Trust Restaurant Group's Cardellino Transitions Into East Coast-Style Italian Chophouse Concept

December 10, 2022

Trust Restaurant Group has transitioned its Cardellino concept in San Diego's Mission Hills from an all-day restaurant, bakery and marketplace to an East Coast-style Italian chophouse specializing in char-grilled meats & seafood. 

In early 2020, San Diego's expanding Trust Restaurant Group opened Cardellino in the Mission Hills space previously occupied by Brooklyn Girl Eatery. Trust Restaurant Group started in early 2016 with the opening of Trust Restaurant within design guru Jonathan Segal's Mr. Robinson Building on the outskirts of Hillcrest. The expanding hospitality company was founded by alums of San Diego-based Eat.Drink.Sleep (JRDN, Decoy Dockside Dining), including Co-Owner/Chef Brad Wise, former GM/Managing Partner Steve Schwob, and Pastry Chef Jeremy Harville. Trust immediately received rave reviews and became one of San Diego's most popular dining destinations. In January 2019, the team now dubbed Trust Restaurant Group (with financial backing by local real estate developer and co-owner of San Diego Legion rugby team Ryan Patterson) unveiled Fort Oak within developer Jonathan Segal's The Fort mixed-use building in Mission Hills. The company also operates several locations or Rare Society steakhouse and owns two branches of The Wise Ox Butcher & Eatery

After operating as an all-day Italian restaurant and market specializing in Neapolitan-style pizza, Cardellino recently transitioned into a midwest chophouse meets an Italian trattoria. The menu draws inspiration from the northern Italian regions of Umbria and Piedmont. Expect dishes ranging from house made pastas and traditional antipasti to charcoal-grilled meats like the 38-ounce Bistecca Fiorentina, Pork Osso Bucco and a Salt Baked Branzino. Pastas and sides are meant to pair alongside each cut. For those looking for the ultimate Cardellino Chophouse dinner, the Tuscan Experience offers guests an impromptu four-course meal, with each dish chosen by Chef Brad Wise based on what he is particularly passionate about at the moment. The restaurant also offers a full bar with beer, cocktails, and a wine list centered around Italian varietals, as well as a weekend brunch menu.  

"Cardellino, as do all our restaurants do, continues to evolve," explained Trust Restaurant Group Chef & Owner Brad Wise. "I came back from a recent trip to my hometown (East Coast), and was really inspired by these old-school Italian restaurants that had these impressive meat offerings. Together with my team we went into the history of American chophouses in Chicago and New York, Italian influence in these turn-of-the-century cities, Northern Italian culinary traditions, and we decided we wanted to give Cardellino some of these elements without overhauling the restaurant and changing the concept. It's still Italian-ish - just added more meat, leaned into our Big Green Egg and stone hearth to create something I’m really excited about. We always had plans to add some new design elements (pandemic put a hold on a lot of the finishing design details), so we added those to the space and I’m loving it. I think restaurants should never be stagnant, and what this group does really well is fire and meat and elevated service and Cardellino now has all of those things and it’s awesome."

Cardellino is located at 4033 Goldfinch Street in San Diego's Mission Hills. For more information, visit and check out the new menu below.