a leisurely brunch at Old Vine Cafe

Let’s start 2012 right with my first post of the year — Old Vine Cafe. I’ve been here several times in the last few years but have never written anything until now. I’ve asked myself why but the only answer I can come up with is no real excuse except for the lack of pretty pictures. I really like the dinners here too, but for the purpose of this post, I’m focusing on the brunch selections.

Right before the new year, I came here with my friend and her family and with 6 people it was easy to sample a variety of things on the menu. The 3-course set lunch at $20 is one of the best deals around and some of us ordered this while others ordered a la carte.

One of the choices for appetizers was the Caprese of Mozzarella Buratta and everyone chose this option. Imported buratta, grape tomatoes and flash fried arugula are drizzled with a citrus infused extra virgin olive oil — I love burrata but the best part of this dish was the crispy arugula, it added a really nice textural contrast to the dish.

Pulled Pork Panino ($13.50 a la carte) is a lovely grilled sandwich stuffed with tender all natural pulled pork and Chef’s BBQ sauce with smoked gouda cheese. I’m not a big fan of BBQ sauce, but my son loved this sandwich!

My friend’s Tuna Melt Panino ($13.50 a la carte) was delicious. Fresh wild albacore tuna salad with dill Havarti cheese is pressed between two slices of bread making the sandwich slightly warm but possessing a great crunch from the toasted bread.

If you like omelettes, try the Omelet España ($13), a Spanish-style omelette with prosciutto, artichoke hearts, red bell peppers, shitake mushrooms and Manchego cheese. I’ve had this before and enjoyed its savoriness tremendously.

On this occasion, I ordered the Frutti di Mare ($14.99), a cold salad of shrimp, calamari, octopus tossed with shredded carrots and a lemon vinaigrette and served on a bed of wild arugula greens.

I am not a fan of sweets but a mouthful or two works great when someone orders Pumpkin Pecan French Toast ($13). It’s not like the regular French toast you get elsewhere, it is thick like brick toast, layered and generously portioned and garnished with whipped cream. It is not overly sweet and is a nice finish to a meal.

Grandma’s Cheese Cake ($7 a la carte) was the dessert which came with the 3-course meal. Cheese cake is one of those desserts I actually enjoy. I really liked the crunchy graham cracker crust and the wild berry puree added a tart component which is what I usually look for in desserts! I liked this a lot!

The atmosphere is very relaxed and chill, but expect a wait on weekends. The place is popular and deservedly so!

For a chance to experience Old Vine Cafe yourself, I have a $25 gift card to give away to one lucky winner. Just leave me a comment telling me why you want to go to Old Vine Cafe, by Friday Jan 6th. Winner announced on Saturday Jan 7th. Good luck!

Old Vine Cafe
2937 Bristol Street, #A102
Costa Mesa, CA 92626
Tel: 714-545-1411

Old Vine Cafe on Urbanspoon


  1. says

    I want to go to Old Vine Cafe is because I want to experience it because I have never gone to this restaurant before. I also want to treat my parents to a nice restaurant for once, for taking care of me and being there for me throughout my life. This is one of many reasons why I would want to go to Old Vine Cafe.

  2. Queena says

    I took a cooking class once from Chef Mark MacDonald, and would love to eat at Old Vine and say hello again!

  3. Dee says

    The menu looks incredible! I would love to take my mom here for breakfast or lunch. She helps take incredible care of my 5-year-old daughter. It would be great to have the time for just the 2 of us.

  4. Lidia M Lopez says

    Wow! Awesome detail and photos of the menu. I can’t believe I’ve never tried the Frutti di Mare. It wouldn’t be something I normally try but after reading this commentary I’m willing to give it a chance, especially since it appears to be so fresh and healthy. Thanks!

  5. Paul says

    I have yet to have had a really good meal here, so unless I have some incentive to go — i.e. a $25 gift card — I doubt that I would ever try this place again.

  6. Dalia says

    The ambiance combined with the incredible looking food (hello pumpkin pecan french toast!) looks too good to miss!

  7. says

    You make the Cafe sound fabulous! I’ve been dying to try them out, but haven’t had a chance. working from home with a toddler, sometimes, I really just need a nice break to get out and relax!

  8. MARCOS. E says

    I’ve never tried what you Foodies call “Gourmet Food” and I’ve heard about this place. A food blogger The Hungry Dog also told me to go dine at this place, he loves it!! People say the food is great and they have not your common dishes? So I hope I win I would love to try what you Foodies eat…

  9. Monica says

    Excellent write up with corresponding delectable pictures! I’ve been there for lunch and dinner in the past, but your write up makes me want to experience brunch!! Like now. I know they make their own butter which I thought was amazing. Hopefully will get the opportunity to experience brunch soon.

  10. Joa Kim says

    it’s my birthday on january 7th! i would like to go for a birthday treat for myself! i’ve been before for their brunch but would really love to go for their dinner…and yes, i can prove it’s my birthday on january 7th! 😛

  11. Gregory McCann says

    I would like to win the $25 GC because I have no job, no income, no transportation and haven’t eaten at a decent restaurant like Old Vine Cafe in years. This would be a special treat for me!

  12. says

    I’m throwing my hat into this race. I love Old Vine Cafe and everything about The Camp, where it is located. Pick me and I will spend every penny of that gift card and then some more, just to make you proud in the offering of said card. Gastronomical joy is imminent!

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