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Nearby points of interest

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  1. Distance: 0.05mi
  2. Distance: 0.19mi
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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

90% would recommend it to a friend

Good for a Date (61)
Romantic (54)
Cozy (44)
See All
Neighborhood Gem (41)
Good for Anniversaries (31)
Special Occasion (29)
Notable Wine List (23)
Authentic (22)
Fit for Foodies (17)
Quiet Conversation (13)
Creative Cuisine (11)
Good for Birthdays (9)
Comfort Food (9)
Pre/post Theatre (9)
Casual (7)
Handcrafted Cocktails (6)
Tasting Menu (5)
Great for Lunch (4)
Worth the Drive (4)
Fun (4)
Business Meals (3)
Good for Groups (3)
Hot Spot (3)
Gluten Free Options (2)
Late-night Find (2)
Local Ingredients (2)
Live Music (1)
People Watching (1)
Seasonal (1)
Sunday Lunch (1)
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2256 reviews
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 (New England)·Dined 7 days ago

A romantic little hideaway, a neighborhood gem. Food, service and ambience a 10. A great date night spot. Make a reservation, its intimate. So glad they are on Open Table!

Tags: Neighborhood Gem, Handcrafted Cocktails, Authentic
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
·Dined on November 12, 2017

The Grotto never disappoints. The atmosphere is dark (seriously... bring your phone to read the menu) and cozy, if not a little cramped, but the atmosphere is genuine and unique, the service is excellent and the food is rich, flavorful, and simply outstanding. You will want to sit in a comfortable chair and enjoy your food coma after eating here - don't plan on going out dancing!

Tags: Good for Anniversaries, Cozy, Special Occasion, Notable Wine List, Good for a Date, Romantic
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food5
ambience4
service5
value3

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on November 12, 2017

Read the reviews and thought that this restaurant would be a hidden gem. It was definitely hidden but not a gem. It was so dark inside you could not see the menu or your food unless you turned on the flashlight in your phone. I found that to be a huge negative. I want to be able to see what I'm eating. Would not recommend it.

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food2
ambience1
service4
value3

 
 (London)·Dined on November 12, 2017

We went to Grotto for our anniversary. The setting is very cozy and romantic, with few candlelit tables in a dark room. The wine list was satisfying, and the food very nice. The Carozza as a primi was particularly fantastic. Overall very nice Italian food in a great environment, a little overpriced for my taste (the food was great but the menu not especially inventive) but I’m still sure you’ll enjoy your evening there !

Tags: Special Occasion, Good for Anniversaries, Romantic, Good for a Date
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food5
ambience5
service5
value3

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on November 11, 2017

My family and I wanted to try a new restaurant and came across reviews of Grotto, so we decided to try it. Upon arriving we didn’t realize how “cozy” the restaurant is and it was a tight squeeze for 5 of us at a table intended for 4...but it worked. The food was amazing! We enjoyed every bite from the bread and olive oil to the last drop of coffee (regular, too, and not a cappuccino). The portions were perfect. We tried each other’s meals and loved it all—will definitely go back!

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food5
ambience5
service5
value3

 
·Dined on November 9, 2017

Grotto is a cozy small restaurant. The candlelight sets the mood but make it a little dark, it was hard to read the menu given the light condition.

The food is wonderful, I had the "carne" that is beef tenderloin with risotto and wine sauce. The meat was great and the risotto with the wine sauce were the perfect combination.

Tags: Special Occasion, Good for a Date, Pre/post Theatre
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service3
value4

vip
 (New England)·Dined on November 8, 2017

Great all around, it was my boyfriends birthday and he loved it! Will definitely come back

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Austin)·Dined on November 6, 2017

This place is a treasure! Quiet, cozy, warm... the staff was excellent and the food was phenomenal. We each loved our meals. The Cavatelle was the best rich, creamy and delicious. The beef and pork dishes were savory, beautiful and just the right size. We also loved our salads. We had a chocolate cake dessert that was scrumptious. There is so much great food is Boston, but these meal was a true experience that we will not forget!

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (New England)·Dined on November 5, 2017

Oh, wow this place was amazing. I got the spaghetti and meatballs in their "amazing red sauce" --says this right on the menu, and they are not wrong. I wanted dessert so badly because it looked so yummy, but was too full for dessert. I plan to go back soon with a stretched empty stomach to eat everything all over again.

Tags: Good for a Date
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
·Dined on November 5, 2017

I have been to Grotto numerous times and never left disappointed. The food and service is fantastic!

Tags: Notable Wine List, Fit for Foodies, Good for Anniversaries, Special Occasion, Good for a Date
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience4
service4
value4

vip
 (New England)·Dined on November 5, 2017

My husband and I went to Grotto to celebrate our anniversary, and overall it was a wonderful experience. The prix fixe options are an excellent value. I started with the crab ravioli, then had the pan roasted halibut, and ended with the panna cotta. My husband started with crispy confit duck, then had the steak, and ended with the chocolate cake. Everything was delicious. Portions aren't huge, but they aren't tiny either; we both ate everything and felt very satisfied. The restaurant is very small, and being below street level, I can see how it might be claustrophobic for some people, but I didn't mind. The lighting was low and it did get somewhat loud, but I also didn't mind that. It was a fun place to enjoy a really delicious meal that I think would cost more at other restaurants in the city. Service was very good; the staff seemed a bit harried and they did forget to give us spoons for our dessert, but those were only minor issues. Overall, I would definitely recommend Grotto.

