Starting next week, Mondays are getting a little love thanks to a new dinner series from Coperta’s executive chef/proprietor Paul C. Reilly and Pete Marczyk of Marczyk Fine Foods.

The two culinarians have been friends for years; Marczyk Fine Foods’ flagship store is located across the street from Reilly’s first-born restaurant, Beast & Bottle. “I knew Pete before Beast, but on opening night he showed up with a bottle of Scarpetta Sparkling Rosé and a bottle of Templeton Rye as gifts,” Reilly says. “The bond took off from there.” Starting on March 19, Denver diners will directly benefit from the friendship when Reilly and Marczyk join forces to craft seasonal prix-fixe dinners highlighting ingredients from Marczyk Fine Foods.

First up: olive oil. Next Monday, this beloved Mediterranean ingredient will star in a four-course menu at Coperta. Dishes include rockfish crudo made with a lightly smoky, Spanish Castillo de Canena extra-virgin olive oil; spaghetti with olive-oil-poached squid; and an olive oil torta with olive oil gelato for dessert.

Reilly says that dessert is one that Coperta’s pastry chef, Jodi Polson, serves regularly. While most people assume that olive oil is best used on or in savory foods, its fruity notes can be a welcome addition to a sweet dish, too. Reilly says that watching skeptical guests take their first bites of an  olive oil dessert is one of his favorite things about playing with the versatile ingredient. “You can see their heads spinning,” Reilly laughs.

Future dinner themes range from Italian rosé (May 21) to Italian Christmas traditions (December 3) to Colorado mushrooms (August 16); all will feature wine pairings from Marczyk Fine Wines. We’re already marking our calendars for August’s mushroom dinner; Marczyk, who loves foraging for funghi, hopes to take Reilly and a couple of his chefs to hunt for mushrooms for the meal. And we can’t wait to taste the results.

If you go: The Mondays with Marczyk’s four-course menu costs $59, including wine pairings (excluding tax and gratuity). Call Coperta at 720-749-4666 to make reservations.

Coperta, 400 E. 20th Ave, 720-749-4666