Jello, to my fellow sisters! I am so excited to share my stories here with all of you. Let me tell you they will be good! First though, let me tell you about me… Elyse Sinsay. Originally I am from San Diego, Lemon Grove to be exact. When I was around 6 or 7 we moved to Vista, CA and I grew up there ever since. I am the oldest of three. I have a younger brother, Mikal and a younger sister, Shelbie (in that order). My parents and my sister still live in the area. My sister is going to school to get her bachelors at Cal State San Marcos and my brother is going to school in Los Angeles to become a radiology technician. He is currently in his clinicals. I am proud of them. As for mom and dad, they still work too, mom is a nurse studying to be a RN and dad is a construction foreman in San Diego.
As for me, I am married to an awesome pain in the ass named Anthony, and we have two amazing kids named Felicity, 8 and Liam, 1.5. We live in a great house in San Marcos, CA. Our happily ever after began through my boss at the time and our mutual love and appreciation for food. You see people, my husband and I are chefs. After many dates and lots of food… well you know the rest. But, though a series of unfortunate events, I can no longer cook, so I get to enjoy the slave labor of being with my crazy kids. Ha-ha.
I still cook at home, yes we do eat better than most… sometimes. The kids definitely have a better palate than your typical eight and two year old but when you need McDonald’s, you just do! All that aside, I do miss the kitchen. From time to time, when Anthony actually has time, the stars align, the kids actually have a sitter, and we have planned accordingly…. We get to go to dinner.
Which brings me to my next topic, that I hope will blossom into something of its own… Date Night: A review by a mom and a chef. I want to share with all of you that going out with your husband is not just going to Chili’s or Applebee’s. There are more romantic places out there that are affordable, delicious, that have great drinks and that are just for mommy/daddy time! Go out there, be adventurous, flirt with that sexy person you fell in love with and make new memories.
So, here it is my first review. The restaurant is called:
417 W. Grand Ave. Escondido, CA 92025
Executive Chef: Patrick Ponsaty
General Manager/ Wine Director: Derry Van Nortwick
Well, when I got to the restaurant I was surprised at its location and it unassuming exterior. It was smaller than I expected. Not in a bad way but a lot of the places that Anthony and I have been to have always been big, loud, lots of people, ya know? So, we walk into the door and there is this timeless oak bar and a pianist playing. It was so soothing. The lighting was very soft. Just enough to send you into relax mode, but not so dark that you can’t see the menu or anything. The bartender greets us and asks if we have a reservation, we say yes, but to our embarrassment we had come in on the wrong side! Apparently there are two entrances. One on the left for the restaurant and one on the right for the bar. We entered on the right but we needed to enter on the left. Remember that if you go! The bartender then guides us around the corner to the other side of the restaurant where the hostess stand is and she then assists us from there. This side of the building is a little bit lighter, less wood, more tables and a view of the wine cellar. I can still hear the pianist playing and at this point he is playing a John Legend song, and it is beautiful.
After we are seated at our table we are informed that we will be having the 7 course tasting menu. For our tasting we had a little bit of everything and lucky for you I have photos. As a side note, I am not sure that what we had is what you will get for the seven course tasting menu. A lot of tasting menus are pre-set, and if you are a repeat customer the Chef sometimes might decide to do something different/special for you. Our tasting menu had all of the favorites, so we got to enjoy ourselves.
Course One: Amuse
Burrata/ Prosciutto/ Melon/ Cornichon/ Watercress/ Aged Balsamic- Eat this one in one bite, you’ll thank me. It’s delicious how all the flavors dance in your mouth so delicately and richly all at the same time.
Course Two: Diver Scallop
Pea Puree/ Shaved Truffle/ Chicken Marsala Jus- This was probably my favorite thing of the night. The scallop was cooked perfectly. Golden sear, soft and supple once on your tongue. Together with the puree and the jus was just out of this world. The sweetness from both the scallop and the peas were so subtle but bright against the deep jus. It was evident that time and care went into this dish.
Course Three: Foie Napoleon
Caramelized apple/ Fennel and Apple Mousse/ Eel/ Watercress- All of the elements on this plate were so delicate and so precisely executed it was almost like tearing into a piece of art. It was balanced, it had texture, sweetness, saltiness and just a hint of smokiness. But it was also bright and fresh. There are just not enough things to say about this dish. Try it if you are feeling adventurous.
Course Four: Flounder
Corn Risotto/ Tempura Green Onion/ Vanilla Foam- So this dish is a combo of two dishes. The flounder was delicious. Flaky and seasoned well, it just melted in your mouth like a pad of butter. It had diced segments of orange that paired so nicely with it and the risotto. The risotto was also delicious. When I combined all of the items on the plate together it made for a burst of sunshine and comfort. The citrus, vanilla and green onion whispered ever so delicately throughout the risotto that not one bite was left untouched.
Course Five: Duck
Polenta/ Peach- This dish was simple, straight forward and can be appreciated for just those things. Some people forget that it’s the simple things in life that make us happy and when something is cooked well it makes you just as happy as you were when you were a kid eating your favorite dish. Besides, who doesn’t love duck?
Course Six: Cheese
Goat Cheese/ Cherry Jam/ Spice Bread- Ahh, the French and their cheese. If you don’t eat cheese give this one a try. It’s really mild and not smelly. But let me tell you… The jewel of this dish is the bread. It’s delicious. It’s a spice bread that is just perfect. Its light, moist, but everything that a bread is supposed to be and with the cheese and the jam it’s like that scene from Ratatouille, where the rat is trying to teach his brother to eat the strawberry and the cheese together and see the firework dance in his head. So. Freakin. Good.
Course Seven: Dessert
Gateau Basque/ Lemon Verbena Ice Cream- You might be saying what the cheese ball is a Basque?? Well, it’s a vanilla custard cake, warm and crunchy on the top, moist and delectable in the center. And the ice cream was like eating a lemon cooler cookie except it wasn’t a cookie it was ice cream and probably what I would prefer. Get this if you love lemons. Get this if you don’t love lemons. Just get this. Seriously.
After all that food I was ready for a nap. To be honest I was full after the fourth course. Tasting menus are not for the faint of heart and I even prepped. All I ate was breakfast! But it was all so good I could not NOT eat it. I enjoyed it all. I feel though that now is a good time for a little break down of the restaurant and menu… The food is French Cuisine prepared by a Master French chef and ranges from $10- $46. The tasting menu, however is a 5 course for $79 or a 7 course for $99. You can also have the option to add wine parings to the tasting menu for an additional charge of $44. Those prices are per person. Remember you don’t have to get the tasting menu, but it is a wonderful option for a special occasion such as a birthday or anniversary and remember, we are trying new things people! Plus, didn’t all that yumminess from before just sound great?! I would also like to mention that a lot of the food served there is grown on a farm that the restaurant owns right next to the Wild Animal Park! So, what you see now, might not be there next week.
You cannot beat fresh farm to the table French food that comes in an intimate package. It only allows for 60 occupants max. So you know when you go there you really are going to have a nice, quiet, mommy daddy time. There was also patio seating so if you wanted to sit outside and enjoy the fresh air, you could. Across the street as well is a Regal Theater so if you are feeling up for a movie you can squeeze that into your evening.
I had such a great time. Great food, conversation, ambiance and a chance to take a moment to reconnect with the man I spend my life with. Who couldn’t ask for more? Until next time ladies.
All content and images copyright TheSisterFiles©2015 and cannot be used without expressed permission.
Photos of Bellamy’s by Elyse and Anthony Sinsay
Photos of Elyse and Anthony by Natalia Cruz