French Cuisine Impossibly Elevated
at Addison San Diego
a seasoned food, wine, and travel writer (pardon the
pun) with scores of restaurant stories to my credit, suffice
it to say I've experienced my fair share of elegant, award-winning
eateries. However, none compare to the experience I had at Addison-the
signature restaurant of The Grand Del Mar in San Diego, California.
this inimitable restaurant, Director and Executive Chef William
Bradley's seasonal locavore-driven approach, artisanal food
sensibility, culinary prowess and apparent meticulous nature
converge, elevating contemporary French cuisine to an impossibly
high standard. This, coupled with impeccable, masterfully orchestrated
front-of-the-house service, has rightfully entrenched Addison
as one of the most revered fine dining establishments in Southern
California if not the United States at large.
restaurant is named after Addison Mizner, an architectural legend
who defined the aesthetic of the Palm Beach and Boca Raton,
Florida resort communities with his iconic style rife with Italian,
Spanish, and Mediterranean inspirations. Visiting Addison was
a gratifying and nostalgic full circle for me, as I began my
career working at the Mizner Park compound in Boca Raton. From
the impressive marble bar and flooring, massive limestone fireplace,
intricate iron and glass doorways trimmed with 22-karat gold
accents, 20-foot high pyramid ceilings and arched windows that
frame stunning views of the golf course and mountains beyond,
just to name a few interior design notables, guests are well
aware of their uber-sophisticated surroundings, duly setting
their epicurean expectations high in kind.
Chef Bradley does not merely deliver on these expectations-he
blazes well beyond with a holistic fine dining experience that
will not be forgotten. Certainly, being distinct and memorable
is what Chef Bradley well intends. When asked what sets Addison
apart from other high end eateries in the area, he noted, "Our
Tasting Menu choices allow guests to select from three different
fine dining experiences." Addison guests can, in fact,
opt for the Four-Course Experience ($98 per person)-a menu that
changes seasonally or based on last-minute availability of the
best, freshest products. Also available is a Seven-Course Carte
Blanche Menu ($175 per person) designed for those sophisticated,
adventurous diners who prefer the Chef to create a luxurious
meal that is a surprise to them. Addison also offers Le Menu
Gourmand ($235 per person) for those who desire a truly unforgettable
and very extravagant 10-course dinner.
evening of my visit, I and my guest reveled in the Four-Course
Experience where each artfully prepared and plated dish implausibly
outdid that prior. Highlights from the Summer Menu included
these first course selections: Kumamoto Oysters with preserved
lemon, horseradish, and watercress; Kona Kampachi with uni,
nori, and cucumber; and Langoustines "Croustillantes"
with parmesan, baby romaine, and avocado mousseline. Stunning
second course selections were the Porc Pressé with black
kale, scallions, and dashi and Dover Sole "Amandine"
with choufarci, crevettes, and sherry. Third course options
included the Kobe Beef Short Rib with escargot gratin and potato
croustillant and Salmon Au Beurre Salé with beets, apples,
fennel, and sauce "trois gros." And, a fourth course
favorite was the Strawberries "Feuilles de Brick"
with orange sherbet and candied orange.
distinct feature, according to Chef Bradley, is Addison's eclectic,
diverse extensive Wine Spectator Grand Award-winning wine list.
He explained, "Our team of highly credentialed sommeliers
is there to interact with guests according to the level of assistance
and depth of knowledge that each guest requests or is comfortable
with. In addition, our custom-produced, proprietary wines and
champagnes are available only at Addison and The Grand Del Mar,
making it possible for guests to be able to savor certain wines
that are not available to them anywhere else."
