Dara and James write:

It was our proudest culinary moment of the year. For James’s birthday in December we put together the following menu for six of our friends.

Hors d'oeuvres : Grandma Shipley’s cheese dip (equal portions mayonnaise and grated sharp cheddar cheese, with a bit of chopped onion, baked in a dish for 15 minutes). Green olives from Whole Foods.

Main course: Cider braised pork shoulder with caramelized onions with 4 lb deboned pork shoulder butt from Flying Pigs Farm (Union Square Greenmarket); thinly sliced brussels sprouts with purple cippolini onions and lime juice; mustard roasted potatoes; sour dough levain bread from Our Daily Bread (USG)

Dessert: 7 inch strawberry shortcake from Veneiro's bakery. It's a light cake, perfect after a heavy meal.


Cocktails: 2 bottles Lini lambrusco bianco (sparkling)

Wine: 1 Vigna del Noce 1997 Barbera d’Asti from Trinchero Renato;
1 Rocche 2001 Barolo

Digestives: 2 Braida Giacomo Bologna 2006 Brachetto d’Acqui (sparkling red sweet wine, first sampled in Turin at Cambio); amaro

All wine from Vino, New York.