Eastside Road, January 1, 2012—TRADITIONALLY A DAY of visiting, no? So today we went out to brunch with a couple of friends, who'd dined chez nous last night to see the new year in. Brunch is not my favorite sort of meal: I'm hungry by the time it rolls around, and of course I've already had my coffee, who can wait that long for the first coffee? But after last night's dinner of duck breasts — and yesterday's lunch of duck rillettes — what should be on the brunch menu but a nice duck-leg confit. I didn't hesitate a minute. The accompanying salad was a little strange — red beet, yellow beet, Belgian endive, a slice of orange — but the duck was fine.
Virgin Mary• Barndiva, 231 Center St., Healdsburg; 707.431.0100
Then, after a brief rest at home, out to another friend's for dinner — three couples, all old friends. Here we had braised chicken and rice and a green salad and a lot of fun: a fine way to start the year.
Martini; Champagne; Pinot noirs: La Crema, 2010; Trioni (private label), 2010; Cabernet sauvignon, Simi, 2003 (mature and nicely balanced, thanks Kendall!)