Escondido, California is a bit of an anomaly as far as San Diego suburbs go. It is decidedly more old school and much less trendy than areas like Mission Hills or the Gaslamp District yet it finds itself home to arguably the region’s best chef and one of the best restaurants. One man is to thank for that, Brian Bonar.
When Bonar wanted to expand his restaurant portfolio to North County he began with Bellamy’s. He started this bistro by pulling talent from one of his other favorite restaurants, El Bizcocho at Rancho Bernardo Inn. With most positions filled he still needed to land a big fish as his top chef. That he did, hiring Patrick Ponsaty who is one of two men in San Diego that can boast the title Master Chef of France.
The front of the restaurant and the décor inside are a step below what you would expect from a veteran entrepreneur and Master Chef. For a moment you think, “did I make a wrong turn?” Then the food comes. The corn soup, the mille-feuille, the beet salad, the magret and the mushroom ravioli are all to die for. The hits keep coming with the saffron panna cotta for dessert.
If you are not an expert on this type of dining, don’t worry. The staff is outstanding and can give you a full food education in a few minutes. Aside from knowing what they are selling they are professional and polite.
According to Market Watch, Brian Bonar and Ponsaty also plan on opening the Ranch at Bandy Canyon. It is a 144-acre grassy expanse perfect for a high level event space with a top shelf restaurant to go with it. Even if Ponsaty must start splitting his time, Bellamy’s is in good hands with Executive Chef Mike Reidy, who has trained under the French Master Chef.
Boner isn’t a restaurateur by trade, he is a finance wizard. The popular Scottish entrepreneur has a technical background having earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Technical Engineering from James Watt Technical College and then his Master’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering from Stafford University.
He started his professional life at IBM before moving on to QMS where he was the Director of Engineering. Boner later excelled as Sales Manager at Adaptec before starting his own business, Bezier Systems. He was highly regarded at Dalrada Financial Services as he is at his current post at Trucept. Trucept offers management solutions for small and medium size companies such as payroll and human resource management.
Combining a rare set of skills, Bonar was named to the Who’s Who in America list in 2000. He specializes in mergers and acquisitions where he leans on his technical education, people skills and creativity to close deals.