FataMagistra thinks Café Les Junelles is pretty much the perfect little chef-owned restaurant—a real labor of love. For breakfast, there are perfect poached eggs, excellent chicken fried steak, and very sweet service from the chef and his children. Kathleen M loves the place too—for those eggs, and for the best corned beef ever. Dinner is just as good as breakfast, she says, and shows an equal level of care. Take the Caesar salad: whole, pale inner leaves of romaine, with fresh grated Parmesan, olive tapenade, and a single crouton. She was particularly happy to see the chef emulsify the dressing moments before it was served.

They do wonderful things with potatoes, too. At both dinner and brunch, you can find beautiful little potato cakes—fluffy inside, lightly crisp outside, and a pleasingly buttery taste throughout.

Also great is the equally small, equally charming, and equally chef-owned Rendezvous Inn, with fabulous wild boar terrine, impeccable pork loin, and an impressively talkative, sweet chef. Both Café Les Junelles and Rendezvous Inn “showed off the chefs’ background/training/experience in top-flight restaurants, but—perhaps sometimes just as, if not more, importantly—highlighted the passion, dedication and craft that these men and their partners brought to the profession,” says FataMagistra.

Café Les Junelles [Sonoma County]
20391 Highway 116, Monte Rio

Rendezvous Inn & Restaurant [Sonoma County]
647 North Main Street, Fort Bragg

Board Link: 2 great little chef-owned/operated restaurants: Cafe Des Jumelles (Monte Rio) & Rendezvous Inn

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