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FIRST LOOK: Ponsaty's

S.D.'s Master French Chef finally gets his own signature joint


Patrick Ponsaty is impeccably French. Unrelentingly so. And he’s one of the country’s top, one of only two Master French Chefs in San Diego (Bernard Guillas of Marine Room being the other). And now, finally, he has his own showroom with his name on the marquee.

The location of Ponsaty's isn’t easy. Rancho Santa Fe, the sleepy burgh of elite moneymakers in northern San Diego, is another planet for many San Diegans. But the Grand Restaurant Group is betting that if Ponsaty cooks it, they will come.

Located in the former Delicia’s location at 6106 Paseo Delicias, the Grand group (Bellamy’s, Ranch at Bandy Canyon) has massively transformed the place, hung with chandeliers and tufted leather, faux alligator chairs. The space is now set into one swank dining room, one private dining room (seats six) and two patios were diners can get flatbreads and tapas.

The menu? Ponsaty, executive chef Alain Delahaye will focus on the Basque region of France and Spain, using local meats and produce. Expect a California burrata and Serrano ham with shaved local veggies; Baja Scallops and Bandy Canyon Ranch carrots with orange blossom and garbanzo-orange sauce; and veal cheeks with orange, roasted shallot, candied carrot puree, and Madeira sauce. For sweets, the Grand has pastry chef Bruno Albouze, best known from YouTube’s “The Real Deal Cooking Channel.”

There will be specialty cocktails at the bar, like a Sandy’s Strawberry Basil Martini with vodka, St. Germaine, fresh strawberries, basil, and a sugar rim; and Patrick’s White Sangria, made with wine-brandy, local stone fruit, and fresh mint. They’ll also become a destination for Scotch aficionados with almost 50 different Scotches from across the world. Wine list? 300 of them, unsurprisingly French and Spanish.

Ponsaty is an elite chef. Rancho Santa Fe is an elite, and somewhat marooned, part of San Diego. Now let’s see if a master can coax San Diegans into the lovely hinterlands.

Ponsaty's is open now, serving lunch and dinner Tuesday through Sunday.

Enough with the talk. Please enjoy our first look at Ponsaty’s.

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