Make dinner reservations in advance at the Old Jailhouse, where chef and owner Tina Houston specializes in Indian cuisine ( 262-5000). Now, we know this may be new culinary territory you're exploring, so our recommendation (and Tina's) is the Meat Thali ($19.50), a platter with three entrées, enough for two to share. This perfect Indian introduction includes Lamb Vindaloo, Chicken Kashmiri, and Shrimp Korma accompanied by dahl, which is a split pea soup, chapati (unleavened flat bread), basmati rice, and Samosa (pea-and-potato pastry with date-and-raisin chutney).
Sunday: Fishing for Fun in the Mountains
Set out for a morning drive on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Remember to keep it below 45 mph, and, if it has snowed, call (828) 298-0398, or visit www.nps.gov/blri/ to check accessibility.
Back in Boone, settle in for brunch at Coffey's ( 264-3663). All the menu items are made from scratch and range from $7 to $12. We liked the gingersnap waffles ($7).
Head west from town, out State 105 to the little community of Foscoe, and stop in at Staffordshire Antiques (1-888-768-8677). Owner Michael Hegarty carries mostly English and French antique furniture, accessories, and architectural pieces.
Before leaving the area, schedule a half-day, all-equipment-included, fly-fishing excursion ($125 per person) with Foscoe Fishing Company & Outfitters ( 963-6556). Their Orvis-endorsed instructors will help you find the brown and rainbow trout, even in the off-season, no matter your skill level. Because tourists aren't around as much this time of year, you may just have the river all to yourself.
With more than 36 years of ski patrol experience, Gil Adams of Ski Beech shares some tips for the first-timer.
- If you've never skied, take at least one lesson before you begin. Ski Beech offers group ($17 per hour) and private ($42 per hour) lessons daily.
- Know your limits. Don't attempt to ski beyond your ability.
- Wear layers: an outer shell of wind- and waterproof material over insulated clothing.
- Wear sunglasses or goggles for the glare and to protect your eyes from snow or rain.
- Wear heavy, waterproof gloves every time you ski, regardless of temperature.
- Wear a hat, especially one that protects your ears.