The morning started out with Ian telling me that we had a personal chef coming over to prepare dinner for us at our friends' home. He did such a great job of researching local chefs and getting a menu selected... all as a surprise. Our friends were so gracious to open their home for this awesome dinner and had the dining room set up beautifully.
I was originally planning to wear a dress but ended up going with a favorite (non-maternity) top and some black satin capris.
This group ... I just love them so much. We had five couples for dinner and it was such a perfect way to end 2013.
The dinner was prepared by Chef Garrett Tallent at Bon Vivant Culinary. Chef Tallent and his sous-chef Chad were extremely professional and friendly. They refilled our cocktails and wine (and sparkling cider) and kept the kitchen clean and tidy while preparing an absolute feast. Menus were at each place setting describing each of the four courses. Chef Tallent and Chad also came to the table to present each course, describing it and seeing if there was anything we needed.
We started off with Maine lobster ravioli ...
... and then made our way to a beet salad ...
... and ended up with sorghum-glazed pork tenderloin with hoppin' john and collard greens with an onion marmalade.
Oh my goodness ... it was all so delicious. And as we ate and chatted, Chef Tallent and Chad washed all of the dishes and had the kitchen sparkling again. These guys were absolutely on it.
Dessert was a course that we went light on, but boy were these little tartlets tasty!
We will most definitely be using Bon Vivant again! If you are in or around Charlotte, I can't recommend this company enough. Everyone decided unanimously that we'll go this route for New Years next year, too!
Before midnight, we headed out to the patio and got ready for the countdown to midnight! I was thrilled that I made it this late ... especially with Welch's sparkling grape juice as my drink of choice (which hasn't been a part of my New Years tradition since I was 20 ... or 17 if we are really being honest, haha).
We all counted down together as the ball dropped, and we ended the night with smooches and hugs! I know 2014 will be a great one filled with a lot of new adventures. I can't think of a better way to ring in the new year!