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The Best Events on the Culinary Calendar This Weekend

Beast + Bottle is one of several restaurants around town where you can pick up farmers' market finds this summer.EXPAND
Beast + Bottle is one of several restaurants around town where you can pick up farmers' market finds this summer.
Mark Antonation

It's back to basics this week with Basta (and the debut of Basta East), as well as brunch from Beast & Bottle and Biju Thomas (of the now-shuttered but much beloved Biju's Little Curry Shop).

Then keep reading for more food and drink happenings in the weeks leading up to Thanksgiving.

Friday, November 6
Boulder's Basta (3601 Arapahoe Avenue) is teaming up with its Denver sibling, the Wolf's Tailor, for a series of collaborative dinners this month. Starting Friday, November 6, chef/owner Kelly Whitaker is launching Basta East, a prix fixe menu for $48 (plus a 20 percent service fee) per person, at his third eatery (keep up with us here), Dry Storage, at 3601 Arapahoe Avenue in Boulder — in the same Peloton apartment complex as Basta. Beverage pairings are available for $40 (for merely tasty beverages) to $70 (for reserve wines). The menu is offered Friday and Saturday evenings through the end of the month, with seatings for two, four or six people at 5:30 or 7:30 p.m. Visit Tock to reserve your seat.

Saturday, November 7
This week has brought beautiful, bright second summer days. But we are fully in the grip of autumn, so Uptown eatery Beast & Bottle, 719 East 17th Avenue, is cooking up a farm-to-table harvest brunch for takeout-only on Saturday, November 7. The meal serves two ($45) or four ($85) and includes butternut squash and pecan coffee cake, carrot cake pancakes (with cream cheese, naturally), bacon, a Gruyère frittata, turnip and tater hash, and cabbage salad with golden beets and poppyseed dressing. A vegetarian version, subbing smoked eggplant for bacon, is also available. Pre-order now on Beast's storefront, and pick up your spread between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. on Saturday.

Folks in the southeast metro area can take a culinary trip to Southeast Asia on Saturday, November 7, as Uncorked Kitchen, 8171 South Chester Street in Centennial, hosts an afternoon Thai cooking class from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. Get hands-on instruction (not virtual, not live-streamed, but someone else's actual hands in front of your actual eyes) in making spring rolls with sweet chile dipping sauce and shrimp pad thai. The class is $69 per person and includes all equipment and ingredients (no more scrounging around in your drawer to figure out if you have the right kind of knife). There are still a handful of seats left; register now on Uncorked Kitchen's website.

Sunday, November 8
Unless you're a very, very lucky human, you probably can't entice Biju Thomas to come into your kitchen and cook you a meal. But on Sunday, November 8, you can pretend he's standing at your stovetop during the Global Livingston Institute's virtual cooking class from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. You can purchase tickets at three different levels: $25 (includes a link to watch the class but doesn't allow you to ask any questions); $111 (entitles you to an interactive link as well as a list of ingredients to purchase); and $250 (which includes a link that will allow you to pester Thomas will all sorts of questions, but also includes delivery of all fully-prepped ingredients to your doorstep). Proceeds from ticket sales will go toward the institute's mission of job creation and community development in East Africa. Visit the Global Livingston Institute website to purchase your ticket.

Keep reading for more tasty happenings beyond this weekend...

Dine in at Oak at Fourteenth to get its greatest hits from the last decade.
Dine in at Oak at Fourteenth to get its greatest hits from the last decade.
Oak at Fourteenth

Wednesday, November 11
On November 14, 2010, Boulder's Oak at Fourteenth opened its doors to much fanfare...and then shuttered almost immediately because of a devastating kitchen fire. A decade later, the restaurant is weathering an even bigger challenge, but it's still taking a week to celebrate its tenth anniversary. From Wednesday, November 11, to Sunday, November 15, the eatery, at 1400 Pearl Street in Boulder, is combining a birthday party with its annual truffle week. In-house diners can order from a greatest-hits menu that includes fried pickles; duck-liver pâté with plum preserves; gnocchi with egg yolk, Gruyère fondue and truffles; lamb Bolognese; the "umami bomb" dry-aged burger with truffle aioli and crispy maitake ’shrooms; and many, many others. White and black truffle upgrades will also be available. Oak is open from 5 to 9 p.m. for dinner on those days; book your seat on OpenTable.

Thursday, November 12
On Thursday, November 12, downtown's Foraged (1825 Blake Street) is hosting a six-course wine dinner with pairings from Napa Valley's Freemark Abbey Wines. Expect salad with pistachio-crusted chèvre and Asian pears with sauvignon blanc; kabocha gnocchi, pine nuts, brown butter and sage accompanied by chardonnay; grilled venison and veggies with sesame-juniper salsa and merlot; and short rib, mushroom confit and mole negro with cabernet. Tickets are $100 per person plus tax and tip for the 6:30 p.m. dinner; secure yours by calling the restaurant at 720-826-2147.

In lieu of First Bite, Boulder County's annual fall restaurant week, 2020 brings the publication of A Bite of Boulder, a cookbook with over forty recipes from thirty area restaurants. Half of the proceeds from cookbook sales will go directly to the featured restaurants, so in addition to getting your hands on recipes from Japango, West End Tavern, Santo, Corrida, Oak at Fourteenth and more, you're helping support your local faves. The book will be released on Thursday, November 12; you can pre-order yours for $29.99 now on the First Bite website. And from November 12 through November 15, you can get more bang for your buck, as nearly a dozen restaurants are offering deals like make-at-home sushi, paella and burger kits with your purchase. Complete details and prices can be found in the Launch Weekend section of the website.

The Fifth String is participating in its very first Denver Restaurant Week this month.EXPAND
The Fifth String is participating in its very first Denver Restaurant Week this month.
Mark Antonation

Friday, November 13
Surprise! Denver Restaurant Week is just around the corner. No, February hasn't snuck up on us quite yet. Visit Denver has announced a fall version of the popular event that will run for ten days, from Friday, November 13, through Sunday, November 22. Visit the event website for participants (there are longtime faves like Ace Eat Serve and Root Down as well as newer arrivals on the dining scene such as the 5th String and Attimo Wine on the list) and menus at the $25, $35 and $45 price points. And with Denver restaurant capacity a quarter of what it usually is, reservations are more important than ever. Make sure you're making yours with individual eateries. 

Sunday, November 15
The Spice Girls may have sold out when they announced they were no longer about girl power (now it's the watered-down "people power," blecch), but Sunday Vinyl, 1803 16th Street, is still keeping the faith...as far as faith goes when it comes to Top 40 music. On Sunday, November 15, the wine bar and restaurant is hosting a Sunday Vinyl Session with sommelier Maia Parish, who will be serving a flight of bubbles from all-female producers, and DJ Desire, who will be spinning tunes from female artists (though not necessarily the Spice Girls). Reservations are available from 6 to 9 p.m. on Tock; the $60 ticket price (plus tax and tip) includes the aforementioned bubbles and beats, as well as three bites from the kitchen.

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American Elm promises a delicious and boozy mezcal dinner on November 17,EXPAND
American Elm promises a delicious and boozy mezcal dinner on November 17,
Lucy Beaugard

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 (where they're not still holding their breath for election results). 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.

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.

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

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