Roger’s Garden is a gorgeous nursery where visitors are invited to stroll among the vibrant foliage and various garden amenities for sale. Last fall, Farmhouse opened at Roger’s Garden, a beautiful restaurant exuding the charm of a French countryside café, while still possessing the laid back appeal of southern California.
I’ve been enamored by Chef Mead’s menu from my very first visit, and have since returned with friends. I’d heard so much about Chef Mead through the years, both from customers, and industry folks, all with high praise and admiration for a man many consider to be an OC icon.
There is an abundance of glorious produce on Chef Mead’s menu. Each week, he travels to Santa Monica Farmers Market to procure the finest of vegetables which he then transforms into the tasty plates you’ll experience.
Perhaps one of the most delicious items is Roast Satsumaimo Potatoes ($8) a tantalizing dish on its own, but made even more spectacular with an apple cider molasses glaze. If you order one vegetable dish, please make it this!
Another notable item is House Cured Salmon ($15) a platter of house-cured salmon, served alongside tomato slices, capers, pickled red onion, Persian cucumbers and radish, whole grain mustard, with pumpernickel toast points. This allows you to assemble your own little open-face sandwiches with all, or a few of the accoutrements.
Roast Cauliflower Steak ($9) is a vegetarian’s dream. As a carnivore, I thoroughly enjoyed this thick cut of sweet cauliflower, dressed in an aromatic chimichurri sauce.
It is truly unfortunate that Roast Asparagus ($12 ) is only available off the dinner menu as it is, without a doubt, one of the most stunning dishes you’ll come across. I wasn’t sure I’d like the sauce gribiche at first as it looked heavy. Surprisingly, the gribiche – a French mayonnaise-style cold egg sauce made by emulsifying hard-boiled egg yolks and mustard with oil – is creamy in consistency and unctuous on the palate, yet never cloying or heavy. Divine!
One of the entrées offered during both lunch and dinner is Roast Panko Crusted Icelandic Cod ($26 lunch/$30 dinner). Chef Mead is celebrated for his ability to bring humble vegetables to the fore, and there is no mistaking that the concoction of creamy Tehachapi Grain Project farro, English peas, fava beans, asparagus, and roast sun gold tomato olive tapenade, is the star on the plate. Although the cod is moist and perfectly executed, it is the vegetables that leave an imprint on my mind. (photo does not depict full portion)
I am obsessed with Hoisin Glazed Pork Tenderloin and Saimin Noodles ($26) but unfortunately, it is only available on the dinner menu. This bowl of hearty savory broth is dotted with market veggies, hard cooked eggs, pickled watermelon radish, and Windrose Farms Asian greens. It is one of those comfort foods which makes me feel like I’m being enveloped by a warm blanket on a shivering night. (photo does not depict full portion)
If you’re planning to visit Farmhouse, you must make a reservation, or face the possibility of being turned away. The restaurant is always packed and it’s easy to see why. I can’t wait to return for that bowl of saimin!
Farmhouse at Roger’s Garden
2301 San Joaquin Hills Rd
Corona Del Mar, CA 92625