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The Six Best Events on the Culinary Calendar This Week

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

Namkeen, meet Spuntino; gulab jamuni petit fours, meet amaro.EXPAND
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.

Ratio's design is already art, but it's upping the ante with a photography exhibit on Thursday.EXPAND
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.
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.

You're going to have to work for it at Taste of the Broncos.EXPAND
You're going to have to work for it at Taste of the Broncos.
Danielle Lirette

Monday, September 10
Just a day after after the hungry-for-victory Denver Broncos open their season against the Seattle Seahawks, the team is opening Mile High Stadium, 1701 Bryant Street, to Denver diners hungry for food, booze and NFL stars. On Monday, September 10, Taste of the NFL welcomes more than thirty of the town's top eateries (Mister Tuna, Beast + Bottle and Stoic & Genuine are just a few), which will take the field from 7 to 9 p.m. to offer unlimited food and drinks to ravenous diners. Current and former players will be mingling (and resignedly accepting your sports analyses and coaching advice); cheerleaders and chefs will also be on hand. Tickets start at $100 and benefit Food Bank of the Rockies. Get yours on the Broncos' website.

TRVE Brewing will be pouring (in a considerably more cheerful venue) at MCA Denver's Sown Together.EXPAND
TRVE Brewing will be pouring (in a considerably more cheerful venue) at MCA Denver's Sown Together.
Danielle Lirette

Sunday, September 22
MCA Denver has a habit of hosting excellent food and drink events — and its Sown Together Beer Tasting on Saturday, September 22, will be no exception. The museum, at 1485 Delgany Street, is tapping into the zeitgeist yet again by bringing in breweries whose stated goal is to use local ingredients, suppliers and producers. From noon to 4 p.m., Colorado outfits Goldspot, Horse & Dragon, Our Mutual Friend and TRVE will be joined on the rooftop patio by Indiana's Upland Brewing Co., Illinois's Scratch Brewing Co. and Texas's transcendent Jester King Brewery, which puts out the Lone Star State's second-best export (the first being barbecued brisket, of course). Get your tickets, $35, at eventbrite.com before the event sells out.

Toast to unlimited food and drinks at Westword's Feast.
Toast to unlimited food and drinks at Westword's Feast.
Danielle Lirette

Sunday, September 30
It's never too early to start planning for Feast, Westword's annual celebration of Denver's restaurant scene. This year's party returns to the McNichols Building, 144 West Colfax Avenue, on Sunday, September 30. There will be unlimited bites from over forty local eateries, live entertainment, unlimited drink samples and unlimited merriment from noon to 3 p.m., especially if you opt for VIP tickets, which get you in an hour early and include an open VIP bar. Tickets start at $30 and are on sale now at westwordfeast.com.

Last year's Harvest Week dinners sold out in record time, so don't delay getting your ticket.
Last year's Harvest Week dinners sold out in record time, so don't delay getting your ticket.
Courtesy EatDenver Facebook

Sunday, October 7, through Thursday, October 11
The ninth annual Harvest Week, hosted by EatDenver and the GrowHaus, will run Sunday, October 7, through Thursday, October 11. Each night, six chefs will come together to create a one-of-a-kind pop-up dinner at the GrowHaus, 4751 York Street; last year's dinners each focused on meat and produce from a particular region in the state. While the 2018 lineup hasn't yet been announced, be prepared to pounce on tickets once they go on sale September 5 (previous years have sold out in just two weeks). In addition to great food and good company, all the festivities of the week will benefit EatDenver and the GrowHaus. Find out more at harvestweek.com.

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

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