Dining report OC: Old Vine Cafe and Marche Moderne
Had a couple stand out meals on my recent business trip to Anaheim.
Old Vine Cafe
2937 Bristol St
Costa Mesa, CA 92626
Tucked away behind a building on Bristol. This is an extremely charming restaurant, that is family run by a lovely husband and wife couple in the front of the house and the brother as the chef. My dining companion and I started with the Crispy Blue Salad. The salad was a spot on mix of Organic Greens, Crispy Proscuitto, Fried Onions & Maytag Blue Cheese Dressing. The contrast of the salty crispy prosciutto, fried onion and creamy pungent blue cheese was delicious. Next we shared the scallops. Three very large scallops with at tarragon chardonnay sauce topped with crispy leaks. The scallops were cooked perfectly and the sauce was rich and balanced with just enough taragon. Wonderful dish...we both wanted to lick the plate the sauce was so good. Finally we finished with the large single ravioli stuffed with smoked duck, porcini mushrooms, goat cheese finished in a sage brown butter sauce. The pasta was extremely cooked with just enough bite and the filling of duck, cheese and mushroom was very well balanced. It was good to share because of it's rich mouth feel but was very tasty. The service was welcoming and engaging. Very good wine knowledge and the general philosophy is to have a dining experience that packs in the flavor and good wine without making a huge dent in the pocket book. We liked the restaurant so much we returned for lunch/breakfast a couple days later. The omelette with bbq pulled pork, smoked gouda was fantastic but i wasn't a huge fan of the potatoes that came with it. I prefer my home fries to be a bit more crisp and less saucy. I'm still dreaming about the beef panini they serve for lunch. Thinly sliced prime rib with white truffle cheese and garlic aioli. WOW...heaven in a sandwhich...simply delicious.
3333 Bristol St
Costa Mesa, CA 92626
I would have never expected to find such amazing food in a mall....even the Rodeo Drive of malls in Costa Mesa. Once inside the restaurant you forget that you are in a mall and comfortably accept the elegant and welcoming surroundings. Seated in a booth the three of us decided to share everything. Before began I will say every dish served is art on a plate. The presentations at this restaurant make it feel like a truly special experience. An amuse was sent out of scallop sashimi, citrus sorbet, mint and raspberry. Sashimi was wonderful great contrast and pop of flavor in the mouth...very refreshing. We started with the beet salad. It contained gold and yellow beets, goat cheese, pine nuts and orange segments with petit basil. Very good salad. Nice combination of flavors and textures. Then shared alsacian tart. Essentially a pizza with ham, carmelized onion, gruyere and creme fraiche. While it was good I was not wowed by this dish. I think I would have enjoyed it more if it was in pastry crust rather than served on pizza dough. We also shared a cream of fennel soup. Lovely sweet fennel with a touch of cream. Nice soup. For the main dishes we shared the braised short ribs and roasted angus beef over truffled potato puree, crimini mushrooms and honey bacon. This dish was outstanding. Huge portion plenty for the three of us. The bacon, truffled potatoes and mushrooms with the melt in your mouth beef was amazing. Probably one of the best dishes I've had in recent memory. We followed this with a dessert of hazlenut cake and mango mousse and mango gelato. The pastry chef stopped by (also a husband and wife team). Very nice woman. She makes all the gelato herself. The service was casual and informed. Very endearing all the way around.
Have not been to Marche Moderne but I must say that Old Vine Cafe has to be the best deal in SoCal! Where else can you find a wine-pairing dinner for two in under $100? The service is attentive and informative. You can definitely get a lot of info about European wine from the Brandon and I have to agree with all of the dishes you mentioned and definitely try their mac&cheese when you return.