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This week is packed with food and fundraisers, where you can do something useful with all of your restaurant pics, turn Taco Tuesday into Pizza Tuesday, and pony up to support event-industry workers and foster parents.

After digesting those possibilities, keep reading for future food and drink events through the end of March.

Monday, March 8
Restaurants (and the people who work in them) need love now more than ever. Enter To Denver, With Love, a fundraiser for the Colorado Restaurant Association’s Angel Relief Fund. The fund gives emergency grants to bar and restaurant employees across the state who are facing unexpected injury, illness or disaster. The only thing you need to do to contribute is upload photos of your favorite restaurant memories to the Living Love Wall, an online photo collage, and restaurant tech company SpotOn will donate $3.03 to the Angel Relief Fund (up to $10,000). So take a look at your camera roll and upload all those food photos to a place where they’ll do some good instead of just annoying your friends.

This pizza box will connect you to a charitable organization.EXPAND

This pizza box will connect you to a charitable organization.

Courtesy Pizzeria Locale

Tuesday, March 9
Tuesday is traditionally for tacos, but make an exception on Tuesday, March 9, when Pizzeria Locale is donating 33 percent of the proceeds from its four Denver locations to Conscious Alliance (separate entity Pizzeria Locale Boulder is not participating). The nonprofit organization donates food to underserved populations via concert food drives and art and merch sales. If you get your pie to go, you’ll also get a colorful, limited-edition pizza box that includes a QR code for making a direct donation (welcome to 2021, the second year that takeout packaging continued to be a major concern in our lives).

Hop Alley's la zi ji (spicy fried chicken) is on the menu at Great Chefs of the West.

Hop Alley’s la zi ji (spicy fried chicken) is on the menu at Great Chefs of the West.

Danielle Lirette

Thursday, March 11
Chef Taj Cooke, who’s recently been popping up with his Jamaican cuisine at places like Bruto and Pony Up, is launching a new monthly dinner series at downtown spot French 75, 717 17th Street. He’ll be taking over the kitchen — sort of; French 75’s owner Frank Bonanno will be turning out food alongside Cooke — on Thursday, March 11, with 5:30 and 8 p.m. seatings. Menu details are still forthcoming, but with just thirty seats available for each time slot, you don’t want to sleep on reserving your table; do it now on Tock. There will be six courses and drink pairings from Mythology Distillery (which is suddenly everywhere, all at once — see below). March already scheduled to the max? You can also book your seat for future feasts on Thursday, April 8 (with Natascha Hess of the Ginger Pig and Carrie Baird, formerly of Bar Dough), and Thursday, May 13, (with Jesusio Silva of Misaki Sushi and the upcoming Golden Mill). Find out more on the Supper Club website.

On Thursday, March 11, Mythology Distillery is joining forces with the Crescendo Society, a group of dysfunctional siblings endowed with superpowers and raised by an emotionally distant, demanding father as a vigilante…oh, wait, wrong press release. In any case, the Crescendo Society (which we prefer to think of as a super-secret, under-35, militant cheerleading troupe rather than the “young professionals society” of the Colorado Symphony) will be joining symphony musicians as well as Mythology for a virtual cocktail class with live musical performance at 7 p.m. Purchase your cocktail kit for $35 ($25 for a second kit) and you’ll get four ounces of three different spirits, plus the rest of the drink ingredients, the cocktail demo and a chat with musicians after their performance. The deadline to order is Friday, March 5; cocktail kit pick-up is at the distillery’s tasting room, 3622 Tejon Street, during regular business hours (4 to 8 p.m.) from Monday, March 8, through Thursday, March 11. Get details and tickets on the Colorado Symphony website.

The annual Great Chefs of the West is usually a gala fundraiser for the National Kidney Foundation, but this year it looks different. For one thing, it’s happening on two nights: You can still get in on the second on Thursday, March 11. For another, it will also benefit participating restaurants: the Bindery, Woodie Fisher, Guard and Grace, Jovanina’s Broken Italian, Hop Alley and Four by Brother Luck (in Colorado Springs). Purchase tickets ($125 per person or $225 per couple) on the event’s website, and choose from prix fixe menus from the above eateries (all offer on-site dining as well as takeout options), cocktails and wine. You’ll also get a cookbook with the restaurants’ recipes and access to a silent — really silent — auction and awards ceremony.

