab jamuni petit fours, meet amaro. - COURTESY OF NAMKEEN
Namkeen, meet Spuntino; gulab jamuni petit fours, meet amaro.
Courtesy of Namkeen
Wednesday, September 5
Spuntino, the Italian eatery at 2639 West 32nd Avenue, has been serving quarterly wine dinners for four years now, and the menus, while delicious and inventive, have never strayed much east of the Tiber. But on Wednesday, September 5, Spuntino will take a cue from its sister restaurant, Namkeen, and serve Indian-inspired food alongside wine and amaro. Think squid marinated in lime pickle and dressed in cumin vinaigrette; ravioli stuffed with lamb keema and masala potatoes; pakora filled with squash blossoms and spiced ricotta; and Indian petit fours. Dinner starts at 6:30 p.m. and will run you $85; call the restaurant at 303-433-0949 for your seat at the table.

click to enlarge Ratio's design is already art, but it's upping the ante with a photography exhibit on Thursday. - COURTESY RATIO BEERWORKS
Ratio's design is already art, but it's upping the ante with a photography exhibit on Thursday.
Courtesy Ratio Beerworks
Thursday, September 6
Development and community change can be thorny to navigate; just ask Ink! Coffee (though what can you expect from a company whose motto is "Kaffee über alles"?). On Thursday, September 6, Ratio Beerworks at 2920 Larimer Street (arguably a gentrifying force in its own right) will host the free photography exhibit Denver's East Side: Now and Forever, starting at 6 p.m. Down craft beer while viewing images that chronicle east Denver's rapidly changing landscape in the past decade; a Q&A and discussion led by Bree Davies (Hello? Denver? Are You Still There? podcast) are also on the agenda for the evening. Details are up on the brewery's Facebook page.

Nothing good ever comes of political debates, but the Grape Hop Debate? That's a different story. Choose your side (beer or wine) then show up to the Rialto Cafe, 934 16th Street, on Thursday, September 6, to settle the question once and for all — or at least until your next dinner. For $65 (including tax and tip), you'll get five courses, each paired with beer from Renegade Brewing and wine from Jackson Family Wines. Sample, sip, swirl, then decide which is the better pairing. Find out more and grab your ticket at the Rialto's website.

Boulder's Redstone Meadery is one of just a handful of meadmakers in the state. - KRISTA KAFER
Boulder's Redstone Meadery is one of just a handful of meadmakers in the state.
Krista Kafer
Friday, September 7
Now that everyone and their dog are somehow qualified to open a nanobrewery in Denver, home brewing is officially canceled. Time to move on to fermenting other boozy beverages at home. Enter mead: The vinous, honey-spiked concoction hasn't exploded onto the drinking scene with the same ferocity of craft beer and cider, and it's still obscure enough to garner you impressed glances when you mention mixing up a batch in your garage. On Friday, September 7, you can learn the basics of the brew at the Art of Mead Making class, hosted (curiously) by Denver Integrative Massage School, 1221 Galapago Street. For $50, you'll get three hours of instruction starting at 6 p.m. and end up with a gallon of mead to take home. Bonus: You'll save on Christmas shopping while simultaneously forcing unwitting friends and family to serve as guinea pigs. Find out more on Facebook.

Keep reading for upcoming food and drink events.
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