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.
The GrowHaus, at 4751 York Street, has been serving the Elyria-Swansea neighborhood for years now, and its food production, distribution and educational offerings just keep getting bigger and better. On Saturday, March 23, the nonprofit is hosting its ninth annual seed swap from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., with workshops on growing mushrooms, starting seedlings indoors, vermiculture and beekeeping alongside the trading of organic seeds (make sure you bring your own containers to tote your bounty home) with fellow gardeners. Kids' activities, food vendors (cash only!), farm tours and live music will also be part of the day. Children under twelve and residents of Elyria-Swansea and Globeville get in free; the rest of us will have to pay a very reasonable admission price of $12 ($15 the day of) on the GrowHaus website.
Tuesday, April 19
It may feel like winter will never end in the Mile High City, but in fact it's already time to start planning your spring garden dinners. The early bird gets the worm, after all, and the earliest feast to hit the table this year is already scheduled for Tuesday, April 19, at Kingman Estates Winery, 800 East 64th Avenue. Chefs Samantha New (Éclat Culinary) and Brandon Becker (Cirque Kitchen and Spirits) are teaming up to turn out an impressive nine-course meal, with pairings crafted from grapes grown entirely in Colorado, from 5:30 to 9 p.m. Fresh ingredients like melon will be served with chicory, speck and riesling, while heavier courses of beef and morels with merlot will be accented with seasonal ramps. Tickets, $138, include tax and tip, and are on sale now on the winery's website, where you can get a peek at the entire menu.
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.
If you know of a date that should be on this calendar, send information to [email protected].