Bonnie Brae restaurant Brightmarten (pictured pre-pandemic) is pouring South American wines on March 12.

Bonnie Brae restaurant Brightmarten (pictured pre-pandemic) is pouring South American wines on March 12.

Courtesy Brightmarten

Friday, March 12
The Denver Box is back with another installment, this time from Highland neighborhood joint FNG. For the month of March, order one of three meals from the Denver Box website, and you’ll get enough food (and drinks!) for four people from the comfort food kitchen for just $100. Choose from meatloaf with chipotle ketchup, mashed potatoes and gravy, onion rings and broccolini; chicken parmesan and pasta, grilled zucchini, focaccia and green salad; or enchiladas — chicken or vegetarian sweet potato — with rice and beans, slaw, avocado and crema. All meal kits come with salted chocolate chip cookies and your choice of sangria, margaritas, whiskey sours or non-alcoholic blackberry-lime agua fresca. Pick-up is at FNG, 3940 West 32nd Avenue, every Friday and Saturday from March 12, through March 27. Half the proceeds from your order go to participating restaurants; the other half is donated to a local nonprofit organization (this month, it’s Foster Source, which provides training as well as financial and other resources to foster parents). Orders must be placed no later than 8 p.m. the Wednesday before your desired pick-up day; see the website for more details.

Mark your calendar for a visit to the Art District on Santa Fe from March 12 to 14 and again on March 16. Salud! is a restaurant and bar pop-up designed to give you a destination other than your couch. The Skylight event space, at 833 Santa Fe Drive, is hosting Salud! with food from Latin-Asian kitchen Chuey Fu’s and caterer Love Pop. The $12 admission includes entry, a drink from the bar (both tipplers and teetotalers will be able to get something satisfying) and ninety minutes inside somewhere that’s not your house; food is extra. Hours vary (4:30 to 9 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Tuesday; 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Sunday), and you’re requested to purchase your tickets as a group on Eventbrite. Ten percent of ticket sales will be donated to Colorado Event Alliance, which provides financial assistance to event-industry workers in need.

Say “Salud!” over South American wine on Friday, March 12, at Brightmarten, 730 South University Boulevard. The eatery is hosting a five-course dinner with wine pairings from Argentina and Chile. Dig in to scallop crudo with Sauvignon Blanc, Chilean sea bass marinated in sherry and paired with Chardonnay, and succulent duck arepas with masa cake, avocado and beans and Cabernet and Syrah. Email [email protected] to reserve your meal, $100, either in the restaurant dining room at 6:30 p.m. or to go (pick-up between 5:30 and 6 p.m.). There are just fourteen tables available for in-person dining, so act quickly.

Keep reading for future food and drink happenings.

We might judge you for getting hammered on Coors Light with green food coloring, but this guy never will.EXPAND

We might judge you for getting hammered on Coors Light with green food coloring, but this guy never will.

Courtesy Union Station

Saturday, March 13
Who’s never going to judge you for getting trashed on green beer and acting a fool on St. Patrick’s Day? Your dog, that’s who. Union Station, 1701 Wynkoop Street, knows this, so on Saturday, March 13, it’s hosting its Pop-Up Puppy Pub from noon to 8 p.m. Camp out on the patio with man’s best friend and enjoy food and drink specials from several Union Station restaurants and bars, like a peach and green tea smash (Terminal Bar); Portuguese green eggs (Ultreia); Coat of Arms cocktail with Jameson, Guinness and coffee (Mercantile & Provision); Not Your Dog’s Puppuccino with Bailey’s, espresso liqueur and ice cream (Pigtrain Coffee, which will also give your furry friend a free, dog-safe puppuccino with your purchase); and corned salmon on rye (Stoic & Genuine). Even better, a buck from the purchase of these items will be donated to the Denver Animal Shelter. See Union Station’s Instagram page for more details. 

Tuesday, March 16
Tuesday, March 16, marks twelve months since the first time Denver restaurants were shut down to indoor dining because of COVID-19. On that date, celebrate at least one eatery that’s managed to survive the past year: American Elm, 4132 West 38th Avenue, is hosting a Duck COVID dinner. The $85-per-plate meal includes four courses of duck preparations, including deviled duck eggs, seared foie gras with maple gastrique and cherries, duck confit with blood orange jus, and duck egg custard. See the full menu and reserve a spot on Resy.

