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Photograph courtesy of Olive and Finch

26 Fantastic Foodie Events Coming to Colorado in December

From vegan dinners to Christmas luaus to all-you-can-eat dim sum, there are more than a few delicious ways to ring in December on the Front Range.

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Olive & Finch Cookie Decorating Parties | December 1, 8, 15, 22

Families looking to enjoy cookie making without destroying their home kitchens should head to Olive & Finch’s Cherry Creek location, where there will be Holiday Cookie Decorating Parties every Saturday this month. Adults can sit back and enjoy assorted charcuterie, cheese platters, and Mediterranean snacks while sipping on complimentary wine and cocktails as the kids make massive messes, er, decorate dozens of sugar cookies with festive colored frosting and sprinkles. $85 for one adult and one child, plus an extra $10 for each additional person, 4-5:30 p.m., 3390 East 1st Ave.

Union Station Holiday Market by Denver Flea | December 1, 7-8, 14-15

Get all of your holiday shopping done in one place: Denver Flea’s outdoor holiday market at Union Station. Sip a festive cocktail as you peruse foodie-friendly goods from local vendors, such as Helliemae’s delicious salt caramels, Union Stitch and Design’s gorgeous aprons, and the Spice Guy’s seasoning blends. Tickets are $5 per person and include re-entry for the weekend; children 12 and under are free. Times vary, Union Station, 1701 Wynkoop St.

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Morin and Frasca Food and Wine’s Festive December Menus | December 1-30

If your ideal holiday celebration includes a bit of luxury, you’ll want to check out these two special menus: Morin’s Joie de Noel menu and Frasca’s truffle tasting menu, both available all month long.

At Morin, the five-course, French-inspired meal includes dishes such as goose cooked two ways, scallops with Asian pear, and of course, optional supplements of foie gras and périgord black truffles. Dinner is $75 per person not including tax and gratuity, and beverage pairings are available for an additional fee. The menu is available during Morin’s regular hours; make a reservation via the website or by calling 303-534-9979; 1600 15th St.

At Frasca Food and Wine, the truffle tasting menu alternates between black and white truffles over eight elegant courses. Highlights include tortellini in brodo with white truffles, Iberian pork with truffles and chestnuts, and langoustine scampi with white truffles and brown butter. Wine pairings are optional, but when faced with Frasca’s award-winning cellar, why wouldn’t you opt in? The truffle tasting menu is $275 per person, not including pairings, tax, and tip. Make your reservations here.

Beast & Bottle and Coperta Celebrate the Holidays | Various dates

The Reilly siblings, who operate Beast & Bottle and Coperta, are providing Mile High residents with several special dining options leading up to Christmas. Starting December 18 at Coperta, diners can enjoy the “Feast of the Seven Fishes.” The three-course Italian-American meal includes crispy whiting served with polenta and cipollini onions, fregola (a small Sardinian pasta) served with fresh mussels and preserved lemon, and much more.

For those who haven’t tired of poultry after Thanksgiving, Beast & Bottle’s two-person “Duck the Halls” dinner is a must. The star: a honey-lacquered duck served with orange-brandy demi-glace. Plan to happily roll home after either of these dinners.

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Feast of the Seven Fishes: $59 per person, December 18-24, make reservations by calling 720-749-4666; Coperta, 400 East 20th Ave. Duck the Halls: $99 for two guests, December 24, make reservations prior to December 21 by calling 303-623-3223; Beast & Bottle, 719 East 17th Ave.

Stranahan's
Photo courtesy of Stranahan’s

Stranahan’s Snowflake Whiskey Release | December 1

Stranahan’s annual Snowflake release is a big deal for whiskey fans; scores of them line up outside the Baker distillery each year in hopes of scoring a bottle. This year’s special edition, named for Mount Elbert, has been aged for two years and boasts complex flavors of milk chocolate, butterscotch, baked yam, dates, figs, and tannins of black walnut. Be sure to show up early: Hooch lovers usually start lining up days in advance and the limited-run bottles will likely sell out in one day. Stranahan’s begin sales at 8 a.m. on December 1. $100 per bottle, first-come, first-served, 200 S. Kalamath St.

Jax Fish House & Oyster Bar’s Champage & Pearls | December 1

Freshly shucked oysters. Caviar. Sparkling wines. Need we say more? Jax Fish House & Oyster Bar is kicking off the month with a glamorous, seafood-centric, day-drinking bash at all four of its Front Range locations. So forget decking the halls and holiday shopping for a bit and sip and slurp the day away instead. $55 per person, 2-4 p.m., various locations

West End Tavern’s Bourbon, Bacon, and Pancakes Breakfast for Football Sunday | December 2

Boulder’s West End Tavern is treating guests to a big-time Broncos football breakfast complete with boozy Irish coffee. The two-course meal starts off with honey-barbecue bacon and smoked lavender bacon and finishes with bourbon-glazed pancakes covered in walnuts and vanilla whipped cream. As far as game day fare goes, it’s safe to say this breakfast beats chips and salsa on the couch. $25 per person, 11 a.m., 926 Pearl St., Boulder

