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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 (61)
Romantic (53)
Cozy (43)
See All
Neighborhood Gem (42)
Special Occasion (32)
Good for Anniversaries (30)
Notable Wine List (25)
Authentic (21)
Fit for Foodies (16)
Quiet Conversation (14)
Comfort Food (11)
Creative Cuisine (10)
Pre/post Theatre (10)
Good for Birthdays (7)
Casual (6)
Handcrafted Cocktails (6)
Hot Spot (4)
Worth the Drive (4)
Tasting Menu (4)
Fun (3)
Local Ingredients (3)
Good for Groups (2)
Late-night Find (2)
Great for Lunch (2)
Business Meals (1)
Gluten Free Options (1)
Live Music (1)
People Watching (1)
Seasonal (1)
Sunday Lunch (1)
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2274 reviews
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vip
 (New England)·Dined 2 days ago

Grotto remains one of our favorite Boston restaurants, although we don't get there frequently. We decided to celebrate a special occasion there for the first time in a while, and were blown away all over again! The garlic soup was outstanding, perfect for a damp & chilly winter evening. The crab ravioli were also scrumptious. The lobster fra diavolo entrée could not have been more delicious, perfectly spiced or satisfying - no leftovers there! Some of the veal saltimbocco did go home and was enjoyed the next day. Finally, the cocktails were creative and the melting chocolate cake dessert just left us in awe. Bring your appetite; portions are hearty, but incredibly flavored and comforting, all at the same time. Bravo! We won't wait so long to come back next time. And the romantic setting is a bonus!!

Tags: Good for Anniversaries, Romantic, Good for a Date, Special Occasion, Comfort Food, Good for Birthdays, Fit for Foodies
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (New England)·Dined 4 days ago

The food was delicious! It would have been nice if we could have seen it and each other though. It was so dark!

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience3
service5
value4

 
·Dined 5 days ago

The food was outstanding the service was as well. I would recommend this place to everyone

Tags: Late-night Find, Quiet Conversation, Pre/post Theatre
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value4

vip
 (Seattle)·Dined on December 4, 2017

Second time here. Pasta was great, calamari was so tough though, major disappointment.
Other than that, a real good meal.

Tags: Cozy
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience4
service5
value5

vip
 (Los Angeles)·Dined on December 3, 2017

Had the Bolognese and it was fantastic! Can’t wait to go back!

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

 
 (New England)·Dined on December 3, 2017

Grotto is great.

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

 
 (New England)·Dined on December 3, 2017

A really great neighborhood restaraunt that has an interesting menu, good service and a warm and intimate atmosphere.

Tags: Neighborhood Gem, Cozy, Romantic
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience4
service4
value3

 
 (New England)·Dined on December 3, 2017

The food was amazing, the service was bad. The gaps of time and the length of the amount of time between when we received our apps, dinner and dessert was atrocious. We made a reservation for 9pm and weren’t even acknowledged until 9:20. I felt rushed due to them running behind.

Tags: Neighborhood Gem, Notable Wine List
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience3
service1
value4

vip
 (New England)·Dined on December 3, 2017

Was a terrific date night. Food and service was excellent and the old school decor and ambiance was fun. Will go again.

Tags: Romantic
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food4
ambience4
service4
value4

 
·Dined on December 1, 2017

Our waiters name was Brian. Get what Brian recommends. The Prix fix 3 course meal was perfect for my brother and me. It DOES allow you the entire menu of options which is not always the case at other establishments.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Pre/post Theatre, Romantic, Good for Anniversaries, Creative Cuisine, Worth the Drive, Good for a Date, Hot Spot, Neighborhood Gem, Special Occasion
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (New England)·Dined on December 1, 2017

Other than the restaurant being rather dark, the drinks, food and service were excellent.

Tags: Special Occasion
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food5
ambience3
service5
value3

 
·Dined on November 28, 2017

Very high quality food. Nice that it was warm and cozy. Easy to have a conversation.

Tags: Special Occasion, Cozy, Romantic, Quiet Conversation
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (New England)·Dined on November 26, 2017

The food was amazing and the staff did an excellent job bringing a dessert to the table for my friends birthday! Also love the entrance!

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (New England)·Dined on November 26, 2017

We booked Grotto at the last minute and got the most charming table for two. It is a tiny restaurant and was a perfect spot for a date night. We were surrounded by candles and bottles of wine, and the food was delicious.

Tags: Creative Cuisine, Good for a Date, Comfort Food
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (New England)·Dined on November 26, 2017

Scrumptious food, attentive server but VERY hot in restaurant, close quarters and a little too dark to read menu!

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food5
ambience3
service4

 
 (New England)·Dined on November 25, 2017

We've been coming here for 10+ years. Very delicious food. Great service. Great cozy place. (The portion size of the dishes is definitely less than prior years, though.) Reservations ahead is recommended.

Tags: Good for a Date, Special Occasion, Fit for Foodies, Cozy, Neighborhood Gem, Pre/post Theatre, Good for Anniversaries
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience5
service5
value4

vip
 (New England)·Dined on November 22, 2017

I've been meaning to come here for a long time and brought my friend who recently moved to the area to explore the restaurants near her. We loved it! We joked that we were on a date together since it is dimly lit and the ambiance felt like that, but it is a great place if you want to go somewhere quiet to catch up, have conversation, and enjoy delicious food. We even ordered something to go for her boyfriend and maybe for her to try later on haha!

Tags: Romantic, Notable Wine List, Neighborhood Gem, Good for a Date, Special Occasion
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (New England)·Dined on November 17, 2017

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
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
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
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
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
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
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
value5

 
 (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
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
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
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
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
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value4

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