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Black Bass, ginger-lemon jam, toasted almond
purée, wild rocket
Copyright©2008 sandiego.com, Inc.

Even the word "grand" doesn’t describe the splendor of Addison, located at the equally over-the-top The Grand Del Mar, San Diego’s newest luxury resort. It begins at the valet with an outdoor seating area in front of a roaring fireplace. Clearly nothing was spared when it comes to the appointments that come together to create Addison. The feel is a very classic style, full of old rich textures and ambience. We would’ve sworn we were in a London club, not San Diego, if we hadn’t just driven up.

A dramatic limestone fireplace greets you in the entryway lounge referred to as The Library, with its striking dark wood and thick floor coverings. As you walk in take in the dramatic, sophisticated bar room with its glorious continuation of high ceilings and gorgeously finished wood. This is a place where sipping a fine cognac and smoking a cigar (yes, we know you can’t do that anymore, we’re just saying) seems as normal as if you were in an old, classic 40’s movie.

The dining area continues the Addison experience. Yet another fireplace reigns as the centerpiece of the elaborate room with archways and satin black columns. Impressive floor-to-ceiling windows overlook the sprawling golf course with its cascading waterfalls and incredible fauna. What’s amazing is that the staff is just as extraordinarily polished as the setting, beyond perceptive and seemingly anticipating your every whim. We asked our server how many people they had on staff to keep the place as pristine as it is. From what he said, about 5,000 people are employed to keep the entire compound picture-perfect. Not sure if that’s true but it felt like we met 3,000 of them.

The experience continues when the wine list is delivered to you in the form of a hefty volume; we are talking 182 pages of wine choices, complete with a table of contents! This incredible selection is brought to you by the charming wine director and sommelier of the Addison, Jesse Rodriguez. Jesse has had an illustrious career with great distinction and was the former sommelier for the Phoenician in Scottsdale, Arizona.

We choose to do wine pairings with our selections for the evening and the experts did not let us down. The offerings of delicate, robust, subtle wines from wineries around the world created a truly special evening that brought together in perfection food & wine.

The evening meal was a special treat as well. The Addison presents The Four-Course Prix-Fixe Menu ($95 per person) which offers each guest a choice of four selections from each course presentation (three savory and one sweet). This great way to sample great food changes with the seasons, shifting with the moon and the sun. The selections for appetizers were Baby Sea Scallops, Le Jardiniere, Ruby Red Crevettes and Corriander Flavored Mussels. We enjoyed the Crevettes (amazing jumbo shrimp from Mexico with watercress, golden caviar and lemon verbena emulsion). They were truly some of the largest, most succulent shrimp ever with remarkable flavor, especially when blended with the caviar and lemon emulsion. We also loved the Mussels (French radish, red curry-lime jus) and the lovely rich lime curry was fantastic. All at Addison is incredibly flavorful, almost too much to take in sometimes.

Second up were choices of Parmigiano-Reggiano Risotto, Foie Gras De Canard, Wild Brittany Turbot and Potato Gnocchi. The Risotto (with garden basil pistou) was the epitome of the description creamy. So subtle and warming to the palette. Just perfect. The foie gras (with carmelized cornbread puree) had that fine melt-in-your-mouth quality and the sweetness of the puree made for an enhanced finish.

Our entrees selections included Baked Scottish Salmon, Roasted Veal Tenderloin along with our picks Spring Lamb Persille (with aubergine au gratin, sour cherries, and savory spinach) and Milk-Fed Poularde “Roti” (with onion soubise, arugula and fennel pollen). The spring lamb was tender, succulent and could not have been more complimentary when combined with the dishes accompaniments. The milk-fed poularde (dry milk) was chicken that went beyond tender and created a texture that easily cut with just a fork. Mix the dishes components and a whole new flavor experience presents itself.

Lamb Loin, plum tart, wood sorrel, sauce chevrè
Copyright©2008 sandiego.com, Inc.

Yet there was still one more course to go, the ever wonderful desserts. Decadent choices of Milk Chocolate & Peanut Butter Terrine (with caramelized banana gelato), Sweet Lemon “Demitasse” (with Lavender Crème Glacee), Yogurt Panna Cotta and Drak Chocolate Mille-Feuille. So how could you pass up the most sophisticated Reese’s peanut butter cup ever? Add the caramelized banana and, well, what else can you possibly want? The “demitasse” was an interesting combination with the tartness of the lemon and the strong lavender flavor a bit at odds with each other. Very interesting textures reigned throughout.

This entire four-course achievement is expertly brought to you by Executive Chef William Bradley. Chef Bradley brings years of experience to the Addison and his menu selections. Having cooked at such esteemed restaurants as the critically acclaimed Vu at the Hyatt and The Phoenician in Scottsdale and Azzura Point at Loews Coronado Bay Resort. He has been a candidate for the coveted “Rising Star Chef” for three consecutive years. Chef Bradley brings a constant intense flavor to his dishes, while utilizing simple ingredients. We noticed most of them had a savory approach with just a touch of sweetness.

The Addison is that rare treat that we seldom afford ourselves. The combined strength of Chef Bradley and Sommelier Jesse Rodriguez brings an astounding one-two punch of culinary and wine pairing splendor. Prepared to be spoiled at The Addison and treated like royalty. Enjoy!

The good - Let’s just say Marie Antoinette would have made this one of her cottages given the chance.

The bad – The flavors of all of the dishes are very intense indeed, at times a little overwhelming

Details »
  • City: San Diego, CA 92130
  • Phone: 858-314-1904
  • Name: Addison
  • Address: 5200 Grand Del Mar Way