Osteria Giulia, Toronto

Guido Costantino Projects, Toronto

Photography by Doublespace Photography 

The brand-new first edition of Michelin Guide Toronto awarded a coveted star to Yorkville’s Osteria Giulia. Here, the guidebook says, “Flickering candlelight bounces off cream-coloured walls and blond-oak tables running down the length of this restaurant.” In the subdued space, partial-height curved walls made of delicately veined limestone, and a folded ceiling springing from a cove-lit datum above the limestone, create intimate dining nooks separated by fin-wall bulkheads. A shifting pattern of reveals incised in the long wood-panelled wall adds subtle detail to the otherwise spartan, even monastic, space. However, a refined sense of humour—a wry smile rather than a guffaw—lightens the mood: a central baptismal font-like water-serving fountain anchors the sculptural space while Kundalini Kushi suspension lamps, evoking oversize toothpick-speared cocktail onions, pop through ceiling portholes; a fluted front panel animates the bar. There’s impressive industrial design, too, in the custom spidery brass serving carts that park by wrapping around the edges of the fin walls.