Best Bet: Harvest Week (Oct. 14–19)

October 4 2012, 8:30 AM

In recent years, turning my calendar to October has come to signal more than just crisp temperatures and the discussion of Halloween costumes, it also means Harvest Week. This annual event from EatDenver (full disclosure: I co-founded this nonprofit) has evolved over the years but it has always been about celebrating Colorado's bounty in the context of Denver's dining scene.

What used to be a showcase of harvest-focused menu specials has matured into a more experiential, all-encompassing series of pop-up dinners at the ever-inspiring GrowHaus. And it's a perfect fit: Not only are pop-ups hugely trendy, the GrowHaus lends credence to Harvest Week's "eat local" mantra. You see, these dinners (and one brunch) take place inside the facility's greenhouse and demonstration farm. Diners can wander the space, ogle the aquaponics systems, and get an overview of the organization's mission. If you've never been, it's impressive—especially when the space is bathed in twinkle lights and set with community tables.

Which brings us back to the celebration at hand. Starting on Sunday, October 14, with the Praise the Lard Gospel Brunch and running through Friday, October 19, with the Million Dollar Cowboy dinner, 36 EatDenver restaurants will stage themed, four- to six-course meals for a limited number of diners. (Prices range from $50 to $80 per person, depending on the event). Of course, there will also be hand-crafted cocktails and local beer and wine pairings. Guests are encouraged to embrace the theme and dress up—prizes will be given for the best costume. (I can only imagine the collection of grass skirts at the Platte River Luau and the tourist getups at the Denver Globe Trotters dinner.)

I'm attending the Hedonist's Guide to Tailgating and the Feast of the Hunters and Gatherers. Should our paths cross, seek me out and say hi. Maybe we'll even sit at the same community table.

FYI: In order to minimize waste and reduce cost, EatDenver requires that you bring your own place setting (plate, cutlery, cloth napkin, and wine glass). Do it up right and you might win a prize.

GrowHaus, 4751 York St., 720-515-4751 (If you've never been to the Elyria-Swansea neighborhood in northeast Denver, find a map and directions here.)

THIS STORY WAS PART OF 5280's 20 DAYS OF GIVEAWAYS!