The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

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December 5, 2013

Adventure on the Gorge: Winter events will make mouths water — no rafts needed

— “An event rather than a dinner” is what Jessica Campbell, event coordinator and manager, is calling a new schedule of taste experiences at Smokey’s on the Gorge near Fayetteville.

The outdoor adventure brokers at Adventures on the Gorge are maneuvering past forecasts of bad weather to showcase a second area of expertise — fine dining and entertainment. In contrast to heavy rafting months, their winter appeal is more localized, drawing patrons whose interests are relaxation over adrenaline. The off-season planning includes themed dinners, space for holiday parties and ladies’ nights out with a twist.

Friday night will mark the third dinner in Adventures’ “taste of the world” series happening in the seasonally-enclosed dining area at Smokey’s, beginning with cocktails at 6 p.m. and dinner at 7 p.m. At $29.95 per person, the menu will include elegantly layered Italian flavors like wild mushroom ravioli, sautéed mussels and Scallops Pescatore.

Seating is family style and dishes are portioned into tasting sizes so patrons won’t be too stuffed to sample each course. Still, says Campbell, diners won’t leave hungry, body or soul.

“This is a two-and-a-half hour event with bread, salad and three different entrees,” she describes, adding that it is growing into a popular social opportunity, where couples and groups may come as strangers but often leave as friends.

“Many who were seated together as strangers have scheduled to come back and be seated together again at the next event, so it’s also a way to meet other people.”

Upcoming events ranging from $30 and $40 per person include a Jan. 18 “Murder at the Deadwood Saloon” murder mystery dinner with a Texas BBQ buffet, a Jan. 24 Thai Dinner and a Feb. 7 California Dreamin’ Flavors and Wines of Napa pairing.

Reservations are required for all, including Friday’s dinner.

In addition to planned dinners and space for parties, Adventures is creating bonding opportunities for lady visitors with its Women, Wine and Wednesdays events, where women gather from 7 to 9 p.m. for a glass of wine and a scheduled craft or activity.

Preserving the famous Gorge views Smokey’s is known for inside a temperature controlled environment was an important upgrade for the resort. In 2012, a retractable windowed enclosure was added to the restaurant for year-round utility and for hosting winter weddings.

“We are trying to create more opportunities and things to do for people in the area,” Campbell explains.

For information and updates, visit www.adventurewestvirginia.com/site/adventure-resort/events.html or “like” Smokey’s on the Gorge on Facebook.

— E-mail: lshrewsberry@register-herald.com

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