Now celebrating it’s eleventh year, Old Vine Café continues to redefine dining in Orange County offering top quality food and wine in a non-pretentious, casual atmosphere. The award-winning restaurant, run by chef-owner Mark McDonald, serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner, with menu items that reflect a focus on regionalism and the use of seasonal ingredients — a hallmark of Chef Mark’s culinary training in southern Italy. Daytime customers choose from a wide variety of panini, omelets, specialty breakfast items, and small plates, while evening diners can be found leisurely enjoying four-course tasting menus, complete with expertly selected wine and beer pairings.
Chef Mark continues pursuing new ways to introduce unique food and wine to customers by collaborating with winemakers from around the world. His search for fresh interpretations of traditional food and wine pairings drives the creativity behind the often-changing seasonal tasting menu. Chef Mark is often found in deep conversation with winemakers and distributors, analyzing potential wine pairings and bringing on up-and-coming selections for their popular “Six for Sixty” wine program. Additionally, these discussions spark theme ideas for Community Wine Dinner, educational events in which diners explore a specific region or winery through a seven-course food and wine pairing dinner.
Engagement with customers and the community remains a priority for Chef Mark — he is proud to partner with Melissa’s Produce and local farmers, and can often be found participating in local festivals and events. Chef Mark is currently booking spaces for the 9th annual Splendors of Italy tours, culinary-driven vacations through southern Italy featuring hands-on cooking lessons from master chefs; winery, historical site, and agriturismo visits; and multi-course meals featuring regional cuisine. Additionally, Chef Mark teaches at the Italian Culinary Institute in Italy, and is an international culinary consultant under Master Italian Chef John Nocita.
Old Vine Café