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Nearby points of interest

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  1. Distance: 0.05mi
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About 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).

37 Bowdoin Street
Boston, MA 02114
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Dining Style:
Casual Dining

Cuisines:
Italian, Mediterranean

Hours of Operation:
Lunch: Monday - Friday: 11:30pm - 3:00pm; Dinner Nightly: 5:00pm - 10:00pm

Cross Street:
Cambridge

Dress Code:
Casual Dress

Price Range:
$31 to $50

Payment Options
AMEX, MasterCard, Visa

Phone Number:
(617) 227-3434

Website:
http://www.grottorestaurant.com/

Parking Details:
Street parking is also available.

Public Transit:
T Stops are Park and Government Center.

Executive Chef:
Scott Herritt

Additional:
Beer, Non-Smoking, Takeout, Wine

Grotto Ratings and Reviews

5
4
3
2
1

4.5

Overall Rating

based on recent ratings
food

4.5

service

4.4

ambience

4.3

value

4.2

Noise

Moderate

91% would recommend it to a friend

Good for a Date (62)
Romantic (56)
Neighborhood Gem (43)
See All
Cozy (43)
Special Occasion (31)
Good for Anniversaries (27)
Notable Wine List (25)
Authentic (21)
Fit for Foodies (15)
Quiet Conversation (13)
Creative Cuisine (11)
Pre/post Theatre (10)
Comfort Food (9)
Casual (7)
Handcrafted Cocktails (6)
Good for Birthdays (5)
Hot Spot (4)
Tasting Menu (4)
Fun (3)
Local Ingredients (3)
Great for Lunch (3)
Worth the Drive (3)
Good for Groups (2)
Sunday Lunch (1)
Gluten Free Options (1)
Late-night Find (1)
Live Music (1)
People Watching (1)
Seasonal (1)
Business Meals (1)
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2271 reviews
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vip
 (New England)·Dined on August 21, 2017

It was our first time to Grotto. I've walked by it a number of times and have read how it is a neighborhood gem. Well, we decided to take out a friend and his son who were in Boston visiting colleges. What a great meal. The price fix option is such a great thing. The wine list was exceptional, and the food was beyond anyone's expectation. It is such a romantic setting, and well worth making a reservation. We easily found an open table on a Monday night. And the place was packed for a Monday night. Kudos to Grotto. We'll be back again.

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
·Dined on August 20, 2017

Exquisite food, exceptional service. Well worth every penny.

Tags: Notable Wine List, Special Occasion, Romantic, Neighborhood Gem, Good for a Date, Authentic, Good for Anniversaries
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food5
ambience4
service5
value4

 
 (New England)·Dined on August 18, 2017

Food was ok. Tables are too close to each other- it's like dining in NYC.
Sent back a dish (lobster was kind of gross) and asked for bolognese. I then asked for it to be packaged to go as I didn't want to stay and eat it. They forgot. At this point, I decided to just let it go and simply not return. So basically, for $200, I got a bottle of Barolo and 1 1/2 restaurant week meal.
Not worth it. Go to the north end instead.

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food3
ambience2
service1
value1

 
 (New England)·Dined on August 18, 2017

The food was hit and miss. The lobster fra diavolo was the most bland, watered down red sauce ever. Took the leftovers home and hit them hard with red pepper flakes, spices and olive oil the next day. Never have needed to do that before

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food3
ambience1
service3
value2

 
 (New England)·Dined on August 17, 2017

While the food was good for the most, excerpt desert, service left a lot to desire and we had a much more pleasant experience at Marleave.

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food5
ambience3
service2
value1

 
 (Denver)·Dined on August 16, 2017

I went for the restaurant week promotion. However, I ended up spending more money on the meal than I would if I went on a normal day. On any day you can get an appetizer, pasta, and desert for $36- $2 less than the restaurant week special. The food was good, but not worth it for the cost.

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food4
ambience2
service5
value1

 
·Dined on August 16, 2017

Very cozy... romantic... small but home-like... not your typical date spot... all meals were beyond expectations

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food5
ambience5
service5

 
·Dined on August 15, 2017

Food is very delicious, although the plate is not that big.
The black truffle soup is little bit spicy and sour which is a little bit wired for me.

