Addison at the Grand Del Mar — nothing short of a luxurious dining sanctuary of solitudey

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(Courtesy Photo)

Chef William Bradley (Courtesy Photo)

Appointed with a mélange of materials imported from Italy, the stage has been dramatically set with an elegant European ambiance of intricate iron and glass doorways trimmed with 22-karat gold accents, glorious arched windows, a commanding wood bar, four limestone fireplaces, terrace seating, and a cavalcade of polished servers to care for your every fancy. “I feel the atmosphere at Addison is warm, inviting, and elegant,” says Executive Chef William Bradley. “The biggest draw is the beautiful balance of food, wine, and service. It’s like watching an orchestra.”

Inspired by the bounty of Mother Nature and believing strongly in sourcing only the highest quality organic and natural products, Bradley creates the ultimate in treasured eating experiences, proving that the sensual, soulful pleasures of the table can co-exist with grace. “I like to bring diversity and creativity to the table by cooking from the heart,” he says. “My motto in the kitchen is to ‘let your hands do the talking’.” Guests will be duly rewarded with contemporary French cuisine featuring intense flavors from local California ingredients. In fact, half of the produce served at Addison is procured from Crow’s Pass Farms in Temecula. A gratifying example is a whole Dover Sole Sur Le Plat roasted in the oven with bright green garden basil and served with a confit of capers, and a croustillant of garlic (crispy garlic). “I like to visit farms regularly for inspiration,” says Bradley. “My cuisine focuses on the flavor and balance of seasonal ingredients while allowing me the freedom to change the menu regularly depending on what’s available.”

Scottish Salmon (Courtesy Photo)

Scottish Salmon (Courtesy Photo)

Driven by the history of food itself, Bradley’s emphasis is on mastering simplicity, with a keen focus on taste and technique. Celebrating the fruits of the sea, one of his personal favorites is the Baby Sea Scallops with fennel purée and saffron clam jus. The preparation for this dish are four beautiful baby sea scallops sautéed in a little butter and served over a purée of fennel and saffron clam sauce. “My philosophy with cuisine is driven by ingredients and techniques; not trends,” says Bradley. “Trends are like fashion – here today, gone tomorrow.”

A stellar menu boasts enticement and temptation ranging from baked Scottish Salmon with péquin pepper confiture and horseradish crèmeux, to butternut squash and foie gras ravioli with malmsey Madeira consommé. Other menu highlights include warm potato gnocchi with ricotta fondue, arugula and preserved lemon, roasted veal tenderloin with jus de cèpes and smoked potato purée, lemon-lime tartelettes with red cranberry confiture and panna cotta with seasonal citrus and Tahitian vanilla.

Jesse Rodriguez (Courtesy Photo)

Jesse Rodriguez (Courtesy Photo)

Highly acclaimed Wine Director and Advanced Sommelier Jesse Rodriguez offers pairings that are refined and precise for all courses. A custom-designed 2,500 bottle wine room houses a far-reaching wine list including famous, California cult wines to newly-discovered selections from Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and South America. There is also a distinctive selection of fine wines from France, Italy, Germany and Spain. Even if guests just want a half bottle to pair with courses, Rodriguez’ goal is to offer a great wine experience for every individual palate and drinking expectation.

In November 2008, Addison at The Grand Del Mar became San Diego’s first and only restaurant to win the coveted Five Diamond award from the Automobile Association of America (AAA). “It is such an honor to receive both the Mobil Five Star and AAA Five Diamond awards,” says Bradley. “It’s especially gratifying that I was able to work together with the interior designer, owner, and management team to create and open the restaurant.” (858/314-1900, www.addisondelmar.com).

Q & A with Executive Chef William Bradley

MDM: What do you feel are your own special unique talents in the kitchen?

WB: Staying calm under pressure.

MDM: What is your signature dish?

WB: I do not have a signature dish. Instead, I focus on creating different dishes throughout each season.

MDM: What do you feel sets Addison apart from other restaurants in the area?

WB: The ambiance, quality of ingredients and preparation, as well as the high level of service and friendly staff all working in tandem to create an extraordinary experience.

MDM: Any pet peeves in the kitchen?

WB: Cleanliness: I believe that kitchens need to be just as clean and pristine as the front of the house.

MDM: Can you give me a secret and little known fact about yourself?

WB: For being a young age, I’m old at heart. I’m a big fan of traditional values.

MDM: What is your take on organic?

WB: It’s finally getting the recognition that it deserves. It is the way of the future.

MDM: What’s your favorite dish to eat at the restaurant and why?

WB: La Jardinière; a lovely salad on our menu. It’s simple and keeps me full, balanced and full of energy.

MDM: What’s the herb you use most in your entrees?

WB: Garden chives. I love the flavor and the aroma that this under-appreciated herb holds.

MDM: Can you describe the memories and sense of place that inspires you to cook for your guests?

WB: I find inspiration daily knowing that my staff and I are all working hard for the common goal – perfection, perfection, perfection.

MDM: What is your favorite wine at the restaurant?

WB: Domaine Leflaive, “Les Combettes,” 1er Cru 1999, because any white Burgundy is great.

MDM: What is your favorite junk food?

WB: Any kind of ice cream.

MDM: Hobby? WB: Any activity outside, since I spend most of my day inside.

MDM: Any food mentors? WB: Absolutely! Alain Passar, Fernand Point, and the legendary, Fredy Girardet.

MDM: What do you like best about being a chef?

WB: I enjoy the ability to impart generosity to my staff and guests.

MDM: If you weren’t a chef what would you be?

WB: Interior Designer. I got this from my mother; it was her passion.

MDM: Who and or what do you contribute to your success?

WB: My mother. She never gave up and instilled in me the will and courage to do my best.

MDM: What do you feel is the secret to a really good dish?

WB: Simplicity.

MDM: Any special food or kitchen tips?

WB: Patience is a virtue.

MDM: What one thing do you want people to say after experiencing Addison?


Maria Desiderata Montana is an award-winning food and wine journalist, editor, and published author based in San Diego. She gained an appreciation of European cuisine from her parents who were born and raised in Calabria, Italy. Visit her website at www.sandiegofoodfinds.com.

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