Lobster, livers, legs, lycanthropes and lechon are leading the charge this week as Denver's food and drink calendar fills up with events both terrifying and tasty. Keep reading for the seven best culinary events over the next five days, as well as more to mark on your culinary calendar.
Monday, October 29
Maine Shack, the ever-delayed fish house, still isn't opening any time soon, but it's gamely continuing to set up occasional shop in the kitchens of its sister restaurants. The next installment is Monday, October 29, when Highland Tap and Burger, 2219 West 32nd Avenue, will host the pop-up. Clam chowder (New England-style, we hope!) and four kinds of lobster rolls (both mayo- and butter-based) will augment the Tap's regular menu starting at 5 p.m. Our pick? The Lobsterado, a monster sandwich from the depths of the sea boasting a quarter-pound of claw meat plus a quarter-pound tail.
Tuesday, October 30
You might be familiar with Devil's Night if you're from Detroit — or have a predilection for bad lighting, scenery chewing, and smudged eyeliner in mid-1990s cinema. While we don't recommended setting anything aflame — this country is already a dumpster fire — you can still celebrate at Freshcraft, 1530 Blake Street, when the downtown beer bar taps the Plague Brett IPA (Burial Beer Co.); Barrel-Aged Darkness Imperial Stout and Pentagram Brett Dark Sour Ale (Surly Brewing Company); and World's Blood Foeder-Aged Golden Ale and De-creation New England IPA (TRVE Brewing Co.). The kitchen will also be turning out some special menu items, including goat (no word on crow). Tappings start at 7 p.m.; get the details on the bar's Facebook page.
Diners with a taste for the strange and unusual (and perhaps an ironclad constitution) won't want to miss FNG's Offal Dinner, which is available from Tuesday, October 30, through Friday, November 2. For just $35, you'll get three courses based on organ meats (duck-liver mousse, beef heart and sweetbreads — no fava beans or chianti, though). While these dishes might sound frightening to American diners, eating the whole animal is an essential part of environmentally sustainable carnivorism — not to mention delicious. The only scary part of this dining experience will be the wait, since the eatery, at 3940 West 32nd Avenue, doesn't accept reservations, so we recommend getting to dinner early. More information is available on FNG's Facebook page.
Wednesday, October 31
If you work in a restaurant or bar, you almost certainly missed out on attending an All Hallow's Eve party this weekend — you were working, up to your ears in scantily-clad celebrants and dudes who think that donning a dress still counts as a passable costume. But all is not lost: Don your sexy ninja costume and pull up your pantyhose before making your way over to The Pig & the Sprout, 1900 Chestnut Place, for its Industry Halloween Party on Wednesday, October 31. Starting at 9 p.m., you can enjoy drink specials and compete for a bar tab and Broncos tickets in the costume contest. Not an industry worker? You can still attend, but only if you can keep up with the pros. Details are up on Facebook.
Thursday, November 1
If you want to improve your knowledge of French wine (or French geography, as the two go hand in hand), consider attending the Boulder Burgundy Festival from Thursday, November 1, through Sunday, November 4. The four-day fair will include an old and rare burgundy tasting and silent auction; a beaujolais wine seminar; meals at Corrida, Mateo, Frasca and Arcana; and the finale, a Grand Tasting. Still not sure if you want to attend? Let's make it simple: You'll be drinking pinot noir, chardonnay and gamay. Event prices start at $85 and are on sale now at the Festival's website.
Celebrate Día de los Muertos (Halloween's less trashy sibling) on Thursday, November 1, at Lola Coastal Mexican, 1575 Boulder Street. And while Americans celebrating Mexican holidays can be problematic and particularly appropriate-able (hola, Cinco de Mayo), it's hard to argue with Lola's strategy of serving delicious food to mark the day. Starting at 4 p.m., the living will enjoy a welcome cocktail and unlimited food from five stations, including a cevicheria, parilla (grill), taqueria, paleteria (desserts) and a lechón station, all for $45; Patrón and Arta tequilas will also be handing out samples to the accompaniment of tunes by Son Tres. Buy your ticket at Eventbrite.
Friday, November 2
In the past year, The Bindery, 1817 Central Street, has established itself as one of the most creative eateries in Denver — and one of the few places we know of where you can always find rabbit on the menu. And on Friday, November 2, the kitchen is celebrating its first birthday with an epic dinner party. Starting at 6 p.m., apps will start coming out of the kitchen as a live band takes the stage. Tickets, $125, are on sale at eventbrite.com; if you don't want to commit to a full meal (why not, though?), show up between 3 and 6 p.m. for a community happy hour, with complimentary apps and the bar's excellent cocktails for sale.
Keep reading for future food and drink events.
Saturday, November 17
Amaro is having a moment, with restaurants around town embracing the bitter Italian liqueur or even making house versions. On Saturday, November 17, Coperta, 400 East 20th Avenue, is bringing amaro to the masses with its Amaro: The Bitter Truth cocktail class. From 3:30 to 5 p.m., attendees will nosh on bites from chef Paul C. Reilly while tasting a selection of amari and learning how to use it to enhance the flavor of mixed drinks. The holidays are inexorably advancing, so learn how to turn your bitterness on your cocktails instead of your kin for $45; call the restaurant at 720-749-4666 to reserve your spot.
Saturday, December 15
Is it too early to be training for the Feats of Strength? Not if you want to crush your family and friends (physically and emotionally) at this year's Festivus. Nor is it too early to start planning for this year's Denver Beer Festivus, which takes place on Saturday, December 15, at the Sports Castle, 1000 Broadway, from 3 to 6 p.m. Early bird tickets are on sale now for $35 or $60 at denverbeerfestivus.com; get yours quickly, or you'll be the focus of your drinking buddies' Airing of Grievances. NOTE: Early bird tickets are now sold out; regular tickets are currently on sale for $40 or $65.
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