Be careful for the street parking outside the restaurant, after 6pm it will be resident parking only.

Tags: Romantic
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food4
ambience4
service3
value3

 
·Dined on August 15, 2017

Came for Dine Out Boston, definitely a good choice! Service was prompt, water glasses were kept filled regularly. Definitely small and very low lighting, but not so much that it was difficult to see. A bit loud because of the close proximity of others, but it wasn't really that much of a bother. The food was outstanding, the fonduta with beef tenderloin tips and mushroom was a must-get. My only complaint is this: when I booked the reservation, it was noted that I'd be receiving a call from them "shortly." I hadn't heard from them in a few days, so I grew a bit nervous and decided to call to check that they had indeed processed the reservation, especially because it was during Dine Out Boston, a supposedly reservation-heavy time. I was told that they call the day before, but that they would go ahead and mark it confirmed anyways, and whoever I spoke to was a bit short to me on the phone. I felt like I had a valid concern, but maybe I just read too much into the wording. Nevertheless, the call didn't tarnish the experience, and I would definitely recommend eating here!

Tags: Good for a Date, Pre/post Theatre, Creative Cuisine, Romantic, Cozy
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food5
ambience5
service4
value4

 
·Dined on August 15, 2017

My date and I had a great time. The food and service was exceptional!

Tags: Neighborhood Gem, Good for a Date, Romantic
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (New England)·Dined on August 15, 2017

Just the place to get together with friends in the neighborhood. Small, cozy, a nice selection of wines at 5 or 8 ounces. The menu is manageable and still has favorites from years ago and they still please.

The spinach beet salad had new presentation but the same great combo of spinach, beets and goat cheese. Two of us loved the scallops 'ravioli' and the short ribs pleased as well.

The four of us shared the molten chocolate cake for dessert. Just enough to satisfy our sweet teeth!

Nice to still have it in the neighborhood. GO!

Tags: Casual, Good for a Date, Cozy, Romantic, Neighborhood Gem
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food4
ambience4
service4
value4

vip
 (New York Area)·Dined on August 15, 2017

Outstanding food and wonderful service.
My colleagues were really impressed with the comfortable and casual atmosphere, while the food quality and taste were that of a much more expensive restaurant.

Tags: Great for Lunch
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food5
ambience4
service5
value5

 
 (New England)·Dined on August 11, 2017

I've been here several times and have consistently had an excellent experience with good, service, and ambiance.

Tags: Good for a Date
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (New England)·Dined on August 7, 2017

The ambiance, service, and food was absolutely outstanding. Looking forward to heading back soon!

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
·Dined on August 6, 2017

We visited during Dine Out Boston week and were happy with the offered selections. The food was delicious. I especially enjoyed the crab ravioli. They have a nice selection of wines. Small, romantic tables for two but also easily accommodated larger groups. Service very good.

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food4
ambience5
service5
value5

 
·Dined on August 6, 2017

Went during Boston's restaurant week. The menu was varied, food delicious, and staff attentive. Couldn't ask for anything more!

Tags: Good for a Date
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (New England)·Dined on August 5, 2017

Service and ambiance were very good. I would go back there again but would not order any alcoholic drinks. They were way over priced. A 5 oz. glass of wine was generally more than $10. Sangria was $14. This is way too steep compared to other restaurants in Boston. Also, while the ingredients of my pasta dish were good, it was way too salty. My friend's dish was too salty as well. Next time I'll request no salt as chef had a heavy hand, and I prefer to salt my food if necessary.

Tags: Cozy, Late-night Find, Neighborhood Gem, Romantic
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food3
ambience5
service5
value2

 
 (Toronto)·Dined on August 4, 2017

Lovely location and ambiance. Staff very friendly. Food was good, but lobster portion on linguine was extremely small for the price and pork was not cooked to requested doneness. Atmosphere made the night.