setting Addison well apart from the pack, Chef Bradley has established
a rigorous training program for the entire front-of-the-house
and in-the-kitchen staff, which he notes allows the restaurant
to "execute a high level of service and a quality"
and deliver a "memorable dining experience night after
night." When asked about his personal favorite aspect of
the restaurant, he replied, "I love the culinary 'ballet'
that takes place in our dining room and in my kitchen on a nightly
everyone is doing his or her job brilliantly and our guests
are obviously having a wonderful experience, I relish the synergy
of the place." And, synergistic it is, with the service
team accurately described as moving "swiftly, yet discreetly,
to ensure your experience is utterly seamless" and with
the entire evening, course by course, "perfectly paced,
like the tempo of any great symphony."
appealing to the social set, the restaurant holds various fun
and educational culinary events that involve hands-on experiences
for guests, including recent events like "The Beauty of
Baking" and "Wine Tasting Party Secrets" spearheaded
by Addison's resident Wine Director, Elizabeth Huettinger.
to the cuisine at Addison, itself, where "mastering simplicity
with a keen focus on taste and technique" is the perennial
precept, Chef Bradley's artisanal methods and refined styling
accentuate a California farm-to-table mandate bolstered by seasonal
ingredients sourced close to the restaurant. Case in point,
fully half of the produce served at Addison is procured from
Crow's Pass Farms in the neighboring city of Temecula. Chef
Bradley, a native San Diegan, has honed his distinct style and
masterful skill set in an array of notable California kitchens
where he's cultivated a life-long love for the history of food,
taste, and technique, including a successful stint at Azzura
Point at Loews Coronado Bay Resort.
under Chef Bradley's close and calculated command, Addison has
itself garnered impressive awards and accolades. Chef Bradley
proudly asserts, "It's San Diego's first and only restaurant
to win the coveted Five-Star Award from Forbes Travel Guide,
2009-2013." Addison has also received Forbes Five-Star
ratings and three stars from the Los Angeles Times-the highest
review of a restaurant outside Los Angeles county. Addison was
also named one of "America's Best New Restaurants for 2007"
by Esquire magazine and Gayot's "Top 10 U.S. Hotel Restaurants."
impressively, Chef Bradley, himself, has been designated a Relais
& Châteaux Grand Chef-one of only 162 chefs on five
continents to hold this prestigious title, and the only member
in San Diego county. The Couteaux Review, an epicurean organization
that promotes sustainable agriculture, also selected Bradley
as a recipient of the 2011 Couteaux Review Sustainability Award.
Prior to Addison, serving as Executive Chef at Vu restaurant
in Scottsdale, Arizona, Chef Bradley was a candidate for the
coveted James Beard "Rising Star Chef" award for three
consecutive years and named a "Rising Star Chef for 2006"
by the Arizona Republic.
Chef Bradley is not one to rest on his laurels. He continues
to be fueled by definitive goals to further enhance Addison's
culinary and service experience for patrons. "My long term
goal is always to better what we are already doing so well by
challenging ourselves to continue to create memorable menus
highlighted by new and exciting ingredients, and by perfecting
techniques of preparation and presentation," he said. With
a visceral understanding that an exceptional dining experience
extends well beyond menu conception and execution, Chef Bradley
emphasizes, "In addition, we are dedicated to providing
the highest level of training, support, respect and mentorship
for all of our team. We are also committed to offering resort
guests and interested members of the community fun and interesting
educational food and beverage experiences, including tastings,
classes, and events."
those hungry for a restaurant exuding a graceful European ambiance,
cultivated French cuisine from a true master, a second-to-none
wine program and flawless service, Addison awaits.
Grand Del Mar,
5200 Grand Del Mar Way,
San Diego, CA 92130
Phone: (858) 314-1900
By Merilee Kern, 'The Luxe List' Executive Editor
Luxe List" Executive Editor Merilee Kern scours the luxury
marketplace for exemplary travel experiences, extraordinary
events, and notable products and services. Submissions are accepted
Follow her on Twitter here: http://twitter.com/LuxeListEditor
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or all of the accommodations(s), experience(s), item(s) and/or
service(s) detailed above were provided at no cost to accommodate
this review, but all opinions expressed are entirely those of
Merilee Kern and have not been influenced in any way.***