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The Seven Best Events on the Culinary Calendar This Weekend

The Seven Best Events on the Culinary Calendar This WeekendEXPAND
Courtesy Berkeley Donuts

There's something on the menu for everyone this week: women, teachers, pie lovers, mezcal drinkers, Santaphiles and sherry sippers (that covers the whole population, right?). Below are seven of the week's best offerings.

And keep reading for food and drink fun and games in the days leading up to Thanksgiving.

Monday, November 16
Women who want to learn more about craft beer without being subject to the inevitable attention from men (whether said men are angling for a hookup or being patronizing about pils) can sign up for Factotum Brewhouse's Craft Beer for Babes class on Monday, November 16. For $38, both lager-loving ladies and ale-ambivalent women can learn about beer styles, "proper" glassware (everything is proper if you surround yourself with laid-back people), food pairings and more from Laura Bruns, Factotum's co-owner. Tickets are $38 per person on Eventbrite (you can reserve tables for up to four people) and include a charcuterie plate and multiple beer samples; classes run from 6:15 to 8:30 p.m. at the taproom, 3845 Lipan Street.

Tuesday, November 17
As the nights get darker earlier and colder quicker, the spicy, peppery, warming bite of mezcal is more welcome than ever. (Who are we kidding? We love mezcal anytime.) And it will be dark at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, November 17, when American Elm hosts a dinner in partnership with Mezcal Vago, evoking flavors from warmer, happier climes. The three-course meal includes grilled octopus with eggplant purée and zucchini fritters; pork ribeye with cheesy smoked grits and achiote jus; and buttermilk pie with horchata whipped cream. You'll get all that, plus four copitas of mezcal, for $135 per person plus fees. Find the full menu and buy your ticket (there are just 35 seats available, so ándale) on Resy.

Wednesday, November 18
Your kids may be attending school remotely, but that doesn't mean their teachers are. If you're confused about how Denver Public Schools are teaching some kids in the classroom and some over Zoom, imagine how difficult it must be for teachers to keep everything straight. Berkeley Donuts, inside Hops & Pie at 3920 Tennyson Street, is hoping to sweeten the pot by matching any purchase of coffee and doughnuts for any northwest DPS school. Email your order for teachers to berkeleydonutorders@hopsandpie.com by 5 p.m. on Monday and the the bakery will double it as well as deliver it between 8 and 9:30 a.m. on Wednesday. Call the bakery at 303-477-7000 for more details, including what schools are covered by the ongoing promotion. 

Rioja's November 18 Spanish wine dinner is the next best thing to that vacation you're never going to get to take.
Rioja's November 18 Spanish wine dinner is the next best thing to that vacation you're never going to get to take.
Danielle Lirette

Rioja, 1431 Larimer Street, is hosting its penultimate wine dinner of 2020 at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, November 18. The dinner will focus on the Spanish region of Jerez, which is generally associated with sherry but also produces non-fortified wine; wine pairings cover two of these varietals. The five-course menu includes an almond Napoleon with cured salmon; rabbit two ways (confit and pancetta-wrapped loin) and apricot-butternut purée, pickled squash and spinach gnudi; cheese tortelli with quince and hazelnut and golden raisin agrodolce; and duck breast with five-spice gyoza. Tickets for the in-house dinner are $125 plus tax and tip on Tock; diners can also opt for an at-home version for $90, which includes food and finishing instructions (beverage pairings are available starting at $6 for cocktail and sherry pours and $38 for bottles of wine). Diners ordering the virtual version will pick up their meal kits between Wednesday, November 18, and Friday, November 20; orders must be placed two days in advance.

It's pie season! (Really, it's pie season all year round, but Thanksgiving and Christmas are the most socially acceptable times of year to be so effusive.) On Wednesday, November 18, fellow pie enthusiasts City Bakery and Denver Beer Co. are teaming up for a virtual beer and pie pairing. For $50, you'll get three six-packs (of Princess Yum Yum Raspberry Kolsch, Pretzel Ambassador Amber Lager and Peanut Butter Graham Cracker Porter) to pair with three pie flavors (mixed berry, pecan and pumpkin). You won't, sadly, get three nine-inch pies — but you will get one one-third of a full-sized pie in each flavor (and you can always upgrade with a second Frankenpie for $25). Place your order on Denver Beer Co.'s website, then pick up your haul between 11 a.m. and 7 p.m. at either DBC taproom: 1695 Platte Street or 5768 Olde Wadsworth Boulevard in Arvada.

