The Five Best Events on the Culinary Calendar This Weekend

Basque in the glory of El Five's seven-course dinner tonight.EXPAND
Basque in the glory of El Five's seven-course dinner tonight.
Danielle Lirette
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This weekend, your Whittier neighbors become farmers' market vendors, El Five becomes a Basque eatery, and a food hall becomes a music and comedy club. Find out how to experience these tasty events below, then read on for more deliciousness in the coming weeks.

Friday, October 9
On Friday, October 9, El Five, 2930 Umatilla Street, is kicking off two months of Friday and Saturday night Basque tasting menus. The seven-course spread, inspired by the wine and cuisine of the northern Spanish state, includes foraged mushrooms with sofrito and black garlic; bacalao served alongside leeks and piquillo potatoes; Iberico pluma (pork loin from Iberian hogs) with sherry and romesco; oxtail stew; and Basque cheesecake. All courses in the $95 meal can be paired with Spanish wines (both red and white) for an additional $45. Reservations are available for parties of four to six people on Tock at 6:15 or 8:30 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays through the last weekend of November. Dates have already begun to sell out, so book now.

Saturday, October 10
Love the farmers' market, hate the groups of people aimlessly milling about? Shop with a purpose (getting to know your neighbors) and a purpose (moving past that gaggle of people congregating in front of the bread table) at the Whittier Walking Farmers' Market on Saturday, October 10. Show up at East 30th Avenue and Race Street between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. and stroll from yard to yard in the Whittier neighborhood; residents will be selling homemade sourdough bread, fresh herbs, pickles, baked goods, broth, pet treats and other handmade items likes soaps, masks, art and jewelry. What's Happening Catering and Philly Italian Water Ice (that's what they call Italian ice in Philadelphia, where redundancy rules) will also be on hand to feed the people. Visit the Market's Facebook page for a list of vendors, addresses and a QR code to an interactive map.

Squash it at the Denver Central Market this Saturday and Sunday.EXPAND
Squash it at the Denver Central Market this Saturday and Sunday.
The Denver Central Market

If you haven't gotten your fill of pumpkin spice lattes this fall, hope is not lost. Rather than making yet another trip to the Starbucks drive-thru, keep it a little more local and and visit the Denver Central Market, 2669 Larimer Street, for its Pumped Up on Pumpkin Festival. You can get autumnal delights from all market vendors from noon to 4 p.m. on Saturday, October 10, and Sunday, October 11. We're making sure to bring home pumpkin caramel kouign amann (a flaky French pastry) from Izzio, pumpkin pie ice cream from High Point, honey and squash pizza from Vero, and chocolate-covered waffles, maple bonbons and jack-o-lantern lollipops from Temper, among other delights. Even Crema will be whipping up "fall lattes" (don't even think about calling them PSLs).

Normally, the second week in October brings a packed schedule of food and film events to Boulder as part of the Flatirons Food Film Festival. This year, of course, everything's been turned upside down, and the fest has been delayed until January 28 of next year. But you can still tune in on Saturday, October 10, when the FFFF is screening a preview of Gather, a documentary about Native Americans fighting to restore their traditional foodways. The evening includes a chef's demo from the owners of Tocabe, a Native American Eatery, at 5:30 p.m., and the film screening at 7 p.m., followed by a Q&A with the film director and participants. Viewers can also pre-order dinner from Tocabe — braised bison and wild rice bowl ($15) or three sisters wild rice bowl ($13) — by emailing catering@tocabe.com by 7 p.m. on Wednesday, October 7; pick-up is at Tocabe, 3536 West 44th Avenue, on September 10 after 12 p.m. or Savory Spice Shop, 2041 Broadway in Boulder, on September 10 after 2 p.m. Tickets for the festival preview, $24, are on sale now at Eventive. See the Flatirons Food Film Festival website for complete details.

Sunday night is variety night outdoors at Edgewater Public Market.EXPAND
Sunday night is variety night outdoors at Edgewater Public Market.
Courtesy of Roger's Liquid Oasis

Sunday, October 11
The best thing about a food hall is the variety, so what better location for a variety night than Edgewater Public Market, 5505 West 20th Avenue, where the expansive venue's main bar, Roger's Liquid Oasis, is hosting a free evening of music and humor with local talent. Come to the market at 5 p.m. on Sunday, October 11, and hang out until 8:30 to catch the full show. This is a kid-friendly event, except for the booze from the bar, of course. And guess what? Sunday Variety Night is socially distanced and outdoors for your health and safety, because that how we're all living these days.

