I love the California-infused and European modern panache of the new Old Vine Kitchen & Bar in Costa Mesa. Formally Old Vine Café, the restaurant has moved to a larger location in The Camp district with a great enclosed patio, fabulous mood-altering artwork, cool metalwork, and a full bar. The new locale is airy and inviting. It begs for a long brunch, a wine dinner event, cocktails on the veranda, or a night-cap at the bar.
Along with the growth in space is a change in the ownership with Kate Perry now a partner in addition to acting wine director. This was great news because Old Vine already carried a thoughtful wine menu, and I suspect her new role as partner will infuse wine even more so.
Chef Mark McDonald continues to inspire Orange County’s Old Vine faithful with his unparalleled Splendors of Italy tours and his commitment to locally sourced fare and support of farmers. The dynamic duo of Chef Mark and Somm Kate give Orange County a rare treat of culinary and wine excellence presented without all the pomp and circumstance. They’ve cultivated a distinct brand of community a la Chez Panisse in a SoCal style.
The Old Vine Kitchen & Bar’s extensive wine menu is worthy of many a visit and tasting, but there are two programs that I really love as it speaks to their special connection with their customers.
Mimosa Monday: About a year and a half ago, Chef Mark launched Mimosa Monday. This is utter brilliance in my book. Half-price mimosas from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. made with Torley Gala Sec sparkling wine from Hungary and fresh orange juice. A Monday breakfast can roll right into lunch, or lunch can roll right into a leisurely afternoon. If you’re really rolling, you can hang for half off margaritas from 3 p.m. to midnight every Monday!
Six for Sixty: Always available on the Old Vine shelves is a box with six wines hand-chosen for the Old Vine clientele to take home. In addition to the special wines, the box contains full tasting notes and suggested pairings. The whole shebang cost just $60, so Six for Sixty. For a mere $10 a bottle, you have wines curated by a renowned somm complete with food pairings to enhance your experience. This a hero territory.
Old Vine Kitchen & Bar