The Eight Best Events on the Culinary Calendar This Weekend

These are not sandwiches.EXPAND
These are not sandwiches.
Courtesy Dog Haus

Vegans vs. hot dog handlers and rabbits vs. rappers: There's something for every hungry one of you this weekend. Now that the snow has melted off the roads, get out there and kick off November with something delicious — and keep reading for more great food and drink events around town in the next two weeks.

Celebrate the Bindery's birthday all weekend.EXPAND
Celebrate the Bindery's birthday all weekend.
Lucy Beaugard

Friday, November 1
Dessert lovers know that chef Ian Kleinman's crazy creations at the Inventing Room Dessert Shop (4433 West 29th Avenue) are as unique as they are delicious. But even though we're all screaming for more of Ian's ice cream, the chef is handing off some of his dessert duties each month to guest chefs who get to play around in the kitchen laboratory. The first in the monthly series will be Kevin Taylor Restaurant Group executive pastry chef Saura Madani, whose key lime tart with bananas foster ice cream, salted graham strudel, dried pineapple and coconut caviar will grace the menu from Friday, November 1, through the end of the month. Choose Madani's dessert, and $1 of your purchase will go toward her charity of choice, the Blue Ridge Bull Terrier Rescue. And for a dog lover's two-for-one charity day, pencil in Sunday, November 10, when 25 percent of all sales from 2 to 4 p.m. will go toward the Saving Dobermankind Animal Rescue.

Vegan diners know a road trip is often required to find a really good restaurant meal — one that doesn't consist of a serving of hummus with a few desiccated celery stalks and ashy baby carrots scattered alongside. So Denver's plant-based eaters may want to look southward from Friday, November 1, through Thursday, November 7, as nearly thirty Colorado Springs restaurants are offering vegan menus for the city's Vegan Restaurant Week. There are multi-course prix fixe meals from the likes of the Warehouse and the Broadmoor Hotel's Summit; Taco Bell re-creations from the Vegan Van (Crunchwrap Supreme, anyone?); and vegan pub fare at breweries across town. With options that run the gamut when it comes to price point and style, there's surely something that will make it worth heading south on I-25. Visit the Vegan Week website for a complete list of participating eateries and menu items.

Was the extent of your overindulgence last night truly terrifying? Well, make it up to yourself bright and early on Friday, November 1, at The Bindery. The sunny space at 1817 Central Street — one of our favorites in town — is celebrating two years of putting out composed, creative dishes under the guidance of chef/owner Linda Hampsten Fox. So all weekend, you can enjoy a $2 coffee along with one of the kitchen's gorgeous pastries when doors open at 7 a.m., and two-for-one happy-hour drinks from 3 to 6 p.m. On Friday night, don't miss the rabbit special; Fox's signature ingredient has been on the menu since day one. This weekend, you'll get Peter Rabbit two ways: in a smoked-rabbit pecan pie and in rellenos for $22. And on Saturday, November 2, you'll get an even better deal, with a prix fixe menu for two for just $99. Reservations are recommended for Saturday's dinner; make yours on Resy.

All Souls' Day, All Saints' Day, Día de Muertos — whatever you call the day after Halloween, we promise you can do better for dinner on Friday, November 1, than stealing the best treats from your kids' candy stash while they're distracted by Fortnite. Enter Blanchard Family Wines, 1855 Blake Street, which is hosting a Feast for Souls at 7 p.m.; the five courses include seasonal specialties like butternut bisque with chiles paired with a dry riesling, and heavily showcase earthy chiles in dishes like pork tenderloin with cherry-chipotle compote and pinot noir, and a dark, dangerous dessert of black torte with cinnamon and anchos with cabernet sauvignon. Tickets for dinner, $125, are on sale on Eventbrite, where you can also find the full menu and dress code (hint: Helena Bonham Carter chic is your best bet).

