Path to success: Feel right at home at Trail Cafe & Grill

Beef brisket with cole slaw and fries at Trail Cafe & Grill in North Naples.

Beef brisket with cole slaw and fries at Trail Cafe & Grill in North Naples.

Trail Café & Grill

Where: 12820 U.S. 41 N., North Naples

Hours: 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. every day

Information: (239) 598-2480; www.trailcafenaples.com

— Christopher and Trish Jubinville say they just want you to feel as though you’re sitting in their home kitchen. That’s the philosophy behind the warm ambience and homestyle food at the chef husband-and-wife team’s Trail Café & Grill in North Naples.

The couple both graduated from Johnson & Wales University, Rhode Island, and are skilled in the culinary arts as well as food service, so this kitchen serves thoughtfully developed dishes described as a “blend of European and Southern comfort food.”

“We make everything fresh — no canned goods or liquid eggs are ever used. I buy the best ingre­dients and use no generic brands my produce is high quality and fresh — like portobellos rather than button mushrooms,” said Christopher Ju­binville. “My products are all top-quality, and that makes our dishes taste like the best home cooking around.”

The customer breakfast favorite, eggs Benedict ($9.99-$13.99) are made traditionally, or with lox, bacon, sausage, Florentine style or with crab and thermidor sauce.

Choose from French toast done five ways ($6.99-$11.99) like one made with custard-dipped challah to the pecan croissant French toast with grilled peaches to a simple egg breakfast sand­wich with choice of bread ($3.99-$4.99).

Omelets ($8.99-$9.99) are offered in six vari­eties and served with choice of hash browns, cottage fries, fruit, grits or sliced tomato, toast or biscuit.

Breakfast skillets ($9.99) come in Greek, Mexi­can, Santa Fe and Trail — or opt for pancakes ($2.50 - $6.49) or crepes ($9.99).

Start lunch with a homemade soup ($3.99-$4.99) and move to hot sandwiches ($8.99-$10.99) like the Tuscan grilled chicken breast or cold sandwiches like the anjou pear and turkey croissant.

For a lighter lunch, select an entrée salad ($9.99-$13.99), cold or hot wraps ($8.99-$10.99) or standard fare like burgers and melts.($7.49­$9.99). Or for heartier fare, opt for full blown entrees like mom’s meatloaf, the grilled herb salmon to fish and chips ($8.99-$10.99). The building itself, adorned with a growing selection of antiques from the previous owners, has a long history. Before its first incarnation as the Trail Cafe, it was a restaurant featuring Mediterranean cuisine; before that, it was a Christian café and bookstore.

Jubinville said her husband has worked at Azul for three years and was instrumental in the local restaurant’s acquisition of the Mobil fivestar and AAA five-diamond awards. He was also the banquet chef de partie at the opening of the Conrad Miami in 2004.

In 2006, Christopher Jubinville began work with the Hyatt Coconut Point Hotel’s Tarpon Bay restaurant and its Tanglewood Restaurant as culinary supervisor.

Trish Jubinville worked in Miami Beach for three years at Joe’s Stone Crab with the former owners of the Trail Café as general manager. Cultivating an affinity for frontof- house, she said she found her niche.

A year ago, the couple was ready to own their own restaurant and purchased the Trail Café & Grill. It comfortably seats 86, and after regular hours, becomes a spot for private sit-down dinners, complete with cocktail service for social and charitable functions.

As a testament to its growing popularity, Jubinville said business is u p by 32 percent for the off-season over last year.

She manages a staff of 15 in season and eight to 10 off season. Servers are attentive and friendly without being intrusive, and that, she said, is their forte.

“My staff is the best ever. I couldn’t do it without them,” she said.

Trish Jubinville is also a speaker for Florida Gulf Coast University that recognizes her accomplishments as a young business owner. She was recently named to the Southwest Florida chapter of the Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association board of directors.

The duo have ambitious plans and their vision is to open a second Trail Café & Grill in Miami in two years, followed by a full-dinner restaurant — Chris’ dream, said Trish Jubinville.

The couple, married for eight years, met in college and has been together for 14 years. They are avid dog lovers, and during the café’s recent oneyear anniversary, they held a fundraiser for the benefit the Humane Society. That day, patrons were treated to a slice of Trish Jubinville’s version of Italian Cream Cake.

© 2011 marconews.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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