Tags: Neighborhood Gem, Handcrafted Cocktails, Notable Wine List, Romantic, Good for Anniversaries, Fit for Foodies, Good for a Date
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food5
ambience4
service4
value5

 
 (New England)·Dined on November 4, 2017

What a cool, funky little Grotto! The food was delicious and service was perfect. The toughest part was deciding what to order. Everything on the menu sounded delicious and I was not disappointed with my order. The Insulata - arugula salad - came with a pile of parm and dressed to perfection. The veal was very tasty and would order again. I will definitely go back.

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food5
ambience4
service5
value4

 
 (New England)·Dined on November 4, 2017

One of my favorite spots for amazing food. A hidden away gem, you wouldn't even know its such an amazing restaurant.

Tags: Worth the Drive, Neighborhood Gem, Fit for Foodies, Notable Wine List, Hot Spot, Special Occasion, Pre/post Theatre, Good for Anniversaries, Romantic, Cozy, Authentic, Comfort Food, Creative Cuisine, Good for a Date
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (New England)·Dined on November 3, 2017

Lovely small place for a.special or romantic occasion

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5

 
 (New England)·Dined on November 1, 2017

The Grotto never disappoints! We've come here several times over the years for special occasions, and it's great every time. The food is delicious (can't beat fresh pasta!), and the atmosphere is great too. Definitely a Boston gem.

Tags: Good for a Date, Authentic
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food5
ambience5
service4
value5

 
·Dined on October 29, 2017

Food was delicious. Ordered the Carne. Setting was very Romantic. Will return on my next visit to Boston.

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

 
 (Washington DC)·Dined on October 28, 2017

The food was excellent. My party did the price fixe menu and we all enjoyed all of the courses. Our favorites included the veal and halibut. This is a great spot and I will continue to come here. The only downside was that for such a small space, I was surprised that they accepted a reservation for a party of 12. There was a large, very loud group seated in the middle of the restaurant. It's not the restaurant's fault that they were yelling and being loud but I guess I was surprised that they would take a reservation that large when there is only one small dining room. That group basically took over the whole restaurant. We ended up taking our dessert to go since it was less enjoyable to sit and talk.

Tags: Good for a Date, Neighborhood Gem, Cozy
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience3
service5
value5

vip
 (New York Area)·Dined on October 28, 2017

Delightful fairly priced menu with big portions and creative dishes

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food4
ambience3
service4
value4

 
·Dined on October 27, 2017

Great Italian food. Risotto & Gnudi both excellent. Zabaglioni to finish perfect. Rather dark interior, most guests using phone torches to read menu! Interesting!

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food5
ambience4
service5
value4

vip
 (New England)·Dined on October 27, 2017

Our trip to Grotto was nothing less than wonderful. The space was charming and while small not cramped. The food was delicious from beginning to end. My friend and I both had the pumpkin risotto, which was served in a pumpkin. The wine list is impressive and the pie options allow you to try several delicious Italian wines. Overall fantastic experience. The only thing I would change is that the server accidentally ran our cards on the wrong table but it was fixed after we left and he was extremely apologetic when I called back the next day to ask about the different charge. Would highly recommend.

Tags: Notable Wine List, Special Occasion, Romantic, Good for a Date, Good for Anniversaries, Cozy, Fit for Foodies, Seasonal, Creative Cuisine, Pre/post Theatre
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service4
value5

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on October 24, 2017

Very bad service. That My last visit.

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food1
ambience1
service1
value1

 
 (New England)·Dined on October 22, 2017

Great food and service. I highly recommend this restaurant

Tags: Tasting Menu, Good for a Date
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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on October 21, 2017

All about the ambiance! I knew going in that it was going to be a lower level restaurant with a darker setting, but was totally amazed with the experience. The low lighting didn't bother us at all because it really allows you to immerse yourself in the food and drink. Definitely take advantage of the three-course options at the top of the menu. Everyone at the table tried different items off the menu and the ones that really stick out are the fonduta, the bread pudding and the panna cotta.

Tags: Good for a Date, Cozy, Neighborhood Gem, Good for Birthdays, Special Occasion, Good for Anniversaries, Fit for Foodies, Romantic, Creative Cuisine, Fun
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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (Columbus)·Dined on October 21, 2017

I got the Pasta Fra Diavolo and it was so spicy one bite made my throat burn. I ate the lobster off the top but nothing else. The waiter never asked how the food was, if we enjoyed it, or questioned why I'd hardly touched my meal. Desserts were just so so. Salad was also so so but kind of dry and uninteresting. Not worth the $100 we spent at this restaurant.

