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  • Grotto

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Grotto Details

  • Dining Style: Casual Dining
  • Website: http://www.grottorestaurant.com
  • Phone: (617) 227-3434
  • Hours of Operation: Lunch: Monday - Friday: 11:30pm - 3:00pm; Dinner Nightly: 5:00pm - 10:00pm
  • Payment Options: AMEX, MasterCard, Visa
  • Cuisine: Italian, Mediterranean
  • Executive Chef: Scott Herritt
  • Dress Code: Casual Dress
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Beer, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Takeout, Wine
  • Private Party Facilities: We are available for semi-private parties of all sizes and private events for parties of 44 to 46 people.
  • Private Party Contact: Scott Herritt (617) 227-3434

Getting there

  • Cross Street: Cambridge
  • Public Transit: T Stops are Park and Government Center.
  • Parking: Public Lot
  • Parking Details: Street parking is also available.
A word from Grotto
Welcome to Grotto, a 25 rated Zagat restaurant serving Italian cuisine in a casual and comfortable atmosphere. We will bring back old world charm with a rustic setting, featuring cuisine rated by Phantom Gourmet as Best New Italian (2004), and Gourmet Greatness (2005).
Foodspotting photos
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerRomantic
Diner Reviews
  • "Came here for Restaurant Week Boston 2014: Pasta appetizer was good, duck entree was a little overcooked and over-salted. Bread pudding dessert was good. Service was a little slow."
    Dined on 8/25/2014
  • "A terrific restaurant. The food was beautifully prepared which is where my one gripe emerges: I'd like to see it. The row of seats by the bottles of wine (left of the mirror wall) was too dark making it difficult to appreciate the food presentation. Other than that, great place!"
    Dined on 8/24/2014
  • "Grotto was a nice find in Boston. It's under-ground level and very quaint, seats less than 40 people. Lighting is dark probably due to the small scale size but makes for a nice ambience. Service is friendly and eager to help with any questions regarding the wine list or menu. 3 course pre-fixe menu was a nice touch...appetizer, entrée, and dessert included. Price was very reasonable for a 3 course dinner. Wine list is good but any of the decent wines were $75 or above. The food was excellent, the chef did a superb job on all of our dishes. Only reason for 4 star on the food was the Fra-Diavolo had just a bit too much heat. It was delicious though with the lobster. We would definitely dine here again, I'm glad we chose this place."
    Dined on 8/23/2014
  • "the food is the best part of the experience. phenomenal flavor and perfectly cooked pasta."
    Dined on 8/23/2014
  • "Wonderful dinner Friday night during restaurant week. We showed up at 8 for our reservation for 4 and the little place was packed. It took a few minutes for them to acknowledge us but they told us the people were just leaving. They showed us to a really tight table and just then a booth for 4 opened up - we asked if we could wait for it and they said sure. It was Much nicer and quite a bit quieter. There were ALOT of choices and all of our appetizer/salad choices were incredible ! For dinner 3 out of 4 of us LOVED our selection. My Bolognaise was exceptional and my husband's Carne (Beef Tenderloin) was also superb. The lobster was also great. Only the Beef short ribs were not our friends favorite. The desserts get an A+ too. Yummm!"
    Dined on 8/22/2014
  • "Loved the beef fondu appetizer. Get the short rib with gnocchi for the main course. Best dessert was the molten chocolate lava cake."
    Dined on 8/22/2014
  • "We were visiting Boston for our wedding anniversary. Maybe because it was a special menu we didn't have the best time? not sure. 1st there is nothing to drink except wine and specialty drinks they make, mistake on their part because I'd say 80% of the people there were drinking water, as we were, a few vodkas or beers would be a good idea. There were 2 servers and we saw 1 of them at our table 3 times, to get drinks (water), to order our food and to drop off the check, no one ever came to see how the food was. No one acknowledged our anniversary though I asked them to in the reservation. it was SO LOUD we didn't get to have a conversation with each other. Luckily the food was good, though the dirty plates sat forever on our table :("
    Dined on 8/21/2014
  • "Happened to find Grotto during Dining Out Boston, and it was a delicious and delightful experience. Great choices on the menu - amazing how a simple green salad can be absolutely awesome! That, coupled with my bolognese entree was a fantastic lunch."
