Local Eatery Will Raffle Bottle of Wine
Local Eatery Will Raffle Bottle of Wine
By Frank Ruggiero
Joe's Italian Kitchen is uncorking a savory bottle of good will for the Watauga County Project on Aging.
All Wataugans have to do is donate $2 for a raffle ticket. The lucky winner can celebrate the donation- and Valentine's Day- with a six-liter bottle of wine.
"People who are celebrating for the (Valentine's Day) weekend could have this huge bottle wine," said Joe Cafaro, owner of and the Joe in Joe's Italian Kitchen.
The bottle, valued at $150, was donated by Tryon Distributors and is a Feudo Monaci Primitivo 2002 from the Puglia region of Italy. Cafaro doesn't claim to be an aficionado, though he does enjoy a good glass of vino.
"I'm not a huge collector, but every wine used in the store is hand-picked by me personally," he said. "Primitivo is an exceleent wine- a little dry and a little fruity, it goes very well with just about every meal that's served in our establishment here."
Now underway, the raffle has, so far, raised only $10 or so. In October, Joe's held a similar raffle/fundraiser for a gingerbread house with proceeds benefiting the Grandfather Home for Children in Banner Elk. Donors had the option of contributing anonymously for the Grandfather Home, or winning and receiving the gingerbread house.
About $140 was raised, and Cafaro rounded the numebr to $150 out of his own pocket. With the bottle of wine up for raffle, though, Cafaro hopes ticket-buying will be less dry and more full-bodied.
"I don't expect anyone to put 'anonymous' on their tickets like they did with the gingerbread house," he said. "I think whoever wins this would want to take it home."
The winner will be announced Feb. 11, the Friday before Valentine's Day, and Joe's will contact the lucky party, undoubtedly telling them to procure a giant corkscrew.
The winner could toast the first glass to Project on Aging, a department of the county government that, according to its Web site, "encourages independence and promotes wellness by providing supportive services to the county's older adults."
The organization provides in-home aide services, home-delivered meals, a community alternatives program for disabled adults, a medical loan closet, and information and referral services.
Executive director Angie Boitnotte said Project on Aging intends to use the money raised by Joe's for its home-delivered meals program.
"It's a program for citizens over 60, who are homebound and unable to prepare a well-balanced meal," Boitnotte said. "We serve them one meal a day to try to meet at least one third of the RDA (recommended deal/dietary allowance), five days a week."
Boitnotte said any donations to Project on Aging go directly towards enhancement of the organization's numerous services.
"We really appreciate [Joe's] donation, and any donation we get," Boitnotte said. "Any donations we get go into providing additional services for the elderly citizens of Watauga County, so it goes directly into direct service. None of it goes to overhead."
For more information on the Project on Aging, or to make a donation, call 262-8090 or visit http://wataugacounty.org/aging/ on the Web.
Joe's Italian Valentine's Day
By Feb. 14, the gargantuan bottle of wine will be gone, but there will be plenty more to go around at Joe's Italian Kitchen's Third Annual Valentine's Day Dinner.
For the reservation-only engagement, diners will be treated to a candlelight dinner, complete with a seven-course meal and live music courtesy of Ken Laderoute of the local musical duo Laditude.
The dinner starts at 7 p.m. and lasts about for hours, Cafaro said.
The meal consists of items not typically served at Joe's, but cooked there that night, nonetheless. It starts off with a glass of champagne or wine, followed by shrimp provencal, tomato Florentine in puff pastry, various focaccia breads, Caesar salad and strawberry-mint intermezzo.
The main course in chicken spiedini and pork finnocchio with roasted potato crowns. For dessert, diners can enjoy a strawberry cream puff dipped in chocolate.
Though Valentine's Day is the focal point of the dinner, the day is particularly special for the Cafaro family. That night, Cafaro will celebrate the 56th wedding anniversary of his parents, Anthony and Helen Cafaro.
With the exceptions of his parents, Cafaro said the Valentine's dinner can accommodate about 30 couples, and "When it's full, it's full- that's it."
The cost is $125, which includes tax and gratuity. This also includes a friendly gesture by Cafaro upon the evening's conclusion.
"At the end of dinner, I hand out longstem roses to all the ladies," he said.