My regular pilgrimages to Roger’s Gardens fulfill my yearning to be a better gardener and live in a creatively decorated house. Today, I met my sister there for our annual jaunt to explore the amazingly creative Halloween-themed rooms. (Side note: this is one of the best years for their Halloween décor in many). I was wandering the grounds while awaiting my sister when I remembered their new café.
This was no “café.” The Farmhouse at Roger’s Gardens is a full-scale lunch and dinner restaurant in a phenomenal setting, and with an ambience that begs for a bottle of wine with your meal so you can linger for hours. Since it was nearing lunchtime, I inquired when they’d be serving. The super-friendly bartender said, “lunch service begins at 11:30, but guests start lining up before 11.” Pardon? Line up?? Yes, Farmhouse is so popular that lunch and dinner reservations are pre-booked through the month of October. They do, however, keep the beautiful bar area and a few smaller tables available for walk-ins, thus the queue forming long before service.
Assuming the food is fantastic with its fresh field-to-fork theme by chef Rich Mead, I requested a peak at the wine list, half expecting the common four-to-six wines by the glass and the normal handful of bottles to order. On the contrary, I had a ball perusing the list of 40-plus bottles, including some charmers like the Liquid Farm Chardonnay from the Santa Rita Hills, a Soter Pinot Noir from Oregon’s Willamette Valley, and the yummy Adami Prosecco. Farmhouse clearly knows their guests as they also have a wine listing titled “The Usual Suspects” with favored Orange County pours such as Rombauer Chardonnay and Ferrari Carano Fume Blanc. Prices range from $9-to-$17 for by-the-glass and $25-to-$150 for bottles.
With my taste buds raring and my stomach growling, I pictured myself relaxing alfresco on this fall day with a grilled hanger steak and heirloom tomato panzanella with a glass of Germano Angelo Barbera alongside. Alas, I left with two mini Halloween tombstones for my daughters and ate a protein bar on the drive home. But tomorrow, I’ll be making my Farmhouse reservations for a November respite from the kitchen—and again in December to enjoy Roger’s Gardens’ amazing Christmas décor.
Farmhouse at Roger’s Gardens