Best Denver Food and Drink Things to Do This Weekend

Stay warm this weekend with satisfying takeout from Basta, Barolo Grill and the Denver Box, hot food and cool jazz from Nocturne, and the warm fuzzies that come from doing good at Little Man Ice Cream. Then keep reading for future December food and drink events.

Friday, December 11
Everyone needs a helping hand these days: people with paying their mortgages and keeping food on the table, small businesses with keeping the lights on, and nonprofit organizations with helping out both of the above. Even the most fortunate among us need more help than usual with dinner — because you can no longer go out at the last minute, and you know better than to order via predatory third-party apps, don’t you? Luckily, you can address every single one of these things by ordering the Denver Box. The meal kit includes a meal for four from the fine folks at Work & Class (either porky carnitas or the vegetarian, gluten-free Spanish cazuela with roasted veggies, rice and cheese) for $100, with boozy or zero-proof drinks included (you can tack on an additional four drinks for just $30). Half of the purchase price will go to the restaurant, and half will go to the Denver Rescue Mission. To pick up the kit at Work & Class, 2500 Larimer Street, on Friday, December 11, or Saturday, December 12, order on the Denver Box website no later than Wednesday, December 9. For pick-up on Friday, December 18, or Saturday, December 19, the order deadline is Wednesday, December 16. 

Get bo ssam from Basta for babies this weekend.EXPAND

Get bo ssam from Basta for babies this weekend.

Courtesy Basta

Boulder’s Basta, 3601 Arapahoe Avenue, is hoping you opt to order bo ssam for takeout Friday, December 11, and Saturday, December 12. The restaurant is donating all proceeds from orders of its Korean/Mexican bo ssam for two — sliced cochinita pork shoulder served with rice, slaw, beans, salsa, pickled onions, lettuce wraps and bao —  to an employee going on maternity leave. Pre-order on Tock for pick-up between 4:30 and 9 p.m. both nights. Some pick-up times are already sold out, so act quickly.

The Festival of Lights is upon us once again. If you forgot to stock up, don’t fear: There’s still plenty of time to order takeout Hanukkah meal kits from Barolo Grill, 3030 East Sixth Avenue. For $65 per person, you’ll get a choice of seared salmon or braised duck, plus roasted veggies, fritto misto, a warm Brussels sprout-and-fennel salad, and pistachio and lemon olive oil cake. Order on Tock to schedule pick-up starting at 4 p.m. on Friday, December 11, through Saturday, December 12, and Tuesday, December 15, through Friday, December 18.

Think you can keep your hands off the booze until well past happy hour on a Friday night? It’ll be worth the wait on Friday, December 11, as Santo, 1265 Alpine Avenue in Boulder, is waiting until 7 p.m. to kick off its live-streaming mezcal tasting. The ninety-minute virtual session is $70 per person and includes three two-ounce pours of Vida’s San Luis del Rio Espadin, Azul and Madrecuixe mezcals (all are distilled at the same palenque in the town of San Luis del Rio, but with three different varieties of agave). You’ll also get three copitas for tasting and a bag of Santo’s green chile popcorn for snacking. Order on Santo’s website; residents of Boulder or Denver proper can get the kit delivered for just $10. Otherwise, you’ll need to pick up your tasting gear on Friday after 7 a.m. 

Pick up dinner and drinks at Nocturne, then head home to pair it with some jazz.EXPAND

Pick up dinner and drinks at Nocturne, then head home to pair it with some jazz.

Courtesy Nocturne

Saturday, December 12
Just because jazz club Nocturne, 1330 27th Street, can’t seat you in its glamorous art deco dining room doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy supper and a show. The spot has launched weekly Saturday supper and streaming shows; for $35 per person, you get a three-course, prix fixe meal as well as access to a live-streamed performance. This week’s menu includes beet and walnut salad, hanger steak (wild mushroom risotto for vegetarians) and a raspberry chocolate brownie for dessert. Order on Tock, where you can also get very reasonably priced cocktails ($16 for two drinks) and wine kits ($80 for three bottles). You’ll need to pick up dinner and drinks between 5 and 6:30 p.m. to make it back home in time to hear the first notes of music.

Cook Street School of Culinary Arts is venturing into the Andes (and your kitchen) on Saturday, December 12, with an online cooking class featuring the cuisine of Peru. From 6 to 8 p.m., you’ll turn out ceviche with blood oranges and choclo (Peruvian corn), papa rellena (potato stuffed with beef, raisins, olives and egg and then fried) and suspiro de limeña (a dulce de leche pudding). Visit Cook Street’s website to sign up for the class, $50, then pick up your ingredient kit at the school, 43 West Ninth Avenue, between 3 and 5 p.m. on Saturday before class.

Little Man has resumed its annual Christmas tree sale (this picture was taken in the Before Times) and food drive.EXPAND

Little Man has resumed its annual Christmas tree sale (this picture was taken in the Before Times) and food drive.

Kenneth Hamblin III

Sunday, December 13
Lines are always around the block at Highland’s Little Man Ice Cream, and on Sunday, December 13, there are a few more reasons to hit up the giant milk can at 2620 16th Street than just the eggnog ice cream. The creamery currently also features a Christmas tree lot, so you can pick out your perfect pine while waiting for your perfect pint; prices start at around $60. In addition — and more importantly — it’s also collecting non-perishable food items for Bienvenidos Food Bank, a nonprofit organization that’s been providing food to families in northwest Denver for over forty years (and has recently expanded its aid to people across the city because of COVID). You can also donate cash in addition to top needs like condiments, peanut butter and canned fruit, veggies, chicken and tuna. Visit Little Man’s Instagram page for more details about the food drive, which runs through December 31.

And plan ahead:

Chef Dakota Soifer of Cafe Aion will show you how to make his paella on December 14.EXPAND

Chef Dakota Soifer of Cafe Aion will show you how to make his paella on December 14.

Linnea Covington

Monday, December 14
Thanks to all that paella takeout you’ve been getting, you’ve got a stockpile of wide, shallow aluminum pans at home. What are you going to do with them all? On Monday, December 14, you can learn how to make the Spanish classic in a free virtual class with chef Dakota Soifer of Boulder’s Cafe Aion — then throw out the pan after you’ve devoured the food and use a new one the next time you break out the saffron. From 6 to 6:45 p.m., tune in to Soifer’s class on Boulder Public Library’s Instagram page. If you’d like to purchase a paella kit with the pan (a real one, not a disposable aluminum container) and all the ingredients, visit Cafe Aion’s online storefront; if not, you can secure your own ingredients and follow along based on Soifer’s recipe, which is posted on Boulder Public Library’s website along with all the details.

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The Airing of Grievances goes down easier with some good wine from Bigsby's Folly.EXPAND

The Airing of Grievances goes down easier with some good wine from Bigsby’s Folly.

Mark Antonation

Wednesday, December 16
“I got a lot of problems with you people, and now you’re gonna hear about ’em!” This year’s Airing of Grievances is going to be epic. Bigsby’s Folly, 3563 Wazee Street, is kicking it off with a virtual Festivus celebration on Wednesday, December 16. Order a three-course meal of wild mushroom soup, turkey tetrazzini and M&M chocolate cake, along with a pint of wine, for $49, and pick up the spread at the winery between noon and 7 p.m., then get on Zoom, where you can forget to mute yourself, talk loudly over everyone else, spill wine on the keyboard and otherwise do your best to make this execrable year feel like a normal December dinner. Find out more on Bigsby’s website, then book your seat on Tock.

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