Olea, Russ Bendel’s Newest Wine Country-Inspired Restaurant Opens in Newport Beach

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Named for the plant genus that includes olive trees, Olea is Russ Bendel’s third and largest wine country-inspired venue. Vine in San Clemente and Ironwood in Laguna Hills are Napa/Sonoma concepts; at Newport Beach’s Olea, operating partner Kevin Franke adds wines of Italy, France, and Spain, and executive chef-partner Jared Cook gives his California cuisine a European spin. There’s rustic sophistication in the antique French white-oak floors and black walnut millwork, tree-branch sculptures separating dining areas, and whole-log ceiling beams. On the menu: baked oysters with blue crab and Champagne tarragon butter, prime beef-cheek stroganoff with house-made rosemary pappardelle, and Pacific sea bass with fingerling potatoes, capers, cauliflower, and riesling raisins. Beverage director and partner Gabe Whorley’s list includes a rosé-and-vodka concoction called Rich Girl and the tequila- and mescal-driven Jorge Lucas. A captain’s table seating eight is set amid wine displays, artworks, and stylish lighting fixtures. 2001 Westcliff Drive, Newport Beach, 949-287-6807, oleanewportbeach.com

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