LoDo Bites, Colorado Cocktail Contest and more on this week's culinary calendar

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>Tomorrow is the longest day of the year, and this could be one of the biggest weeks of 2011 for food and drink events, culminating in the long-awaited Colorado Cocktail Contest.

Here's a taste of what's ahead:

Monday, June 20:

Frasca Food and Wine, 1738 Pearl Street in Boulder, will host its Monday Night Wine Dinner; this week's guests are Jonathan Waxman and Gianpaolo Venica. Admission is $45 and up; visit www.frascafoodandwine.com or call 303-442-6966.

Mateo, 1837 Pearl Street in Boulder, will be celebrating Mussel Mondays all summer: Get one pound of mussels for $6 and frites for an additional $2 -- that's half off the regular menu price. For more info, call 303-442-7766 or visit www.mateorestaurant.com.

Tuesday, June 21:

Interstate Kitchen & Bar, 901 West Tenth Avenue, will present a Spirited Summer Solstice, a tasting of fine whiskeys, grub and more. It starts at 7 p.m. and costs $30; call 720-479-8829 or visit www.interstaterestaurant.com.

Row 14, 891 14th Street, will host a five-course wine dinner with Bin 36. It starts at 7 p.m. and costs $95; visit www.row14denver.com or call 303-825-0100.

The Kitchen, 1039 Pearl Street in Boulder, will offer a class focusing on mint. It starts at 5:30 p.m. and costs $60; call 303-544-5973 or visit www.thekitchencafe.com.

Enjoy a night in historic LoDo at LoDo Bites, a walking tour of local restaurants complete with small bites. The fun starts at 5 p.m. and costs $30 to $35; visit www.lodobites.com.

Cru: A Wine Bar, 8433 Park Meadows Center Drive in Littleton, will host the five-course Bodega Luigi Bosca Wine Dinner. It starts at 6 p.m. and costs $75; call 303-708-8084 or visit www.cruawinebar.com.

Cafe Aion, 1235 Pennsylvania Avenue in Boulder, will host a Summer Solstice Party with special warm-weather wines, beers, cocktails and tapas. Call 303-993-8131 or visit www.cafeaion.com.

Wednesday, June 22:

The Denver Botanic Gardens, 1007 York Street, will present A Tapas Picnic, which will teach how to make several tapas that will put pizzazz in your outdoor dining. Class runs from 6 to 8 p.m. and costs $44 (bring a place setting); for more info call 720-865-3500 or visit www.botanicgardens.org.

Lucky Pie Pizza & Taphouse, 637 Front Street in Louisville, will host a five-course Great Divide Beer Dinner. It starts at 6:30 p.m.; call 303-666-5743 or visit www.luckypiepizza.com.

Duo Restaurant, 2413 West 32nd Avenue, will present a three-course Upslope Beer Dinner. Tickets are $40; call 303-477-4141 or visit www.duodenver.com. Root Down, 1600 West 33rd Avenue, is collaborating with Denver Urban Gardens to host an evening of food and drink celebrating urban agriculture and community gardens, with two screenings of DUG's research documentary A Garden in Every Neighborhood. The event runs from 7:30 to 10 p.m., and admission is $20; visit www.dug.org.

The Kitchen, 1039 Pearl Street in Boulder, hosts a family-style wine dinner with Peter Roesbock of Sineann Wines; reservations are required for the $68 meal, which starts at 6:30 p.m., so make yours by calling 303-544-5973.

Thursday, June 23:

Luca d'Italia, 711 Grant Street, will host a wine dinner that starts at 6:30 p.m. and costs $95. Call 303-832-6600 or visit www.lucadenver.com.

Friday, June 24:

Cook Street School of Fine Cooking, 1937 Market Street, will host a Culinary Date Night; bring your date and indulge in an evening of cooking and fun from 6 to 9:30 p.m. Admission is $79 per person; call 303-308-9300 or visit www.cookstreet.com.

Restaurant 4580, 4580 Broadway Street in Boulder, will host Rudi's Gluten-Free Bakery Recipe Contest Cook-Off from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. For details, call 303-448-1500 or visit www.restaurant4580.com.

Saturday, June 25:

Dougherty's Neighborhood Restaurant and Pub, 5 East Ellsworth Avenue, will host a Firefighter Appreciation Party with food and drink specials, a street party, music and more; proceeds benefit the Denver Burn Fund. It runs from 1 to 9 p.m.; call 303-777-5210 or visit www.doughertysrestaurant.com.

Englewood Eats & Beats is a new summer outdoor concert event featuring live music, vendors and more from noon to 10 p.m. on the South Broadway Mile; visit www.thesouthbroadwaymile.com.

Seven Cups, 1882 South Pearl Street, will host a Cheese & Tea Tasting at noon today. Tickets are $30; call 303-777-2877 or visit www.sevencupsdenver.com.

Dana Cain's second annual Winter Park Chocolate Festival offers close to twenty vendors, a pudding-eating contest, live music and more. It runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; visit www.winterpark.chocolate-festival.org.

Copper Mountain Resort will present the Tomato Battle, an event complete with live music, beer and access to over 300,000 pounds of past-prime roma tomatoes. Visit www.tomatobattle.com.

Civic Center Park in Fort Collins is the site of the Colorado Brewer's Festival through Sunday, June 26, with more than fifty Colorado beers and dozens of breweries, live music and more. Visit www.downtownfortcollins.com/dba.php/brewfest.

Sunday, June 26:

Vesta Dipping Grill, 1822 Blake Street, will present a five-course Rose Wine Dinner that's gluten-free. Two seating times are available, at 5:30 and 8 p.m.; call 303-296-1970 or visit www.vestagrill.com.

The Pinyon, 1710 Pearl Street in Boulder, will present the five-course Lost Abbey Beer Dinner; seatings are at 6 and 9:30 p.m. Admission is $75; call 720-306-8248 or visit www.thepinyon.com.

MCA Denver, 1485 Delgany Street, will be the site of the Colorado Cocktail Project, held in conjunction with Westword, the Colorado Distillers Guild and the Colorado Bartenders Guild. From noon to 5 p.m. today there will be learned lectures on Colorado cocktails and culture, along with samples of drinks and lots of food; on Monday, June 27, the finalists will compete from 5 to 9 p.m. to see whose creation is the ultimate Colorado Cocktail. Admission is $40 per day, or $70 for a two-day pass; visit www.coloradococktailproject.com.

For information on dozens of culinary events around town, visit our online Food & Drink listings -- and if you have information for a culinary event you'd like included in our online calendar, send it to cafe@westword.com.

Looking for more food events around town? Become of a fan of Food Events in Denver on Facebook.

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