There's no way this week won't be fantastic: It kicks off with Negronis and wraps up with goats. In between, there's ice cream, pancakes for dinner and more. So get excited for the six best food and drink events in the next few days, and read on for a slew of upcoming happenings in the months of June and July.
Monday, June 4
Monday might actually be the best day of the week (for a change!), as it kicks off Negroni Week. From Monday, June 4, through Sunday, June 10, bars and restaurants around town will be serving classic and new-school variations on everyone's favorite red drink. Consider Bamboo Sushi's Negroni and nigiri pairings; Miller & Rossi's Kula Negroni, made with strawberry-infused Campari; and La Cour's Negroni semifreddo (gin panna cotta, Campari granita and candied lemon). At Bar Helix, there's a $5 classic Negroni all week, plus a different $7 variation for each day of the week, Tuesday through Saturday. Visit negroniweek.com for a complete list of participating bars (currently more than 25) and their specials. Each bar has also chosen a charitable organization, so a portion of each Negroni sale will go to a good cause. And don't be fooled: While the beverage looks unassuming, we've been told by Italian bartenders, "The Aperol Spritz is a drink for a woman; the Negroni is a drink for a man." Ladies, never trust an Italian bartender.
Wednesday, June 6
The tenth annual Hot Rocks Griller Challenge will light up Elway’s Cherry Creek again from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. This benefit for Denver Health Foundation’s men’s health programs includes an intense competition among thirteen of Colorado’s hottest chefs from top area restaurants; Chris Daniels and the Kings will entertain the crowd. Tickets start at $100; see if you can still snag one at denverhealthfoundation.org.
Did you slack on planning summer activities for your kiddo? Not sure what to do with them now that your daycare provider has thrown up their hands in despair and flounced off in a huff? The Inventing Room Dessert Shop, 4431 West 29th Avenue, is here for the assist. Every Wednesday during June, starting Wednesday, June 6, Ian Kleinman will take children from five to fourteen under his wing for a one-hour discussion of the scientific properties of liquid nitrogen. Of course, he'll be using his signature liquid nitrogen ice cream to grab their attention, but he'll also talk about the science behind pop rocks, carbonation and Twinkies. The free demo runs from 11 a.m. to noon; call 303-960-6656 to reserve your kid's spot at one of the events. And like any beloved babysitter, Kleinman will get them all hopped up on sugar, sending them home with a bag of housemade cotton candy. Fun for all!
Nocturne, at 1330 27th Street, put the "supper" in "supper club" from the moment it opened in 2015. Its Renditions menus — multi-course dinners designed to complement landmark albums — have been a staple since the jazz venue and restaurant opened its doors, and on Wednesday, June 6, the seventeenth Renditions menu will debut with five courses paying homage to Herbie Hancock's 1965 album Maiden Voyage. The Tom Amend Quintet will be performing this album during dinner, and owners Scott and Nicole Mattson and chef Greg Weadick will talk about the link between the music, food and wine starting at 6:30 p.m. Find out more and get your ticket ($79) at Nocturne's Facebook page.
Thursday, June 7
Breakfast for dinner: the beloved institution that's the refuge of harried working moms and feckless dads the world ’round. On Thursday, June 7, Snooze, 1701 Wynkoop Street, is staying open late to offer pancakes for dinner to early birds, night owls, athletes, couch potatoes (hash browns?) and everyone in between. In a partnership with bRUNch Running, diners will meet outside the restaurant at 6 p.m. on Thursday, June 7, before heading out on a 5K or 10K course at their own pace. Afterward, get two drinks and a spread of breakfast tacos and sandwiches, sausage, bacon and pancakes for just $50. Get the details and tickets at the event's Facebook page.
Friday, June 8
Brace yourself for the perfect storm: goats plus a RiNo warehouse plus a food truck equal both an adorable, low-key evening as well as the pinnacle of hipsterism. On Friday, June 8, Broken Shovels Farm Sanctuary is launching its "Goats in RiNo" summer movie series. Starting at 6 p.m., LFX Filmworks and Events Space at 1701 31st Street will open its doors to humans and goats alike for a screening of But I'm a Cheerleader. Food truck Vegan Van will be selling human feed, and goat treats will also be available for sale. Get your ticket for just $12 — well worth it to cuddle goats and watch a wonderfully naive Natasha Lyonne — on Facebook.
