You might be counting down the days until May 11 (we sure are), when Denver restaurants are currently scheduled to reopen, but that doesn't mean you can't have fun in the meantime. Here are some of this weekend's best food and drink happenings that you can enjoy with your favorite brewers, bartenders and chefs — from at least six feet away.
Friday, April 3
The comforting, rosy interior of Safta's dining room is off limits for now, but the Israeli cuisine of chef/owner Alon Shaya is still available for takeout and delivery. The restaurant, located inside the Source Hotel at 3330 Brighton Boulevard, has also been known for its special events, many of them combining food, music, wine and good times. Alon and Emily Shaya haven't given up on big events, but for now they're helping sponsor one online. Today, Friday, April 3, you can join them for Sofa King Fest, a virtual festival of live music, art, cooking demos and more from 2 to 10 p.m. This festival has everything (as Stefon would say): former governor John Hickenlooper; members of the Lumineers, the Head and the Heart, the Night Sweats and Leftover Salmon; wine and cocktail demos; and cooking with chefs Kelly Whitaker, Jordan Wallace and Shaya himself. Kick things off on the Sofa King Fest website and choose "tip jars" to support the charities of choice of each artist. What's the common theme? All donations go to support musicians and restaurant employees out of work because of the coronavirus crisis.
You've said for ages you wanted to learn how to cook, but you just don't have the time. That excuse no longer holds water, and while we wholeheartedly encourage you to support your locally owned bars and restaurants, man cannot live by takeout alone. So tune in to the Seasoned Chef's online cooking classes, which are built around foods you might already have in your refrigerator. The Friday, April 3, class runs from 6 to 7 p.m. and is focused on Mediterranean food, with the instructor preparing pan-roasted chicken with caper and bacon vinaigrette, veggies and basmati rice; and pasta with spicy tuna sauce and olives, shallots, sun-dried tomatoes and capers. Upon registration ($25), you'll receive an ingredient list and recipes in case you'd like to cook along; otherwise, you'll have plenty of time to ask live questions and take notes. Visit the school's website for its complete class schedule; upcoming offerings include handmade pasta and gnocchi, international street food and baking at altitude.
Plenty of bars and breweries are setting up virtual happy hours (even though every hour can be happy hour when your boss can't see you cracking open a cold one). This Friday, April 3, we're highlighting two of our favorite spots, Denver Beer Co. and Dos Luces Brewery. From 4 to 5 p.m., DBC will be discussing select brews (including Pretzel Assassin and Imperial Peanut Butter Graham Cracker Porter) on YouTube and Facebook Live; afterward, you can hit up Google Hangouts from 6 to 7 p.m. to hear from the head brewer at Dos Luces talk about his chicha and pulque creations. Both breweries are open for takeout bottle sales so you can drink along (or — because some of us need something a wee bit more potent these days — just pour yourself a few fingers of booze and listen in. We won't tell).
Saturday, April 4
Starting Saturday, April 4, Avanti Food & Beverage has a solution to your cozy movie nights at home (which is...er...all of them): It's offering grab-and-go movie bags for your noshing needs. Each $6.50 package contains movie theater popcorn, Sour Patch Kids, Reese's, Twizzlers and M&Ms, so you'll be riding the roller coaster of both emotions and sugar highs as you binge Tiger King. In addition, the pack contains a coupon for a free drink once Avanti reopens, and 100 percent of the proceeds will go to Avanti's employee fund (which is also accepting donations on its GoFundMe page; chip in a few bucks and you'll get weekly videos about how to mix your favorite Avanti cocktails). You can order the movie packages for pick-up on Avanti's new virtual storefront.
Farmers' markets definitely aren't opening on their normal schedules this spring, but Boulder County Farmers' Markets have partnered with Big Red F Restaurant Group for a creative solution in the interim: pop-up markets. On Saturday, April 4, two locations will be offering boxes of farm-fresh produce with advance orders: Zolo Grill (2525 Arapahoe Avenue in Boulder) and the Post Brewing Co. (2200 South Broadway). Boulder County residents can order a $40 box of greens, onions, mushrooms and more from various local farms on Zolo's website; Denverites will need to call the Post at 720-466-5699 to pre-order a $35 box of mixed greens and cucumbers from Oxford Gardens. Pick-up at both locations will be from noon to 2 p.m.
Sunday, April 5
Tiki bar Adrift is trying to make your time at home seem more like a staycation than an impending zombie apocalypse. And with its new cocktails to-go program and virtual tiki party, that's easier than ever. Visit the bar's new online storefront and order one of Adrift's signature umbrella drinks, helpfully sold in quantities to slake the thirst of five to eleven drinkers (or just one very thirsty, very lonely fellow). With each purchase comes a free DIY Spam musubi kit (a can of Spam, sticky rice, nori and sweet and sour sauce, as well as assembly directions at qrco.de/musubi); you can pick up your order or schedule delivery. Then, at 5 p.m. Sunday, April 5, Adrift is hosting a virtual tiki party via Zoom. RSVP on the event Facebook page to get the Zoom link, and you'll ensure that the only zombie breaking down your doors is of the alcoholic variety.
Tuesday, April 7
Wash Park Italian restaurant Olivia isn't giving up on the idea of wine dinners — it's just bringing them into the digital age. On Tuesday, April 7, chef/co-owner Ty Leon and sommelier Doug Krenik will be taking to Instagram Live and Zoom to host a three-course dinner with pairings. Call 303-999-0395 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to order no later than 4 p.m. on Monday, April 6, and you'll pick up your food and drink (French onion soup with focaccia, pasta with tender housemade meatballs, lemon olive oil cake and three 375-milliliter bottles of vino) at the restaurant, 290 South Downing Street, between 11 a.m. and 6 p.m.on Tuesday. The live stream starts at 6:30 p.m.; guests will be able to interact with Leon and Krenik throughout the meal. The night will run oenophiles $75 for dinner with wine pairings, or teetotalers just $32 for food alone.
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