Onano Neighborhood Cafe Embraces Fall Season

September 13, 2010 by Joyce Owen

While we’ve yet to notice a chill in the air, Chef Chris Joyner is already making plans for his fall season menu.

And that makes it the perfect time to check out Onano Neighborhood Café in Rosemary Beach.

Joyner says, “I'll be adding some braised dishes to the menu and adjusting the seasonal items. And I'll be running some of the dishes as specials before the menu is changed – to see which ones are the most popular.”

So pick an evening where you can dine al fresco, try the new offerings and maybe you can help determine the dishes that will be part of the fall line up.

Joe Messina, the general manager, introduced many of the Italian wines currently available, but he is in the process of finding new wines for the fall, Joyner says.

Bringing Messina to the restaurant a year and a half ago gave Joyner the opportunity to get back in the kitchen. Before that, he was juggling both the kitchen and the dining room.

“Now that we have Joe, I can step out of the dining room and concentrate on the food. Consistency is our number one priority here and we have the best crew that we’ve ever had.”

Meeting the expectations of customers when they dine at Onano is of major importance to the chef. If a customer would like a specific dish not on the menu or has a special dietary need, Joyner is happy to prepare those dishes including vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free items whenever possible.

With Messina’s knowledge of wines and years of experience in the restaurant business he can help customers choose the best wine to go with their dining selection.

“From a service standpoint, matching the right wine with a dish is a learning experience. Talking about the flavors of a dish and characteristics of a wine makes you think of different possibilities,” Messina says.

In addition to the new menu, Joyner is joining other Rosemary Beach restaurants this fall in presenting Rosemary Uncorked, which will allows guests to taste signature dishes paired with boutique wines.

“We're looking forward to the Uncorked event and will have some nice wines for everyone to try,” he says.

Onano is located at 78 Main Street near the Western Green in Rosemary Beach. For the fall and winter season, the restaurant opens for dinner at 5 p.m., Monday through Saturday. To make reservations, call (850) 231-2436 or go to

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