We intentionally made this a very light dinner, since R was making P2 a special birthday cake (delayed one day b/c they had been in SF on her b/day) and we wanted to have room for it w/o feeling stuffed.
P2 said she liked mushrooms, but the variety in her experience was low, so I got some hen-of-the-woods, cleaned up the “leaves” and made a sauce just with butter, salt, and pepper. They probably cooked about 5 minutes, but it could have been longer. I cooked up 8 oz of linguine for the 5 of us, and we had leftovers.
D made up some green beans. Writing the 7th, so not sure but I think they had some shallots in them, always a good touch. He also put together a very nice salad with romaine from a perfectly lovely, crispy head he just bought, and some baby wild arugula left over from I think a pizza last week.
After having Kono (I think) for “cooking wine,” D chose a 2011 Montepulciano d’Abruzzo from Barone Cornacchia, which we all liked very much (and have since bought more of at The Wine Mine).
The cake was extraordinary, with buttercream filling between the layers, and a thick chocolate coating topped with candied walnuts, both regular and (amazingly) red ones.
For fun, I used a (non)set of placemats and napkins I got ages ago, I think at the Crate & Barrel outlet here. I mix and match them on the table.