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Dining Guide for Families in Orange County

Calivino Wine Pub: A Neighborhood Gem By Angel Stadium

We attended as a guest fo Calivino

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I’m kind of a sucker for independently owned businesses, especially restaurants. I’m always excited to see someone who loves food and wine make a go of their dream and succeed. For business owner, Daniel Bradley, his dream became a reality five months ago with the opening of his first restaurant Calivino Wine Pub in Anaheim.

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Last week I was invited to come to try their new Fall menu with wines paired by Daniel. Located in a storefront surrounded by office space, apartments, and Angels stadium, Calivino draws not only a local crowd, but also business people and game and concert goers.

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The first thing I noticed when walking in were the polished concrete floors, reclaimed wood tables, modern lighting, and salvaged wood art collection which gives the wine pub a modern industrial look. Its location and comfortable yet stylish atmosphere make it a great place for a business lunch, happy hour, pre or post game noshes or a fun date night out.

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Daniel, a graduate of Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo began his career in Finance and weathered the ups and downs of the market but ultimately decided he craved a life doing something he really enjoyed. His time in San Luis Obispo must have made an imprint because for him that “something” is now focused around fine wine and craft beers. Along with an ever changing wine and beer list Daniel and Chef Patrick Dale come up with delicious casual dishes that change with the seasons to keep things interesting and that focus on quality, fresh ingredients with almost everything made in house.

Their offerings start with small bites like bacon dates with goat cheese and honey, spinach wontons with parmesan and garlic, hand cut fries with herbs and aioli, marinated olives with herbs and chili, a cheese platter, Brussels sprouts, Allison’s baked brie… his girlfriend’s recipe, and new on the menu short rib and pork belly sliders.

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I tried the Brussels sprouts, which were coated lightly in honey and then roasted until nice and caramelized and garnished with crispy pork. Daniel selected Masi Masianco Pinot Grigio e Verduzzo to accompany them which was fruity and fuller than many pinot grigios and had notes of honey and citrus. It paired really well with the Brussels sprouts.

In addition to the recent addition of the two sliders to the Fall menu, Daniel and Chef Patrick Dale have included several Signature dishes including corn “chowda” garnished with jalapeno and duck chicharrones, braised short rib poutine made with short ribs, and duck pot pie. One of my favorite comfort foods is chicken pot pie, so I went with the duck pot pie and also ordered the Autumn salad, new to the menu as well.

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The pot pie was made with large chunks of house made shredded duck confit and aromatics in a thick rich creamy sauce seasoned with fresh thyme and was topped with a flaky puff pastry. Daniel selected a 2009 Reserve Vina Eguía Rioja to serve with it. The rioja was peppery with herbal notes and paired perfectly with the duck.

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The Autumn salad combined a mound of baby spinach with salty, sweet, tart, and crunchy elements including Danish blue cheese, dried cranberries, green apples, and house made garlic croutons all lightly tossed in a shallot vinaigrette. For a light lunch or dinner, chicken can be added.

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In keeping with the Fall theme, I opted for the bread pudding for dessert with cinnamon caramel sauce. Made with brioche, it was unbelievably moist and reminded me a little bit of French toast with its cinnamony flavor. Kicking it right over the top was a heavenly house made bacon brittle sprinkled over it. Daniel paired this with a nice light, fruity Fratelli Proseco.

The menu also offers several burgers and sandwiches. The burgers are made with a blend of 50-50 chuck and brisket blend and are served on egg washed potato buns made fresh at a local bakery and topped with fried onions, house made onion jam, and Havarti. Or try the pork belly burger with chuck/brisket, pork belly, gouda and garlic or the lamb burger with mint, garlic, onion jam and gremolata yogurt. My server’s favorite sandwich however is the fried chicken sandwich with jodori chicken, jalapeno and pickled onion slaw.

One final word… be sure to ask about the Death Row bottles. Any opened bottle of wine left over from the previous day is marked down to $10 so you could be getting several glasses of a nice bottle of wine at a bargain price.

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Calivino Wine Pub is located at 2410 East Katella Avenue in Anaheim and is opened for lunch Monday through Friday 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., with dinner served daily from 3:00 p.m. to close and happy hour from 3:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Sunday through Friday.

Dana Wilde grew up playing “sous chef” for her father as he churned out one amazing meal after the next for family and friends. She inherited her father’s life long passion for cooking and has spent the past two decades studying, reading, practicing, experimenting, and creating in the kitchen. Together, she and her sister, Shan are Simply Wilde, a small boutique catering business focusing on in-home entertaining.

Calivino on Urbanspoon

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