Comal Heritage Food Incubator Impact Dinner | December 5

This five-course feast will feature dishes that highlight the hometown flavors of guest chef Rosa Landa, a participant in Comal’s kitchen incubator program. Landa grew up in Michoacán, Mexico, and she’ll bring many of the region’s ingredients to the menu, including cotija cheese which will top black bean soup seasoned with pasilla chiles, tomatoes, and epazote. Proceeds from the dinner benefit Focus Points Family Resource Center, which runs Comal and helps low-income families in the greater northeast Denver area, and the Colorado Village Collaborative, which works toward community solutions for homelessness. Tickets are $75 per person and include beverage pairings, 6-8:30 p.m., 3455 Ringsby Court, Unit 105

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Repeal Day Celebrations at the Cruise Room and Hearth & Dram | December 5

Per tradition, the Cruise Room, which opened the day after Prohibition was repealed 85 years ago, will celebrate the occasion on December 5 by selling cocktails at 1930s prices. That means your first Tom Collins, sazerac, or martini will cost just 35 cents and a Sidecar or old fashioned will go for just 50 cents. Unfortunately, all subsequent libations will be full, modern-day prices.

Nearby, Hearth & Dram is also hosting a Repeal Day party with Colorado Springs’ small-batch whiskey maker, Distillery 291. For $45 per person, attendees will get two drinks made with Distillery 291 spirits (one era-specific cocktail and one 291 whiskey neat). There will also be live tunes from Soul Tyme. The Cruise Room: Price varies upon drink choice, 4:30-7 p.m., 1600 17th St. Hearth and Dram: $45 per person, 9 p.m., 1801 Wewatta St.

Vegan Dining Series at Charcoal Bistro  | December 6

Head to Charcoal Bistro in Wash Park for a four-course, plant-based feast by executive chef Patrik Landberg. The impressive menu starts off strong with pumpkin ravioli made with hazelnuts and sage. Expect to see creative vegan replacements for common foods, including “bacon dust” (spiced, smoked, dehydrated tofu) and “caviar” (puffed seaweed and algae). Tickets are $37 per person and reservations can be made at charcoalbistro.com/reservations, 5-9 p.m., 1028 South Gaylord St.

Photo courtesy of Sushi Den

Omakase Dinners at Sushi Den and Sushi Classes at Izakaya Den | Dates vary

Sushi Den’s Toshi Kizaki is hosting a few lucky diners for a special “omakase” dinner, which translates roughly to “trust the chef.” Kizaki will use catch-of-the-day arrivals—perhaps Spanish mackerel or New Zealand salmon—to create the meal directly in front of attendees.

For those who want a bit more of a hands-on approach, learn from the best at Izakaya Den. Toshi and his brother Yasu will guide patrons through the process of creating sushi rolls. Better yet, each participant will enjoy 20 pieces of sushi, miso soup, and green tea. Sushi Den’s omakase dinner costs $135 per person, 6:30 p.m., December 7, 14, 21, 28, and 29, 1487 Pearl St. Izakaya Den’s sushi classes cost $80 per person, 6:15 p.m., December 4 and 18, 1487A Pearl St.

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Arcana Knife Sharpening & Skills Classes | December 7

Boulder’s Arcana, one of 5280’s 25 Best Restaurants in 2018, is hosting a cooking class that focuses on sharpening and caring for every chef’s most precious tool: a knife. Guests will learn the ins and outs of knife-care and sharpening while enjoying winter cocktails and seasonal bites. Each participant will take home their own sharpening and leveling stone, a $40 value. $85 per person, 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m., 909 Walnut St., Boulder

A Dry-Aged Beef Staycation at Hotel Born | December 7, 14, 21, 28

It’s difficult to argue against staying home(ish) for the holiday season when LoDo’s Hotel Born is offering such a great staycation deal. For $350, you’ll get a room-for-two, late checkout, and dry-aged beef class at the hotel’s restaurant, Citizen Rail, taught by executive chef Christian Graves. Expect a history of dry-aged beef and a side-by-side comparative tasting of fresh steak versus 28-day dry-aged steak. $350 for two people, times vary and can be booked at this link, 1600 Wewatta St.

Ratio’s Genius Wizard; photo courtesy of Ratio

Genius Wizard Beer Launch at Ratio Beer Works | December 8

If you’re a fan of big, dark stouts, you won’t want to miss this release party at Ratio’s RiNo tap room. The bash will feature six different takes on the Genius Wizard Imperial Stout, including a bourbon-barrel-aged version, an orange-chocolate flavored option, and another spiked with Novo Coffee beans. Between sips, guests can enjoy bites from BBQ Supply Co, Safta, Bamboo Sushi, and Cirque Kitchen, as well as check out the immersive, circus-themed art installation from local artists Rainbow Militia and Unbuilt Library. Tickets are $45 per person and include a tasting glass, multiple samples, a full pour, a bottle to take home, food, and more. 5-8 p.m., 2920 Larimer St.