Saturday, November 2
Attention, devout brunchers who want to get an early start worshiping at the Altar of Eggs Benedict this weekend, and industry folks who can never do Sunday brunch because they're waiting on your drunken ass: Steuben's, 523 East 17th Avenue, is kicking up its Saturday brunch a notch on November 2 with a special hip-hop edition from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Menu items include ATLiens (fried catfish, grits and collards) and a Run B.L.T. (served on Texas toast with smoked mayo and Tender Belly bacon), with cocktails name-checking Wu-Tang Clan (C.R.E.A.M., coffee and Irish cream), Beastie Boys (Brass Monkey, beer and orange juice) and, of course, Snoop. DJ Large Child is serving beats alongside breakfast, and, as anyone who came up in the 303 knows, reservations for brunch are a must. Make yours on the joint's website.

If ever there was a single food that unites people of all genders, ages, races, cultures and socioeconomic backgrounds, it's macaroni and cheese. Or bacon. Or maybe pizza....but forget all that. Let's just focus on the mac, shall we? After all, the chances of your getting all three of those foods is pretty high at Denver's second Mac & Cheese festival, happening on Saturday, November 2. RiNo Fairgrounds, 3715 Chestnut Place, is hosting the pasta proceedings in two sessions (noon to 3:30 p.m. and 4:30 to 7:30 p.m.), when you'll get bottomless beer samples and unlimited, unctuous creations from more than twenty eateries, including Arvada Tavern, Sugarfire Smoke House, Rock N Lobster, Dunbar Kitchen & Taphouse and Mac & Cheezary. And with chefs vying for comfort-food supremacy, we won't be surprised if there are plenty of add-ins and toppings like the aforementioned bacon, and perhaps even some pepperoni. Tickets ($59 to $95) and details are still available on the Fest's Facebook page.

Just because the sub-freezing temps from earlier in the week have started to melt away doesn't mean it's not chili season, so on Saturday, November 2, you'll want to hunker down with a steaming hot bowl of goodness that benefits a good cause. From 6 to 9 p.m., you can get unlimited food and drink at Chili, Booze & Brews, a fundraiser for the Morgan Adams Foundation, a nonprofit organization that raises money for childhood cancer research. The Cable Center, 2000 Buchtel Boulevard, is hosting the shindig, where local restaurants will be serving up their fiery-est, most flavorsome chili for the consideration of guests and judges. You'll be able to vote on the best chili, beer and spirits from local establishments the Cherry Cricket, Platt Park Brewing Co., Mythology Distillery, Bad Daddy's Burger Bar and more. Snap up your tickets ($60 or $90) on the Foundation's website, and get ready for a cozy night out.

Sunday, November 3
The question that has turned brother against brother and torn families asunder over the years: Is a hot dog a sandwich? If you're the kind of weirdo who doesn't have an immediate and visceral reaction to this very query, skip to 5:10 of the above clip for proof of how quickly the discussion can become heated; after all, you don't just thrown around terms like "sandwich racism" casually. Tube steak purveyor Dog Haus is taking a stand on the issue for National Sandwich Day — and while it's the wrong stand, the results will ultimately help hungry children, so we'll let it pass. One dollar from the purchase every hot dog (or "sandwich," as the chain outrageously claims) at Dog Haus locations will be donated to nonprofit organization No Kid Hungry on Sunday, November 3. So for just one day, set aside your recreational outrage about linguistic trifles (we'll do the same) and indulge in the weirdest sandwich in the world for a good cause.

Keep reading for future food and drink events.

