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The Six Best Culinary Events This Weekend — Including Deals for Veterans

Think you'll get this delicious dish at Dio Mio's second-anniversary party? Think again, sucker.EXPAND
Think you'll get this delicious dish at Dio Mio's second-anniversary party? Think again, sucker.
Danielle Lirette
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Beers and brats, spirits and cereal: It's an eclectic weekend of birthday celebrations, pastry, breakfast and beer (not at the same time, though that would be something). Keep reading for the six best events on the food and drink scene this weekend, including some great Veterans Day deals for active duty and retired military.

Pick your poison this Friday at Making Spirits Bright.EXPAND
Pick your poison this Friday at Making Spirits Bright.
Courtesy Making Spirits Bright Facebook

Friday, November 9
How much would you pay for four long, long hours of unlimited spirits sampling? If your suggestion is over $25, we've got a deal for you. On Friday, November 9, Making Spirits Bright is taking over Exdo Event Center, 3500 Walnut Street, with eighteen craft distilleries (including Golden Moon Distillery, Leopold Bros., Rocker Spirits and Woods High Mountain Distillery) serving up nearly 100 spirits and cocktails from 5 to 9 p.m. for a mere $25 ($50 VIP) — and if you're still upright after that, an after-party from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. with a cash bar and DJ is included in the ticket price. Get your tickets at comakingspiritsbright.com.

Get a taste of one of these beauties at Sugar Bakeshop on Saturday.
Get a taste of one of these beauties at Sugar Bakeshop on Saturday.
Courtesy Sugar Bakeshop

Saturday, November 10
It's no secret that we here at Westword love pie: meat pies, hand pies, savory pies, fruit pies, shepherd's pie, empanadas, pizzas, cheesecakes (what? they have crusts), khachapuri, whoopie pies, even tarts (the double-crust pie's snooty, pretentious cousin) — we love them all. Thus, the best part of the holiday season is the sudden appearance of pies on the table. And on Saturday, November 10, Sugar Bakeshop at 277 Broadway is having a pie-tasting day in anticipation of Thanksgiving. From 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., mini-slices of the bakery's pies will be available so you can sample the offerings before you place your order. As a bonus, gluten-free pumpkin, pecan and chocolate cream pies will be for sale alongside traditional apple, blueberry, coconut cream and chocolate bourbon pecan. Visit Sugar's Facebook page for more details — and don't cut in front of us in line. It'll get nasty.

In a world of bizarre news, the idea of restaurateurs making their living selling bowls of cereal is right up there in terms of craziness — but it's also delightfully un-polarizing and innocent. So the fact that The Cereal Box, 5709 Olde Wadsworth Boulevard in Arvada, has stayed in business pouring cereal and milk into bowls and topping it off with all manner of candy for a year already is indeed something to celebrate. The primary-colored shop is celebrating its anniversary on Saturday, November 10, from 2 to 10 p.m. with discounts for customers who show up in pajamas, cereal birthday cake, a Johnny Cupcake pop-up bakery starting at 7 p.m., and Funko giveaways (kind of like finding the toy surprise in your cereal box). Mix your own combo of cereals from around the world and top it off with gummy bears, Oreos, Reese's Pieces or even some flavored milk (why, hello, peanut butter milk) before chowing down on a Pop Tart ice cream sandwich for dessert. Find the details and the wonderfully wacky menu on the Cereal Box website.

We are the weirdos, mister. Join us at Nitro Fest.EXPAND
We are the weirdos, mister. Join us at Nitro Fest.
Brandon Marshall

Fans of the soft and creamy mouthfeel of nitrogenated beers won't want to miss Left Hand Brewing Company's fifth annual Nitro Fest on Saturday, November 10. Colorado breweries will be well represented at the invite-only festival (Upslope and 4 Noses are our favorites), but in keeping with tradition, national and international outfits (including brewers from Italy, South Korea, Japan, Croatia, the U.K. and Hungary) will also be on hand pouring exclusively nitro beers. The fun runs from 5 to 10 p.m. at the brewery, 1265 Boston Avenue in Longmont, and includes performances by marching bands, aerialists and fire dancers while encouraging drinkers to show up in something called "voodoo masquerade formal." (Does that fall somewhere between "black tie optional" and "fancy cocktail"? Perhaps Miss Manners will know.) Tickets are $75 or $100 and are still available, along with a complete list of participating breweries, on Left Hand Brewing's website.

Acova's lobster mac is just one of the decadent 50-percent-off menu items for active military and vets on Sunday.EXPAND
Acova's lobster mac is just one of the decadent 50-percent-off menu items for active military and vets on Sunday.
Larina Chen

Sunday, November 11
One of Denver's best pasta restaurants, Dio Mio Handmade Pasta, is celebrating its second birthday on Sunday, November 11. The obvious choice for the celebration would be the same toothsome pasta that has drawn crowds (and raves) to the joint at 3264 Larimer Street since its opening. But instead, the kitchen is ditching the noodles for a day and going with hot dogs. Yes, seriously. For $30, guests can eat their fill of sausages and sides, plus unlimited suds from Our Mutual Friend Brewing Co. from 5 to 8 p.m. We hear two-year-olds can be contrary, but this is ridiculous — though certainly delicious. Get your tickets at nightout.com for the most incongruous birthday party this weekend.

Sunday, November 11, is Veterans Day, and in honor of those who have served in the U.S. armed forces, a handful of eateries around town are offering deals for active military and vets. Acova, the neighborhood joint that recently opened in the home of the late, legendary Patsy's at 3651 Navajo Street, is offering 50 percent off anything on the menu for military members. All Post Brewing Co. locations will serve veterans a free two-piece chicken plate with mashed potatoes and a beer during dinner service. And while Denver's Pizzeria Locales aren't offering discounts on their pies, 50 percent of all Sunday sales will be donated to the Colorado Veterans Project. This way, you can support the troops and still get a great meal.

Keep reading for future food and drink events.

There's no reason to be bitter at Coperta.EXPAND
There's no reason to be bitter at Coperta.
Danielle Lirette

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. 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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