19th Annual Best of Canada Design Competition

Figo wins Best-of-Canada Design Award by Canadian Interiors

Hospitality: Figo, Toronto

The recipe for Figo restaurant in Toronto’s entertainment district? Mix elements of Italian architecture; soft, feminine accents, and eclectic custom millwork. The 2,100-sq-ft. eatery’s centerpiece is the open cucina (kitchen) framed by a Romanesque-inspired proscenium with six concentric shallow arches clad in a checkboard of 4,000 white and grey ceramic tiles.

An M.C. Escher-like, trompe l’oeil fretwork screen in stone marquetry stretches across the kitchen island. The barrier-free view ‘twixt guests and chefs adds a personal, artisanal touch to the dining experience. Feminine touches include tall chairs at the communal table with lacy wire backs and gazelle-thin legs; pink tabletops; and a remarkable pink-ish ceiling that evokes water-brushed silk or the faded images on a water-damaged medieval fresco.

As for millwork highlights, tall ganged see-through wine cabinets of stained white oak are shaped like Gothic (pointed-arch) windows. The wall beyond is faced with diagonally laid reclaimed barn board. Diners making their way along the polished concrete floor to the adjoining restrooms just might get the feeling they’re venturing into an old wine cellar.