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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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Diner Reviews
  • "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
  • "This place is an absolute gem. Fantastic food and great ambiance. "
    Dined on 5/16/2014
  • "Delicious food, great service! The beef tenderloin was amazing! The restaurant is small and room is a little tight, would recommend going with 2-4 people. "
    Dined on 5/15/2014
  • "Grotto is a small restaurant with big, big portions! Three of us ate here recently, with 2 ordering the highly recommended spaghetti and meatballs (with "insanely good" tomato sauce), and the third ordering the diver scallops. Both entrees were excellent, and portions were generous. Grotto offers a good value $40 prix fixe, but I am not sure how anyone could finish 3 courses and make it up the stairs! Recommended, but come very hungry."
    Dined on 5/13/2014
  • "My wife and I had a great meal here. I had the fried mozzarella on top of sauteed spinach and tomatoes appetizer, which was delicious. The Fra Diavlo consisted of fresh linguini with delicious spicy sauce and lobster-- an offbeat combo that was very tasty. The 'molten chocolate cake' desert was stupendous. Our only nit was that the house wines were nothing special. The Super Tuscan wine was OK, but we asked the hostess to replace the Italian Chardonnay (had a strange very dry metallic taste) with something else, which she graciously did. Grotto is an excellent alternative to the very high-priced and jam-packed and noisy North End restaurants. It offers better food, somewhat better prices, and a much quieter and more pleasant ambiance. "
    Dined on 5/9/2014
  • "We had a going away party with 10 people and they accommodated very well. The bread was yummy and they kept the water full. My entree was delicious (crab ravioli). They even gave a small chocolate cake as a goodbye token, which was thoughtful. "
    Dined on 5/5/2014
  • "Take a few steps down off the sidewalk and you'll enter a cozy, dimly lit space with a hand full of tables tucked just far enough away from each other to still catch a whiff of the amazing dishes being served at the Grotto. The choices for the 3 courses being served for $40 was nothing short of outstanding. My beet salad with goat cheese was so simple yet the drizzled balsamic made me want to finish the entire plate. I chose the scallops for my main and have never had them cooked so perfectly........melt in your mouth amazing! Then.....dessert. WOW! WOW! WOW!. Let's just say I found my new favorite. "
    Dined on 5/3/2014
  • "We liked everything about Grotto, tthe service was attentive yet friendly. The food was a wonderful surprise because all the dishes on the menu were mouthwatering and our choices conffirmed that!! The waiter helped us both with our food choices and wine. A wonderful experience to be repeated whenever we go to Bosto!"
    Dined on 4/28/2014
  • "My husband and I enjoyed an absolutely delicious dinner here while visiting Boston - probably one of the top meals I've had in a long time! We had the 3 course menu and each course was more delectable than the preceding one. The banana bread pudding was one of the most amazing desserts I've ever had! The only drawbacks are that it's a small space with not many tables, so reservations definitely are a must, and it felt a little crammed and noisy. The service was good but not outstanding. I would definitely return for the awesome food!"
    Dined on 4/25/2014
  • "Grotto is tiny and lively. My friend and I were very late....GPS glitch....and the hostess managed to seat us anyway. She needed the table for a reservation a short time later but we never felt rushed. The food was very good. Will definitely go back."
    Dined on 4/25/2014
  • "Second visit in past 12 months. The food was not great, the value was but we would prefer to pay for great food. Excellent service and accommodated my gluten free diet pretty well for a restaurant who did not make a point of accommodation when we first looked at the menu."
    Dined on 4/20/2014
  • "Crowded and tight on space but big in ambiance and lush with Italian influenced menu. We enjoyed the experience went away quite satisfied with our meals, the wine and the service. We always look forward to dining at Grotto the night before we're in town for the marathon!"
    Dined on 4/20/2014
  • "Cozy little space with excellent pasta. We ate there the night before the Boston Marathon. There was a large group which made the noise level pretty high. We would go back. "
    Dined on 4/20/2014
  • "Food was marginal at best, our waitress had zero personality and by far the worst Italian restaurant I've been to over the past 10 years!"
    Dined on 4/20/2014
  • "I was looking for a romantic restaurant for a nice night out with my wife and Grotto ranked high on several lists. I wasn't sure what to expect, and if I had been walking by I would have overlooked the place. That would have been a mistake! We arrived a little early and were still seated right away. The restaurant is small, but manages to not feel too cramped. Grotto is dimly lit and retains a romantic feel partly thanks to real candles. Seriously! The menu has just the right amount of variety without leading to indecision. They also don't try to serve every possible dish, but they do very well with what theyp put out. The fonduta appetizer was amazing and I highly recommend the duck. The chocolate cake was a perfect finish. "
    Dined on 4/19/2014
  • "I have been regularly dining at Grotto since I discovered its discrete location in 2007, and have recommended it to countless people since. This is not a place to go for a snack, so come hungry! Whether its the garlic/truffle soup, multi-cheese and aged balsamic vinaigrette fondue, or reggiano risotto, every meal is decadent with the richest and most flavorful of ingredients. Portions are generously sized and the meal is reasonably priced. I've also hosted numerous large-scale dinners at Grotto, two of which were in excess of forty people; so it can be a great and intimate setting for a special event. And no matter how full you are....order the chocolate lava cake at the end! "
    Dined on 4/18/2014
  • "I made a dinner reservation for two. Even though I was a little late, we were seated immediately. The waitstaff were friendly and attentive. We had the mussels, beef tenderloin, and stuffed duck breast, all of which were excellent. The atmosphere was intimate and perfect for a date or special occasion. I highly recommend Grotto."
    Dined on 4/16/2014
  • "Great spot to have a nice quiet meal. The food was excellent, tenderloin was great and impressive for an Italian place. Wine was pretty good too, nice cute spot!"
    Dined on 4/16/2014
  • "Everything was fine but what made this place great was the location. Grotto is walking distance to the Opera House which was our final destination. The thing that would keep me from being a more frequent diner was their pricing. Four of us had a drink and an entrée and the bill with tip was $320. Although the food was fine, it was definitely nothing special. "
    Dined on 4/15/2014
  • "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
  • "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
  • "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
  • "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