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  • Grotto

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Grotto Details

  • Dining Style: Casual Dining
  • Website: http://www.grottorestaurant.com
  • Email: grottorestaurant@aol.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
  • "A perfect spot for our last night in Boston. Went with a friend and it was just what we were looking for. Below sidewalk level, it is small and welcoming. Fairly dark, lots of character, lots of candles, a feeling of warmth. The venison was the best I've ever had - so tender and wonderfully paired with a sweet potato puree and a wine sauce."
    Dined on 4/9/2014
  • "I have never had an unsatisfactory experience at Grotto. It is my go to restaurant to take people to lunch. This time it was visitors from Oregon. They loved the food and the Jazz music and the ambiance and the decor. The service was great as usual."
    Dined on 4/8/2014
  • "This charming little restaurant was one of the best my boyfriend and I have dined in, and we've been to plenty of restaurants in boston. Food was sophisticated, delicious and proportioned very well. The prices were very affordable considering the great quality of the dishes too!"
    Dined on 4/5/2014
  • "I had never been here before and it was a nice surprise. Pretty crowded at lunchtime, there was a nice menu of pasta, sandwiches and larger entrees; the service was quite attentive. The only negative was that my sandwich was a bit underseasoned, and needed a good sprinkling of pepper. I'd definitely come back."
    Dined on 4/4/2014
  • "We ordered 2 appetizers and 2 entrees and were not disappointed by any of them. I loved that the menu included unique items that I had not seen at other restaurants and the combination of ingredients they used made the dishes bursting with flavor. I will admit that the lighting was a little too dim for my liking and the space is a little small and cramped, but the food makes up for those 2 things. I will definitely be going back!"
    Dined on 4/4/2014
  • "We were at Grotto during restaurant week so they were busier than usual, but it was Monday and the place was full! It was noisy and the service was a little slow ( understandably), but the food was great! The wait staff was quite helpful in choosing a wine to suit our taste as not all bottles on the menu were available. For the price, our choice was very good. The restaurant is tiny (about 12 tables), a few steps down from street level, in the shadow of the capital buildings, and would have been quite romantic if it had not been full. We will return to Grotto when it's not so busy. The menu was inventive and the food was beautifully plated and quite good!"
    Dined on 3/24/2014
  • "We went here to check it out during restaurant week... The food was pretty good and it was very cute. Quite small but brick exposed dark red walls and great lanterns. The service was ok but they were trying to get a lot of ppl through for restaurant week.. My guess is that it would have been much better on an average night."
    Dined on 3/18/2014
  • "good food; service very kind; a beautiful place with a special atmosphere"
    Dined on 3/16/2014
  • "This was our first and last visit to Grotto. Before I get into our reasoning, let me say that the food was amazing. Grotto just failed in every other way. When we arrived, It took quite some time to get the greeter's attention. We were eventually seated about 20 minutes late for our reservation after a number of other groups our same size who arrived after us with reservations for the same time. It took10-15 minutes to deliver water while every other table around us received theirs immediately. When our waitress finally brought us over our water, her attitude problem was immediately recognized. She was extremely slow and ignorant to our table's needs. It took more than 20 minutes to simply receive the check after our asking for it."
    Dined on 3/28/2014
  • "Only come here if you are comfortable sitting very close to other parties. The food was fantastic and the waiter was VERY knowledgeable about the menu."
    Dined on 3/20/2014
  • "This hidden Gem is spot on what Italian food should taste like. I have dined on the north end many times and I would choose Grottos over any one of those spots. Small underground sexy place. Great spot for romance. Sultry pictures on the brick walls love that. No bar but that is alright for me. The service is to notch very knowledgeable and friendly. The Pasta is fresh. My husband had a scallop dish that was outstanding made to perfection. Desserts were mouthwatering all of them hard to choose. The wine list was superb we had a beautiful wine from Sicily that was smooth and elegant and was only $40.00 love those kind of finds on a wine list, wish there were more of those on the wine list. We will go back for sure."
    Dined on 3/28/2014
  • "Grotto is uncomfortably small, however, the food was so good it made up for it!"
    Dined on 3/25/2014
  • "Went for DineOut Boston, which is admittedly a busy time for restaurants. However, their table management and relative flexibility with seating was atrocious! We arrived 10 minutes early for our reservation, and there were two open tables that would have accommodated us. Instead of placing us at those tables, they made us wait for 30 minutes for us to attempt to use our "assigned" table per their system! In the meantime, several other parties (of the same size) with reservations after ours were seated. If they had more flexibility in their seating, they could have accommodated everyone and eliminated the line-backup of reservations that ensued!"
