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On Food: A new beginning for Old Vine

The folks behind Old Vine Cafe in Costa Mesa have moved into new digs and are embracing a modified name, Old Vine Kitchen & Bar.

Old Vine didn’t move far. On Jan. 13, it closed its location of more than 10 years at The Camp and moved to another suite in the same retail center previously occupied by Ecco Pizzeria & Bar.

Old Vine’s new operation began Feb. 4.

The award-winning Old Vine, which started in 2007 and is run by chef Mark McDonald, hasn’t changed too much. Its breakfast (of which I’ve long been a fan) and lunch menus are the same, as are the wine pairings and the twice-annual culinary trips to Italy that McDonald leads.


The addition of a full bar and a bar food menu are what’s new.

At 3,000 square feet, Old Vine Kitchen & Bar is nearly twice the size of the original. It also has an outdoor patio and a new seating area dubbed the Living Room.

Also notable is a new divider wall made of twisted steel by artist Mark Gerardi. If you like the artwork of Paul Kole, who has done abstract paintings for Old Vine’s menus, it’s been compiled into a book available at the restaurant.

Overall, Old Vine is more cozy, stylish and inviting. And the members of the team behind this location say they remain committed to regional cuisine, quality products and genuine connections with customers.


“We have 12 years of loyal clientele,” McDonald said. “We didn’t want to reface what we did overnight. There is a reason the things we were doing over there at the old location have been so successful.”

McDonald and co-owner Kate Perry, Old Vine’s longtime sommelier, say the new bar menu focuses on classic cocktails.

“It’s familiar,” McDonald said. “It’s not overly contrived. Simplicity is kind of what we do. Less is more.”

One drink sparking excitement is a margarita with three types of tequila (blanco, añejo and reposado) with Giffard curacao liqueur and lime.

Happy hour specials run from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. to midnight, except on Mondays and Saturdays. You’ll get $3 off cocktails and half-off bar bites for the early happy hour, and $5 hefeweizen and $9 cocktails for the late night.

And you can always expect a stellar house focaccia and borlotti bean dip.


What: Old Vine Kitchen & Bar

Where: The Camp, 2937 Bristol St., Suite A-103, Costa Mesa


Hours: Breakfast daily, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.; lunch daily, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.; dinner Tuesday through Saturday, 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Information: (714) 545-1411;