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
167 reviews since May 21, 2014
Overall Rating4.3
  • Food4.5
    Service4.2
  • Ambiance4.1
    Noise LevelModerate
93% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
romantic (107)neighborhood gem (104)fit for foodies (85)special occasion (70)notable wine list (28)hot spot (11)late-night find (11)great for lunch (11)good for groups (5)great for outdoor dining (2)vibrant bar scene (2)great for brunch (2)Show More
  • Grotto - Great Down Home Italian
    Bstu
    Dined on 9/15/2014
    Charming Italian hole in the wall on the back of the Hill. $38 prix fixe first class three course meal (in Boston) with amazingly no cutback in choices. I went "down home", a terrific stacked grilled mozzarella and tomato salad, a standard of comparison red sauce spaghetti with the most and biggest meatballs on the planet, and a delicious molten chocolate cake lacking only the molten. Wine list is the only disappointment. Very few whites with Italian choices mostly pinot grigio, and way too few reds under $100. Being Monday they were out of my first four choices, but cudos to the manager who came to the rescue. She recommended an Italian red I never heard of which worked well, was delicious and was fairly priced. Try it!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 9/15/2014
    Charming. Tucked away on Beacon Hill street corner, Grotto is a neighborhood find. Red walls and candlelight create a warm and intimate ambiance. I have to return to try more of the delectable offerings on the menu, a listing of Italian delicacies such as I have not seen in years. Prix Fix menu of the courses for $38 is amazing , though I could not handle that much food on a Monday night, so opted for a smaller meal. I will certainly return! A neighborhood, and Boston, treasure.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
  • consistently very good
    chuckmac07VIP
    Dined on 9/15/2014
    nice bread, terrific salads & creative, fresh pasta dishes made for another very good experience.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Very Nice
    MMalone
    Dined on 9/12/2014
    Certainly worth a visit, nice price fix menu, good service, cool location
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Subterranean Gem
    bvonVIP
    Dined on 9/7/2014
    This is a small restaurant with about 15 well appointed tables, brick walls and dim lighting - warm and inviting. Our server was attentive without being overbearing. My husband and I decided to forgo the Prixe Fixe dinner option and order ala carte. The Spinaci (beet salad with goat cheese) was very fresh and tasty and my husband enjoyed the Insalata (baby arugula and prosciutto). We decided to order one entree for the both of us as we wanted to save room for dessert. The apple stuffed duck breast was outstanding - very tender and juicy - with a delicious dried cherry sauce, and potato au gratin which were divine. The duck breast was the best I've ever had. Plan to make a trip to this restaurant!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Usually great ...
    carr78
    Dined on 9/6/2014
    Went for a romantic dinner with my girlfriend. Food and service were excellent, just as I remembered, but the atmosphere was completely different than I had hoped. We sat next to half a dozen young females who were yelling almost the entire meal. I'm n usually not bothered by this kind of thing but it felt like there was a bachelorette party behind us. We couldn't even converse. All the charm and romantic vibes of the small space were absent.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • kinda tight, but worth it
    OutoftownerVIP
    Dined on 9/5/2014
    Seating here is fairly tight, plus you feel a little awkward on arrival because there is no hostess station. The food is decent, fairly classic Italian with some twists...always a matter of preference but personally the pasta needed to be cooked a few minutes longer.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great for a date
    Jokermonroe
    Dined on 9/5/2014
    Went here with my girlfriend. Excellent three course menu with delicious choices at appetizer entree and dessert. The fondue was great, chocolate cake to die for.
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • great food but...
    bobbygumbaba
    Dined on 8/31/2014
    ...dismal atmosphere, deafening noise-levels, and worst of all, the service. The waiters are lovely, but the service is so disorganized--our first course was brusquely bussed without a word before we finished eating, then we waited for 30 minutes for the next course. Waited another 30 minutes for dessert. We ordered drinks that never came, and our waters were not even refilled. Meanwhile, we watched one of the waiters chatting with her friends at another table. Pretty aggravating. Will never go back, which is a shame because the food is lovely.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • good italian restaurant
    Nataly
    Dined on 8/31/2014
    This was the first restaurant we tried in boston upon our arrival. It was close to our hotel. The food was good but rather expensive. Portions are European sized not US. Service was friendly and efficient.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • First but not last
    dindinyumyum
    Dined on 8/29/2014
    I was very happy overall with my experience at Grotto. I'd personally prefer a bit more seclusion for that special occasion (which i was on) but still happy with the ambiance and environment.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great food!
    ChrisC
    Dined on 8/29/2014
    Great food! Portions were small but really great quality. The ricotta cheese Gnudi with wild mushrooms was perfect.
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • FABULOUS !!!!!
    Stephanie
    Dined on 8/28/2014
    This is our fourth time dining at this restaurant. And I cannot say enough positive things about Grotto. It's tucked away in the beacon hill neighborhood. A basement restaurant which gives you a very cozy feel. And the menu, is dripping with delicious Italian options. This time we had the spinach salad with spiced pecans and goat cheese as well as the arugula salad. For the main course we had pasta bolognese and braised short ribs and gnocchi with Cabernet mushroom sauce. What?!?! Wow and then to top it off we had the chocolate molten cake with homeade vanilla ice cream. This is a must try when in Boston.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2008
    Dined on 8/28/2014
    The restaurant was hot. They squished us into a corner. The taste of the main dish was awful .
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Love this place
    Wineanddine
    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
    clbsierra
    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
    eattolive
    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!
    stefano
    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
  • Hidden Treasure
    BostoncitygirlVIP
    Dined on 8/19/2014
    This is a delayed review, but my experience at Grotto during DineOut Boston week was perfection. I had a 7:30 reservation and the table was not ready when I arrived, so the manager allowed my two friends and I to sit at a two-top and she provided a complimentary glass of wine for each of us while we waited. As time passed and the table still had not opened up, the manager brought over a complimentary appetizer and gave a sincere apology. She handled the situation marvelously and turned what would have been a frustrating situation into an enjoyable one. We ended up just dining at the two-top. The food had amazing flavor - it showcased both authentic and modern flavors at the same time. I would definitely go back to Grotto!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • 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.