And mark your calendar for these upcoming happenings:

Wednesday, October 14
Take one thing off your plate this week by ordering school lunch — but a far, far better version of the meal than the mystery meat of your youth. You don't even have to deal with the sectioned school lunch trays that you had to wrestle into submission before bento boxes were chic. That's because when you pre-order your "sheet tray" meal from River & Woods, 2328 Pearl Street, Boulder, you'll get eight servings perfectly portioned to heat, serve (and reheat the next day); this week's offering is chicken parm for $64. If you've been studying your multiplication tables, you'll know that's a mere $8 per serving. Add-ons include a Caesar salad kit for four ($25), chocolate cake or cheesecake ($8) and — most important for any frustrated student — a box of house wine ($65). A portion of the proceeds will be donated to the nonprofit Chef Ann Foundation, which works to help schools develop cook-from-scratch meal programs (again...someday). Pre-order from the restaurant's website by Saturday, October 10, for pick-up on Wednesday, October 14.

Saturday, October 17
If you're feeling flush on Saturday, October 17, consider splurging big on Somms for Sophie, an extravagant virtual wine dinner with a star-studded roster of chefs and sommeliers. At 6 p.m., emcee Jensen Cummings will kick off the proceedings, which consist of wines presented by Master Sommeliers Doug Krenik (Maverick Wine), Brett Zimmerman (Boulder Wine Merchant), Pascaline Lepeltier (Racines NY), and Damon Oronowski and Sean Razee (both of Southern Glazer's Wine & Spirits). Food will be courtesy of Jen Jasinski (Rioja), Alex Seidel (Mercantile & Provision), Dave Query (Big Red F Restaurant Group), Hosea Rosenberg (Blackbelly) and Ty Leon (Olivia). The price tag (hefty at $1,000 per couple) benefits Sophie's Neighborhood, a nonprofit founded by Rosenberg and his wife to raise funds for the research of MCTO, an ultra-rare skeletal disorder that affects only thirty kids worldwide — among them the Rosenbergs' young daughter, Sophie. To purchase tickets, email hello@sophiesneighborhood.org; everyone else who wants to help can make a donation on the Sophie's Neighborhood's website. You can find dinner details on the organization's Facebook page.

Coperta has the pancake of your dreams on October 18.
Coperta has the pancake of your dreams on October 18.
Danielle Lirette

Sunday, October 18
Italian eatery Coperta, 400 East 20th Avenue, is hosting another installment of its oft sold-out Sweet Moon brunch on Sunday, October 18. From 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., the kitchen will be turning out sweet and savory pancakes, sides and cocktails inspired by maple syrups from across North America. The menu includes four versions of buttermilk pancakes: plain; chanterelle mushrooms with blueberries and fontina; takoyaki (charred octopus), pickled ginger and dashi and soy aioli; and beef pastrami with cucumbers and caraway vinaigrette. Butternut squash and truffled cheese poutine is also on the menu (we might go just for that). Reserve your spot now on Tock to ensure a shot at the most creative flapjacks in town.

Monday, October 19
If you're looking for a beginner's wine class that goes beyond the basics of red or white, sweet or dry, mark your calendar for the first in a series of tastings at Cody's Cafe & Bar, 10203 East Iliff Avenue in Aurora. On Monday, October 19, the eclectic little eatery will host "Sugars, Alcohol, Acidity & Tannins—Oh, My!" from 5 to 6 p.m. You'll learn about what tannins actually are, how they affect the taste of your vino and whether it's the presence of tannins or alcohol that results in a big, bold, full-bodied beverage. The cost is $35 (a small price to pay to gain a little knowledge and a lot of jargon); call 303-751-1288 or email codyscafeandbar@gmail.com to reserve your seat.

West End's Really Old Whiskey dinner doesn't need a clever name.
West End's Really Old Whiskey dinner doesn't need a clever name.
West End Tavern

Wednesday, October 21
On Wednesday, October 21, Boulder's West End Tavern, 926 Pearl Street, will be pouring whiskey that's probably older than a good portion of you reading this calendar. At 6:30 p.m., the kitchen will turn out a five-course dinner paired with a flight of 21-, 22-, 23-, 24- and 25-year-old Rhetoric bourbon. Also on the menu: a welcome cocktail, pumpkin and blue-crab risotto, short ribs, a cheese course and sticky date pudding with chocolate truffles. Tickets are $100 (includes tax and tip) on Tock. For details, including a full menu, visit the Tavern's website.

Know of an event or activity that belongs here? Send information to cafe@westword.com.

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