Genuine Italian Cuisine

Our Story

Welcome to Ciccia Osteria, an exciting new concept in authentic Italian cuisine located in the vibrant neighborhood of Barrio Logan.

Ciccia is a term of endearment, similar to “sweetie”, that parents in Italy often call their children, and this love-child of renowned Chefs Francesca Penoncelli and Mario Casineri was born from the culinary artists’ experiences cooking in kitchens all around the world. In Italy, an Osteria is a restaurant serving simple food and wine, with the menu of traditional recipes based around daily availability of ingredients. Customers traditionally order and pay at the counter, and then sit at the table of their choice---there are no reserved tables. The osteria is usually run by l’oste or host, who sees to the satisfaction of the guests.

At Ciccia Osteria, we have embraced this concept to bring our customers delicious, affordable cuisine in a cozy, welcoming atmosphere. From our hand-crafted pasta to our perfect-ending desserts, our dishes have at their heart the time-honored recipes we learned in our mothers’ and grandmothers’ kitchens in our native Italy, interpreted with a modern touch. Our wines are carefully curated to enhance the enjoyment of every dish. We invite you to experience for yourself the simple pleasure of authentic Italian cuisine at Ciccia Osteria.


About the Chefs


A Life dedicated to the art of modern Italian cuisine

Chef Francesca’s inspiration comes from a deep-rooted passion for food, a result of an Italian upbringing filled with warm memories of family dinners, picking fruit and vegetables from her grandmother’s garden and foraging for mushrooms and berries with her grandfather. Chef Francesca began working in the kitchen when she was just 14-years-old during holiday breaks from school, where she quickly picked up the basic skills she would later perfect during five years at culinary school in Piedmont, Italy.

After finishing culinary school, Chef Francesca went on to work in kitchens around the world, flourishing as a chef while embracing other cultures in France, South Korea, Lebanon, Dubai and throughout the United States. During her experience as Sous Chef at BiCE Ristorante in San Diego, Chef Francesca has gained a following as the mastermind behind the restaurant’s Italian imported cheese bar and remarkable dessert menu. In the BiCE kitchen, Chef Francesca worked closely with Chef Mario Cassineri to create fresh and flavorful dishes incorporating homemade pasta, sauces and more.

Chef Mario Cassineri who was born and raised in Milan, Italy, infuses a taste of cultural flare and tradition into each flavorful dish that he designs. Driven by a desire to both delight his guests as well as put a modern spin on contemporary dishes, Chef Mario credits his success in the kitchen to two defining attributes: palate and passion.


Genuine Italian Cuisine