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food2
ambience2
service2
value2

 
 (Brisbane / QLD)·Dined on October 21, 2017

Great Italian food

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Tasmania)·Dined on October 20, 2017

The waitstaff and the kitchen were very attentive to my food allergies and gluten intolerance. Nicely prepared dishes, especially their treatment of vegetables. This was our first visit and we would have no hesitation returning.

Tags: Cozy, Romantic
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food4
ambience4
service4
value4

 
·Dined on October 20, 2017

Not a fan of the food. Huge portions make the food an alright value, but the sheer quantity is borderline senseless. I’d rather be charged less and served less.

Servers are extremely knowledgeable and friendly. Great recommendations and good wine selection.

The timing of courses is excellent.

The scene is outstanding. Dark but not too dark. Very cosy, very romantic, but also an alright place to meet an old friend too.

Tags: Good for Anniversaries, Cozy, Good for a Date, Romantic
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food2
ambience5
service5
value3

vip
 (New England)·Dined on October 14, 2017

Grotto is a place that I am always happy to come back to. It's been around for years and consistently satisfies. A broad menu with something for everyone, reasonably priced, indeed a bargain considering that it's on Beacon Hill. Grotto has the best fettucine bolognese I've ever eaten.

Tags: Comfort Food, Cozy, Notable Wine List, Casual
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food5
ambience4
service5
value4

 
·Dined on October 14, 2017

The food was delicious, but we were really disappointed when we got home and discovered that they only packed up one of our leftovers when we had asked for both to be wrapped up.

Tags: Good for Anniversaries, Special Occasion, Fun, Good for a Date, Romantic, Neighborhood Gem
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food5
ambience4
service4
value5

vip
 (Miami)·Dined on October 12, 2017

The service is good and the food is delicious , we were 4 at the table and the 4 ordered
Diferent entres, all of them were extraordinaire!
The bad thing is that the tables are not placed with enough space between one an another, and the last thing is the poor light the restaurant has, it is way too dark.
The food is amazing!, just try to give more
Space between tables and add some more light and this would make us enjoy your wonderful food as much as you deserve!

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food5
ambience2
service5
value2

 
 (New England)·Dined on October 12, 2017

We've been curious about Grotto for years. Decided to give it a try for our 4th anniversary. What a great spot!

Tags: Special Occasion, Good for a Date, Quiet Conversation, Cozy
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (New England)·Dined on October 10, 2017

We had an enjoyable day-date here. Service was a little brusque, but not rushed, so that was nice. My dining partner's calamari in the insalata mare was overcooked, and the dessert was oddly plated (squiggles and dots and powdered sugar, oh my), but the crab ravioli was really excellent.

Tags: Sunday Lunch, Romantic
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food3
ambience3
service3
value3

 
 (Denver)·Dined on October 8, 2017

It was amazing and I would go there again

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food5
ambience5
service5

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on October 8, 2017

Went here before a concert at TD garden and it was a short walk both ways. Food was very good. I had the cavatelli to start and chicken parm for my entree. Both seemingly typical and staples of Italian cuisine but both different enough to stand out and taste amazing.

The restaurant location was a little cramped and dark but given the Grotto name they embrace the location. I would eat here again, many other menu items I wish I had room to try.

Tags: Comfort Food, Notable Wine List
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food5
ambience4
service5
value5

 
 (Chicago)·Dined on October 6, 2017

This place has a very cool ambiance, the portions were small and seemed a little overpriced. Although, the gnocchi was pretty top notch.

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food3
ambience4
service2
value3

 
 (New England)·Dined on October 6, 2017

The most annoying thing was the lighting. I like dim lights and have no problem. But there is so dark that feels they are hiding something. I couldn't really see what I was eating, which is not nice.

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food4
ambience1
service4
value3

 
 (New England)·Dined on October 5, 2017

I was very pleased with my experience at Grotto. The food was terrific and the atmosphere was great for a date. I am looking forward to my next trip back.

Tags: Good for a Date, Special Occasion
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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

 
·Dined on October 5, 2017

The service is good, the food is nice but really only ok for the price. The wines are expensive and we had one of the cheapest which was fine but you can get better value and even good Italian wines should not be that price, if you have ever been to Italy you will know this.
The lighting is so low we had to use the light on our iPhone to read the menu and we gave our iPhones to the elderly couple next to us who were laughing because they could not read a thing on the menu. This is a common issue i have noted with this restaurant. Overall it is ok but there are so many better value restaurants close by i do wonder why they don’t listen to the feedback and fix a few small issues which could make this a very good restaurant..

Tags: Romantic
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food3
ambience3
service4
value2

 
 (Nashville)·Dined on October 2, 2017

What a special place! Cozy and charming in a below street level space. The wait staff are attentive and friendly. The best part is the food. Just delicious. Still thinking about the risotto! Will be back!

Tags: Romantic, Cozy
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
·Dined on September 30, 2017

My husband and I try to make it here every time we get to Boston. It's a hidden gem! The food has never been anything but spectacular. It's a cozy little restaurant and we hope to be back soon!

Tags: Romantic, Authentic, Cozy
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

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