    Dined on 8/21/2014
  • "I love Grotto and was looking forward to a reason to go again, although this was my first time having lunch there, I will never return. When we ordered, the server kept trying to walk away before we finished, he didn't listen, he placed orders for the wrong things and our bill was also wrong. We were mostly ignored, making the lunch a 2 HOUR experience. The food delivery was like an assault. They threw plates down or just handed them to us. They nearly knocked a friend in the head handing a plate across the table. My mussels were HANDED to me, not set down in front of me, with no warning that the bowl was scalding hot. The food was absolutely amazing, but from beginning to end it was a miserable experience."
    Dined on 8/21/2014
  • "Our food was absolutely delicious!!! If you've ever had Grotto's garlic soup, you know what I mean. The service was unfortunate, however, as we had to ask that our courses be cleared (after waiting about 20 minutes each time) and had to hunt down our waitress for the check. That being said, I would still happily return!"
    Dined on 8/19/2014
  • "We were seated right at our reservation time (8 Saturday night). The place is small yet not crowded. Great romantic/date spot. I had the cavatelle and tenderloin dishes (incredible). She had the arugula and scallop dishes. Everything was fantastic. We chose to grab dessert elsewhere only because we needed to walk off our meals first! I will definitely be back and I've already recommended it to others."
    Dined on 8/16/2014
  • "Enjoyed the three course special as a way to sample the different entrees. Portions were freshly prepared and arrived together and on time. Loved the beef tenderloin on a bed of rissoto and a reduction sauce. My daughter really loved the tomato sauce with the pasta and chicken parm, which is uniquely prepared. Portions were generous. Good selection of wines and beers. Friendly service and a nice private booth."
    Dined on 8/15/2014
  • "This is a wonderful neighborhood gem. The food was awesome and perfectly cooked. Our server was knowledgeable, professional and friendly. My only criticism is our server accidentally spilled 2 glasses of red wine all over our table. Our clothing got some of it. It was cleaned up quickly. Club soda was brought to the table. We took it in stride as accidents happen. But when the bill came we were thinking that round of wine would have been complimentary. All wine charges were on the bill. We did not say anything. Obviously we did not agree with the managements decision."
    Dined on 8/10/2014
  • "Food and service were nice but the I found the seating not very comfortable and not kid friendly at all."
    Dined on 8/8/2014
  • "My daughter had recommended the Grotto to us on several occasions and we finally decided to go It was excellent for food and service with moderate wine choices. the portions were large and good very well. We plan to go again. It is worth the trip."
    Dined on 8/8/2014
  • "We left Boston 7 years ago and went back for a vacation recently. Grotto was our first stop for dinner. It was outstanding. We had the fixed price menu. The garlic soup was beyond outstanding and the lobster dish was a taste treat. The dessert was mouth-watering although I couldn't eat it all ... molten chocolate and ice cream. The only downside was the noise. There was a large, happy and noisy table behind us and it was difficult to have dinner conversation. But hey, I'd rather eat than talk anyway when the food is this good."
    Dined on 8/7/2014
  • "I have been wanting to eat here for many years, but it has never worked out for one reason or another. When my brother and sister-in-law were in town, we took this as an excuse to finally splurge and make it out. It was a delicious and pleasant evening. The main entrees were good, but were outshone by the other courses. The appetizers were going to be the best part... but then the desserts came. The service was great and the ambiance matched the food served. Overall, it felt like a special evening, which is just want we wanted to give our guests."