Keep reading for future food and drink events.
Sunday, June 10
Hot on the heels of Chicken Fight! comes another fowl food event, this time at Ace Eat Serve: Wings & Whiskey. What can we say? People love the bird. Ace Eat Serve, 501 East 17th Avenue, is hosting the event for the fifth year, and after last year's sellout bash, we expect this one to be bigger and birdier than ever. Music by Buffalo Wingmen will set the stage for the wing-eating contest, whiskey cocktails and, of course, unlimited wings from eight Denver chefs. The fun starts at 4 p.m.; snap up your tickets, $55 (VIP is sold out), at Ace's website.
Saturday, June 16
If you're curious about the luxury food festival Cochon555 but the prospect of being packed into a hotel ballroom so tightly your drink spills every time someone next to you takes a deep breath makes you itch, you might fare better at Heritage Fire Snowmass, Cochon's outdoor version of the whole-animal competition. Chefs from all over the country will set up camp at Snowmass Base Village, 120 Carriage Way, to cook more than 3,000 pounds of beef, pork, lamb, rabbit, duck, fish and goat over open fires on Saturday, June 16, from 4 to 7:30 p.m. Guests will enjoy the fresh air, smell of woodfire and unlimited food and drink. Snag your tickets ($150 to $200) at cochon555.com before they're gone.
Sunday, June 24
Those who don't mind the crowds and revel in seeing and being seen at the summer's hottest food event won't want to delay in buying their tickets for Cochon555, the pork-centric food festival happening on Sunday, June 24. Competitions started in NYC in January and have been popping up in major food cities across the country and will wrap up here at the Renaissance Denver Stapleton Hotel, 3801 Quebec Street. Competing chefs Brother Luck (Four by Brother Luck), Adam Brantz (Ultreia), Cindhura Reddy (Spuntino), Kyle Foster (Julep) and Nate Singer (Blackbelly Butcher) will each create the most delectable and luxurious bites using a heritage-breed hog, while winemakers and bartenders keep the booze flowing. Tickets, $130 to $200, are on sale now at Cochon's website.
Tuesday, June 26, and Wednesday, June 27
If ever there was a culinary power duo that could pull off a bash with an all-star lineup and sellout crowds on a Tuesday, it's Toshi and Yasu Kizaki, the chef and owners of Izakaya Den, Ototo and Sushi Den. This year's rooftop party takes place on Tuesday, June 26, and Wednesday, June 27, on the roof of Sushi Den's parking garage at 1501 Pearl Street. From 6 to 10 p.m., visiting Japanese chefs will be cooking up yatai, street food commonly found at festivals, while Denver chefs Alex Seidel, Paul Reilly and Troy Guard will join the fun by making their own interpretation of those dishes. Find out more about the party at sushiden.net and pick up tickets, $90 or $110, at Eventbrite.
Thursday, June 28
If it's summer in Colorado, there must be a taco festival just around the corner. Celebrate the world's perfect food (compact, handheld, delicious) at Top Taco on Thursday, June 28. This year, the fiesta is moving from RiNo to Stanley Marketplace, 2501 Dallas Street in Aurora, where unlimited tacos, booze and parking await attendees (okay, the parking won't be unlimited, but it will be a hell of a lot better than previous years). Tickets are $75 to $135 on eventbrite.com; snap yours up before the event sells out.
Thursday, July 12
How much would you pay for bites from 65 of Denver's top restaurants? Could you even fit 65 bites into your belly? Now's your chance to find out; on Thursday, July 12, the Big Eat returns to the Denver Performing Arts Complex at 14th and Curtis streets for a food festival of epic proportions. For just a buck per bite — that's right, $65 — guests will get food from Denver's best as well as unlimited drinks. Bar Helix, the Bindery, Tavernetta and Low Country Kitchen are just a few of the restaurants making an appearance at this blowout. Go to eatdenver.com for a complete list of participating restaurants and tickets.
If you know of a date that should be on this calendar, send information to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.