Head downstairs for Firenze's Community Dinner.
Head downstairs for Firenze's Community Dinner.
Courtesy Firenze a Tavola Facebook

The Eight Best Events on the Culinary Calendar This Week

Libraries, lobster, libations and another round of lederhosen are all on Denver's menu this week. Here are the eight best food and drink events over the next five days...but remember to save room for Feast, Westword's annual celebration of the booming Denver restaurant scene.

Monday, September 24

Gretchen Kurtz just reviewed The Family Jones, a spirited distillery and restaurant. Now you can get a taste of that spot outside of its LoHi home, at the first in a series of monthly Family gatherings at places that are part of the distillery process, from growers to restaurant owners to consumers. The inaugural event will be at Local 46, 4586 Tennyson, from 4 to 6 p.m. Monday, September 24, when you'll be able to get $6 Family Jones specialty cocktails, $3 cheeseburger sliders and $5 brats.

It's finally starting to feel like fall, and your Instagram feed is probably bogged down with pictures of hearty seasonal cuisine. If you're feeling inspired (either by the weather or envy) but don't know where to start, enroll in Stir Cooking School's Art of One Pot Cooking class on Monday, September 24. Starting at 6:30 p.m., the kitchen classroom at 3215 Zuni Street will be the place novice cooks learn to whip up dinners far more interesting than a bowl of oatmeal or pasta — even though they don't take much more effort. The curriculum includes Thai coconut curry; chicken, fennel and artichoke fricassee; spicy peanut chicken with broccoli; and beer braised sausages with German potato salad. Tuition, $75, includes instruction and dinner; sign up at Stir's website.

Fish N Beer is swapping fish for lobster in honor of National Lobster Day — whenever it is.EXPAND
Fish N Beer is swapping fish for lobster in honor of National Lobster Day — whenever it is.
Mark Antonation

Tuesday, September 25
Don't believe everything your read online: While Google insists National Lobster Day was June 15, multiple sources confirm we celebrate the big bugs of the sea on Tuesday, September 25. Not that it really matters, except we always love an excuse to chow down on crustaceans. Fish N Beer, 3510 Larimer Street, is going all out with a lobster boil on its patio from 5 to 9 p.m. For $25, you'll get whole lobsters, corn on the cob, kielbasa, potatoes and cornbread, and while online sales have already ended, you can still get tickets by calling the restaurant at 303-248-3497.

Hickory & Ash will be serving Iberian wine and food this week.EXPAND
Hickory & Ash will be serving Iberian wine and food this week.
Mark Antonation

Wednesday, September 26
On Wednesday, September 26, Broomfield's Hickory & Ash, 8001 Arista Place, wants to transport you from the shadow of the 1STBANK Center to the shores of the Iberian Peninsula during its Spanish wine dinner. The wine starts flowing at 5:45 p.m., when guests will be served five courses — think seared ham, beet chorizo and sheep cheese fondue; gazpacho tuna tartare with smoked almonds; and grilled NY strip steak with green-olive chimichurri — and six Spanish wines. Tickets, $125, include tax and tip and can be reserved by calling the restaurant at 720-390-4400; see the entire menu on the Hickory & Ash Facebook page.

Vegetarians aren't being left out of enjoying the season's bounty on Wednesday, September 26, at Firenze a Tavola's Community Table. The subterranean dining room at 4401 Tennyson Street is serving up four meat-free family-style courses, including savory crepes stuffed with ricotta, spinach and béchamel; a mushroom ragu sauce over pappardelle; and a carrot bundt cake, all for just $35. Visit parisidenver.com to see the entire menu, then call 940-367-2977 to book your seat.

The Way Back's bar will be turning out cocktails for its Esoterra Culinary Garden dinner.EXPAND
The Way Back's bar will be turning out cocktails for its Esoterra Culinary Garden dinner.
Laura Shunk

Thursday, September 27
If there's anything that pairs well with libraries, it's libations. And while your neighborhood librarian might look over the top of her spectacles at you if you waltz into your local branch holding a pint, Jefferson County Library Foundation is using the power of pilsner to raise funds for library programs. On Thursday, September 27, the Stouts and Stories, Ales and Tales beer tasting at Lamar Street Center, 5889 Lamar Street in Arvada, will bring together a dozen Jeffco breweries (including Colorado Plus, New Image, Westfax and Ironworks) to kick off a six-week brewery passport program that will run through November 11. Tickets are a steal at $15; visit jeffcolibraryfoundation.org to get yours.

The Way Back, 3963 Tennyson Street, is bringing the summer season to a close by collaborating with Longmont's Esoterra Culinary Garden for a special menu on Thursday, September 27, at 6 p.m. For $55 ($75 including wine and cocktail pairings), guests will dine on three courses, each showcasing one of Esoterra's products. Email reservations@thewaybackdenver.com or call the restaurant at 970-682-6888 to book your seat.

Oktoberfest returns for a second weekend beginning September 28.EXPAND
Oktoberfest returns for a second weekend beginning September 28.
Aaron Thackeray

Friday, September 28
Oktoberfest isn't an American tradition, but don't tell Denver that. Our celebration of the German festival has been going on since before you were born, Gentle Reader — since 1969, to be precise. The 49th year of brats, turkey legs, sauerkraut, pretzels the size of your noggin and, of course, beer, wraps up this weekend, running from Friday, September 28, through Sunday, September 30. There will be plenty of drinking, keg bowling, polka-ing (including the inescapable silent disco) and the beloved Long Dog Derby on Larimer Street between 20th and 22nd streets all weekend. Admission is free, but bring your plastic for food and drinks; find out more at the Denver Oktoberfest website.

Keep reading for upcoming food and drink events.

Sweet treats at Westword's Feast.
Sweet treats at Westword's Feast.
Danielle Lirette

Sunday, September 30
It's finally here: 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.

Sunday, October 7, through October 11
Eat Denver and the GrowHaus are presenting their ninth annual Harvest Week, "a pop-up culinary collaboration between 35 Denver restaurants in tribute to Colorado’s farmers, ranchers and producers." All at the GrowHaus, the dinners are $85 each and all fabulous...and completely sold out. Find out what you're missing at the Harvest Week website.

Thursday, October 11, through Sunday, October 14
Food and film fanatics will want to plan ahead for the Flatirons Food Film Festival, taking place around Boulder from Thursday, October 11, through Sunday, October 14. And while seven feature films — documentaries and dramas with food and drink at the heart of the story — will be screened, they're far from the only thing on the menu. There will also be panel discussions, farm tours, beer tastings and an homage to the late Anthony Bourdain. Admission to single films starts at $13, with an all-access pass running $70; find the whole schedule and get tickets on the Flatirons Food Film Festival website.

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

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