Cafe culture comes to Onset

Jul 7, 2021

Jean and Domenic Avellino launched their new restaurant, Italian Market Cafe, with a specific vision in mind: They wanted to bring a piece of Italian cafe culture home to Onset.

Everything about the Italian Market Cafe is inspired by the Avellinos’ trips to Italy to visit Domenic’s family — from the atmosphere to the menu.

“The feeling of it is when we would go to visit Italy to see my family there, this is the feeling of walking in the cafe,” Domenic said. “There’s nice flowing music, the ambiance, the lighting, the food, the smiles, the smells. So we wanted to kind of bring a little bit of that to their experience here.”

People are often in a rush, Domenic said, and the couple wanted the cafe to be a place where things could slow down. Jean said she hopes the cafe is a “place you can sit and have a good time, talk, hear each other’s stories.”

Domenic explained that he and Jean grew up frequently enjoying foods like pastries and deli sandwiches. With a lot of time on their hands during the pandemic lockdown, they decided to start a business.

“Living in this beautiful neighborhood of Onset that we absolutely love, [...] we decided to bring a lot of those delicious things here to the community,” Domenic said.

The Avellinos both work full-time jobs outside of the cafe, so it is a weekend-only business, at least for now. Jean works for an oral surgeon in Duxbury and Domenic is a headhunter for a staffing agency.

Jean said when she first moved to Onset she used to find herself looking for a place like the business she’d go on to establish.

“When I first started coming down here, I would be like, ‘Oh I just want to go get a good pastry somewhere,’” she said. “Or a nice loaf of bread — and so that’s why I was like, ‘You know what, if I can’t find it, we’ll open it.’”

The goal was “to bring something different in” for everyone to enjoy, Domenic said.

The menu is full of cuisine found in typical Italian cafes, Jean explained.

“When we go to Italy, the first thing we do is just get a panini,” Jean explained.

The cafe offers two paninis: The Italiano is “fresh parma prosciutto, soppressata, provolone cheese, arugula and red roasted peppers on a beautiful focaccia bread,” Jean explained. And the Caprese is fresh mozzarella, tomatoes, fresh basil, olive oil and a balsamic glaze on focaccia bread.

Another featured menu item is arancini, which she described as “a stuffed risotto” or a “rice ball.” The cafe sells pastries and sweets such as cannoli, croissants, tiramisu, lemon squares and cheesecake. Coffee, fresh bread and other Italian groceries are also sold.

Although they’ve only been open for about a month’s-worth of weekends, Jean said business has been great so far.

“We’re so lucky to have this community,” she said. “Everyone’s come in.”

Italian Market Cafe, located at 144 Onset Ave., is open Saturdays and Sundays from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and accepts cash or credit card payments. For more information and, visit the cafe’s Facebook page: