10 Essential February Food-and-Drink Events in Denver (Zagat)

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10 Essential February Food-and-Drink Events in Denver

By Lori Midson
January 30, 2015

February has a lot more in store than just Valentine’s Day dinners. Here are our picks for the best culinary events in Denver, including the Mile High City’s annual Restaurant Week, to supplement the holiday of love.

Tuesday nights in February: Tasting Series at Lower48 Kitchen

Owner Mario Nocifera and exec chef Alexander Figura, the brains behind Lower48 Kitchen, are ushering in February with their Tuesday night Tastings series, a three-course menu for $36 (excluding tax and gratuity) that highlights ingredients and cooking techniques spanning the lower 48 states. The February board features a choice of two “each” dishes, a first course, a main course and dessert. Here’s the schedule: Tasty Taters, Types and Techniques (February 3); an exploration of tree nuts, including nut butter, nut milk and purées (February 10); and the endless possibilities of eggs (February 17). For reservations, call 303-942-0262. 2020 Lawrence St.

February 5: Meet the Maker at La Biblioteca

As part of its lust for tequila, La Biblioteca (pictured below), chef and restaurateur Richard Sandoval’s sultry lounge and “library” in Riverfront Park, is hosting makers from Agave Underground Tequila, a company that describes its line of Mexican spirits as “so seductive that it suspiciously hints of something illegal… but it’s not.” The tasting, which starts at 6 PM, includes complimentary sips, specialty tequila-laced cocktails and a history lesson that delves into the process of the distiller’s tequila cultivation. 1610 Little Raven St.; 720-904-0965

February 6: I Heart Fridays Celebrity Chef Cook-Off

Chef and TV personality Nikki Shaw, a finalist on The Next Food Network Star: Season 3, will go head-to-head against Tim Kast, executive corporate chef of Bad Daddy’s Burger Bar, in this celebrity-chef showdown that kicks off I Heart Fridays, a month-long program of Cherry Creek North that brings awareness to heart disease. The Iron Chef-style smackdown, which goes from 4-6 PM, takes place at the Beacons Community Space, and admission is free. To RSVP, email keely@cherrycreeknorth.com. 2630 E. Third Ave.

February 8: Chef Driven Premiere Party at Lou’s Food Bar

On Saturday, February 7, Rocky Mountain PBS will air the premiere of Chef Driven, a six-part series that stars prolific Denver chef and restaurateur Frank Bonanno (pictured below), and on the 8th, there’s a viewing party at Lou’s Food Bar from 7-9 PM to catch all the action, which focuses on Denver’s craft-brewing culture. The festivities include beers from Great Divide Brewing Co., Dry Dock Brewing Co. and Crooked Stave Artisan Beer Project, along with a spread of dishes from Lou’s: hot chicken bites, creamed corn, mashed potatoes, meatloaf sliders and grilled cheese sandwiches. Tickets, priced at $30 per person, are limited and can be purchased here. 1851 W. 38th Ave.; 303-458-0336

February 13: Have A Honky-Tonk Valentine’s Day

A barnraiser? Sure, why not. Western Daughters Butcher Shoppe, along with Wolfe Brand Narratives, is kicking up dirt for its inaugural Have Yourself a Honky-Tonk Valentine’s Day, a pre-Cupid fundraiser that includes small bites from Western Daughters, plenty of beer from Breckenridge-Wynkoop and live music with lots of two-steppin’ and boot stompin’. The shindig starts at 8 PM at Converge Denver, and proceeds from tickets, priced at $35 each, benefit Re:Vision International, a local nonprofit that helps impoverished residents of the Westwood neighborhood, a food desert, with growing and supplying fresh produce. 3327 Brighton Blvd. 303-296-0469

February 15: Colorado Indulgence Festival

Spend the most romantic weekend of the year in luxury at this annual food indulgence festival (pictured below) at the Cheyenne Mountain Resort in Colorado Springs, where you’ll come face-to-face with a swell of food samples and culinary seminars from dozens of food experts, pastry chefs, including Noah French, confection wizard of Sugarmill (pictured below), chocolatiers, mixologists and sommeliers. Expect row after row of decadent chocolates, cheeses, spirit-based jams and jellies, gelato, toffee, cupcakes, chocolate martinis, truffles, plus lots of savory food tastings, wine, spirits and craft beers. The festivities kick off at 1 PM, and tickets are $70 per person, or $120 per couple and include unlimited tastings and sips. Buy yours here. 3225 Broadmoor Valley Rd., Colorado Springs; 719-465-356

February 16: Soup for the Soul

Now in its 15th year, Soup for the Soul showcases the culinary prowess of 25 top Denver chefs, all of whom converge at the Sheraton Denver Downtown Hotel, where they serve innovative soup samples coupled with innovative appetizers. The good-food-for-a-good-cause soiree, a benefit for Porter Hospice, St. Anthony Hospice and The Butterfly Program, begins at 5 PM, and admission is $100 per person, or $80 for young professionals under the age of 40. Tickets can be purchased online, or by calling 303-561-5790.

February 18: Battle Bird at Harman’s Eat & Drink

In January, the Harman’s family of independent restaurants brought together some of their most talented chefs in a collaborative culinary meeting of the minds: the kick-off of the Battle of the Beast, which featured pig and took place at The Pullman in Glenwood Springs. The creative synergy continues tonight at Harman’s Eat & Drink, where the same collection of chefs will join forces for Battle Bird, a blowout dinner that features different fowl cooked five ways, all paired with wine, beer or cocktails. The chef lineup includes Antonio Martinez (Phat Thai), Chris Randall (The Pullman), Josh Oakley (town), John Chad Little (Harman’s Eat & Drink) and exec chef at large Mark Fischer, who will be serving everything from a charcuterie board with chicken liver pâté, duck ham, sausage and pheasant rillettes to Nashville-style hot-fried quail and a foie gras dessert. The dinner is $52.80 per person, and reservations can be made by calling 303-388-7428. 2900 E. Second Ave.

February 20-March 1: Denver Restaurant Week

Denver’s annual food bonanza is back with hundreds of Denver’s top restaurants offering multicourse dinners for the fixed price of $30 per person, excluding tax and gratuity. Billed as the city’s largest culinary event, more than 250 restaurants are participating in the 10-day feeding frenzy, some of which also offer discounted deals on wine, beer and cocktails. “The fun of restaurant week is looking at how all the chefs, faced with the same challenge of providing a knockout multicourse meal for just $30, get creative to find different solutions,” says Richard Scharf, president and COO of Visit Denver, the organization that hosts the event. Menus, which are added daily, are available on the Visit Denver website.

February 22: Hogs & Hops at Atticus

Atticus, which also celebrates its one-year anniversary on February 10 with a four-course dinner, is hauling out the hogs and hops for tonight’s community-style feast paired with beers from Crazy Mountain Brewery. The family-style spread, courtesy of chef Matt Mine, includes a whole roasted hog, red beans and rice, cornbread and cashew, caramel and bacon popcorn served with three beers, including Crazy Mountain’s Roland Jr India Brown Ale and Fifth Anniversary Strong Style Ale. Kids are treated to hog tacos and root beer. The dinner, which starts at 6:30 PM, is $45 for adults and $10 for children. Reservations can be made by calling 720-459-8273. 1135 E. Evans Ave.