LeRoux's mushroom mille feuille, which will make an appearance at its whiskey dinner on November 4.EXPAND
LeRoux's mushroom mille feuille, which will make an appearance at its whiskey dinner on November 4.
Mark Antonation

Monday, November 4
When you ponder what to drink with fine French food, what comes to mind? Wine, certainly. Maybe a cocktail  — but whiskey? Not so much. But on Monday, November 4, LeRoux, 1510 16th Street, is teaming up with Alan Laws (of Laws Whiskey House) for a spirited pairing dinner. Starting at 6:30 p.m., guests will be treated to five French-y courses paired with Colorado whiskey. Think foie gras with strawberries and pink peppercorns with Armagnac-finished bourbon; the restaurant's oft-photographed mushroom mille feuille with pear chutney, and cauliflower crème brûlée with pine nuts and golden raisins paired with bonded Henry Road malt whiskey; onion-crusted short rib with pommes Gruyère, and a crispy chicken roulade with spaetzle accompanied by bonded six-year-old bourbon. You can find the full menu on LeRoux's Facebook page, but don't think too long before purchasing your ticket, $150, on Eventbrite; just twenty seats are available for this luxe dinner.

A batch of discounted young professionals tickets were just released for Morin's Central City Opera fundraiser.EXPAND
A batch of discounted young professionals tickets were just released for Morin's Central City Opera fundraiser.
Danielle Lirette

Thursday, November 7
For a unique take on dinner and a show, consider dining at Morin on Thursday, November 7. Starting at 6 p.m., the upscale French restaurant is hosting a benefit for Central City Opera, one of the oldest professional opera companies in the country and, at 87 years old, a Colorado institution long before slot machines invaded Clear Creek Canyon. Chefs Carrie Baird (Bar Dough, Top Chef) and Max MacKissock (culinary director at Morin, Señor Bear, Bar Dough and more) will be serving up cooking demos alongside a multi-course seated dinner; the excellent natural wines and creative cocktails you'd expect from beverage power couple Mary Allison Wright and Mclain Hedges; a behind-the-scenes kitchen tour; and performances from Central City Opera singers. Tickets ($250, or $150 for young professionals under age 45) are on sale now on the Opera's website.

Chef Jesus Silva (sushi from his restaurant Misaki on Broadway is shown above) will be cooking at A Taste of Curiosity dinner on November 11.EXPAND
Chef Jesus Silva (sushi from his restaurant Misaki on Broadway is shown above) will be cooking at A Taste of Curiosity dinner on November 11.
Danielle Lirette

Monday, November 11
Food is universal — but tastes aren't. Sometimes preferences are just that, but just as often, food reveals prejudices. (Don't believe us? Take a deep dive into the comments whenever we write about African cuisine.) But as much as our culinary preferences can reveal our biases, they can also serve as a bridge between cultures. If we're curious about trying new flavors, perhaps we can be as interested in the people who create them and the cultures they come from. On Monday, November 11, put this theory to the test at the Infinite Monkey Theorem, 3200 Larimer Street, when it hosts A Taste of Curiosity dinner, a conversation facilitated by food and drink. Chef Jesusio Silva (Misaki) will provide the Japanese food, and folks from Breaking the Bias will be on hand to keep dinner from devolving into a food fight (perhaps literally). Tickets, $65, are available on IMT's website; get yours and feed your brain as well as your body.

Some of the 251 wines submitted for judging at this year's Governor's Cup.EXPAND
Some of the 251 wines submitted for judging at this year's Governor's Cup.
Courtesy Colorado Wine Industry Development Board

Friday, November 15
Our state has been described as the "Napa Valley of beer" for decades now, but the continuing growth of the Colorado wine industry means it could be inching toward being known as the Napa Valley of wine. Okay, not really, but there are currently over 130 outfits making wine and mead in a state better known for its varietals of weed. On Friday, November 15, History Colorado Center, 1200 Broadway, will host Colorado UnCorked, a tasting of wines that triumphed at this year's Governor's Cup competition. From 7 to 9:30 p.m., chefs from Julep, Logan Street, Woodie Fisher and Grand Junction's Bin 707 will craft bites to pair with fourteen wines. Awarded wineries include Denver and Boulder's Bonacquisti and BookCliff, as well as the Western Slope's Carlson and Plum Creek; varietals range from Cab Franc to Nebbiolo to vermouth and Riesling. Snag your tickets ($45 or $85) on Eventbrite, where you can see the complete list of award winners.

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

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