Chef Antonio Friscia On Board For The Patio Group's Liberty Station Project | Fireside By The Patio To Open March 9

February 4, 2016

The Patio Group has brought aboard Chef Antonio Friscia (previously of Don Chido, Rustic Root, Gaijin) as the consulting chef for their new Liberty Station behemoth - Fireside by The Patio - on track to open its doors on Wednesday, March 9. Fireside hopes to tap into Chef Friscia's knowledge to bring elevated, wood-fired and smoked globally inspired cuisine to Point Loma. Located in the historic Naval Training Center’s former firehouse, Fireside by the Patio will attempt to replicate the same level of sophistication and design that The Patio restaurant patrons have come to love, but with a rich bohemian flare influenced by the world’s cultures.

Fireside chefs Michael Ground, Fern Tran & Antonio Friscia
Chef Antonio Friscia has more than 30 years of experience in the restaurant business, having served as chef-partner at several award-winning venues including Stingaree Nightclub & Guest House, Gaijin Noodle & Sake House, and at Campine: A Culinary & Cocktail Conspiracy, as well as Don Chido and Rustic Root in San Diego’s historic Gaslamp Quarter. Friscia’s culinary training began at an early age working for his father and grandfather at the family fish market in San Francisco’s celebrated North Beach Italian community, where they were known to the locals by their slogan “Friscia’s Fresh-a Fish-a,” and where Antonio got his first taste of the restaurant business delivering fresh fish to acclaimed San Francisco eateries.

After graduating from the Hotel and Restaurant Management program at San Francisco City College, Antonio studied under two of Italy’s most talented culinary masters, Chef Gualtiero Marchesi and Chef Nicola Tadescino at Scuola Albergeria, mastering Italian pizza dough, making fresh pizza and perfecting the art of rotisserie and grilling. He then served as sous chef for Tadescino’s Ristorante Pedrocchi as chef/pizzaiolo for Ristorante Sei Camini, and was contracted to design and open an Italian restaurant at the Surya Beach Hotel on Bali before making his move to San Diego in 1999. Antonio Friscia is also accredited as an Advanced Sommelier with the Court of Master Sommelier. His deep and diverse industry experience has led him to wide acclaim not only from critics and media, but also from his colleagues. In fact, his true passion lies in inspiring local chefs and restaurateurs to evolve beyond the walls of their respective restaurants and to serve as a “coach” to continue to help put San Diego on the map as a true culinary destination. He aims to influence the local food community through his new restaurant consulting company - Legal Restaurants.

Bone-in Pork Chop
Fireside by the Patio will welcome guests of all ages to gather over wood-fired food, craft cocktails and wine, providing a social and comfortable setting for occasions ranging from date nights to catching up with old friends. Chef Antonia Friscia, as well as his longtime sous chef Fern Tran and Chef de Cuisine Michael Ground, have designed a menu that will revolve around the world’s most timeless cooking tool - fire. Every menu item, ranging from seafood starters and salmon and quinoa salads, to classic burgers and eclectic flatbreads, will be cooked over fire or smoked in one of Fireside by The Patio’s custom grills or ovens. 

Bacon wrapped asparagus yakitori
“We could not be more excited to bring Fireside by The Patio to Point Loma and Liberty Station,” said Gina Champion-Cain, chief executive officer, American National Investments and The Patio Restaurant Group. “The concept is unlike any other in Liberty Station and will be a destination for beautiful, fire-infused food, served in an equally beautiful environment - a place where our guests can relax, enjoy and share.”

Expect the unexpected at Fireside, including preparations such as roasted broccoli salad, burnt ricotta and root vegetables cooked in ash. The menu (full menu copied below) will also feature a Yakitori-style section, headed by Chef Fern, offering a selection of grilled and skewered proteins and vegetables for guests, as well as a chalkboard menu of daily rotating wood-fired proteins available to pick up or enjoy in the restaurant.

“The wood fire and charcoal driven menu is rooted in generations of technique and tradition inspired by flavors of Argentina, Italy, Mexico, Japan and Thailand," said Consulting Chef Antonia Friscia of Legal Restaurants.

The new restaurant will boast luxurious, yet welcoming, indoor and outdoor spaces, including an indoor dining room, and front and back patios with seating ranging from romantic tables for two, to Indian day beds where guests can gather around a warm fire pit. Design elements from artful seating to tapestries used to create over 80 custom pillows, and old-world art pieces, to bold plant arrangements, will provide an authentic sense of comfort and luxury. Standout elements such as custom chandeliers made from Manzanita bushes, historic oil paintings that look as though they were plucked from the walls of a museum, and benches crafted from the framing of storied temples, will emanate an air of refined opulence.

“We designed Fireside by The Patio to reflect the global and grounded menu that Chef Friscia and his team created,” said Bea Arrues, creative director for The Patio Group. “Eating at Fireside will be like attending a dinner party in the home of a person who has spent their entire life traveling, building friendships with interesting people from different cultures and collecting the most beautiful objects from the world over.”

The Patio Group also owns and operates The Patio on Lamont in Pacific Beach, The Patio on Goldfinch in Mission Hills, The Swell Café in Mission Beach, Luxury Farms retail shops and Saska's in Mission Beach.

Fireside by The Patio will serve lunch, happy hour and dinner daily. For more information, visit and check out the lunch and dinner menus below.