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food3
ambience5
service4
value3

vip
 (Raleigh)·Dined on July 30, 2017

A little pricey but worth it. Our server seemed a little disinterested but she was attentive and helpful in guiding the menu. Amazing food. Fondue was small but delicious. Salad nice. Risotto was the best I ever had. Steak was good but the risotto was even better. Bolognese was okay. Panama cotta was nice; banana bread pudding quite good. One of the best meals I've had in awhile. Recommended.

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food5
ambience5
service4

 
·Dined on July 28, 2017

I brought a small group with a variety of tastes and food restrictions for a birthday celebration. The staff was extremely accommodating and even pulled together an off the menu meal to meet my father's dietary needs. The food was well prepared and nicely presented. Couldn't have asked for better service and it was a great overall experience.

Tags: Good for Birthdays, Cozy, Neighborhood Gem, Good for a Date, Authentic, Romantic, Fit for Foodies, Good for Anniversaries, Special Occasion
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food4
ambience4
service5
value5

 
·Dined on July 26, 2017

Very romantic and magical- VERY dimly lit....
the food was absoluTely INCREDIBLE!!
We both ordered prix fixe and enjoyed our meals tremendously-
Cavatelle/carne / budino
Spinaci / pesce / ciacolatto
Robust flavors, artistic presentation - perfectly executed!!
Intimate, unique and rustic, relaxing atmosphere
I highly recommend

Tags: Good for Birthdays, Good for Anniversaries
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food5
ambience4
service4
value4

 
·Dined on July 26, 2017

Incredible food in a beautiful, romantic atmosphere.

Tags: Local Ingredients, Fit for Foodies, Good for Anniversaries, Business Meals, Pre/post Theatre, Cozy, Good for Birthdays
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (New England)·Dined on July 23, 2017

The waitstaff were clearly unhappy about our 9:30 reservation on a Saturday. We were pressured to order immediately and then the staff cleaned up around us as we tried to eat. Food was fine, drinks were good, but the service totally ruined it.

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food3
ambience3
service1
value2

 
 (New England)·Dined on July 22, 2017

The decor was a big reason that I decided to eat at Grotto again. It had been several years since the last time, but I remembered the dark, romantic atmosphere, great for date night. I also remembered an awesome fondue appetizer. This time around, both were better than I remembered. But when the entrees came, O.M.G!! I had the pork chop and my date had the filet. The quality and flavors were amazing! It was one of the best meals I've had in a very long time. Now I can't wait to go back!

Tags: Romantic, Cozy, Neighborhood Gem, Good for a Date
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (New England)·Dined on July 18, 2017

Grotto is one of my favorite restaurants in Boston. The 2 or 3 course menu pricing is a fantastic deal. The Lobster Fra Diavolo is the stuff of dreams. I love taking people there because they always love it and say they wouldn't known about it... it's one of Boston's best kept secrets but you definitely need a reservation because it is always full!

Tags: Romantic, Good for Anniversaries, Local Ingredients, Neighborhood Gem, Fit for Foodies, Special Occasion, Good for Birthdays, Good for a Date, Cozy, Authentic
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Charleston)·Dined on July 15, 2017

This was a great find! The food and the atmosphere were excellent. Great place to share a romantic evening with my wife.

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food5
ambience5
service3

 
 (Washington DC)·Dined on July 13, 2017

Pity about the service the smiles came out when it was time to pay!

Tags: Cozy, Good for a Date
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food4
ambience4
service2
value4

 
 (New England)·Dined on July 10, 2017

Grotto has consistently exceptional service and food. Their desserts are not to be missed.

Tags: Business Meals, Good for Anniversaries, Good for Birthdays
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (New England)·Dined on July 8, 2017

Great place, very cosy, great food, customer service was great over all. It's a place that I'll go back to again.

Tags: Authentic, Romantic, Late-night Find, Good for Anniversaries, Quiet Conversation
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food5
ambience5
service4
value5

 
 (New England)·Dined on July 8, 2017

The food was good, but the atmosphere is dark and dingy.

