Orange County-based restaurateur Russ Bendel is bringing a sister restaurant to his thriving wine country concepts, Vine and Ironwood, to the Newport Beach/Costa Mesa dining scene.
OLEA, named for a genus of trees that flourish in warm and tropical regions and scheduled to open by year’s end, will be a European twist on the Napa/Sonoma-inspired cuisine and spirits at Vine, the restaurant Bendel assumed ownership of four years ago.
Both Vine and Ironwood recently were named in Brad A. Johnson's “75 Best Places to Eat” in the Orange County Register. Ironwood also named one of the six restaurants in “Best of the New” in Orange Coast Magazine's April 2017 “Best Restaurants” issue and was honored as “Best New Restaurant” in 2016 by the Golden Foodies.
Bendel, a graduate of The Collins College of Hospitality Management, Cal Poly Pomona, was with Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar in Newport Beach for nine years before striking out on his own.