    Dined on 8/6/2014
  • "Good adress for a raisonnable prise in a great neibourhood"
    Dined on 8/6/2014
  • "Went to Grotto because we were given a gift certificate. It's tucked away on the street but you feel like you could be Itsly when inside. Knew it was good when there was a line on a Tuesday night ( we had a reservation). Menu was creative, delicious, with terrific presentation. Will definitely be back."
    Dined on 8/5/2014
  • "I had just got into Boston, and I was just looking through our travel book, and found this. Based on what the book said, I was not ecstatic, but boy does the book do a mediocre job of describing the "excellent-ness" of this place. My boyfriend and I both did the $38 prix fix meal, which I think is an absolute steal. The appetizers are beautiful and delicious. My boyfriend won't touch a tomato, but his app them with almond slivers on top, and he scarfed them down. I got "gnuti", which I'd never heard of; it was melt in your mouth scrumptiousness. I didn't think I had anymore room for dessert, and then the unbelievable bread pudding came. The entire meal was to die for, and the place was just quaint and cozy. LOVED the experience!"
    Dined on 8/3/2014
  • "We were moving away from Boston and wanted to experience Grotto one last time. As always, everything was excellent, from the food to the service. The servers accommodated a request for a corner table and candles were a nice touch. This is definitely our favorite place in Boston!"
    Dined on 7/29/2014
  • "Went here with my girlfriend for dinner on a Sunday night and had a great time. The food was outstanding, the service was good, and I will definitely go back! Everything we ate was to die for, even the spinach salad."
    Dined on 7/27/2014
  • "I had not been to Grotto in some time. A colleague wanted to have his "final lunch" here before moving away. Three of us had a hard time deciding, so we ordered 4 dishes and shared...food was excellent and server was really accommodating of our sharing requests. I thought it would be a dark spot on a summer day since Grotto is at basement level, but there was plenty of light and it was very quiet and comfortable. Will be back sooner next time."
    Dined on 7/25/2014
  • "This place is a soild choce. Menu items are resonably priced, atmosphere is really great and wait staff are personable and responsive. Not somewhere I would be running back to regularly but definitely a great choice for a date."
    Dined on 7/22/2014
  • "What a wonderful find! Very cute, small restaurant. Very dark but lit with many candles. Food was amazing and the staff very friendly. The prix fixe option for dinner is a very good value at $35 for an appeitzer, entre and dessert. I had the gnocchi with short ribs and mushrooms and it was delicious. My husband had the beef tenderloin and enjoyed it very much. The fresh berries for dessert was the perfect way to end the meal. So happy to have found this wonderful little place and know we will be back."
    Dined on 7/14/2014
  • "Vegetarians be warned - the food is good but very heavy on the spinach. The gnudi is delicious and vegetarian but is loaded with spinach - the vegetable that also features in almost all of the vegetarian appetizers. We were a little tired of spinach by the end of the meal - the gnudi would have been much better with asparagus instead."
    Dined on 7/12/2014
  • "From the photos, it wasn't quite what I had expected. Definitely small, which was fine. And dark. That was ok as well. I think I expected a more Italian looking decor. It was fine. The food was very good. We did the prix fixe, which did seem a good value. The bread was just ok (not great) - good olives and dipping olive oil. Mussel appetizer was very good as well as my scallops main course. Not too crazy about the arugula accompanying the dish - just too much of the bitter green. But otherwise, very tasty. I couldn't finish it, trying to save room for dessert. The molten chocolate cake was quite cook ( a smidge too dry- but still good). Loved the ice cream with it. Overall - very good."
    Dined on 7/11/2014
  • "This restaurant delivered with delicious food, beautiful food presentation, and a romantic ambience we enjoyed our anniversary dinner there and the service was great as well."
