ValenTimes

By Frank Ruggiero (frank@mountaintimes.com)



Article Published: Feb. 12 | Modified: Feb. 17
ValenTimes


Move over, Virginia. The High Country is for lovers.

And with Valentine’s Day this Friday, Feb. 14, now’s the chance to prove it. Here are a few suggestions to make this holiday one to remember. For even more ideas, see our other Valentine’s roundup at http://mountaintimes.com/community-events/articles/Make-It-a-Date-id-024973.



Dinner for Two

As Dean Martin once crooned, “When the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie, that’s amore.” And that’s Joe’s Jazzed Up at Joe’s Italian Kitchen (190 Boone Heights Drive, Boone), which will be offering a special Valentine’s dinner for lovers this Friday, Feb. 14.

Owner Joe Cafaro and staff will prepare a special four-course meal, featuring shrimp stuffed with crabmeat, a choice of spicy crab soup or tossed salad, an entrée choice of veal spiedini, chicken Cordon bleu or prime rib and dessert of brownie and apple tart a la mode, with two tuxedo strawberries.

There will be two seatings, one at 5:30 p.m. and the other at 7 p.m. Cost is $79.50 per couple, gratuity and tax not included, and pre-paid reservations get $10 off. If seating is still available, admission at the door costs $100. Reservations are strongly suggested, and Cafaro said seats are going fast. For more information, or to make a reservation, call (828) 263-9200.

Can’t find a reservation for Valentine’s Day? No problem. Rick Pedroni and his staff at Casa Rustica (1348 N.C. 105, Boone) are offering couples three nights of Valentine’s dinner, with their special menu available Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

“We’ll have our famous stuffed chicken, certified Angus filet mignon, lobster ravioli and some wonderful homemade desserts, such as Krispy Kreme bread pudding,” Pedroni said, adding that Casa Rustica’s regular menu will also be available.

Dinner starts at 5 p.m. nightly, and reservations are highly recommended. To make one, call (828) 262-5128, or book online at http://www.casarustica1981.com.

Timberlake’s Restaurant at Chetola Resort (500 Main St., Blowing Rock) has painted the very picture of a Valentine’s dinner. With a special seating from 5 to 9:30 p.m. Friday, the Valentine’s dinner costs $75 per couple and includes two soups or salads, two glasses of wine, two entrée specials and one dessert to share, although the regular menu will also be available. For reservations and more information, call (828) 295-5505.

The Hotel Tavern (5 W. Main St., West Jefferson) takes Valentine’s Day into the weekend, with dinner and music Saturday, Feb. 15, from 6 to 9 p.m. Vocalist Maureen Renihan and Jim Fleri (of The Lucky Strikes Classic Jazz Band) will perform, bringing with them a repertoire of jazz, swing and blues standards.



Barter for Love

Make it a date with a trip off the mountain to Abingdon, Va.’s historic Barter Theatre, which celebrates the grand opening of its new dining experience, Bob’s at Barter, on Feb. 14. Located at Barter Stage II, the new dining space is opening just in time to serve patrons before an evening performance of “Man of La Mancha” on Barter’s main stage.

“When we started this renovation, we knew the two key things we had to get right were the food and ambience,” director of patron services Lori Hester said in a news release. “The new Bob’s at Barter is much more than a snack bar. It’s a place you’d want to bring friends or a date and have lunch or dinner.”

For Valentine’s Day, Barter is staging a “sweet deal package,” featuring two tickets to “Man of La Mancha,” which starts at 8 p.m. Friday, along with two gourmet coffees and desserts at Bob’s at Barter, all for $85.

“Man of La Mancha” opens Feb. 13 and is a celebrated musical interpretation of Miguel de Cervantes’s classic novel, “Don Quixote.” Featuring a variety of Broadway standards, including “Dream the Impossible Dream” and “Dulcinea,” the musical claimed five Tony Awards when it first opened in 1966.

On its second stage, Barter is featuring “Don’t Cry For Me, Margaret Mitchell” at 8 p.m. Friday. This “hilarious, irreverent and mostly true” comedy offers audiences a madcap glimpse of how “Gone with the Wind” came to be the classic film it is today.

For more information, or to book a package or tickets for any of Barter’s productions, visit http://www.bartertheatre.com, or call (276) 628-3991.



The Art of Romance

Make a Valentine memory fit for framing at the Blowing Rock Art and History Museum (159 Chestnut St., Blowing Rock), which will be offering half-priced admission and 10-percent off all museum merchandise and items in the gift shop on Saturday, Feb. 15, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.



A Novel Idea

North Carolina author Madhavi Krevat is offering lovers a way to forever preserve their Valentine’s memories — through their own personalized romance novel.

Krevat has written “A Ren Faire to Remember,” the newest release from YourNovel.com, purveyors of personalized romance novels, and is offering couples the opportunity to star in her work.

By completing a simple online form, including details like names, eye and hair color, occupation, friends, favorite music and other personal details, couples can become part of a romantic adventure in an actual novel. And when it comes to the romantic interludes, the book can be made “mild or wild,” depending on the couple’s tastes, according to YourNovel.com.

“There is nothing I love more than tales of kings, queens, knights in shining armor, dragons and wizards,” Krevat said in a news release. “I wanted to write a fantastical adventure for people who share this passion for fantasy and romance.

“My story starts at a renaissance fair in London, where the starring couple meets the most interesting people, sees colorful sights and experiences a time when chivalry was still alive and romance and adventure ruled the day. After they meet a mysterious stranger, our hero and heroine are suddenly transported to a medieval, mythical land, where brave knights serve a legendary king, where magic is real, where bravery, honor and true love save the day.”

To read an excerpt from “A Ren Faire to Remember,” visit http://www.yournovel.com/Excerpts.aspx?sku=86.

Paperback editions start at $40, although there are also e-book options for some titles, starting at $10, as well as hardbacks, starting at $68. Couples can add their photo to the book cover for $25.

Although print editions won’t arrive on time for Valentine’s Day, e-books can be ordered up through Feb. 14 at http://www.yournovel.com.

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