    Dined on 3/27/2014
  • "Absolutely delicious food! We all ordered something different and all 4 of us were very impressed. The flavor combinations just make your tongue and tummy jump for joy! Got a deal for restaurant week. Will go back. My new favorite restaurant."
    Dined on 3/25/2014
  • "This is truly one of the best restaurants in Boston. Excellent food, great waitstaff and a wonderful ambiance. Reservations are a must!"
    Dined on 3/23/2014
  • "The cavatelle is amazing and my husband says it tastes just like his grandmothers!"
    Dined on 3/22/2014
  • "I didn't think it lived up to any of its many recommendations, like "insider place in beacon hill," or romantic. It seemed to attract a very young crowd looking for a good deal. Not dignified in any way. Noisy. Food was ok, but heavy, although i would get the roast duck again. THe budino was good. It is definitely not romatic as you're packed cheek to jowl. It is in a basement - by definition not elegant."
    Dined on 3/21/2014
  • "This place has potential, but when I came here with my wife on a Wednesday night during restaurant week, I was thoroughly unimpressed. The food was good - I particularly liked the garlic soup - but the place was so packed that our experience suffered as a result. The restaurant is so small on the inside that when all the tables are full (and people waiting at the door), it's uncomfortably crowded and noisy. The waitstaff was simply unable to keep up and so we waited for at least 20 minutes after finishing our main entree before our dessert was brought out. People were constantly opening the door, letting in bursts of cold air - and no curtain to buffer the cold wind. By the end of the meal, I was just ready to get out of there."
    Dined on 3/19/2014
  • "We went for Restaurant week this year -- they had a huge selection of entrees and appetizers. The duck was phenomenal, and the beef tenderloin was cooked perfectly. The portions were a decent size, enough for some leftovers. The server was pretty absent -- but I think this was mainly because the restaurant was so busy serving for restaurant week."
    Dined on 3/19/2014
  • "Went for restaurant week. Venue was much smaller than anticipated. The tight space made for a high noise level. However, the food more than made up for it, especially the Budino (banana bread pudding with salted caramel ice cream). I would definitely go back on a less busy night"
    Dined on 3/20/2014
  • "Very tasty food! All of our entrees were impecable, they sure know how to do the dish presentation. Its a small, cozy restaurant food is perfect but unfortunately they lack on the service. Out of three waitresses only one was very nice and attentive, the guy was very rude when we asked questions and the other girl was just not attentive, just rushed to get out our order. I would recommend boking for early evening because if you get there close to 10pm they will rush to get you out of there."
    Dined on 3/1/2014
  • "Second Time eating at Grotto. The first and second course was a bit cold once it got to our table..ended up taking most of it home. Best part of dinner was the dessert...bread pudding and ice cream with roasted walnuts. Overall my dining experience was ok..nothing to write home about, especially given that we had a 7:30pm reservation and arrived on time, but my friends and I were not seated until 8:15pm. A 45 minute wait time is unacceptable. Most restaurants at least offer a glass of wine or something to compensate for the wait time....something to consider...."
    Dined on 3/19/2014
  • "We went to this place for a lunch with my friend. The place is tiny and over crowded. We had to sit in a corner table next to the heater. The food was not as advertised, the salad came with greens only and we had to take our lunch to go cause by the time we got it, it was already passed our lunch hour."
    Dined on 3/19/2014
  • "Grotto is a tiny place with great flavor and food. I enjoyed a grilled calamari with white bean puree and arugula to start. Secondi was a mushroom risotto. it was tasty and well cooked and was not the heavy, cream-laden kind, which I quite appreciated. Dessert might have been my favorite. A wonderful mix of fresh berries topped with an amazing zabaglione!"
    Dined on 3/19/2014
  • "Amazing food, unfortunately the staff seem a little snotty and rushed us. They also took away our bread plates while we were eating the bread. very weird."
    Dined on 3/19/2014
  • "I love that there were pastas for appetizer! Everything tasted very homemade and we were stuffed by the end of it!"
