Bellamy’s on Grand Avenue, in unpretentious Escondido, California is a welcome diversion from impersonal, corporate-owned chain eateries. Surrounded by local small businesses like Lupita’s Mexican and Cathy’s Canine, diners can expect genuine, friendly service and world-class cuisine created by renowned chef Patrice Ponsaty, formerly of the Rancho Bernardo Inn and Planet Coronado.
Ponsaty brings with him The Master Chef of France award along with signature dishes like parsley risotto, mushroom ravioli and saffron panna cotta.
Bellamy’s originated with Brian Bonar, a Scottish business mogul who purchased Tango and renamed it. He then launched a staffing search starting at one of his favorite restaurants in the area, El Bizocho at the Rancho Berenardo Inn. Bonar hired Mike Reidy as executive chef and Trevor Da Costa as manager. Brian Bonar, with the expertise of Ponsaty, plans to create a four-star-event venue on a 144-acre property in nearby Ranch at Bandy Canyon.
The restaurant features comfortable seats, paintings of jazz performers and copper-colored walls. Outside, a modest banner carries the name Bellamy’s. The stage is set for a fantastic meal. An example of the menu includes corn soup made with cream and epaulette peppers and served cold over a scallop ceviche including ginger, cilantro, lime juice and olive oil. Next is served a parsley-cream risotto with poached salmon, truffle and seasoned with sea salt. Another offering is mille-feulle topped with bruleed apple slices over layers of smoked eel and a liver confit in pork fat.
The French cuisine continues with a salad of beets served over dried porcini mushroom powder, pistachios and cocoa nibs. Chef Ponsaty then adds the sweetness of a red beet ice cream with a warm goat cheese tart. A lighter caprese-style salad is also served with heirloom tomatoes and mozzarella tossed with balsamic vinegar and olive oil then topped with a tomato-basil gel.
Bellamy’s mushroom ravioli is filled with duxelle style mushrooms, cooked with port and cream and topped with a veal-stock port sauce. Servers are well-versed in the components of each dish and offer explanations readily and without pretense.
Modern Luxury says that Brian Bonar and apprentice Chef Reidy pan-seared Margret duck is prepared with peach-onion marmalade with a Szechuan infused reduction of vinegar and sugar. It is served with a parmesan polenta. Dessert comes in the form of a saffron panna cotta with a strawberry-hibiscus consommé. The dessert is accompanied by a madeleine topped with orange zest and confectioners’ sugar.
Bellamy’s is the perfect venue for Master Chef of France Ponsaty to shine and for customers to enjoy some of the best French cuisine in the San Diego area.
Brian Bornar is currently designing his dream kitchen at The Ranch at Bandy Canyon. When it’s completed, he won’t be on the line at this bistro very often. But right now, Bellamy’s is where Ponsaty is showing off. It’s no slag on his young apprentice, Reidy, to say: Take advantage of a Master Chef of France’s undivided attention while you can.