The Six Tastiest Events on the Culinary Calendar This Week

Nocturne's bartenders will be working overtime for you Monday night.
Nocturne's bartenders will be working overtime for you Monday night. Mark Antonation
This week is an eclectic one for the Denver food scene. Classic cocktails? Check. Drag queens? Check. Wine dinners? Always. Check out the happenings for the week of June 5 through June 8, with a bonus Friday event to kick off your weekend.

click to enlarge It doesn't get any better than a Negroni. - DANIELLE LIRETTE
It doesn't get any better than a Negroni.
Danielle Lirette
Monday, June 5
We can all agree the Negroni is the perfect cocktail: pink but not girly, continental but not fussy, accessible but not overexposed, bitter but not mouth-puckering. No wonder the Italian favorite has an entire week dedicated to its glorification. Start International Negroni Week in style on Monday, June 5, at Nocturne, 1330 27th Street, at the Negroni Week Kick-Off Party. For $30, you'll get four of the namesake drinks from bartenders across town (Nocturne, Adrift, Smokin' Dave's BBQ and Curio will be represented), small bites from Nocturne's excellent kitchen, and music from Sundae + Mr. Goessl, who bill themselves as a "vintage jazz" duo. There's never a bad reason to hit the elegant Nocturne, especially when Campari is involved. Grab your tickets at; doors open at 6:30 p.m. Check out the Negroni Week official website for fifty participating bars in Denver alone that will be selling cocktails to raise money for a number of nonprofit organizations.

click to enlarge Order this delicious fingerling poutine and get free whiskey. - COURTESY OF THE PRESERVERY
Order this delicious fingerling poutine and get free whiskey.
Courtesy of The Preservery
Tuesday, June 6
You've got to eat something for dinner, so why not head over to The Preservery, 3040 Blake Street, for an excellent meal and a little something extra? On Tuesday, June 6, the eatery is hosting distillers from Denver's own Leopold Bros. Order off the regular dinner menu (no rigid tasting menus here — substitute away!) and receive free whiskey samples from the beverage-focused brothers. Reservations aren't required, but the Preservery fills up quickly (more so with free booze on the menu), so if you want to guarantee your spot, give the restaurant a call at 303-298-6821.

Wednesday, June 7
Top Chef is filming in Denver right now, but if you can't get an invite to the show's Restaurant Wars, check out Cook Street's Restaurant Week instead. From Wednesday, June 7, through Friday, June, 9, students at the culinary school will be preparing three-course lunches, with seatings at 11:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. The menu changes daily, but you can expect dishes like wood-fired shrimp with coconut spoonbread, grilled lamb with Asiago polenta and onion preserves, and white-chocolate bread pudding. Just $25 gets you a civilized lunch — no scarfing down a giant burrito while hurrying back to your cubicle — in the form of the prix fixe menu served at the school, 1937 Market Street. As a bonus, no one will go home in tears at the end of the meal. Check out the full menus and reserve your spot at Cook Street's website.

Simple is always stunning at Spuntino. - DANIELLE LIRETTE
Simple is always stunning at Spuntino.
Danielle Lirette
The quarterly Festa della Stagione (Season's Feast) at Spuntino, 2639 West 32nd Avenue, is scheduled for Wednesday, June 7, at 6:30 p.m. You know the drill by now: five courses, five wines. Simple, right? Our favorite restaurant on West 32nd Avenue may do things simply, but it's never boring, and is always impeccably executed and utterly delicious. The wines this week will come courtesy of vintner Giovanni Genio, and the menu includes branzino with garlic confit and black-pepper gastrique, and gnocchi with poppy seeds, mustard and brown butter. Call the restaurant at 303-433-0949 to reserve your spot for this dinner; the cost is $82 — and worth every penny.

Keep reading for a start to your weekend.

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Amy Antonation knows that street tacos are infinitely superior to tacos that come covered in squiggles of crema, and she will stab you with her knitting needles if you try to convince her otherwise.
Contact: Amy Antonation