Croce's Restaurant & Bar, San Diego

4.5 out of 5 stars 5 Reviews

802 Fifth Avenue (619) 232-2891

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  • Croce's Park West
    Croce's Park West
    by lmkluque
  • Welcome
    Welcome
    by lmkluque
  • Luis
    Luis
    by lmkluque
  • lmkluque's Profile Photo

    Croce's Park West Opens!!: Jazz Lovers and Fans of Jim Croce & Great Food!

    by lmkluque Updated Jan 14, 2014

    1.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Ingrid & Jimmy greeting customers
    4 more images

    Croce's Park West will have it's "Official" Grand Opening 19 January 2014 just in time for Restaurant Week--Which Ingrid Croce played a part in developing for San Diego. However, Croce's Park West has sent out invitations to it's customers to join them in what they call a "soft opening" as a way to ease into the neighborhood.

    I had something to celebrate so I decided to treat myself to dinner here last night. What a wonderful time I had!! The employees were all welcoming, friendly and helpful. Luis was my server for the night and it seemed that he had the whole menu memorize, which was a good thing because I didn't bring my glasses and couldn't read a thing in the soft lighting. Joe was Luis's helper and he was quite attentive and helpful also.

    The décor seemed more plush & comfy than at the other location and now it has an old, New York Club, feel. Nostalgic, cozy, plush and elegant at the same time. I ate alone, so spent most of my time "people watching." The contrast of customers was wide and the common denominator was the hospitality of every employee. The biggest treat for me was to have the chance of meeting Ingrid Croce and Jimmy Rock. They are the heart and soul of Croce's. This neighborhood, Banker's Hill is lucky to have Croce's and it seems that the neighbors have beat a path to the door.

    History
    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, "Time 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.

    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. She re-married Jimmy Rock who is a great guy and a solid supporter of this lovely tribute to A.J's talented father. I think you'll be pretty satisfied with the food and service, not to mention the music.

    One thing that will be different; the Hours of Operation:
    Monday-Friday: 11am-10pm
    Saturday, Sunday: 9am-10pm
    No more 2 am closing. Of course, if there is a demand for later nights they may be able to accommodate. I'd say that it will depend upon their contract/zoning laws.

    Favorite Dish: The move has happened.

    It's a scary thing to uproot and try in a new spot. Though I feel confident that Croce's will be as popular as ever, I do send my best wishes for their success. I doubt much will change in the style of hospitality or flavor of the food. I'm sure Ingrid will, as usual, be around to see that we get the best they can offer.

    Update:

    Keep in mind that the menu will change from time to time but I will tell you what I ordered and what I thought of it. First you should know that I live on a rigidly tight budget and had saved up for a meal here. My intention was to order a few of the lower priced items but things didn't play out as I planned.

    The environment was so wonderfully comfortable and the people so welcoming that I wanted a real treat here. I gave it too myself and had a three course meal. Including a cocktail and wine with dinner. After a discussion with Luis, my helpful and attentive server, about a couple of the suggested wines I took his recommendation for a glass of Vionta, Albarino, Rias Baixas, limited release, from Spain. it was a very nice selection.


    Starters:
    Baked Brie and Honey Roasted Garlic with toasted bruschetta, baby greens, Grand Marnier-berry compote $12

    I have never had the honey roasted garlic before. It was delicious as a bite on it's own or spread on the bruschetta. The whole plate was a riot of delicious flavors that I recommend you try.

    Entre:
    Seared Scallops and Lobster-Scented Risotto with Edamame, asparagus, tomatoes, parmesan and thyme-marinated lemon Half Portion $20 Full Portion $28

    The half portion was enough for me and this too was delicious. I have never liked risotto, not rice enough nor pasta enough for me, but the flavor of the risotto served with the scallops was really good and I ate it all.

    Dessert:
    Vanilla Lavender Honey Crème Brulee with almond laced cookies

    First rate dinner and worth the splurge!!

    Related to:
    • Seniors
    • Singles
    • Romantic Travel and Honeymoons

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  • travelgourmet's Profile Photo

    CROCE'S RESTAURANT and JAZZ BAR: Get your Jazz with food and wine. Divine!

    by travelgourmet Updated Nov 30, 2012

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    One of the best meals in San Diego with Live Jazz.

    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.

    Related to:
    • Music
    • Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
    • Food and Dining

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  • dewdney's Profile Photo

    Croce's: great night out

    by dewdney Written Sep 21, 2009

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    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.

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  • spartan's Profile Photo

    Croce's Restaurant & Jazz Bar: Classy and fancy

    by spartan Updated Feb 12, 2003

    0.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    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.

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  • axmor's Profile Photo

    Go and visit the Heartbeat of...

    by axmor Written Aug 24, 2002

    1.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    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.

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