Soil, stogies, sister cities and sustainable wine are just a few of the stars of the show this week in Denver. With food and drink events ranging from educational lectures to dinners celebrating everything from women to cigars to nonprofit restaurant models to a morning of over-the-top pancakes, there's such a diverse spread that everyone will find something to enjoy...and keep reading for culinary happenings in the weeks to come.
Monday, March 4
Anythink Libraries is getting down and dirty in March with Dig It, a month-long series of classes and lectures aimed at getting people involved in their gardens. On Monday, March 4, Anythink Brighton, 327 East Bridge Street, is partnering with experts from the GrowHaus for a pair of lectures about agricultural techniques for all ages. From 1 to 2 p.m., ages twelve and up are invited for a discussion about permaculture (developing sustainable and self-sufficient ecosystems), aquaponics (raising aquatic animals symbiotically with hydroponically grown plants) and how these ideas relate to food justice. From 3:30 to 4:30 p.m., children, families and adults can learn about vermiculture (using worms to decompose organic waste and amend soil). The lectures are free to attend, and registration isn't required; visit Anythink's website for events throughout the rest of the month.
Denver established our nation's second Sister City relationship with Brest, France, in 1948 (the oldest, between Toledo, Ohio, and Toledo, Spain, was formed in 1931). Over seventy years later, the relationship is still going strong, and is being celebrated on Monday, March 4, at Coohills, 1400 Wewatta Street, when chefs Tom Coohill and Nicolas Conraux of Brest's Michelin-starred La Butte restaurant join forces for a six-course wine dinner at 6 p.m. The menu marries international flavors like seafood from the French port city, and Breton cake with Colorado lamb, huckleberries and yams, all paired with French wines. Find the complete menu on Coohills website, and if you're interested in attending the $85 dinner — in the interests of international relations, of course — call the restaurant at 303-623-5700 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve your spot.
Tuesday, March 5
Denver doesn't need a reason to visit Snooze: For twelve years now, there's been a crush of breakfast lovers continually hovering outside the doors of each and every outpost, no matter the time of year. But just in case you need a pretense, Tuesday, March 5, is National Pancake Day, and the breakfast joint is bringing back a selection of favorite historical flapjacks for one day only. Among the returning delights are the Polidori in a Blanket, which is studded with nuggets of sausage and topped with butter and syrup; Coffee N' Donuts, buttermilk pancakes covered in maple glaze, pecans and espresso cream; and Blackberry Sublime, a decadent construction of pancakes, white chocolate chips, Key Lime pie filling, graham cracker crumble, blackberries and mascarpone. Even sweeter is the fact that all the pancake sales for the day will be donated to local community and school gardens; visit Snooze's Facebook page to find out where the proceeds from your location will be going — and then settle in for a long wait for a table.
Thursday, March 7
What's delicious food without a tasty beverage to wash it down? Not as good as it could be, which is why the Slow Food movement also publishes a Slow Wine Guide, which evaluates wineries based on environmental impact, sustainability, history, terroir, value and, of course, taste. And on Thursday, March 7, the Slow Wine Tour is coming to The Source, 3350 Brighton Boulevard, where nearly 100 producers from Italy, California and Oregon will be sampling their wares from 1 to 5 p.m. While this is a free event, attendance is limited to industry folks only, and guests will be required to provide credentials; request your admission on Eventbrite. Mmm, that hits the spot.
SAME Cafe has been serving up healthy and hearty meals — as well as making national headlines — for more than a decade, and the pay-what-you-can eatery is now getting wheels. On Thursday, March 7, the nonprofit restaurant's SAME Food Truck will make its debut alongside bites and booze from Snooze, Cirque Kitchen and Spirits, the Inventing Room, Renegade Brewing Company, Sweet Action Ice Cream and Biju's Little Curry Shop at the second annual So All May Eat Gala at the McNichols Building, 144 West Colfax Avenue. From 5:30 to 9:30 p.m., guests will nip and nibble from great restaurants around Denver; food-justice activist and founder of D.C. Central Kitchen and L.A. Kitchen Robert Egger will also give a presentation. Tickets are currently on sale for $75 on Eventbrite, though in keeping with SAME's mission, pay-what-you-can and volunteer-exchange tickets are also available; find out more on the cafe's website.
