Former Proprietors Of BiCE Ristorante San Diego To Open Ciccia Osteria In Barrio Logan

June 14, 2019

From the husband-and-wife chef team that previously operated BiCE Ristorante in downtown San Diego comes Ciccia Osteria, a rustic fast-casual Italian restaurant now in its soft opening stage in Barrio Logan.

The Italy-born culinary couple of Francesca Penocelli and Mario Cassineri operated BiCE Ristorante in downtown San Diego for nearly a decade before closing it in summer 2017. In 2005, Mario joined the BICE Restaurant Group as Executive Corporate Chef, and along with his wife and pastry chef Francesca, opened BICE Beirut in Lebanon, and other BICE restaurants in Miami, Bethesda, Chicago, Kansas City, and elsewhere, until finally landing in San Diego. From 2009 until its closing in 2017, Mario and Francesca operated BICE Ristorante in downtown San Diego to critical acclaim, but the large space eventually became too much to maintain in a changing restaurant climate. Chef Mario has also consulted on the menus for Madison on Park in University Heights, Officine Buona Forchetta in Liberty Station, and, most recently, Amici Ristobar in Del Mar. He is also in the process of opening Blade 1936, a California-Italian fusion restaurant unveiling this fall in the historic building that once housed Blade-Tribune newspaper in Oceanside.

Located in Barrio Logan just a few miles from the San Diego Convention Center, Ciccia Osteria is the fruit of the couple's many years of experience as culinary artists and chefs around the world. The name "Ciccia" comes from an Italian expression commonly used by parents to call their children, very similar to "sweetie," while an Osteria is a casual Italian restaurant based around a simple menu of seasonal dishes and inexpensive wines. Located in what was previously a home, Ciccia Osteria will offer a Tuscan-style decor with an exposed interior brick wall decorated with dishware, an upstairs dining room, and an intimate outdoor patio centered around a custom hexagonal wood-table. Chef Francesca will oversee the kichen on a daily basis, presenting an ever-evolving menu of Italian comfort foods featuring scratch-made pasta & dishes for every dietary type. Customers will order at the counter, which will house a dessert display case, then sit-down at a table of their choice - first come, first serve. There will also be a value-oriented wine list featuring California and Italian varietals available by the glass, carafe and full bottle. Contrary to the expansive opulence that was BiCE, dining at Ciccia Osteria will be like eating at an Italian home. 

Ciccia Osteria is now in its soft opening stage within the 2,475 square foot standalone building at 2233 Logan Avenue in San Diego's Barrio Logan neighborhood. For more information, visit and check out some photos of the space below.