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Mar 6, 2010 06:02 PM

Old Vine Cafe in Costa Mesa?

I just noticed that the Old Vine Cafe in Costa Mesa was rated one of the best restaurants in OC last year. What do you recommend breakfast, lunch, or dinner? TIA

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  1. French toast from the breakfast menu. It's really too bad it's not offered as a dessert at night as I would definitely order it.

    8 Replies
    1. re: Aylwin

      Is the patio open for breakfast, lunch and dinner?

      1. re: Funwithfood

        Haven't been (so don't know) for b'fast or lunch, but their patio is open for dinner,

        1. re: Funwithfood

          The patio is definitely open at lunch and, I think, breakfast (but I was a bit bleary-eyed the one time I breakfasted there so don't hold me to that). The food is good and the staff friendly but I do not know that I would consider it one of the best in OC. Decor is minimal but it is in the Camp, after all.

          1. re: New Trial

            Thanks all.

            I really need to give it a try. (So hard to find patio dining...oh how I miss Crocodile Cafe in Brea!)

            1. re: Funwithfood

              Wasn't Crocodile Cafe 20 like years ago (or so)? Wow...that brings back some memories. =)

              1. re: OCAnn

                I think it closed about 8 years ago, a huge loss.

                1. re: Funwithfood

                  It was definitely open in Glendale as recently as four years ago. I don't particularly miss it, except the bread.

                  1. re: Das Ubergeek

                    Best burgers, grilled romaine salad...and patio. Nothing comes close in NOC. Big loss for the Funwithfood family. Change of subject please! :)

      2. The original comment has been removed
        1. I have truly enjoyed each of my six or more visits to the Old Vine Cafe. Whether breakfast, lunch or dinner, my selections have all been well-prepared, attractively plated and very palate pleasing. Brandon’s wine-pairings and attentive service have been spot-on each time and I get this reassuring comfort feeling when I dine there, particularly when seated in the wine and cheese nook. Weather permitting, the patio is open during all meals. I appreciate that breakfast is served until 3 p.m.

          The BBQ Omelet (order w/cheese grits), Omelet España and Chili Verde Quiche were superb although the quiche was a bit salty for my tastes due, in part, to the cheddar. Next time, I’ll go for the Italian Quiche with Gruyere. The Banana Pecan Crepe was delicious as was the Pumpkin Pecan French Toast. At dinner on two occasions, the regular and seasonal tasting menus with paired wines were each excellent. I recall an outstanding Caprese of Mozzarella Buratta, a superb Sautéed Scallop and a tender and tasty Filet Mignon. Himself a wine aficionado, I appreciated hearing Brandon’s rationale for choosing the various pairings. Note that corkage is limited to two bottles at $25 per.

          THE best restaurant in OC, as per the OC Weekly? Uncertain. Among the best? Certainly. Time for a return visit? Definitely.

          1. Fairly tepid reviews, makes me wonder how it placed so high...?

            2 Replies
            1. re: Funwithfood

              I actually like it; I love their prix fixe...great food at a great price. It's a relaxed, lovely atmosphere...just go and see for yourself! =)

              1. re: Funwithfood

                Old Vine is absolutely great. My wife and I became converts about 18 months ago, when some friends took us there. Since then, it has been a regular part of our rotation, and we go for dinner about once a month. My wife and I have a running debate over whether it or Marche Moderne is the best restuarant in OC. At least in our experience, it has created a unique role in the marketplace -- offering spot on pairings of inexpensive but still very good wines with tasting menus. The menu for lunch is almost completely different than dinner, and a much different but still great experience. As far as dinner goes, the burrata caprese with flash fried arugula ranks as one of the best salads I've ever had; the filet is wonderful, as is the stroganoff and all pastas. My wife regularly gets shrimp or prawns and compares these favorably to the ones she had at Providence. I should also point out what I think is an inaccuracy or omission in the prior posts -- there is a patio, but they do not serve alcohol on the patio. And although atmosphere and the like are the most subjective elements of a restaurant experience, I've never seen as many diners having so much fun as at OVC. Its not a place to take pictures of the food. Its a place to experience. I'd recommend it without qualification.