Addison — The Grand Del Mar, ‘Fit for Royalty’
By David Rottenberg
Ever wonder what it would be like to live like a king? With the recent marriage between William and Kate (now Duke and Duchess of Cambridge), there has been a renewed interest in royalty. Many little girls worldwide now have fantasized of marrying a prince and have dreamed of living in a palace, where staff fulfilled every wish, where every desire was gratified.
There’s a shortage of princes (William has only one brother) so marriage may not be the road to the castle. But one can get a taste of the good life (no pun intended) by dining at Addison, located at The Grand Del Mar Resort. The staff is amazingly attentive without being obtrusive, the setting is magnificent and the cuisine is … well … fit for royalty.
Be forewarned, though. Dining with high society can come with a high price tag. One may have to pawn the family jewels to have the full experience.
The setting could not be more magnificent. The road to the restaurant’s spacious bricked courtyard is a narrow two-lane road lined with trees and luxurious landscaping fronting a tranquil resort, a golf course and large, gorgeous homes.
The restaurant and resort buildings could have housed Lorenzo de Medici. They have strong Italian architectural styling. Architecturally, they are simply beautiful, with earthtone coloring, sloping tile roof and a domed tower. To enter the resort, one’s vehicle glides around a sumptuous Roman-like fountain with horse’s heads spewing water, supervised by a god-like Jupiter figure.
A wide porte cochere protects arriving guests to the resort from the vagaries of weather. A short distance away, one enters Addison through a magnificent arched glass door. The restaurant is named after Addison Mizner, an architectural visionary whose design approach launched the Florida Renaissance in the 1920s. The entry path leads, if followed all the way through, onto a patio that overlooks a beautiful golf course.
I began a delightful evening with drinks on the patio to enjoy the warmth of the slowly setting sun. A huge white swan swam lazily in the pond at the edge of the golf course, offering glorious entertainment to accompany the fine wine and tasty candied nuts.
A beautiful book-lined lounge is called The Library and houses an imposing 13-foot-high carved limestone fireplace. A full service bar, made of handcrafted wood and topped by solid stone, is adjacent to The Library. The large main dining room has a large fireplace, interesting metal chandeliers, inlaid limestone and aubergine marble flooring and a vaulted roof supported by large wooden beams. Tables are set with 100 percent Egyptian cotton linens and china by Rosenthal. In short, the setting is sophisticated and elegant, fit for royalty.
The culinary team that makes Addison so special is that of Executive Chef William Bradley and Wine Director and Advanced Sommelier Jesse Rodriguez. Both have received major recognition for their talents. Bradley grew up in San Diego and worked under the legendary James Boyce at Loews Azzura Point in Coronado. Later, he went with Boyce to the Phoenician Resort in Scottsdale. His dishes are in the French style, with California touches. He focuses on simplicity and flavor, utilizing fresh seasonal products. Among his many honors, he has received the designation of Grand Chef from Relais & Châteaux, one of only 160 chefs worldwide to be so named.
Under Bradley’s direction, Addison has been awarded both the highly coveted AAA Five Diamond and Forbes Five Star Awards for the last three years – the first and only restaurant in San Diego to receive these designations. While still in Scottsdale, Bradley was named a candidate for the coveted James Beard “Rising Star Chef” award for three consecutive years.
Jesse Rodriguez was chosen as “Best Sommelier” by readers of Ranch & Coast: San Diego’s Luxury Lifestyle Magazine for three consecutive years. Addison also received the prestigious Wine Spectator Grand Award in 2009 and 2010; and the 2010 “Wine Restaurant of the Year” Award, as well as the Wine Hospitality Award for Hotel/Resort Fine Dining for three consecutive years, from Santé magazine. He assembled Addison’s collection of over 35,000 bottles and its wine list of over 3,000 labels from vintners worldwide.
Addison was named one of “America’s Best New Restaurants for 2007” by Esquire magazine and one of 10 of “America’s Best Spots for Wine” by Forbes.com. The impressive wine list compiled by Rodriguez was also named “One of Seven Winning Wine Lists for 2007” by Food & Wine.
Rodriguez greatly enjoys wine pairings to the delightful dishes prepared by Williams. The menu, which changes seasonally, lists four servings, with four choices for each serving. But, don’t be surprised when servers bring other items, such as amuse bouche to clear the palate, or special side dishes. Williams greatly enjoys delighting his guests.
The current menu may change soon. But, on that evening, the “first choice” listed such items as Calamari Grille and Butter Baked Broccoli. The “second choice” included Alaska Sablefish and Coddled Farm Egg. The “third choice” following the appetizers include Wild and Lamb Rack. The flavors of the items on each plate are placed to enhance each other. The “fourth choice” of desserts include Carmelized Banana Bread and Coconut Custard.
If meat and potatoes comprise one’s basic diet, Addison may not be the place to visit. Bradley is an artist, not a cook. His servings may be small but they are more than adequate to create a pallet for his skill to please both the eye and the palate. His platings are colorful arrays of his culinary creations. And the flavors “speak” for themselves.
Addison is expensive but, whether one goes only to celebrate special events or if one can afford to go every night of the week, the experience of Addison is always memorable.
Addison is located at 5200 Grand Del Mar Way, San Diego, CA 92130. Reservations are necessary. Call (858) 314-1900 for assistance and information.grand del mar, san diego grand del mar, san diego metro magazine