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food4
ambience2
service4
value2

 
 (New England)·Dined on July 2, 2017

Wonderful small restaurant with North End-like basement entrance on Bowdoin St just behind the State House. Cozy tables and booths with nice quiet vibe. Food was excellent. Service was prompt but relaxed, waiter was very knowledgeable and proud of the restaurant. Gnocchi with beef rib ragu impressed with a deep, rich flavor contrasting nicely with lite as air gnocchi. Pasta bolognese lived up to the hype on the menu - creative use of rosemary to add high notes to rich, but fine-shred meat sauce. One of the best experiences so far in 2017

Tags: Authentic, Cozy, Local Ingredients, Handcrafted Cocktails
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food4
ambience4
service4
value3

vip
 (Mississippi)·Dined on July 2, 2017

Everything about Grotto was an incredible experience. The peach sangria, entrees and service were all the best. Definitely will return!

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Atlanta)·Dined on June 30, 2017

The Grotto is perfect for a romantic dinner in Boston. The Beacon Hill basement atmosphere is fun in an old-fashioned elegant way. The prix fix dinner was rich and delicious and a great value. Staff was smart, attentive and friendly.

Tags: Fun, Fit for Foodies, Special Occasion, Neighborhood Gem
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food5
ambience5
service4
value5

 
 (New England)·Dined on June 30, 2017

Grotto is an awesome cozy restaurant in Beacon Hill. It's perfect for date night but also great for a small group meal. It's definitely the best Italian food I've had outside of the North End. Both the food and the service is consistently amazing.

Tags: Cozy, Hot Spot, Creative Cuisine, Local Ingredients, Comfort Food, Business Meals, Neighborhood Gem, Special Occasion, Great for Brunch, Great for Lunch, Quiet Conversation, Fit for Foodies, Sunday Lunch, Good for a Date, Good for Anniversaries, Romantic
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Toronto)·Dined on June 25, 2017

Excellent experience. A little noisy at first, but when the larger party beside us left, it was great. Food outstanding and presentation....unreal. The Gnudi...HIGHLY recommend!

Tags: Casual
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Ottawa)·Dined on June 24, 2017

Food was delicious, the place is small and quite noisy, but it just feels more authentic. Everything was perfect except our waitress who was cold and made us feel uncomfortable. A little smile isn't too much to ask...

Tags: Special Occasion, Romantic, Neighborhood Gem
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food5
ambience4
service2
value4

 
 (New England)·Dined on June 20, 2017

Quaint atmosphere, above average quality food, excellent service. I came here on my birthday with my significant other. He struggled to find a dish that he would be happy with as the main course options are limited. He did order a fish meal, but did say the sauce was a little to heavy for him. I agree the menu is limited, but there was enough variety that I would have been content with ordering at least 3 of the main menu courses. I did end up with a 3 course meal which you can buy as opposed to ordering a la carte. I thoroughly enjoyed my beef tenderloin w/asparagus and roasted potatoes. All were cooked to perfection. The banana bread pudding and ice cream was a slice of heaven. Loved it and would come back. Main drawback is darkness of the room making it difficult to see and read the menu, and the limited menu.

Tags: Good for a Date, Neighborhood Gem, Romantic
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food4
ambience4
service5
value4

 
 (Austin)·Dined on June 17, 2017

Great food, but cramped, crowded and loud! The portions are big, we took lovely leftovers home.

Tags: Comfort Food, Fit for Foodies
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food5
ambience3
service4
value4

 
 (New England)·Dined on June 17, 2017

The Italian-inspired dishes were absolutely delicious. The service was thoughtful and quick.

Tags: Handcrafted Cocktails, Good for a Date, Authentic, Cozy, Fit for Foodies, Comfort Food, Special Occasion, Good for Anniversaries, Neighborhood Gem, Romantic, Good for Birthdays
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food5
ambience4
service5
value4

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on June 12, 2017

Fabulous meal, service and ambiance. We were visiting from Oregon and came to Grotto on the recommendation from a local resident. Our evening was perfect.

Tags: Cozy, Romantic, Creative Cuisine, Quiet Conversation, Good for a Date
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

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