By: Sheen Fischer
A couple of months ago, Chef Patrick Ponsaty of Bellamy’s in Escondido, which happens to be about 6-8 minutes from home for us depending on how we catch the stoplights, prepared us his “order 3 days in advance” Beef Wellington that was simply a masterpiece. On this past Friday evening, exhausted from a week of catching up after the California Coastal trip and dreading a drive anywhere, my Doll and I were debating about 4 different places to head to for dinner, all in San Diego and all seemingly beyond my capacity to handle for the evening. As luck would have it, Chef Patrick posted a video of some lovely, squirming, fresh spot prawns that he was putting out as a special for the evening. Perfect.
Then, I remembered that on the evening he served us his Beef Wellington, he also served some friends of his a Chateaubriand which had my mouth watering. I sent him a quick private message and, voila, I save myself a drive to and from San Diego and round trip airfare to Paris all in one.
After a couple of cocktails and appetizers brought out by master mixologist Antonio, our first course was served. I’ve never had anything like this before. I can’t even tell you all the components on this dish, but underneath there was paper thin sliced spot prawn laying in a bed of some magical aioli type sauce and on top all that mattered were the crumbled cauliflower, summer truffles and truffle caviar sourced from Angel’s Salumi & Truffles. When we were done with our plates, they were a shinier black than when they left the kitchen and the dishwashers were able to take a smoke break.
Maybe we were delirious, but there’s simply no way we could throw the heads of these babies away. So, we sent them back to the kitchen and asked that they do whatever magic they could (considering they weren’t a sushi restaurant) and dip them in the deep fryer. Magic indeed – more like witchcraft. Sea salt and togarashi with a perfect crisp on these heads completed the California modern experience for the Prawn course.
Chef Patrick made a trip out to show us the fresh 1 lb. batch of black truffles he had just procured from Angel’s Salumi and Truffles. Seriously, it was like someone opened up a pouch of diamonds in front of us. He should have been flanked by two armed security guards.
Level 2 Sommelier Derry Van Nortwick, recruited from the renowned Market in Delmar, broke out his new Coravin wine saver system, consisting of a long needle that protrudes through the cork into the wine bottle and replaces the removed wine with Argon gas, allowing vintage wines to be poured by the glass without opening them. Here he is gracing us with a gorgeous 2005 Vina Ardanza Rioja Tempranillo to accompany our main course.
Meat really doesn’t get any better than this Chateaubriand, which is a filet mignon, cooked as a roast and then sliced and plated. Here, a beautifully seasoned crust surrounds the perfectly warmed center with a light application of sea salt to provide a pure, rich meat taste. But, wait…there’s more…
Chef whipped up this luscious white truffle béarnaise sauce to accompany the dish. Considering all the spare time he had with us giving him almost a full two hours notice that we were coming in for a special off menu item, I guess it’s the least he could do.
Every time we go to a great restaurant either locally or while traveling, I always wonder to myself how great it would be to actually live close to one and get to frequent it as often as I wanted. For us, that is Bellamy’s, which acquits itself with service, cuisine and grace rivaling any world class restaurant. It is an easy drive from home, heck, we could walk it if we wanted to get a little sweaty before dinner. Irregardless, I would make my way here from anyplace in the county to eat Chef Patrick’s food, drink mixologist Antonio’s cocktails or imbibe Derry’s wine selections.
Here, if you call ahead, you can get perfectly executed traditional French dishes or order California Modern Cuisine from the seasonal menu – all prepared with care and ultimate precision by a French Master Chef. Save yourself the roundtrip airfare to France and take a little drive to enjoy the best meal available in Inland North County – you can thank me later. Cheers, my friends!
417 E. Grand Ave.
Escondido, CA 92025