For me, the holidays are all about the food. This is the time of year when eating and drinking takes its rightful place as the center stage of every social gathering. All kinds of options rear their delicious heads from Starbucks pumping out its seasonal drink line, hotels offering holiday teas, and many restaurants whipping up special menus just for the season. No other holiday receives such delectable treatment, and although I'm not sure why, I am certainly not complaining.
In order to properly honor this decadent time, we must take advantage of as many culinary options as gastronomically possible. This is the time to try new things and revisit old favorites with the spirit of the holidays backing up our every overindulgence. Luckily, there are plenty of unique opportunities to do so right here in the Denver area.
For those looking to dine with good intentions (of the heart, not the waist-line), TAG is teaming up with Family HomeStead's Adopt-A-family Program on Dec. 6 and 7. On those nights, the front of house staff will donate 100 percent of their tips and the back of the house and management teams will donate half of their wages in order to provide a Christmas gifts and meal for a family in need. The more you tip, the more the family gets so dole out that holiday cheer generously.
Beer lovers can rejoice Dec. 14 for the Bull and Bush Pub and Brewery will be serving up winter and holiday beers from around the world. With more than 50 seasonal beers to taste, and drink tickets being sold for $1 a piece, there is sure to be something for everyone.
Like seafood, liquor and ugly sweaters? Jax Fish House in Denver is hosting an Ugly Holiday Sweater Contest Dec. 23 from 6 p.m to 8 p.m. Seasonal drinks and an extended Happy Hour specials promise to make it a spirit-filled night.
New Year's Eve also promises a bevy of festive celebrations.
The West End Tavern in Boulder is having a New Year's Eve Après-Ski Party complete with champagne slushies, hot toddies and a shot ski. Food specials will also be offered for those looking to get a little less inebriated, or not.
On the tamer side, Centro Latin Kitchen and Refreshment Place is offering a $55 per person four course tasting menu. The surf and turf style meal is to include oysters with red chile pickled cabbage and lime, grilled prawn salad with papaya, grilled beef tenderloin Adobo with candied yams and a warm Mayan pumpkin cake for dessert. A cocktail pairing is also available for an increased price.
If none of these options tickle your taste buds, celebrate the culinary holiday spirit by baking cookies to give to neighbors and friends, volunteering your time at a local food bank or soup kitchen, or trying a new seasonal recipe. Food is about community, especially during the month of December. Go out and embrace it (cocktail and sugar cookie optional).