I had a lovely birthday yesterday.

I woke around 4:00 a.m. and could not go back to sleep, but that problem was moot when the plumbers called at 7:30 a.m. to say they were on their way to fix the leak in the water line that supplies my house. I was up for the long haul at that point.

I hope your experience with plumbers is as good as mine with Lenny’s Plumbing, and I heartily recommend them despite the abomination that is their website. Their motto should be some variation on: “WHAT, YOU WANT US TO BE GOOD AT PLUMBING, OR GOOD AT WEB DESIGN?”

I planned to cook something for myself on my birthday, and when I was at Martin’s Wine Cellar over the weekend, I picked up a frozen medallion of foie gras. I figured I could throw $9 at a couple of ounces of fatty duck liver once a year.

I was not disappointed with my decision, because while I did spend about $9 for six bites of food, I enjoyed the process – and the result.

Foie gras is mostly fat. If you cook it too long, it will essentially melt. The thing to do is sear it quickly in a very hot pan. I did that and served it over a piece of toasted baguette from Bellegarde, with a salad of arugula from my garden and a blood orange sauce.

I found the recipe for the sauce at Serious Eats, and it involved poaching a whole orange in a spiced simple syrup for an hour, then putting it in a blender with the resulting liquid. As I had never before puréed an entire orange, I was intrigued. After straining, the resulting sauce was a bit thinner than intended, but it tasted delicious and I now have two cups of orange-cinnamon-cardamom simple syrup in my fridge in addition to a fair amount of leftover purée.

In the image attached, you may note white and purple flowers in the salad. The white flowers are arugula; the purple are wood sorrel. Odds are good that if you are outside and look down, you’ll see them popping up among what looks like clover. They have a tart flavor.

In other news, Avo is now serving brunch on Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

An excerpt from the press release:

A sample of Chef Lama’s brunch menu starts with small plates including a house-made pastry basket ($15), pesto deviled eggs ($9), meatballs and polenta ($14), and an everything spice bagel flatbread with smoked salmon, capers, red onion and leek cream ($15). Large plates include spaghetti alla carbonara ($18), tuna and orzo ($21), hanger steak & soft scrambled eggs ($24) and eggs in a hole in purgatory, which is gnocchi alla Romana, egg, sausage, peppers, and arrabbiata ($19). Lama also offers sides of fingerling potato, polenta parmigiana or house-made Italian sausage ($5).

Brunch is not my jam, as the kids say, but that looks pretty good. Check out the seizure-inducing gif at restaurantavo.com if you would like to know more.