Rioja's housemade pasta stuffed with sausage in a saucy clam, tomato and garlic broth.

Rioja’s housemade pasta stuffed with sausage in a saucy clam, tomato and garlic broth.

Courtesy Rioja

Wednesday, March 17
Who says you have to eat corned beef and cabbage on St. Patrick’s Day? Definitely not us (and you’ll never, ever catch us recommending watery green lager). On Wednesday, March 17, opt for more southerly food and far more sophisticated drinks at Rioja’s monthly wine dinner, 1431 Larimer Street. The dinner includes five courses paired with Portuguese wines; we’re looking forward to bacalao (salt cod) with sunchokes and olives and prime tri-tip with XO sauce, black garlic and shiitake mushrooms, but you’ll also see tortelli stuffed with linguica (a garlicky Portuguese sausage) and a strawberry-rhubarb Napoleon with whipped goat cheese. Visit Tock to book a table for the 6:30 p.m. dinner for $99. Interested in to-go? For $70, get the meal prepared for pick-up between 4 and 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, March 17, through Friday, March 19. You can purchase bottles of all five of the accompanying wines for $204 (that includes a 10 percent discount) or individual bottles starting at $30.

If you do want to eat the most American of Irish dishes on Wednesday, March 17, at least make it a good version, as the corned beef and cabbage at Coohills, 1400 Wewatta Street, is sure to be. The four-course meal starts off with the aforementioned meat and veg, but we can give it a pass since the next three courses — sole with green garlic, lamb shepherd’s pie and bread pudding — are appropriately Irish. The meal starts at 6:30 p.m. and will run $65, or $90 with drink pairings. Find out more on the restaurant’s Facebook page. 

Sunday, March 21
It’s been a long time since any of the famously fancy James Beard dinners were held in a Denver restaurant (and it will probably be a while before any are held again). But on Sunday, March 21, you can join the James Beard Foundation’s virtual Taste America event along with nine other major food cities around the country. Denver residents will pick up a three-course meal from Spuntino, 2639 West 32nd Avenue, that consists of chef/co-owner Cindhura Reddy’s always-fantastic focaccia with ricotta; rabbit confit with saffron cavatelli (a vegetarian option with turmeric-roasted cauliflower is also available); elk tartare; and vanilla and mango custards topped with cardamom-pistachio crumble. Cocktails, wine and Spuntino’s housemade amaro will accompany the meal. You’ll also get access to online cooking demos and the JBF’s national broadcast at 6 p.m. Order your ticket ($95 per person or $175 per pair) on the JBF website.

Wednesday, March 24
On Wednesday, March 24, EatDenver is resuming ED Talks, its version of TED Talks, after it was canceled in 2020 because of (gestures broadly)…all this. And for the first time ever, the lectures are open not only to restaurant and bar owners and employees, but to the public as well. Log in to Zoom from 9 to 11 a.m. to see six short presentations (just ten minutes each!) from industry insiders and experts. Three speakers have already been announced, with Marcus Samuelsson — familiar from stints on Top Chef Masters as well as his cookbooks and his own show, No Passport Required — headlining. Other topics of conversation include mental health in the restaurant business and how avocado toast is related to anxiety (the $16 price tag might have something to do with it). Find details (including the full lineup) and register for the free webcast on the EatDenver website.

Denver’s Staenberg-Loup Jewish Community Center generally hosts its expansive JAAMM (Jewish Arts, Authors, Movies and Music) Festival over several months in the fall, with live cultural events across the city. In 2020, of course, that was upended. The silver lining: The fest is going on for a full twelve months (starting last year and well into 2021), and all programming is virtual. On Wednesday, March 24, Michael Twitty, James Beard Award-winning author of The Cooking Gene, food historian and deeply engaging Instagram presence, will discuss the holiday of Passover. Tickets for the 7 p.m. lecture, $18, are on sale now at the festival’s website, where you can also see previous events on demand.

Know of an event that belongs on this calendar? Send information to [email protected]

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