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“Food, Wine and Friendship at the Old Vine Café”
Review of Old Vine Cafe

Old Vine Cafe
Ranked #3 of 545 Restaurants in Costa Mesa
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: US$12 - US$60
Cuisines: European, Cafe
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Business meetings, Local cuisine
Dining options: Dinner, Lunch, Breakfast, Reservations
Description: Welcome to Old Vine Cafe! We are open daily for breakfast and lunch, and Tuesday through Saturday for dinner! Stop in and join us, or call us about catering options.
Reviewed April 14, 2018

We highly recommend the Old Vine Café for a breakfast, lunch or dinner. Chef Mark and his staff have the same passion, enthusiasm and attention to details. His wine (beer) and food pairings are my benchmark for all other restaurants. For the last 10 years he has paired food with wines. He also leads a tour of Southern Italy.
Farm to table, Simple cooking, Cooking lessons, Wine tasting, Mediterranean (Greek, Roman, etc) history and Artisans that define a town. Does the list of activities pique your interest? I would highly recommend the culinary tours by Chef Mark McDonald of the Old Vine Café in Costa Mesa, CA. Mark attended and uses the Italian Culinary Institute, located at Hotel Baia dell’Est in Calabria, as the home base for his excursions. The activities will change the way you take a vacation and how you approach food in all aspects.
Chef Mark has cultivated a relationship with artisans of various shops that have defined towns for generations. Pride of products was the most evident. It has a way of showing itself in the quality of production, enthusiasm and joy in the faces of the artisan and family members. What is better than one scoop of gelato? In the town of Pizzo, gelato is used to create a Tartufo, which is created by using TWO scoops of gelato with a liquid chocolate or fruit placed in the center…refrozen and dusted with chocolate powder when served. I had a “Vulcanetto” a tartufo with a center of berry compote, topped with a liqueur and flamed.
Chef Mark did a fantastic job of orchestrating our needs, the daily events, hotel accommodations and travel arrangements. A testament to Chef Mark was the composition of the tour group. Travelers from PNW, SF area, SoCal, Texas and Kalamazoo were brought together by word of mouth recommendations from participants of previous tours.
Lastly but not least, the people we met in Southern Italy and Sicily were fantastic. While the weather was a bit chilly, the people were warm and sincere. I would like to commend Davide Gentile. He maneuvered us through some narrow streets and was “top notch” in service. I would like to also commend, Orlando, from the Hotel Baia dell’Est in Calabria. My brother and I are early risers and Orlando was there to help us with our Espresso or Americano to start the morning.

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1  Thank attiecat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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7 - 11 of 187 reviews

Reviewed March 26, 2018

My boyfriend had booked and reserved us the prefix menu for Valentines Day with wine pairing.

First of all: service was slow, they were understaffed for the number of reservations they had. It took over 20 minutes between courses, after you finished. By the second course (we had been there almost an hour), we were frustrated., we left. Oh and by the way, the food was MEH. Not all the hype I had heard of before.

The manager didn't even offer to compensate the loss, or do anything which would appease us. Customer service fail.

Overall would never return.

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Thank katietej
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Triper5554, Owner at Old Vine Cafe, responded to this reviewResponded April 6, 2018

I am terribly sorry that you left feeling that the experience was less than excellent. With Tasting menu dining, including wine pairings, we certainly allow more time for diners to enjoy the pairing experience. Upon request we can always expedite the speed in which courses are served, but as a rule, we fire each dish upon completion of each previous course as everything is cooked to order, and food never sits in the window. We were more than fully staffed for Valentines Day and as it is a special day, we allow 3 hours for each reservation so that guests can enjoy the experience without feeling rushed.

Kind regards,

Chef Mark McDonald - Owner

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed March 15, 2018 via mobile

Food and service were excellent. Quality is unreal. Very friendly and helpful staff. Highly recommend.

Thank Atlanta_GACindy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed March 6, 2018 via mobile

I’ve live in the area all my life and just found this gem. Excellent flavors and variety. We had the fried artichoke salad and the spinach salad.
Both were enough for a meal. The octopus was the most tender I have ever tasted. Not chewy at all. The blueberry lamb chops were heaven as well as the scallops. Generous portions. They offer wine parring suggestions for each course. Tucked back in the “camp” you won’t be disappointed. We will be back!

Thank Joe L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed February 25, 2018

First rate food. Omelets are very, very good - large portions (as is the case with crepes); attentive, pleasant service. Excellent coffee, staff refills. Usually food left to take home - for another meal. Not the lowest cost but reasonable value and excellent quality. Can't think of a better breakfast in Orange County.

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Thank Mark H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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