Dig your white three-piece suit and Stetson out of the closet; it time to channel your inner Boss Hogg as you head south — to Del Frisco's Double Eagle Steakhouse, 8100 East Orchard Road in Greenwood Village — for a cigar dinner. On Thursday, March 7, the swank space will serve four courses paired with Angel's Envy and Elijah Craig bourbons as well as Ashton cigars. There's no telling exactly how the commissioner of Hazzard County would react to the menu (ahi tuna tacos? Arugula with truffle-chive vinaigrette? Tarnation!), but you'll doubtless be more sophisticated. Dinner starts at 6:30 p.m. and will run you $200; visit Del Frisco's website for the complete menu and to make reservations.
Friday, March 8
A day celebrating human beings, not foodstuffs: It's a bold move, and one we can get behind as we observe International Women's Day on Friday, March 8. To mark the occasion of honoring the achievements of women across the globe, five of the baddest women in Denver are getting together to create an epic meal, with profits benefiting Girls Inc. of Denver, a nonprofit organization offering mentoring and support to young women in a girl-only environment. Chefs Jennifer Jasinski (Ultreia, Stoic & Genuine, et al.), Dana Rodriguez (Super Mega Bien, Work & Class), Nadine Donovan (Steuben's, Ace Eat Serve, Vesta) and Kat Caine (Death & Co.) join Alex Jump (head bartender at Death & Co.) at the Ramble Hotel, 1280 25th Street, to create a four-course meal with cocktail pairings so good you won't even mind when you hear that guy at the next table start his monologue with, "Well, actually...." Tickets, $95, are on sale now on Eventbrite, along with details about room rates and specials.
Keep reading for future food and drink events.
Saturday, March 16
The sixth annual Collaboration Fest is drawing near, and even if the festival wasn't on your radar six months ago, when tickets first went on sale, it should be now. Because two (or more) breweries team up to brew each beer, each of the brews on tap is a result of the experience, style and approach of separate teams, resulting in nearly 120 beers you'll never see or taste anywhere else. Tickets for the Saturday, March 16, event are (still) on sale on Collaboration Fest's website for $65 or $85; pouring commences at 3 and lasts until 6 p.m. at the Hyatt Regency Denver, 650 15th Street. Our most anticipated collabs? Colorado breweries Paradox Beer Co. and Purpose Brewing; Belgian-style brewers Bruz Beers and the Thirsty Monk; and TRVE Brewing and Denver's Family Jones distillery.
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Monday, March 18 through Wednesday, March 20
Take a walk on the wild side at Rioja this spring at the Mediterranean restaurant's Wild and Wine dinners. From Monday, March 18, through Wednesday, March 20, the eatery at 1431 Larimer Street will offer an off-the-beaten-path five-course dinner highlighting unusual proteins like venison (not so strange), boar, snake, alligator and ostrich (completely bizarre — that neck!). Unfiltered, natural and wild-yeast-fermented wines will accompany the dishes. Tickets ($80 without wine, $110 with) are available on Rioja's website; choose from 5:30 or 7:45 p.m. seatings.
Sunday, May 19 and Monday, May 20
Chefs and aspiring charcutiers will want to plan ahead for a Denver visit from the maestro of meat, Brian Polcyn, who will lead a butchery course next spring at Stir Cooking School, 3215 Zuni Street. Polcyn and author Michael Ruhlman will spend two days teaching students how to break down hogs using both USDA and European seam butchery techniques; how to work charcuterie into menus; and how to properly dry-cure and smoke cured meats. Recipes for pâté, fresh sausage and offal will be provided, as well as a copy of one of the duo's books (their third title, Pâté, Confit, Rillette, will be released May 19), a private cocktail hour and dinner with the pair. Tickets are $800 and are on sale now at Eventbrite.
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