It's a busy week in Denver as we gear up for a long holiday weekend. From the trendy and celebratory to outdoorsy and shlocky — even a little avian — everyone should be able to find an event to suit their fancy. Here are the ten best food and drink events on the culinary calendar for the week of May 22 to 26, 2017.
Monday, May 22
Summer lunch at the office is great — you just head over to Civic Center Park to get your food-truck fix. But what if you work south of the city, in (horrors!) the DTC? Never fear, intrepid foodie/project manager: DTC Eats kicks off today, with more than fifteen food trucks scheduled to set up shop at 4700 South Syracuse Street. The event runs from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. every other Monday from May 22 through September 11; this week's roster of rolling restaurants includes Churn & Burn, Pierogies Factory, Baba's Falafel and What Would Cheesus Do. The event's Facebook page has a complete schedule and list of participating food trucks.
The Decline and Fall of the American Empire, Vol. XIII: The Bachelorette. That's right, boys and girls: The mind-boggling case study of dating, relationships and TV fame is entering its thirteenth season on Monday, May 22, and Ignite Kitchen + Cocktails, 2124 Larimer Street, is riding the show's coattails with Man Candy Mondays. From 6 to 10 p.m. during the season, Man Candy candied bacon and Frozé cocktails (frozen rosé, that is) are just $5, and the big-screen TVs in the restaurant will be tuned to The Bachelorette. You'll need to keep the drinks flowing as you take in this orgy of self-promotion and insincerity — and at this price, you can.
If you're drinking to escape the harsh reality of the above, consider the Bitter Truth's Inaugural Cocktail Competition at Star Bar on Monday, May 22. The fun starts at 7:30 p.m. at 2137 Larimer Street, when thirteen Denver bartenders throw down for three rounds of fierce competition. Expect liberal use of namesake ingredients, though you shouldn't find these concoctions too bitter a pill to swallow.
Tuesday, May 23
Chef Leah Eveleigh has been touting the virtues of Filipino cuisine in Denver for years, and she's proven her cooking chops as a contestant on the Food Network's Cutthroat Kitchen. From 6 to 9 p.m. on Tuesday, May 23, and Wednesday, May 24, she's teaming up with chef Chris Jakubiec to unveil the specialties of her home country at two pop-up dinners dubbed It's Lechon Time! at Carbon Cafe, 1553 Platte Street. Eveleigh and Jakubiec will combine traditional Filipino cooking with modern culinary style, so this multi-course meal — which culminates with lechon (a whole roasted suckling pig) served with adobo fried rice — goes way beyond street food. Tickets are $85 for each night (alcoholic beverages are extra) and can be purchased at hutch-supper-club.ticketleap.com/its-lechon-time. As they say in the Philippines, mabuhay!
It may seem like TAG at 1141 Larimer Street has been around forever, but that's only because it was the start of Troy Guard's rapidly expanding restaurant empire. In fact, it opened eight short years ago and is celebrating the anniversary at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, May 23, with a four-course menu that includes food from across Guard's culinary kingdom. For $80 ($110 with drink pairings), diners get apps from TAG Burger Bar, bubu and FNG (which hasn't even opened yet), while the meal itself boasts courses from Los Chingones, Mister Tuna, Guard and Grace, Sugarmill and the birthday star itself, TAG. Whether you're already a fan of Guard's restaurants or just want a sampling of all his culinary stylings, this blowout dinner will satisfy. Call 303-996-9985 for reservations, and check out the restaurant website for more details.
Keep reading for more food and drink events.
Wednesday, May 24
It's almost Memorial Day weekend, the unofficial start of summer — and camping — in Colorado. While it's still mud season and a bit early to camp out for some, the less intrepid outdoorsmen among us can scratch their wilderness itch at Ale House's (formerly known as the Ale House at Amato's) campfire beer dinner on Wednesday, May 24. Good River Beer Company is providing the brews to accompany the franks and beans, along with elk skewers, ribs with beer BBQ sauce and, naturally, s'mores for dessert (though these s'mores are fancy and covered in ganache). Dinner is $45 per person or $80 per couple; buy your tickets on the event's Facebook page. The cookout starts at 6:30 p.m. at 2501 16th Street, so prepare to take a little hike from your parking spot to the restaurant. It is the great outdoors, after all.
Thursday, May 25
You're probably an old hand at drinking cocktails (who isn't these days?), but how are you at mixing them? If your skills begin and end with Jack and Coke, check out Hotel Teatro on Thursday, May 25, when the bar team from The Nickel will be teaching how to shake, stir and mix a classic Manhattan, a martini (our favorite) and a summery, sweet Mai Tai. Just $15 will get you expert instruction as well as two cocktails to sip — for inspiration, of course. The workshop takes place in the Study at Hotel Teatro, 1100 14th Street, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.; secure your tickets at eventbrite.com.
To paraphrase the Bard of Avon: "Fair is fowl, and fowl is fair." Shakespeare would definitely show up to Chicken Fight! on Thursday, May 25, at 3715 Chestnut Place. From 7:30 to 10:30 p.m., get unlimited bites of the bird from restaurants both high-end and casual (Sarto's, Salt & Grinder), obvious and not-so-obvious (The Post Chicken & Beer, Biju's Little Curry Shop). Tickets range from $65 to $125 and also include unlimited cocktails and live music. Check out the event website for complete details and tickets, including parking information (spoiler alert: There isn't any).
Unlike TAG, the Four Mile House Museum really has been around forever — at least since 1859. It's Denver's oldest standing structure, and Four Mile Historic Park's annual fundraiser, Colorado Corks and Cuisine, keeps it standing. This year's event at the park, 715 South Forest Street, boasts the products of wineries, breweries and distilleries including Trinity Brewing, Comrade Brewing and Vino Salida; food from JAX Fish House will also be on hand. Tickets are $45 (less if you're a member), and the event is on Thursday, May 25, from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Get tickets at eventbrite.com.
Friday, May 26
Kick off Memorial Day weekend by communing with nature at Blues & Brews on the Bluff on Friday, May 26. From 5 to 8 p.m., the Bluff Lake Nature Center, 3400 Havana Way, will host live bluegrass, the Simply Pizza and Street Frites food trucks, and beers from Diebolt Brewing Company. Admission is $30 ($25 if you register online prior to the event) and includes a free beer and an $8 food-truck voucher. Then you'll be able to enjoy additional beer and food at your own expense; register and purchase your tickets at eventbrite.com.
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.