Miracle Bar inside Avanti F & B.EXPAND
Miracle Bar inside Avanti F & B.
Mark Antonation

Thursday, November 19
It's (maybe?) a Christmas miracle. This year hasn't brought many good things, at least in the realm of restaurants and bars, but on Thursday, November 19, Miracle Bar marks its return to Colorado. The wildly popular Christmas-themed pop-up bar is bringing four locations to life in Boulder, Denver and Louisville. While technically space will be reserved for walk-ins, anyone who's tried to get a table in years past knows reservations are a must. Visit Miracle Bar's website for locations, hours and reservation info.

Saturday, November 21
Take in dinner and a show without ever leaving the house — except to pick up your dinner, if you live outside DiFranco's delivery area. On Saturday, November 21, the Denver Philharmonic Orchestra is streaming a 2017 performance of Italian composer Ottorino Respighi's Pines of Rome. The free event begins on Zoom at 7 p.m., when restaurant owner and namesake Ryan DiFranco logs on before the show to discuss the red, white and pink wines he's chosen to pair with the performance. Pre-order your vino (each bottle comes with an appetizer and rings in at $30 or less) for pick-up at 955 Lincoln Street or delivery starting Sunday, November 15, on DiFranco's website; sandwiches and the eatery's excellent pasta entrees will also be available for purchase. Visit Eventbrite to register.

The Seven Best Events on the Culinary Calendar This WeekendEXPAND
Courtesy Blanchard Family Wines

Sunday, November 22
Dairy Block's Blanchard Family Wines, 1855 Blake Street, is teaming up with Palisade winery Sauvage Spectrum for a sparkling wine brunch on Sunday, November 22. This won't be a sloppy start to Sunday Funday; instead, guests will indulge in a civilized four-course meal that includes a fruit-and-cheese plate, avocado toast with grilled veggies, and a poached egg with pulled pork. They'll get five glasses of the winery's bubbly offerings: extra dry, off-dry, rosé and pet nat. For details (including the full menu and wine pairings), visit Blanchard's website; for tickets to the 11 a.m. or 1 p.m. seating ($70), visit Tock.

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Go loca(vore) on November 22 by buying your Sunday night spread from two small Denver producers: Sfoglina Hand Milled Colorado Pastas and Moon Raccoon Baking Co. No actual ringtails will be cooked up for the takeout and finish-at-home dinner, which includes handmade mafaldine (ribbon-like dried pasta), Bolognese sauce, sourdough focaccia and yuzu-cornmeal cookies. Dinner is $25 per person (pre-order on Sfoglina's website by Wednesday, November 18), and your feast will be available for pick-up at Infinite Monkey Theorem, 3200 Larimer Street, between 2 and 5 p.m., where you can snag a bottle of wine to accompany the food. Take a look at Moon Raccoon or Sfoglina's Instagram pages for more details.

Wednesday, November 25
You love seltzer, which probably means you're in the demographic currently getting all the blame for Colorado COVID cases skyrocketing. Stick it to those self-righteous Gen-Xers by staying home on Wednesday, November 25 (otherwise known as Drinksgiving) by both indulging in your love of hard seltzer and staying home and — in a turn of phrase that makes us green with envy that we didn't coin it — "seltzering in place" with the 2020 Fizz Fight festival. Early-bird pricing for both GA and VIP party packs are currently in effect; for $40 or $50 (regularly $55 or $65), you'll get sixteen seltzers plus a hard kombucha for VIPers, delivery of your booze, and access to a 7 p.m. live stream where you can vote for your faves and play drinking games during interviews with a lineup of C-list reality TV "personalities" (drink every time someone uses the word "influencer"). Visit Fizz Fight's website for details and tickets.

Know of an event or activity that belongs here? Send information to cafe@westword.com. And see our Thanksgiving deal list here.

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