Grotto
Grotto

Grotto

  • Dining Style: Casual Dining
  • Website: http://www.grottorestaurant.com/
  • Phone: 6172273434x
  • 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 6172273434x

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).
Continued
Foodspotting photos
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerRomantic
Grotto reviews from OpenTable diners
148 reviews since May 1, 2014
Overall Rating4.4
  • Food4.6
    Service4.1
  • Ambiance4.1
    Noise LevelModerate
96% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
romantic (95)neighborhood gem (93)fit for foodies (76)special occasion (61)notable wine list (28)late-night find (10)hot spot (8)great for lunch (8)good for groups (6)great for outdoor dining (2)great for brunch (2)vibrant bar scene (1)Show More
  • Love this place
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 8/27/2014
    Came here with my mom and LOVED everything about this place. The restaurant is so cute and small intimate dark wooden tables with candles lit. We loved it. The food was to die for. We each did a three course meal and loves all the food we had. The wine and sangria was also great. Will definitely come back!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Freshly prepared and delicious
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 8/25/2014
    My husband and I spent our anniversary at Grotto and not only enjoyed the vast selections for a price fixe menu, but the portions were amazing, the food was fresh and hot and the staff very friendly. Delicious! We will be back.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Not too bad
    OpenTable Diner Since 2006
    Dined on 8/25/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • great, but more light!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2007
    Dined on 8/24/2014
    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!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Great Ambience, Excellent Food
    OpenTable Diner Since 2007
    Dined on 8/23/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • FBEC
    Dined on 8/23/2014
    the food is the best part of the experience. phenomenal flavor and perfectly cooked pasta.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion, late-night find, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great Restaurant week choice
    New2town
    Dined on 8/22/2014
    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!
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    romantic, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OK.
    jpmayoVIP
    Dined on 8/21/2014
    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 :(
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Excellent lunch!
    Saltlady
    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.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Maybe Its Dine Out Boston
    DineOutDiner
    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.
    Special Features:
    special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Amazing food!
    AmSan
    Dined on 8/19/2014
    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!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • great place!
    DJM83
    Dined on 8/16/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    romantic, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Herb
    Dined on 8/15/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • girls night out
    Gardengal
    Dined on 8/10/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Very nice
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 8/8/2014
    Food and service were nice but the I found the seating not very comfortable and not kid friendly at all.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • First Timers At the Grotto
    vivsnee
    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.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Just as delicious as I remembered!
    Lurvegr8dining
    Dined on 8/7/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Was worth the wait and cost
    April
    Dined on 8/6/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • good adress
    marc
    Dined on 8/6/2014
    Good adress for a raisonnable prise in a great neibourhood
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great find
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 8/5/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • GREAT Italian!
    aabrode12
    Dined on 8/3/2014
    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!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Excellent as always!
    fssambor
    Dined on 7/29/2014
    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!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Amazing food and Ambience
    BCeagle
    Dined on 7/27/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Shared a great meal...
    urgeforgoing
    Dined on 7/25/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    special occasion, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great evening!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 7/22/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    romantic, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • A great find!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 7/14/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Not great variety for vegetarians
    Veggiediner
    Dined on 7/12/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
  • Interesting
    Jomacp
    Dined on 7/11/2014
    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.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Amazing food and good experience
    Natalie
    Dined on 7/10/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, late-night find, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Cozy, relaxed find
    JillBVIP
    Dined on 7/8/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • The best Italian in Boston
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 7/3/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Disappointed with the Service!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 7/1/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • One of my favorite places in Boston
    AshleyBC
    Dined on 6/28/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • keeps us coming back
    elle
    Dined on 6/27/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Exceeded expectations
    Beachbaby
    Dined on 6/10/2014
    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!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Good
    LisatVIP
    Dined on 6/7/2014
    They were very accommodating. Good for late night wine and appetizer.
    Special Features:
    late-night find
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great Date Night
    Grgngng
    Dined on 5/31/2014
    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!
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Very Good Italian Restaurant
    Robert
    Dined on 5/24/2014
    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
    Special Features:
    special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Romantic
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 5/23/2014
    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 ...
    Special Features:
    romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.