    Dined on 3/18/2014
  • "Grotto remains as cozy a spot as it was the last time I came here for Restaurant Week, which was pre-recession. The food is solid, but the portions slightly smaller: for instance, 3 large bay scallops instead of 4 in the scallop "ravioli". It's a small space, and the tables are set close together so it's not a great place for a private conversation. Overall, still a good Restaurant Week experience since they have their complete menu available to diners."
    Dined on 3/17/2014
  • "Grotto is a favourite of ours: always consistent; great basement bistro atmosphere; great food and presentation."
    Dined on 3/9/2014
  • "I love Grotto for its food and value - but will stop going now after two episodes where my Open Table reservation was not honored...Nor were the reservations of the approximately 4 other tables also standing in the doorway. We were forced to wait outside and eventually gave up. Grotto needs to change its booking practices. There's no place to wait, the reservations aren't honored, and it's just plain poor service at that. Forcing customers to stand outside in the cold is unacceptable."
    Dined on 12/13/2013
  • "Our experience at Grotto was very nice and the food was phenomenal. The prices were very reasonable for what you get in terms of portions and quality. The fixed price menu also had me get an appetizer and dessert which I wouldn't have otherwise gotten. Make sure to make a reservation!"
    Dined on 3/8/2014
  • "I finally made it in for my birthday and in no way were my girlfriend and I disappointed. In fact, the very next morning, we set a reservation for her birthday. The food was delightful, all-around; the quality in preparation and ingredients was evident in both the seasonally-based choices and the more familiar Italian-fare. Our pleasant server offered knowledgeable input when sought and with a smile. The Italian-centric wine-list seemed to deliver along all price-points and we found the cocktail and wine-by-the glass lists to be inspired with unique options. Seems that the evening ambiance is best-met by a party-of-two, the room has a romantic feel that is NOT cheesy. NO ONE should hesitate to make a reservation and try this absolute gem!"
    Dined on 3/7/2014
  • "The food was really good, but I think our waitress was having a bad night. She wasn't very pleasant and our bill was wrong."
    Dined on 3/7/2014
  • "Hat off to the chef. I am a cook myself and meals were very inventive."
    Dined on 3/7/2014
  • "I have been to Grotto several times for many reasons. When I first moved to Boston, my roommate and I were trying to find good, local eats in the area to try. We LOVED Grotto. Although expensive for a little girls' night out, it was delicious and worth the price point. Splurging on a 3 course meal was definitely ok with us! My family was visiting in town and I took them to Grotto for lunch. The lunch portions are huge and the prices are cheaper. Definitely a plus! I've been to lunch several times because of the proximity to my office and the quality food you get for cheap. I really love the food, atmosphere, and prompt service."
    Dined on 2/27/2014
  • "I visited the Grotto with 3 others. Our appetizers (raviolis, mussels, mozzarella, calamari) were overall "ok." My husband liked his crab raviolis, but my friends and myself thought our appetizers lacked flavor...We would probably try other apps next time. Our entrees (spaghetti and meatballs, 2 Bolognese, and pasta and lobster dish) were all outstanding! Great flavor, fresh, hot, and just overall outstanding. Will definitely go back when we are in Boston again."
    Dined on 3/1/2014
  • "I went to Grotto with high hopes after seeing it on a top 10 list in Boston for romantic destinations. I was immediately disappointed. The first tipoff should have been the name. Grotto in French and Italian means a cavern or small cave, the name was suiting. The restaurant was built in a garden level (basement) unit of an apartment building with unfinished ceilings and walls. Sometimes this look can be attractive or modern, in this case it was just ugly with exposed pipes and ventilation that was covered in about 50 coats of dirty red paint. After getting over my first impressions, I figured the food made up for the atmosphere since the menu was priced at around $100 per couple. For the price I expected a lot more than what I received."
    Dined on 2/28/2014
  • "Very small but wonderful atmosphere and the food is all fantastic...order all three courses!"
    Dined on 2/28/2014
  • "We were staying at a nearby hotel and wanted some good Italian. We usually would head to the North End but this was close and had good reviews, so we gave it a try. The menu was not extensive but the wine list was great and our food choices were fantastic. Nice little romantic neighborhood spot and we'll be back next time we're in Boston."
    Dined on 2/28/2014
  • "Its still one of my favorite restaurants. Have celebrated birthdays there for several years. Had not been in for over a year and the food was as good as ever:)"
    Dined on 2/27/2014
  • "Food was very good. Staff was accommodating as traffic pushed us 30 min later than out reservation. Felt really rushed after sitting down though."
    Dined on 2/28/2014