Croce's was opened in the earliest days of the Gaslamp Quarter's renovation, by Ingrid Croce, widow of Jim Croce. Some of you may be too young to remember Jim Croce, he died in 1973. You may have heard one of his loveliest song, "Thyme in a Bottle?" Have you heard that?
There have been a few expansions located at various spots near the three story brick, "Cole Building," built in 1889-1890, which houses the original Croce's.
The restaurant is a bit pricey but the food is good. What makes this a must is the Jazz bar nextdoor--also Croce's--and from your seat in the dining room the strains of great jazz drifts through, adding to the mood.
Ingrid Croce is a very community minded woman and a hand's-on owner/operator. Not only is she quite interested in pleasing her customers, the history of "Croce's" is basically a love story dedicated to her husband who died so long ago. Their son, Adrian James Croce, song writer/singer Musician has been playing a bigger part here too, as a musician. I think you'll be pretty satisfied with the food and service, not to mention the music.
Croce's has not renewed the lease and will soon be moving to a new location. When that happens, I will give the new address in another update.
Favorite Dish: The portions are small by USA standards and the prices are high, but the food is good.
Giving a specific suggestion would not be useful as the menu is changed frequently by the chef. However the flavors are always good. I would suggest any of the seafood dishes. Delicate and delicious.
Croce's is in honor of the late Jim Croce, singer extraordinaire. Down home flavor with a sophisticated theme. Try to have dinner in the bar area where the live music is staged. Lots of fun and great listening. The location couldn't be better. Right in the heart of the Gaslamp Quarter. Get there early, because this is a favorite of the tourists and locals as well.
My wife and I enjoyed music with our dinner by sitting in the bar section of the restaurant. This was the place to be to have a great seat for the live music and a great meal to go with the cool jazz. I think I ate a lot slower than normal because I wanted to enjoy the musicians and their beat. If you go, make sure that you get a reservation. This is one busy corner of the Gaslamp Quarter.
Favorite Dish: Croce's claims to have a famous French Onion Soup. Simply put, it is. If you are a soup aficionado then go to Croce's Restaurant and Jazz Bar for one of the best French Onion Soups you will ever taste. For a main course, two are my favorites; the grilled duck breast and the one my wife thinks is devine, the half rack of lamb that has pistachio pieces sprinkled on the lamb. Pssst! Don't forget to try and sit in the bar if you love Jazz.
It was restaurant week in San Diego when I was there, so there were a lot of host/hostesses beckoning passersby to their establishments. We checked out the Croce's menu and it looked good, also I had read a bit about the restaurant before travelling there. Since I was with my sister who is a jazz pianist and brother-in-law who is also an afficienado there was no question that Croce's would be the best choice. We opted for the bar section of the restaurant and not only was the jazz awesome, the food was great too. We did wine pairings, which was offered at a 20% reduction, it was still pricey, but the atmosphere and food made for a great dining experience. The place was very busy and our waitress was somewhat scattered, but to her credit, the place was understaffed and she was run off her feet. If you're on a budget this may not be the place to go, but if you want to spend money on a good meal, I would recommend Croce's.
tip: the risotto is overly salty
Favorite Dish: I loved the fondant au Chocolat with raspberries...the tarty fruit flavour really complimented the chocolate.
Croce's Restaurant & Jazz Bar (also Croce's Top Hat Bar & Grille...yes the late singer's wife and son run the restaurant. They are located right next to each other. Dining outside, Jazz in the background, great location in the Gaslamp Section.
Favorite Dish: I've only had Sunday Brunch there, but anything on the menu is great.
Go and visit the Heartbeat of the Gaslamp, CROCE'S Restaurant.
As a tribute to late singer and husband Jim Croce, Ingrid Croce built this restaurant in 1984.
Contemporary American Cuisine, Live Jazz and Rhythm and Blues, nightly full catering service and valet parking.