Remember Idle Hour? The NoHo Restaurant/bar housed in the giant barrels on Vineland? The one with the world’s best cosmopolitan? Yes, that place. They are now taking advantage of their gorgeous patio by serving lunch Tuesdays through Fridays from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. and a weekend brunch.
At a recent media lunch, we were lucky enough to dine in the Bulldog Café, a 2-story replica of the original Bulldog Café rescued from The Peterson Automotive Museum. It seats about 15 people and could hold more comfortably for a cocktail party. It is available to rent, so make your next birthday dinner extra kitschy!
Besides items from the dinner menu, there are a few special creations for lunch, including Roasted Brussels Sprouts with pepitas, vermouth, and orange zest, which were very popular at my table. The Chicken Liver Mousse with seasonal marmalade was also a big hit. I know, it sounds like a menu my mother invented to punish me. But I really did love the roasted carrots, so at least I got some vegetables in me.
Saturdays and Sundays, brunch runs from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. It features a variety of freshly squeezed juices that can also be served mimosa-style with champagne. “Shorty & Grits,” a plate of braised short ribs, rustic grits, and beef jus is meaty and substantial, so you had better come hungry. For those with lighter appetites, there is the “Sunrise Bowl” with seasonal fruit purée topped with seasonal fruits, banana, housemade granola, and dried berries.
At Idle Hour, it’s still all about the cocktails. I am a big fan of their Mule on tap, which uses their own house-made ginger ale. You can even get a spiked root beer float. There is a huge selection of draft beer, including my favorite — Alaska Amber Ale. Inside, the warm woods and comfy seating make for a perfect business lunch, and the shady patio works for anything from a romantic brunch to a family get-together. And any time is drinking time.