Osteria Ciceri e Tria

The Ultimate Kitchen Party

The design of Osteria Ciceri e Tria is rooted in an age-old model of Italian hospitality: the family-run tavern. It seats 60 and promises an intimate experience, a perpetual ‘dinner-party’ where gastronomic specialties and exquisite wines change daily, according to the food in season as well as the whim of the host – in this case the visionaries behind the successful Terroni restaurants. The experimental design for this contemporary Osteria is guided by a manifesto of sorts developed to ensure precision in nuance and detail of this new dining concept.

Located in the heart of downtown Toronto, the atmosphere at the Osteria is at once intimate and sociable, a dinner party where all guests share the same table and the same food. Entry through the artisanal storefront announces to the visitor that they are in for a treat in old-world hospitality.

Once inside however, it is apparent that the rustic has been made modern: surfaces of reclaimed woods and stripped boards are routered with ‘machined’ precision, inlayed with crisp steel and punctuated with powder-coated industrial components.

Custom designed never ending communal table for the perpetual dinner party.

The focal point of the interior is the long, central communal table, where 20 can indulge in common amusement and interaction between strangers, as well as between host and guest is encouraged. There is an intentional blurring between thresholds of production and presentation, service and served, the individual and the collective.

Custom designed lights inspired by bicycles of the Giro D’Italia.

With a slight adjustment of its spring-loaded lamp, the flower-covered pasta making butcher block by day becomes the 8‑person family dining table by night, still carved with the secret recipe of Ciceri e Tria, the dish for which the Osteria was named.

The limited menu changes daily, depending on the season, the market and the mood of the chef. The quality however is always guaranteed, as is loyalty to the ‘hand- made.’ Like its food, the architecture of Osteria Ciceri e Tria experiments with registering ‘the hand’ that has fashioned it with an embedded rather than superficial layer of decorative and coded elements – such as family snap-shots, family names, clips of proud manifestos and doily patterns cured into the concrete. All elements of the design have been custom made, with the exception of the chairs, stools and yellow, industrial lights.

Project Facts

  • Client

    Terroni Restaurants

  • Location

    Toronto, Ontario

  • Size

    1,290 sq.ft.

  • Status


  • Sub-Consultant Team

    Structural — Blackwell Bowick Partnership Ltd.


  • Photography

    Ben Rahn

  • Artist / Graphics

    Graphic Design — Small Design Studio