Vernal equinox is a time of gorgeous blossoms, seasonal allergies, and fresh spring cocktail menus rolling out to your favorite cocktail bars. The best place to experience all three at once is at Farmhouse restaurant, located inside Roger’s Gardens in Corona del Mar. The six-acre landscaping mecca is more than just a high-end plant shop, it’s a place to grab a drink, dine, and properly waste an afternoon while hydrangea-shopping.
Farmhouse is open air, so don’t be surprised if the nearby rose section’s pungent evening perfume intoxicates you just as much as the craft cocktail menu. The ever-running tranquil sound of fountains for sale blend with the natural harmony of the birds, bees, and butterflies fluttering about, sometimes in perfect rhythmic unison with the bar’s cocktail shakers. Only things missing are hammocks.
Chef + Owner Rich Mead and cocktail R+D bartender Anthony Laborin visit the local farmers markets weekly and edit their food and drink menus with what’s fresh and local, even down to locally made booze from L.A.’s Green Bar Distillery.
Drinks like the Butter What? boast fresh market egg whites, butternut squash, allspice, and rum, and may only be on the menu as long as the ingredients are available.
Hello Spring! is their welcome beverage, built with Schaner Farms blood oranges, fresh-squeezed lemons, local honey, L.A.’s Green Bar Tru Organic Gin, and accented with a Coleman Family Farm Borage bloom. It looks like Easter in a glass, smells like an orange grove at night, and has just enough juniper to balance things out. Although the craft cocktails are $14, Farmhouse doesn’t take itself too seriously. With drink names such as All Up Pińa and the Wedding Crasher, it’s all about having a great time in the cozy outdoor space.
Chef Rich’s food is also noteworthy, yet hard to write about as it will surely change by the time you read this. A great place to start is the market soup and pizza of the day. Many elements of his dishes are fairly exotic, biodynamic or organic, and fresh, yet are familiar in taste and texture to classics, such as a Japanese potato dish he served that gave me flashbacks to Thanksgiving sweet potatoes.
One doesn’t need a green thumb to experience Farmhouse, just an appetite for life and a few tasty cocktails.
Farmhouse at Roger’s Gardens 2301 San Joaquin Hills Road, Corona del Mar // farmhouserg.com