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The Six Best Events on the Culinary Calendar This Weekend

Manti (Turkish lamb dumplings with chili oil and garlic yogurt) are on Safta's menu for the month of November.EXPAND
Manti (Turkish lamb dumplings with chili oil and garlic yogurt) are on Safta's menu for the month of November.
Courtesy Safta
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Diners around town can kick off the first weekend of November with the ubiquitous (nachos, cocktails, birthday celebrations) or the elusive (Turkish cuisine, 15 percent ABV beer, reasonable traffic at Red Rocks). Here are six of the best events this weekend, plus more in the coming weeks.

Safta will serve Turkish food in addition to Israeli fare this month.EXPAND
Safta will serve Turkish food in addition to Israeli fare this month.
Mike Thurk

Friday, November 2
Illegal Pete's — the most resolutely local of Colorado's burrito-the-size-of-your-head chains, despite a small foray into Arizona — is taking its love of nachos to the extreme by dedicating the entire month of November to fried tortilla chips. Pile on the toppings (including chorizo, which is available all day this month instead of just during breakfast) and Instagram it, using #howdoyounacho and #nachonovember, for a shot at winning free nachos for a year. Get all the contest details at illegalpetes.com — and get ready to eat your weight in queso.

In the past year, The Bindery, 1817 Central Street, has established itself as one of the most creative eateries in Denver — and one of the few places we know of where you can always find rabbit on the menu. And on Friday, November 2, the kitchen is celebrating its first birthday with an epic dinner party. Starting at 6 p.m., apps will start coming out of the kitchen as a live band takes the stage. Tickets, $125, are on sale at eventbrite.com; if you don't want to commit to a full meal (why not, though?), show up between 3 and 6 p.m. for a community happy hour, with complimentary apps and the bar's excellent cocktails for sale.

Turkish food is a rare find in Denver; there's the Turkish Chef on Wheels truck and Bosphorus in Englewood...and that's about it. But this month, diners who want a more formal Turkish eating experience can get it at Safta, 3330 Brighton Boulevard. Through the end of November, the Israeli eatery is offering a traditional Turkish menu for just $65; the four-course meal includes leeks and potatoes with caviar, preserved lemon and egg yolk; sablefish with sumac onions and roasted wheat pilaf; lamb dumplings (called manti) with chili oil and garlic yogurt; and roasted quince pastry with honey and sheep's-milk ricotta from Fruition Farms. Beverage pairings (a mezcal cocktail, chardonnay, pinot noir and Tokaji dessert wine) are available for $35 more.

There's more to Morrison's famed music venue than fighting traffic after the show.EXPAND
There's more to Morrison's famed music venue than fighting traffic after the show.
Courtesy Red Rocks Park and Amphiteatre Facebook

Saturday, November 3
Upslope Brewing Company has been brewing reliably tasty beers in Boulder for a decade now, and on Saturday, November 3, the brewery will be celebrating its terrible tens from 2 to 8 p.m. with a bash at its taproom at 1898 South Flatiron Court. More than forty beers (including a 2013 barleywine at a whopping 15 percent ABV) will be on tap, along with music from the Great Salmon Famine, the Good Kind and more; food trucks serving empanadas, pizza, barbecue, pretzels and Mexican food; and a beer-and-cheese happy hour. While admission to the party is free, tickets are required for the happy hour; they'll cost you $15 at eventbrite.com. Get more information — including the complete list of beers — at Upslope's website.

An intimate dinner at Red Rocks will make you feel like a rock star.
An intimate dinner at Red Rocks will make you feel like a rock star.
Danielle Lirette

Red Rocks is beautiful, and seeing a show at the amphitheater with the rocks lit up and stars overhead is an iconic Colorado experience — as are the two hours you'll spend trying to get out of the parking lot after the show. For a more intimate and definitely less trafficked evening at the park, consider the Local Set dinner series, which debuts Saturday, November 3, at 6 p.m. Enjoy dinner at the visitor center, 18300 West Alameda Parkway in Morrison, while enjoying music from local acts Venture Still and Paul Frost. Tickets, $50, are available at redrocksonline.com, along with the lineup for the rest of the series, which runs through March 31, 2019.

Sunday, November 4
There's nothing better than Sunday supper with the family — especially when that family is Il Porcellino Salumi, one of our favorite spots in town for cured meat. On Sunday, November 4, the shop at 4334 West 41st Avenue is upping the ante on your mom's Sunday roast by debuting its first house-cured prosciutto (aged for fifteen months), along with country pâté, short rib and local cheeses for just $75. The space is small, so get your tickets ASAP at brownpapertickets.com, and don't tell Mom who you're ditching her for.

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.

Saturday, December 15
Is it too early to be training for the Feats of Strength? Not if you want to crush your family and friends (physically and emotionally) at this year's Festivus. Nor is it too early to start planning for this year's Denver Beer Festivus, which takes place on Saturday, December 15, at the Sports Castle, 1000 Broadway, from 3 to 6 p.m. Early bird tickets are on sale now for $35 or $60 at denverbeerfestivus.com; get yours quickly, or you'll be the focus of your drinking buddies' Airing of Grievances. NOTE: Early bird tickets are now sold out; regular tickets are currently on sale for $40 or $65.

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

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