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The Seven Best Events on the Culinary Calendar This Week

This little piggy went to church on Thursday.EXPAND
This little piggy went to church on Thursday.
Brandon Marshall
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Both carnivores and vegetarians have a handful of foodie events to choose from this week: Meat eaters can meet their meat in a prelude to the National Western Stock Show, and vegetarians can get their grilled cheese on, as well as grab a seat at a vegan table Friday night. Keep reading for seven great culinary events this week, plus more in the months ahead.

Monday, November 12
Veterans Day was Sunday, but in the grand American tradition of muddying the waters by celebrating and observing the same event on different dates (just Google Presidents' Day if you're in any doubt), the federal holiday technically falls on Monday, November 12. And that's good news for veterans, especially if they love free burgers and beer. All three Tap & Burger locations (Highland, Sloan's Lake and Belleview) are offering a free smashed beef burger and Oskar Blues beer to active duty and retired military, reserve and National Guard members, and even military spouses, from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.

Tuesday, November 13
We're back with yet another installment of pie pimping on Tuesday, November 13. This week, the pies are coming from an unlikely source: an ice cream parlor. Little Man Ice Cream (2620 16th Street) and Sweet Cooie's Ice Cream and Confectionary (3506 East 12th Avenue) are offering pie and a pint — of ice cream, not beer — for $28 this Thanksgiving season. Choose from pecan or pumpkin pie and finish it off with your choice of ice cream, with additional pints for just $4. Orders must be placed in person no later than Thursday, November 15 at either location or by emailing pie@littlemanicecream.com (specify your pick-up location in the email); your sweet treats will be ready to pick up on Tuesday, November 20, and Wednesday, November 21.

Dunbar Kitchen & Tap House has one of Denver's best grilled cheese sandwiches, and they'll be cooking at the Denver Grilled Cheese Festival on November 14.
Dunbar Kitchen & Tap House has one of Denver's best grilled cheese sandwiches, and they'll be cooking at the Denver Grilled Cheese Festival on November 14.
Courtesy Dunbar Kitchen & Tap House

Wednesday, November 14
Bistro Vendôme, 1420 Larimer Street, is one of Denver's most venerable French restaurants; it's been holding down a spot on Larimer Square and one of the best patios in Denver for almost sixteen years, and continues to do classic French cuisine justice. And on Wednesday, November 14, the bistro is launching an ambitious dinner series that will take hungry oenophiles through the major wine regions of France. Starting at 6:30 p.m., guests will be treated to Bordeaux wine pairings with a menu of regional food. Future installments in the monthly dinners will highlight the food and drink of Champagne, Burgundy, Beaujolais, and the northern and southern Rhône. Make your reservation ($125) by calling the restaurant at 303-825-3232 and visit bistrovendome.com for more info on the series.

If there's a single food item that feels like the culinary incarnation of a hug, a strong argument could be made for the grilled cheese sandwich. Warm, gooey and gratifying, there's nothing quite like it for sheer satisfaction. On Wednesday, November 14, you can get a bellyful of love at the Denver Grilled Cheese Festival. From 7 to 10 p.m., Mile High Station, 2027 West Colfax Avenue, is your place for unlimited samples of sandwiches both simple and deluxe (Bistro Georgette, Euclid Hall, Voodoo Doughnut and Steuben's are just a few of the participating restaurants) and drinks from Oskar Blues, Ratio Beerworks, State 38 Distilling and more. Tickets are $55 or $125 (VIP guests get an hour more of cheese, plus exclusive Stranahan's cocktails paired with bites from Edible Beats) at denvergrilledcheesefest.com. Another reason you'll feel warm and fuzzy at this food fest? It benefits Imagination Library of Denver, an organization that sends one book per month to eligible children through the age of five, completely free of charge.

Say hi to this guy before he goes to the Stock Show at Thursday's Meat and Greet.EXPAND
Say hi to this guy before he goes to the Stock Show at Thursday's Meat and Greet.
Brandon Marshall

Thursday, November 15
The National Western Stock Show seems like a million years away — we've still got Thanksgiving, Christmas, interminable family visits and New Year's Eve to muscle through — but it's really only two short months from now. And while we humans have definite opinions about the next eight weeks (it could be dread or delight), the animals headed to the Stock Show are blissfully unaware of what their future holds. You can meet those critters at Meat and Greet on Thursday, November 15, where guests will be introduced to Stock Show-bound livestock as well as the young people who have raised them. Tickets, $75, also include bites of locally raised protein (beef, pork, lamb and goat — though not the ones you'll be greeting earlier in the evening) and a bar serving local beer and spirits. The agricultural amusement runs from 6 to 8:30 p.m. at the National Western Complex, 4655 Humboldt Street; get your tickets at the Colorado FFA Foundation's website.

Animal welfare and its related (but more polarizing) cousin, the choice whether to eat animals, are widely considered moral issues — so it's surprising that those questions aren't more broadly discussed in the Christian traditions of the Western world. But theological ethics professor David Clough has tackled the subject in his manuscript On Animals. The author is investigating a three-year project on the Christian ethics of factory farming and has founded the CreatureKind Project to encourage religious institutions and people to protect all animals. On Thursday, November 15, Clough will be speaking at the First Universalist Church of Denver, 4101 East Hampden Avenue, at 6 p.m. While his remarks will be based in the context of Christianity, anyone who's concerned about the treatment of animals and the factory farming system will find them fascinating. The lecture is free and open to the public, though guests are requested to RSVP to rolandhalpern@msn.com.

Friday, November 16
Vegan caterer Scam Likely's last pop-up dinner at La Fillette, 4416 East Eighth Avenue, sold out quickly, but as of this writing, there are still a few seats available for its next event on Friday, November 16. Per the Baby's So Vain Facebook page, this four-course, $35 meal is good for anyone who likes sunshine and puppies (although cat people are welcome, too), but chef Spencer Caine's creations appear to be selling like hotcakes regardless of your preference for domesticated animals. Reservations are a must; call or text 347-205-0440 or email sam@babyssovain.com to make yours.

Keep reading for future food and drink events.

Saturday, November 17
Amaro is having a moment, with restaurants around town embracing the bitter Italian liqueur or even making house versions. On Saturday, November 17, Coperta, 400 East 20th Avenue, is bringing amaro to the masses with its Amaro: The Bitter Truth cocktail class. From 3:30 to 5 p.m., attendees will nosh on bites from chef Paul C. Reilly while tasting a selection of amari and learning how to use it to enhance the flavor of mixed drinks. The holidays are inexorably advancing, so learn how to turn your bitterness on your cocktails instead of your kin for $45; call the restaurant at 720-749-4666 to reserve your spot.

May 19 and May 20, 2019
Chefs and aspiring charcutiers will want to plan ahead for a Denver visit from the maestro of meat, Brian Polcyn, who will lead a butchery course next spring at Stir Cooking School, 3215 Zuni Street. Polcyn and author Michael Ruhlman will spend two days teaching students how to break down hogs using both USDA and European seam butchery techniques; how to work charcuterie into menus; and how to properly dry-cure and smoke cured meats. Recipes for pâté, fresh sausage and offal will be provided, as well as a copy of one of the duo's books (their third title, Pâté, Confit, Rillette, will be released May 19), a private cocktail hour and dinner with the pair. Tickets are $800 and are on sale now at Eventbrite.

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

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