Parry’s Pizzeria & Bar’s Ugly Sweater and Barrel-Aged Beer Party | December 8

Break our your most hideous holiday sweater and get ready to down a bunch of barrel-aged brews at the fifth annual iteration of Parry’s holiday party. You don’t want to be a Grinch for this one: There will be a one-day-only exclusive tap list only for attendees wearing ugly sweaters. Seriously—no sweater, no beer for you. Confirmed suds include the Lost Abbey Barrel Aged Serpent’s Stout, 2017 Alesmith Decadence, New Belgium Love Blackberry Felix, 2017 Epic Big Bad Baptist, and many more. Beers and prices vary by location but it’s free to attend, 11 a.m to close, various locations.

Lone Tree Brewing Company Celebrates Seven-Years | December 8

Raise the stakes at Lone Tree’s seventh anniversary party, when the brewery will play host to a charity casino celebration benefitting the Freedom Service Dogs of America. Lone Tree will kick things off at 11 a.m with a tapping of its Rosé Brut IPA (one of two special anniversary brews, the other being the malty German lager, the Dopplebock). For a $5 or $10 donation, you can try your luck at blackjack and roulette. There will also be plenty of sweet merch and Vegas-inspired bites provided by Mama Said Eat food truck. $5 or $10 donations required for gambling, 4-7 p.m., 8200 Park Meadows Drive #8222, Lone Tree

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Nutcracker Tea at Hotel Boulderado | December 9, 16

Tea time at Hotel Boulderado is going to feel a bit more like Toyland this month. Costumed members of the Boulder Ballet will grace the festive halls of the hotel and partake in a parade to Tchaikovsky’s March of the Toy Soldiers. Sip on tea (including pumpkin spice chai, Egyptian chamomile, and blood orange smoothie) as you watch the Mouse King and the Sugar Plum Fairy galavant through Boulder’s oldest hotel. Prices vary, 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m., 2115 13th St., Boulder

Maine Shack x Mythology Distillery Pop-Up | December 13

Lobster lovers, this one is for you: Maine Shack (the highly anticipated New England-inspired seafood joint set to open sometime this spring in LoHi) is previewing its decadent lobster rolls, clam chowder, lobster mac and cheese, and more at a pop-up at Mythology Distillery, also in LoHi. There will be more lobster than you can shake a claw at plus lobster-inspired cocktails using Mythology’s smooth rye vodka; think: a Lobster Bloody Mary with Real Dill Bloody Mary Mix, lobster broth, a pickle, fennel salami, a lobster claw, and a lemon wheel. We’ll see you there. Prices vary, 5-10 p.m., 3622 Tejon St.

Denver Beer Festivus | December 15

Let the airing of grievances commence over delicious brews from more than 60 Mile High breweries at Denver’s 2018 Beer Festivus. Taste beers from Banded Oak Brewing Company, Black Shirt Brewing Co., Our Mutual Friend Brewing, Station 26 Brewing Company, and many more while you get your fill of Seinfeld-inspired jokes and/or ugly Christmas sweaters. It’s a Festivus miracle! General admission tickets are $45, “Feats of Strength” tickets (read: VIP) are $71 and include one hour early access and a commemorative glass, 3-6 p.m., 1000 Broadway

Adrift is decked out for the holidays. Photo courtesy of Adrift

All-You-Can-Eat Christmas Luau at Adrift | December 16

If you can’t quite afford a plane ticket to Hawaii, Broadway’s Adrift has the next best thing. The tiki bar is hosting a Christmas-themed luau replete with Kalama Polynesian Dancers, kitschy cocktails, and an all-you-can-eat Hawaiian-inspired feast. Dishes include huli huli chicken, a smoked pig, and traditional Hawaiian macaroni salad. At just $25 per person, it’s a steal for a real Sunday Funday. $25 for adults and half-price for kids, make reservations via adriftbar.com or by calling 303-778-8454, 4-9 p.m., 218 S. Broadway

Dim Sum Party at Oak at Fourteenth | December 18

Did somebody say all-you-can-eat dim sum? We can’t imagine a better Tuesday-night experience than this one. The evening starts with a teaser of a Beat Bobby Flay episode featuring chef Steve Redzikowski facing off against his brother, Brian Redzikowski, chef of Kettner Exchange in San Diego, California. (The actual episode doesn’t air until December 27.) After the preview, Steve and Brian, as well as guest chefs from Acorn, Brider, and Smōk, will unleash a flood of non-traditional dim-sum dishes, including Thai-spiced chicharrones, sesame steamed buns, shrimp and pork dumplings, and much more. Tickets are $75 per person, 6-8 p.m., 1400 Pearl St., Boulder 

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Comedy Night at Dos Luces Brewery | December 20

Platt Park’s Dos Luces Brewery, a post-Colombian brewery that eschews barley and hops in favor of corn and maguey sap, is worth a visit in itself. Sip a glass of chicha or pulque beer as you LOL to the comedic stylings of local comedians Sammy Anzer, Elliot Broder, and Jose Macall. Dos Luces will also be offering its standard Thursday night deal: $5 off a growler fill if you drink at least 16 ounces in-house. Free, 7:30-9:30 p.m., 1236 S. Broadway

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