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Dinner and a Show

Dine From Out There just might be your COVID highlight

Article by Allyson Reedy

Photography by Anna Tucker

Originally published in Boulder Lifestyle

It’s probably pretty obvious that Ross James is really into music. If you’ve heard him perform with Phil Lesh and the Terrapin Family Band, then you most definitely already know this. What’s a little less obvious is that Ross James is also really into restaurants, and so when the pandemic shut down his two most beloved industries, the self-proclaimed foodie and professional guitarist got to work, calling on friends Ben Baruch and Dave DiCianni of the 11E1even Group for help.

“I had this idea to take my two favorite things, food and music, and bring them together in a unique, safe, and responsible way during all of this,” James says.

The result is Dine From Out There, a culinary and live music event series that benefits independent restaurants and local musicians. Think: an elevated tasting menu with beverage pairings on Corrida’s rooftop while Widespread Panic’s JoJo Hermann performs. Or James, Vince Herman (Leftover Salmon), Keith Moseley (The String Cheese Incident) and Mark Levy (Circles Around the Sun) jamming throughout a four-course menu at Linger. All done as safely as possible for this COVID era.

“Social distancing is a huge part of what we’re doing,” James says. “If people don’t have a safe way to get music right now, they’ll figure out unsafe ways to do it and that’ll set us all back. It’s hugely important for us to do this in a responsible way.”

Come winter, they’ll move the show indoors, whether that means setting up shop in a heated tent, or hosting events inside restaurants. (Still socially distanced, of course.) Besides giving diners a much-needed fun night out, the concerts/dinners help restaurants and musicians—two of the hardest-hit groups during all of this. Proceeds benefit Save Our Stages and the Independent Restaurant Coalition, groups representing independent concert venues and restaurants.

The Dine From Out There events on the Front Range have been so popular that they’re expanding to the mountains—look for Vail to host some dinners and shows in upcoming months—and beyond—New York City and Austin will host similar events of their own. And even post-pandemic, James says he’d like to keep this music and food pairing going.

“We’re going to continue to try to grow, and even when we’re through this bizarre moment in time, this is something I’d love to continue—this marriage of food and music.”

Want to Dine From Out There?

For the most current line-up of events, check out and follow @dinefromoutthere on Facebook and Instagram. Events are typically announced 2-3 weeks out.