By Dave Schwab
Beachfront dining will take a new form this summer when Caroline’s Seaside Café opens at the Scripps Seaside Forum at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UCSD.
To be operated by Giuseppe Ciuffa of GCiuffa Inc. — who runs the Museum Café at the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego Jolla and Giuseppe Restaurants & Fine Catering of La Jolla — Caroline’s will serve breakfast and lunch from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Saturday and Sunday, except during UCSD holidays and campus closures.
“We will have a full terrace overlooking the ocean with about 100 seats,” said Ciuffa, adding cuisine at the new café, his third, will be “Pacific-type, healthy California-style built around organic products.”
With work set to be finished by mid-July, the opening is tentatively set for the first week of August, UCSD officials said in a press release issued Friday as an announcement was made at the annual Scripps Day on campus Friday.
It will be named for Caroline, wife of Nico Nierenberg whose father William A. Nierenberg served as director of SIO from 1965 to 1986.
“Known for his boundless curiosity and energy, Nierenberg helped build Scripps into one of the world’s leading environmental research institutions,” the release states. “Although Nierenberg died in 2000, his family continues its connection and support of Scripps Oceanography.”
Ciuffa talked talked about the look and feel of the new eatery at the conference facility south of Scripps Pier, which is formally known as the Robert Paine Scripps Forum for Science, Society and the Environment
“Since it is an eco-friendly, LEED-certified building, we want to keep the look and the menu organic,” he said, noting they also will use the indoor and outdoor café space for private dinner parties and wine tastings.
The menu will feature hormone-free meats and poultry, locally grown fresh produce and seafood selections meeting nationally recognized sustainability criteria.
Ciuffa said Caroline’s will follow a model similar to his other institutional cafes, in that it will be “unpretentious and casual focused on the food — not the dress code.”
The café will be open to the public and provide primary food service for more than 2,200 faculty, staff, students and volunteers at Scripps Oceanography.
The building housing it was awarded LEED Certification from the U.S. Green Building Council in August 2009. The rating is based on site sustainability, water efficiency, energy and atmosphere, indoor environmental quality and innovation and design process.
Ciuffa also operates the Café at the Museum of Contemporary Art in La Jolla and the European-style bistro Sculpture Court Café at the San Diego Museum of Art in Balboa Park.