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Celebrating Spring at Farmhouse Restaurant

We dined as a guest of the venue

I don’t know about you, but for me the luxury of living in an area with weather that permits year round outdoor dining is one of my favorite things about living in Orange County. And judging by the wait time to get a seat at the relatively new, Farmhouse at Roger’s Garden, I am not alone in this sentiment.

Since its opening last year, I’ve had an increasingly difficult time getting in to this, one of my favorite new spots. With lines for bar seating and long lead times for reservations, I consider it a real treat when I do get to dine here. So, when invited to a preview of Chef Rich Mead’s new Spring Menu, there was no way I was not going.

There’s a reason for this. Farmhouse, set amidst the beautiful grounds of Roger’s Garden, offers an enchanting covered outdoor dining area with a thoughtful “field to fork” menu made possible by the relationships Chef Rich Mead has cultivated with some of our area’s best farmers over the years.

So what treats has Chef Mead been working on for his Spring Menu?

Well, our journey began with one of their craft cocktails. The Spiced Rum Daiquiri.

While we mingled and sipped this intriguing clovey cocktail, we were treated to their House Cured Salmon. This memorable appetizer is served with tomato, capers, pickled red onion, Persian cucumbers and radish, with whole grain mustard on pumpernickel. The salmon is, in a word sublime. I don’t think I could ever not order this. This dish alone, is worth the trip and the wait, and that’s saying something as I live 35 minutes away with no traffic.

Next up, was the beautiful Market Salad with strawberries, sugar snap peas, red onion, radish, sun gold tomatoes, mixed Coleman Farms greens, balsamic vinaigrette, goat cheese, and pistachios. While strawberries give me hives, I couldn’t resist and ate it any way and it was worth it.

We then were served a trio of vegetable dishes.

Roast Cauliflower Steak with chimichurri sauce. This could almost make an entrée for vegetarians. Roasted cauliflower has converted me from a hater of this vegetable to a fan and I always love chimichurri.

Roast Satsumaimo Potatoes with apple cider molasses glaze. If you enjoy the sweet potatoes, this dish is one you’ll enjoy.

And Roast Asparagus, my favorite of the vegetable dishes served with sauce gribiche, and crispy parmesan chips. Not familiar with gribiche? Yeah, neither was I. It’s a mayo made with hard boiled egg yolks, mustard and a neutral oil. The asparagus was perfectly roasted, still slightly firm and let me tell you, the gribiche, was luxurious and delicious.

Our entrées included:

Roast Panko Crusted Icelandic Cod with creamy Tehachapi Grain Project farro, English peas, fava beans, asparagus, roast sun gold and tomato olive tapenade. Texture is everything for me and this has it. I’m a fan of cod because it’s a bit thicker, while still moist, and has a mild flavor. This melted in my mouth and was one of my favorite dishes.

And Hoisin Glazed Pork Tenderloin and Saimin Noodles with market veggies, hard cooked eggs, pickled watermelon radish, broth, Windrose Farms Asian greens. This was a ramen dish and it was packed with flavor and also one of my favorites.

As if we needed another course, next came the cheese, which included, Neals Yard White Cheddar, Rogue Creamery Caveman Blue, Brilliat Sivran Affine from France. The Brillat Sivran Affine was dreamy, creamy, and the clear winner at our table.

And finally, dessert. Strawberry Shortcake with sweet cream. strawberry coulis and strawberry ice cream. Once again, I faced my strawberry allergy and it was worth it. The shortcake alone is to die for. Perfectly crumbly and it stood up to the cream without getting soggy. For me anyway, next to good strawberries, the shortcake is where it’s at.

If you’re wondering about what wines were paired…

Mont Gravet Rose, Landuedoc, 2015.

Department C Pinot Noir, Andersen Valley, 2012

Vietti Moscato d’Asti, Cascinetta

A beautiful evening, a beautiful dining experience, surrounded with beautiful foodie friends at Farmhouse at Roger’s Garden.


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