Happy Valentines day you all! Around here we actually like to call it Happy Mike’s Birthday Day (yeah go ahead and wish him Happy Birthday!). For a while I thought it would be very fun to get together with good friends, good food, and great drink all for one romantic evening to celebrate. So when Shea Petaja asked me about getting together for a dinner this Winter it felt like the perfect time to make this dream a reality and hold A Simple Evening Valentines Dinner.
We held the dinner indoors at Shea’s apartment and I couldn’t have chosen a better place. The space was warm and cozy with an amazing view of the snow covered trees outside. I worked with Hillary to plan and create the whole decor. She hand-lettered all of the place cards and gave me thumbs ups and downs on decor ideas like any good friend should. We created napkins with hearts and arrows to place on a simple black table cloth. To make things even cozier we placed white candles all down the center of the table to help create a romantic glow as the evening grew darker. It made for the perfect runner on the long table.
The evening kicked off with everyone slowly trickling in and chattering and catching up on each other’s lives. You heard talk about Winter and how people have been traveling. There was talk about the excitement of Spring and new ideas for business or the congratulations on babies and engagements.
As more people arrived we prepared the table for the first course of the meal that Centre Street Cafe had prepared for the night. Personally I had been drooling over the menu all week since I had made the menues earlier on before the event. I knew what was coming and I couldn’t have been more excited for what was planned.
Before the first course was served we began opening the wines from Good Harbor Vineyards. The winemaker, Sam told us of the grapes and where they came from, the process they go through, and why he chose them for the evening. If you are ever in Traverse make the trip to Good Harbor. The wines are superb! Especially the bubbly!!
As the first course was served Shea got up and read a quote from Robert Farrar Capon‘s The Supper of the Lamb, which said:
“To be sure, food keeps us alive, but that is only its smallest and most temporary work. Its eternal purpose is to furnish our sensibilities against the day when we shall sit down at the heavenly banquet and see how gracious the Lord is. Nourishment is necessary only for a while; what we shall need forever is taste. … Food is the daily sacrament of unnecessary goodness, ordained for a continual remembrance that the world will always be more delicious than it is useful. Necessity is the mother only of cliches. It takes playfulness to make poetry.”
We then cheered to good friends, love and great meals. Not sure that there is anything better to cheers to in life, is there? The snow slowly fell as we took our first bites of the meal from Centre Street and conversation began about life and the things we dream to accomplish in this coming year.
During our meal we were serenaded by Myles Boothroyd on the saxophone. It was the exact kind of music you want to hear on an evening such as this. It felt romantic and joyful in all the right ways.
Evenings like this never fail to amaze me. I would love to say that Summers are best for these things but now I may have to say that these long cold days of Winter feel warmer because of moments like this. You remember why life is so amazing even on the dreariest of days. Though, the truth is, the soul needs evenings like this no matter the season.
Happy Valentines day my friends. I hope you find time to celebrate the love of those who mean the most to you. I hope your evening or weekend includes candles, warmth, and the people who make life that much more beautiful for you.
Big thank you’s to:
Food courtesy of: Centre Street Cafe in Traverse City
Wine courtesy of: Good Harbor Vineyard
Hosted by: Shea Petaja
Photos Courtesy of: Weber Photography
Design and Decor done by: Megan Gilger and Hillary Voight