Thanks to a new European cafe and dessert restaurant downtown a little piece of Italy has been brought to San Diego that will instantly make you feel as though you’ve been transported into an Italian piazzo. Cremolose first opened in the Gaslamp quarter earlier this year and has since been delighting food lovers with its atmosphere, Italian decor, and of course… the food.
Cremolose is named for a new type of gelato that is fresh-fruit based with a creamy texture of a fruit, zest, or nut mixture. The restaurant itself offers 24 different flavors of cremolose, 24 flavors of gelato, and 40 kinds of cakes made in their in-house bakery. Executive Chef and Owner Vincenzo Loverso has his own love of the dessert menu that has quickly become wildly popular with both locals and tourists. He shared that, “It has always been my dream to open a place like this. Eating cremolose is like eating fresh fruit scooped right into a cup.”
Besides the desserts, Cremolose also has a delicious menu with paninis, salads, pizzas, and hot and cold Italian dishes. Some of the entrees include their Cioppino dish, which takes clams, mussels, and assorted fresh fish and drowns them in a light tomato broth. I must say, I’m a Cioppino addict and this was some of the best I have ever tasted in my life. What really had me singing was the rich and flavorful Oso Buco that literally fell of the bone and made me want to cry for my mama. Another hit was the Capricciosa pizza, which blends tomato sauce, cow mozzarella, ham, mushrooms, artichokes, salami, oregano, and drizzled olive oil into a truly Italian dish. All menu items, including some world-class espresso, are available for quick stop in or table service.
While the exterior of this historic space may be deceiving, the spacious 5,000 ft interior will blow you away. With embossed tin ceiling decals from the original dance hall fusing in with the new Italian style interior, Cremolose exhibits a European look with a nostalgic flare of 20th century San Diego. Adding even more richness the building is home to the historic San Diego Hardware store and since 1892 the sign still decorates the storefront.
“I have been in the restaurant business in the Gaslamp for over 20 years…before there was much of anything,” said Loverso. “The San Diego Hardware Building is one of the most historic and notable buildings in the Gaslamp. It is the perfect place to showcase the European dining experience. The building is so spacious that I was able to combine an ice cream and dessert shop, cocktail bar, cafe and restaurant all in one location.”
More surprises are in store as one ventures into the depth of the restaurant. The deceptively small window displays in the front hold a plethora of cakes and baked goods that lure in people off 5th Avenue. Everything from the menu is prepared fresh in the huge bakery downstairs.
To accompany the dessert crowd that wanders in to Cremolose, the restaurant is open until 2:00 a.m. on Friday and Saturday and doubles not only as a cafe and dessert hot spot, but operates as a full service bar. Besides the 55 whiskeys, 19 domestic and micro-brewed beers, and the wine selection, Cremolose also offers San Diego cremolose based cocktails.
Jerry Piaskowski, a mixologist with 22 years of experience, created a drink menu that blends the many cremoloses available to guests with high quality alcohol. Some of the top concoctions include Lemonade di Jack (Jack Daniels and lemon cremolose), Tuscan Berry (El Jimador rosemary infused blanco tequila, fresh lemon and lime juices, and black mulberry cremolose) and Sparkling Pear (Hanger One Spiced Pear, Berentzen pear liqueur, ginger liqueur, muddled cucumber and basil, served with a Prosseco float).
For those who prefer breakfast there’s also good news. Cremolose is now serving breakfast every day of the week. It is a new way to kick off your day with a pit stop in Italy and enjoy my personal favorite the “Bloody Breakfast.” This breakfast meal includes a house Bloody Mary, hard boiled eggs, sausage, bacon, pan roasted potatoes and onions. The breakfast at this great new restaurant also includes bottomless Mimosas and a wide variety of eggs and other breakfast entrees that will be delicious enough to get you out of bed and into a table.
Cremolose is one of the most unique restaurants in the Gaslamp because it offers an experience unlike any other. From the time you walk in…past the patio, you feel as if you have been transported to Europe. The first thing that catches your eye is the ice cream and dessert cases and then you quickly see the blue-lite bar. Beyond that you see colorful cafe area and above, the mezzanine dining room. Cremolose caters to everyone by offering such a wide variety of options unlike any other restaurant in the Gaslamp.
The restaurant easily seats 260 people, but reservations are encouraged to ensure that you get a table and a chance to try this European fusion and specialty dessert restaurant.
For more information visit their website:
Visit the restaurant:
840 5th Avenue, Suite 100
San Diego, CA, 92101
Phone: (619) 233-9900