The best dining-related events of the week start out casual and ramp up from there, culminating in a grand finale private dinner party in Boulder Canyon that promises to be a multisensory and sometimes interactive experience that includes visual art, installation, performance, and a uniquely exploratory dinner. In between all that, we’ve got the Denver Food & Wine Festival to keep us entertained, among other delicious outings. Here are our picks for the best ways to eat your way through Denver and beyond as September gets going in full swing.
Head to American Bonded to learn the history behind the Bottled in Bond Act of 1897 which established a standardized definition of legitimate spirits based on quality and predefined criteria. It was so successful that the practice of bottled-in-bond spirits never actually went away—it just faded from the spotlight after serving a crucial purpose in the wild, unregulated days of bootleggers, moonshiners, and unscrupulous distillers filling bottles with questionable ingredients. During this edition of Casual Conversations, you’ll be tasting Dickel Bottled in Bond and Verse Dickel 8-Year Bourbon and making an Old Fashioned and Algonquin cocktail. The two-hour event will run ya $20. Reserve your spot via Eventbrite.
The Denver Auraria campus becomes the center of Denver’s food world for three days every September—and those days are upon us. Four of ’em, and they’re full of food, drink, and entertainment. It starts on Sept. 6 with Riedel seminars that showcase how the vessel you pour your wine into impacts the taste of the wine you sip out. Then on Thursday, Sept. 7, the Shake + Brake Showdown gets bartenders from places like ChoLon, Hey Kiddo, and Koko Ni shaking their stuff in a cocktail competition fueled by bites from Denver’s best food trucks. That’s just to whet your appetite for the main event: Saturday’s Grand Tasting. From noon to 4 p.m., the city’s culinary leaders will be serving and pouring dishes and concoctions that celebrate our city’s thriving food-and-beverage scene. Chefs on the lineup include BRUTØ’s Michael Diaz de Leon, Chez Maggy’s Ludo Lefebvre, Restaurant Olivia’s Ty Leon, Ginger Pig’s Natascha Hess, and so many more. And it all benefits the Colorado Restaurant Foundation, Learn more and get your tickets to all the events here.
Sept. 7: Family Jones & Noisette Dinner
Head to the French gem in LoHi for a special four-course menu to pair alongside specially crafted cocktails featuring spirits from Family Jones. The menu is chock full of dishes I can’t pronounce like the aile de raie à la grenobloise and paleron à la bordelaise, all of which sound scrumptious and indulgent. Pair them with cocktails made with Juniper Jones gin, tomato water, and lime or Annika Jones vodka, Lillet Blanc, pineapple, and bubbles. It’s bound to be delicious, and you can get a seat at the table for $150 via Resy.
Sept. 8: MCA Denver & Id Est Host: Dinner Society Featuring Chef Modou Jaiteh @ MCA
Experience the intersection of the culinary and visual arts as MCA Denver and chef Kelly Whitaker’s Id Est host: Dinner Society featuring Chef Modou Jaiteh. Indulge in an evening that will leave you newly inspired and completely satiated—both your hunger and your creative appetite. Upon arrival, you will be welcomed with a cocktail and amuse-bouche to set the mood for the night ahead. Next, you will receive an exclusive tour of the museum’s current exhibitions, Tomashi Jackson: Across the Universe and Anna Tsouhlarakis: Indigenous Absurdities. Following the tour, Chef Modou Jaiteh will prepare a three-course prix fixe dinner experience with curated beverage pairings and meaningful conversation. Tickets are $175 and can be obtained from the museum here.
Sept. 9: Flock Party @ Denver Zoo
Denver Zoo invites you to shake a tail feather at the annual Flock Party: a brilliant evening benefiting their beloved animal family—including the flamboyant flamingos, all of which are named after rock stars and you should go party like one to support them. This colorful, casual, and all-inclusive benefit features festive food + drink, live entertainment, exclusive animal experiences and so much more. With 84 acres to explore and something fascinating around every bend, Flock Party is a brilliant movable feast providing you with plenty of room to spread your wings throughout the event. Tickets start at $150 and all but guarantee a good time. More details here.
Sept. 9: The Dinner Party @ Boulder Canyon
For one night only, step into a fantastical world that challenges your everyday perceptions and celebrates all things femme. Honoring the traditionally considered feminine aesthetic, The Dinner Party will be a multisensory and sometimes interactive experience that includes visual art, installation, performance, and a uniquely exploratory dinner. Guests are required to dress in their finest flora- and fauna-inspired attire as a means to help the participant abandon their reality and submit to the immersive structure. Taking place in a stunning private residence overlooking Boulder Canyon, The Dinner Party has a limited number of tickets available for purchase. Find out more here.