In November, Saint Paul’s Payne Avenue will welcome its newest neighbor: Café Lilla. The newest venture from Jon Oulman, of the 331 Club and the Sheridan Room fame, Café Lilla will feature small, shareable plates with a variety of unique wines, ciders, beers, and sakes from around the globe.
In partnership with hospitality and restaurant creative Bill LaVigne, Oulman is launching the restaurant in conjunction with an art gallery and retail space, all housed in the same charming brownstone on the corner of Payne and Jessamine Avenue.
Clothed in soft blues and grays, Café Lilla draws from the European lilacs that inspired its name: wooden tables with Belgian linens, vintage rugs, and and a small stage that will offer quiet entertainment a few nights a week.
Lilla will draw from modern Spanish and Italian cuisines while sourcing many of its ingredients from the restaurant’s cohort, Eastside Gardener, an urban greenhouse just a few blocks away—resulting in a menu that marries local ingredients with European preparations. Pato negro prosciutto is wrapped around local asparagus; duck confit nestles against foraged wild mushrooms, and deviled eggs get a quenelle of caviar alongside.
A retail space will welcome all guests at the front of the restaurant, and the adjoining art gallery will lead into a small garden: a secluded space with an outdoor pizza oven, warm lighting, and soft music.
Café Lilla will open November 30, and will be open for lunch and dinner service Tuesday through Sunday, with a special weekend brunch menu. The restaurant will be closed on Mondays.