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A New Year's Breakfast in Bed


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I plan to celebrate January 1 with a leisurely breakfast in bed, but I can’t decide if I want to party like a princess—sipping bubbly and indulging in spoonfuls of beluga—or in a more down-to-earth fashion, eating French toast or potato pancakes. Whatever I choose, I want someone else to do the cooking. I consulted seven of San Diego’s best chefs to see what they’d choose for their first meals of the new millennium and what they’d suggest for us. Read on. And then all you have to do is set up your coffeepot and set out your breakfast tray before you leave the house New Year’s Eve. Or if you believe, as do some sticklers, that the next millennium doesn’t really start till January 1, 2001, take heart: These breakfasts are available throughout the year.

“I’ll probably eat my New Year’s menu from the night before,” says chef/owner Jeffrey Strauss of Pamplemousse Grille. Like most area chefs, he’ll be too busy cooking to sit down and eat that evening.

Strauss’ second preference would be for simplicity, elegance and extravagance all at once: “Taittinger Comtes de Champagne, pancakes and eggs.” But not your ordinary pancakes and eggs—the silver dollar–size buckwheat “blini, which we make, and golden osetra caviar,” known for its nutty, Brie-like flavor. A dab of crème fraîche or sour cream, and the meal’s complete.

Pamplemousse Grille, 514 Via de la Valle, Solana Beach, 858-792-9090. Orders for caviar (beluga, osetra, sevruga) by the ounce and blini taken through Tuesday, December 28, for the 1st.

“In France, we don’t eat breakfast in bed,” says Tapenade’s French chef/owner Jean-Michel Diot. “Too many breadcrumbs.” Jean-Michel and his wife, Sylvie, will be in the restaurant until well after midnight on the 31st, then go home to ring in the new year. They’ll eat a late-morning breakfast outdoors, not in bed, because “Here, we’re so lucky to enjoy holidays without snow.”

If one drinks a little too much champagne on New Year’s Eve, the Diots recommend a recuperative breakfast of chicken soup—but with a decidedly upscale twist: “Chicken consommé with black truffle shavings would be good.” And a crisp French baguette from Bread & Cie, Jean-Michel’s choice for the best French bread in town. “A cheese, not too rich, like a petite Basque sheep’s cheese, would go nicely also.”

Tapenade, 7612 Fay Avenue, La Jolla, 858-551-7500 (closed for two weeks starting January 1). Orders for chicken consommé with truffles taken through Tuesday, December 28, for New Year’s Day (pick up orders December 31).

Can’t Remember the Night Before?

Here are some not-so-sure hangover cures offered by chefs, caterers and friends—none too scientific, good-tasting or good for you.

* A teaspoon angostura bitters in a large glass of soda water, on ice, to combat a sick stomach and headache.
* Take three aspirin. Crush one between your teeth; swallow the other two with a generous shot of tomato juice.
* Eat salted herring.
* Go back to sleep. Maybe you’ll remember everything when you wake up again.
* Keep drinking.
* Quit drinking.
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