Craving Italian food in St. Paul? Café Astoria debuts after-hours menu

Dec 25, 2023 983

BY: Christine Schuster

As evening falls outside Café Astoria in St. Paul, a dozen or so tables are set with linens and vintage Chinaware underneath dimmed lighting. Three nights a week, the locally-owned coffee shop and crêperie moonlights as an intimate, full-service Italian restaurant. For Chef John Occhiato, who owns Café Astoria alongside his life-and-business partner Leah Raymundo, the new venture harkens back to his childhood on the East Coast. 

"Every Sunday in my childhood was pasta and sauce," he said. The evening menu at Café Astoria is full of Italian American dishes, such as a rigatoni with a smashed meatball ragu, pappardelle bolognese, porchetta and cacio e pepe. "It's not complicated," Occhiato said. "It's simple and you don't really see that anymore." 

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