    Dined on 7/10/2014
  • "Found this option on Open Table and was happy with choosing this restaurant during a recent Boston visit. The menu is small but interesting, not the same old Italian red sauces and Caesar salad. I loved my duck entree and my husband had a very nice, pillowy ricotta pasta dish called gnudi which we had never seen on a menu before. The wine list is also unique. I had a crisp Vermentino, which is also hard to find anywhere. We ordered ala carte with all entrees at the same price, which was reasonable. They were generous with the focaccia bread, which was also delicious. All in all, a great dining experience."
    Dined on 7/8/2014
  • "Not only did the menu have something for everyone, but it actually had so many things we wanted to try that we could not decide. Our server was extremely helpful in making suggestions based on what we each said we liked. The mixed berry dessert was to-die-for and just light enough to leave me feeling satisfied but not overly stuffed after a 3 course meal. I HIGHLY recommend the grilled mare appetizer and the scallops, as well as the insalata. Everything our table ordered offered a classic Italian dish but pulled it off by being the BEST tasting version of that classic that I'd ever tasted."
    Dined on 7/3/2014
  • "Me and my wife went out for Dinner to Celebrate our anniversary. This was our second time there and I was a little disappointed with the service. I made the reservation on OpenTable with a little note that we were celabrating our anniversary but no one there really cares about trying to acknowledge a special occasion. On top of that our reservation was at 8:30pm on a Tuesday night but we arrived a little early so I tried ordering a glass of super tuscan had no luck, then I tried to order the mussels appetizer and also no luck so I guess it wasn't my lucky night. The Food was extremely good but no one really bothered checking on us to see if we were enjoying it or not. We will definitely go back for the food but not for special occasions."
    Dined on 7/1/2014
  • "I love Grotto! We've been twice now and both times they have not disappointed. It's a reasonable price for the prix fixe and there are a good number of options (but not TOO many) for each course. I always go with the duck for my entree and it is SO good. The staff is friendly (we went after a show at the Boston Opera House that got out early, and they were very nice about seating us a few minutes before the restaurant even opened!) and the wine list is good. I would definitely recommend."
    Dined on 6/28/2014
  • "we've been a few times now, and are always pleased. Mussels and fonduta for first courses were both excellent. Steak and risotto was also delish, but the spaghetti and meatballs was disappointing (especially after all the fabulous reviews) - meatballs were herb forward and sauce was nothing special. Mixed berry dessert was divine, pana cotta was a little firm and again nothing special. Will continue to return for the ambiance and to try other dishes."
    Dined on 6/27/2014
  • "We went here on a whim as we were in the area and had a fantastic experience! The server was very knowledgable and helpful with both wine list and menu selections. The food was incredible and the prix fixe option for $35 was a bargain considering the quality of food! Everything was hot, delicious and left us wanting to return! Great job!"
    Dined on 6/10/2014
  • "They were very accommodating. Good for late night wine and appetizer. "
    Dined on 6/7/2014
  • "We were seated right away, and the server recognized that it was our anniversary which was a nice touch. Food was excellent, attention to detail was noticeable and appreciated. Will definitely return here for our next night out!"
    Dined on 5/31/2014
  • "Cute restaurant, limited seating, down steps from the street, near Boston Common and Freedom Trail. Pasta Bolognese was excellent, portions were very generous. We ate early, but noise level increased with the crowd as tables are close and restaurant is rather small. Almost felt like a secret hidden place, quiet street and in-between area...we liked that. Would visit again when in Boston"
    Dined on 5/24/2014
  • "Great place!! North end like. Romantic and the food was awesome :-) only thing I didn't like is we had to leave by 11:30 because their license doesn't allow it. So we had to leave ..."
    Dined on 5/23/2014
  • "The downstairs location was charming. The server (Shane) recommended a bottle of wine that was superb. The food was perfect and we were attended to by at least 3 other staff members, all of whom were friendly and knowledgeable. As good a dining experience as I've had anywhere!!! "
    Dined on 5/23/2014
  • "Great Food. Had the lobster ravioli and the gnocchi with short rib and mushrooms "
    Dined on 5/21/2014