Giuseppe Ciuffa Opens a European-Style Restaurant in La Jolla

Giuseppe Ciuffa is returning to his La Jolla roots with the highly anticipated opening of Candor. As the chef and restaurateur behind Giuseppe Restaurants & Fine Catering, he’s celebrating a homecoming with his newest eatery, which is deliberately located at the very first site of his first solo restaurant project in La Jolla Village—Come On In! Cafe. 

Candor is the neighborhood restaurant Giuseppe has always dreamed of opening. The style of cuisine draws inspiration from the chef’s upbringing on his family’s farm in Cori, a town outside of Rome, from where Giuseppe procures the restaurant’s olive oils alongside a handful of wines. Having grown up cooking on the farm, his experiences with local cheesemongers, butchers, vinters and fishermen from neighboring coastal villages were undeniably powerful in shaping his palate at a young age.

Candor sources as much as possible from San Diego’s local area farmers, fishermen, and purveyors with produce coming direct from the weekly La Jolla Open Aire Farmer’s Market, bread from Bread & Cie, and gelato from La Jolla-based Bobboi. 

Giuseppe taps longtime friend and Sandro Mezzetti to curate Candor’s selections by the bottle and a menu of by the glass offerings. Originally from Rome, Mezzetti harnesses an eight-year career in restaurants, wine imports, and distribution to develop a wine list which plays heavy on producers from Italy, Spain, and France as well as West Coast winemakers throughout California, Oregon, and Washington.  

Candor’s 1,200-square-foot interior accommodates approximately 35 guests with the added expansion of an enclosed patio that hosts up to 20. Classic bistro seating is met with a wine bar adjacent to an open kitchen. Distressed hardwood flooring, exposed white washed beams, corrugated pendant lighting, Carrara marble countertops, and rich, textural art by local La Jolla artist Wendy Hamilton serve as a neutral color palette allowing the focus to settle on Giuseppe’s culinary creations.

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