Julep trades Southern style for spooky spirits.EXPAND
Julep trades Southern style for spooky spirits.
Danielle Lirette

The Seven Best Events on the Culinary Calendar This Week

This week you'll find plenty of opportunities to do good, with a quartet of foodie fundraisers; then reward yourself with cheap cheese curds, perfectly toothsome pasta and a spooky Southern shindig. Here are the seven most savory food and drink events from Monday, October 14, through Saturday, October 19.

A few indigenous people will join you for dinner on Monday night at Comal.EXPAND
A few indigenous people will join you for dinner on Monday night at Comal.
Mark Antonation

Monday, October 14
Celebrate Indigenous People's Day in the most delicious way possible: with a six-course wine dinner of Andean food. On Monday, October 14, Comal (2501 East 48th Avenue) is welcoming chef Andrea Murdoch of Four Directions Cuisine for a second Indigenous People's Day Benefit Dinner benefiting nonprofit urban farm the GrowHaus. Murdoch will serve up charcuterie plates of rabbit sausage, dandelion pesto and amaranth crackers; potato soup with pickled quail eggs; and pachamama, a traditional dish (her version includes llama, potatoes, mushrooms and aji amarillo chiles). Find the entire menu and purchase tickets, $75, on Eventbrite.

Gaze up these curds and admit....you don't need a good reason. Just get some.
Gaze up these curds and admit....you don't need a good reason. Just get some.
Mark Antonation

Tuesday, October 15
Normally, we don't pimp a restaurant serving a dish that's always on its menu. The exception? Cheese curds. Specifically, when cheese curds are half price. On Tuesday, October 15, Wally's Wisconsin Tavern, 1417 Market Street, is offering its fried cheese curds for $4 in celebration of...oh, who cares? Just go grab a basket starting at 6 p.m.

Settle in at Spuntino for a dinner benefiting girls' nonprofit Shadhika.
Settle in at Spuntino for a dinner benefiting girls' nonprofit Shadhika.
Danielle Lirette

Wednesday, October 16
With 20 percent of the world's adolescent girls residing in India, the nonprofit organization Shadhika focuses its work on achieving gender equality on the south Asian nation. And on Wednesday, October 16, you can support Shadhika's work here in Denver — in a delicious way. Spuntino, 2639 West 32nd Avenue, is serving a Here for Her dinner, with a cocktail hour, four-course menu, wine pairings from women-led wineries and a silent auction, all starting at 6 p.m. Expect Indian-Italian fusion like goat Bolognese samosas; squash blossom pakora stuffed with garam masala ricotta; aloo gnocchi with peas and mint-cilantro chuntney demi; and mango lassi gelato in a cardamom waffle cone. Tickets, $250, are still available on Eventbrite, and include tax and tip.

Support shelter animals (like this handsome fellow, Teddy Spaghetti) with bites and beers on October 17.EXPAND
Support shelter animals (like this handsome fellow, Teddy Spaghetti) with bites and beers on October 17.
Mark Antonation

Thursday, October 17
The eight hours you spend in a cubicle on Thursday, October 17, may seem interminable, but every day is tough for shelter pets waiting for a family of their own. Help out good boys and girls of all species at the Denver Dumb Friends League's Bone Appétit event. Dine and drink at one of more than 25 metro restaurant and bars, including Our Mutual Friend Brewing, Rita's Law, Woods Boss Brewing and Dazzle, and a portion of your purchase will go toward the animal shelter, which helps 21,000 animals every year. And if you can't finish your meal, just ask for a doggy bag to take home to your friend — they'll love you more than ever. Find participating bars on the DDFL's website.

Project Angel Heart delivers medically tailored meals to people fighting life-threatening illnesses — and on Thursday, October 17, the nonprofit organization wants to provide you with delicious food from Denver's top restaurants at its annual fundraiser, A Taste for Life. Starting at 6 p.m., the Hyatt Regency Denver, 650 15th Street, will be the site of bites from over twenty popular eateries, including Death & Co., Uchi, Tavernetta, the Inventing Room and Hop Alley. There will also be free-flowing drinks, a silent auction with piles of great items, and a live auction (which can tend toward the boisterous, thanks to those free-flowing drinks). Tickets, $150, are available now on Project Angel Heart's website, along with a full list of participating eateries.

