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
166 reviews since May 25, 2014
Overall Rating4.3
  • Food4.5
    Service4.2
  • Ambiance4.1
    Noise LevelModerate
93% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
romantic (106)neighborhood gem (103)fit for foodies (86)special occasion (67)notable wine list (27)late-night find (11)great for lunch (11)hot spot (10)good for groups (5)great for outdoor dining (2)vibrant bar scene (2)great for brunch (2)Show More
  • A good Beacon Hill lunch spot
    drrob
    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.
    Special Features:
    great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great Food, Awful Service
    John
    Dined on 3/28/2014
    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.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Hidden Gem
    dacqua
    Dined on 3/28/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Horrible service.
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 3/27/2014
    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!
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • My mouth is still watering!
    Diana
    Dined on 3/25/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, notable wine list, romantic, neighborhood gem, hot spot, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • VERY small. Food is great.
    Micaela
    Dined on 3/25/2014
    Grotto is uncomfortably small, however, the food was so good it made up for it!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great neighborhood find!
    FoodiefromMaine
    Dined on 3/24/2014
    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!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Superb Secret Hideaway
    IMNautical
    Dined on 3/23/2014
    This is truly one of the best restaurants in Boston. Excellent food, great waitstaff and a wonderful ambiance. Reservations are a must!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, romantic, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • The cavatelle is amazing and
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 3/22/2014
    The cavatelle is amazing and my husband says it tastes just like his grandmothers!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Crowded/noisy
    bonesy
    Dined on 3/21/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    late-night find
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Went for restaurant week.
    citygrl
    Dined on 3/20/2014
    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
    Special Features:
    romantic, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Feli Grotto Review
    Feli
    Dined on 3/20/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, romantic, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • 45 minute Wait...WITH a reservation
    OpenTable Diner Since 2005
    Dined on 3/19/2014
    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....
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Restaurant week success
    CJC13
    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.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Restaurant Week Flub
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 3/19/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Amazing food, unfortunately
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011VIP
    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.
    Special Features:
    romantic, neighborhood gem, hot spot, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Nice visit
    plato79
    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!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, neighborhood gem, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Bad Experience
    Fania
    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.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Good not during rest week
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 3/18/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • An intimate Italian experience
    Nicole12
    Dined on 3/18/2014
    I love that there were pastas for appetizer! Everything tasted very homemade and we were stuffed by the end of it!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, romantic, neighborhood gem, hot spot, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Better before
    MDC14
    Dined on 3/17/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • GROTTO SOUNDS GOOD
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 3/16/2014
    good food; service very kind; a beautiful place with a special atmosphere
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great Bistro menu
    Magnus
    Dined on 3/9/2014
    Grotto is a favourite of ours: always consistent; great basement bistro atmosphere; great food and presentation.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • As Good As Advertised
    Andrew
    Dined on 3/8/2014
    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!
    Special Features:
    romantic, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Excellent find
    Luv2eat
    Dined on 3/7/2014
    Hat off to the chef. I am a cook myself and meals were very inventive.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Make a reservation ...NOW
    BuddyBrownVIP
    Dined on 3/7/2014
    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!
    Special Features:
    romantic, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great Food, Fair Service
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    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.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Very tasty food! All of our
    KM2008
    Dined on 3/1/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, romantic, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • great ambience!
    Amanda
    Dined on 3/1/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Good find!
    bobasco
    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.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Wonderful experience
    tpBBVIP
    Dined on 2/28/2014
    Very small but wonderful atmosphere and the food is all fantastic...order all three courses!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Not so romantic nor even great food
    foodie
    Dined on 2/28/2014
    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.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Grotto was Good
    Good2Go
    Dined on 2/28/2014
    Food was very good. Staff was accommodating as traffic pushed us 30 min later than out reservation. Felt really rushed after sitting down though.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Its still one of my favorite
    OpenTable Diner Since 2006VIP
    Dined on 2/27/2014
    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:)
    Special Features:
    romantic, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Grotto is fabulous
    hld5013
    Dined on 2/27/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, neighborhood gem, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great place for dinner. Delicious
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011VIP
    Dined on 2/21/2014
    Great place for dinner. Delicious food and great service. Loved it!
    Special Features:
    good for groups, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great Italian
    WeHa
    Dined on 2/20/2014
    Walk down the stairs into the Grotto to a dimly lit intimate space. Tables are close, but you still feel unto yourselves. Waitstaff was attentive, food served in a timely manner. Everything was delicious. Will be back again.
    Special Features:
    notable wine list, romantic, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Grotto is great for a slushy night
    SilkeVIP
    Dined on 2/19/2014
    We live across the street from the Grotto so it's a natural fallback, especially in winter. Thankfully it recently upgrade its ambiance with the addition of booths. Besides improved comfort and appearance, the booths seem to help with the accoustics... or maybe it was just quieter than usual this time (?) Hopefully the booths are the beginning of improvements which would include (soon!) doing something about the ceiling, which is hideous! The other issue is the menu, which has been exactly the same forever. Venison is the one new dish which has been added in the past 5-10 years (?) Many of the dishes are very good but there's a limit to how long the menu can remain the same without being boring to regulars/neighbors.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Yum!
    caitlin
    Dined on 2/16/2014
    Really amazing food. The place is very tiny and louder than I was expecting. I think requesting a booth would have been more private as we were sandwiched between 2 hilarious dates. But it was a good valentines day spot and I can't stop raving about the food.. Best molten chocolate cake I've ever had, and the gnocchi was excellent. Prix fixe was a great choice !!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Grotto
    Josh
    Dined on 2/15/2014
    Great food. Great service. Unique location. Romantic setting. I will definitely be back and recommend to everyone.
    Special Features:
    notable wine list, romantic, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.