These days, Taxi’s Comal Heritage Food Incubator plays many roles: It’s a Latin American and Syrian restaurant—with a new short-term outpost planned for Zeppelin Station when it opens early next month—that employs female entrepreneurs and provides them with business training. It’s host to Ethiopian coffee ceremonies every Thursday afternoon. It’s also become a requisite stop for visiting industry influencers such as Alon Shaya and Rick Bayless.

And since it began its Elevated Impact dinner series last month, it can also add fine dining venue to that list. The second such event, which benefits Focus Points Family Resource Center (the non-profit organization that spearheads Comal) and Community Land Trust in Globeville and Elyria-Swansea (a coalition fighting displacement in these Denver neighborhoods), takes place on Wednesday, February 28.

After attending the first dinner in January, I can say with confidence that you don’t want to miss the second one. Comal’s executive chef Tim Bender takes a collaborative approach to the menu, teaming up with members of the Comal program for exciting—and delicious—results. When I attended, Vian Alnidawi (a leader in Comal’s Syrian cohort) and Bender served sophisticated fare with a Middle Eastern flourish, such as Colorado lamb with house-made yogurt. For this Wednesday’s dinner, Bender and Raymunda Carreon “Nena,” a member of Comal’s inaugural cohort, have put together a five-course feast that promises a delicious exploration of Mexican flavors.

Guests will begin with bacon-wrapped, cheese- and shrimp-stuffed roasted jalapeños before digging into chicharrones de harina (puffed flour masa discs topped with pickled vegetables, crema, tomatoes, queso fresco, and lettuce) and a mangonada (mango popsicle with chile syrup).

As always at Comal, seating is communal, and thanks to the alcoholic beverages paired with every course, you can expect free-flowing conversation and new friends. (You may want to take an Uber or Lyft home.) If you’re looking for an elevated experience, hurry and snag one of the four VIP tickets so that you can sit at the chefs counter and watch Bender and Carreon at work; VIPs also score bonus bites such as bone marrow toast with avocado crema on house-made coriander-spiced bread.

The details: Wednesday, February 28, 6-8 p.m., Taxi, 3455 Ringsby Court, Ste. #105, 303-292-0770. Regular tickets are $75 per person and VIP tickets are $100; both can be purchased here

Callie Sumlin
Callie Sumlin
Callie Sumlin is a writer living in Westminster, and has been covering food and sustainability in the Centennial State for more than five years.