Poor America: so far from Italy, so close to Chef Boyardee. But on Thursday, October 17, you can celebrate real pasta made by hand at Rioja for National Pasta Day. At 6:30 and 7:30 p.m., executive chef Gabe Wyman and "pasta ninja" Danielle Youngerman will turn out a four-course tasting menu of stunning creations (for a look at Youngerman's pristinely pleated and symmetrical creations, take a look at her Instagram page, @mylifeinsemolina). Seats ($65) are available on Rioja's website.

Masumi sake is rarely seen outside of Japan.EXPAND
Masumi sake is rarely seen outside of Japan.
Courtesy Izakaya Den

Friday, October 18
Sake is big with drinkers this year; fans of Japanese cuisine are become more savvy about finding just the right brew to pair with their okonomiyaki, takoyaki and robatayaki. At Izakaya Den, chef/co-owner Toshi Kizaki is bringing in one of his favorite small-batch sake producers, Masumi, from Suwa, Japan, where the Miyasaka family has been making the rice-based beverage since 1662. The Kizaki brothers and Chris Johnson (the “Sake Ninja”) will pair special dishes with Masumi sakes in the second-floor private dining room at 1487 South Pearl Street. There are only about two dozen seats, so make your reservation by emailing bella@sushiden.net. Tickets are $70 each and the tasting runs from 6 to 7:30 p.m.

Julep's Southern Spooktacular on October 18 takes over the entire restaurant, including its patio.
Julep's Southern Spooktacular on October 18 takes over the entire restaurant, including its patio.
Courtesy Julep

Saturday, October 19
It's still two weeks before Halloween, but who cares about calendrical accuracy when there are pigs to roast and costumes to wear? Not Julep, which is throwing its first Southern Spooktacular on Saturday, October 19. From 6 to 11 p.m., the restaurant at 3258 Larimer Street will go full Southern Gothic with themed food and drink, a costume contest, live music from the Raritans, a haunted side show and an oddities market. We expect plenty of atmospheric Spanish moss, subtly menacing hoop-skirted belles and a crazy cousin or two locked in the attic; get your tickets ($25 for all-you-can-eat or -drink, $40 for all-you-can-everything) on Toast.

Keep reading for future food and drink events.

Sips and selfies at Westword's Feast.
Sips and selfies at Westword's Feast.
Danielle Lirette

Thursday, October 24
Feast, Westword's annual celebration of the Denver restaurant scene, will make its delicious return to the McNichols Building on a new day and time: 7 to 10 p.m. Thursday evening. As always, though, Feast will be a true feast for the senses, with music, beverage samplings and dishes from more than thirty favorite restaurants. Among those already signed on to sample their food are Uchi, Rose & Thorn, Snooze, CRUSH Pizza & Tap, La Fillette, Latke Love, Turtle Boat, Sushi Cup, Neighbors Wine Bar, Sushi Cup, Jackdaw, The Veggie Whisperer, Roaming Buffalo BBQ, 5280 Burger Bar, Aloy Modern Thai, Big Daddy's Burger Bar, El Coco Pirata, Esters Neighborhood Pub, GQue BBQ, Lucky Mary's Baking Company and Little Man Ice Cream. This year, VIP ticket-holders will again be treated to a special menu courtesy of the world-renowned Matsuhisa. Bites from Matsuhisa will include spicy tuna crispy rice, chicken gyoza, black cod miso in limestone lettuce, and more, as well as special VIP cocktails to complement the menu. VIP tickets also include early entry into the event at 6 p.m. and a VIP gift bag. Buy tickets and get more info at westwordfeast.com; see the complete lineup of restaurants serving here.

If you know of a date that should be on this calendar, send information to cafe@westword.com.

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