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“Disappointed. We went during restaurant week & had an earlier reservation, so it wasn't that busy. We got stuck...”
Review of Grotto

Grotto
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Ranked #105 of 3,245 Restaurants in Boston
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $31 - $40
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic, Special occasions
Dining options: Dinner, Late Night, Lunch, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Dining
Neighborhood: Downtown
Cross street: Cambridge
Transit: T Stops are Park and Government Center.
A TripAdvisor reviewer on Facebook
“Disappointed. We went during restaurant week & had an earlier reservation, so it wasn't that busy. We got stuck...”
Reviewed June 24, 2008

Disappointed. We went during restaurant week & had an earlier reservation, so it wasn't that busy. We got stuck under the stairs, the food didn't come out hot and was just average. I had high hopes, but unfortunately don't plan to go back.

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This review is the subjective opinion of an individual contributor and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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296 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
A TripAdvisor reviewer on Facebook
“cozy little italian place in beacon hill, who needs to go all the way to the north end in the middle of winter?”
Reviewed June 24, 2008

cozy little italian place in beacon hill, who needs to go all the way to the north end in the middle of winter?

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A TripAdvisor reviewer on Facebook
“Mixed about this restaurant. The fondue was absolutely amazing, the calamari starter and the Grotto Burger are both...”
Reviewed June 14, 2008

Mixed about this restaurant. The fondue was absolutely amazing, the calamari starter and the Grotto Burger are both good. Unfortunately the risotto was way too salty. Very good service though.

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Seattle, Washington
Level 6 Contributor
203 reviews
153 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 176 helpful votes
“I will come to Grotto whenever I am in Boston!”
Reviewed May 19, 2008

I was fiending for Italian and we hadn't yet found a good spot in Boston. After reading several reviews, we decided to try Grotto. BEST. DECISION. EVER.

We descended the stairs and walked in, and I was hit by a wall of amazing, delectable scents wafting through the air. If Grotto were in my neighborhood, I would be here each and every night. No, I am not exaggerating. We were seated and opened the menu, and they had Montepulciano by the glass...I was completely smitten. They have an absolutely amazing prix-fixe menu, so we each decided upon our dinners and sat back to enjoy the ambiance.

The Montepulciano was divine and mellow, and went beautifully with the meal. The first course arrived: fontina cheese fondue accompanied by beef tenderloin, aged balsamic, truffle oil, and portobello mushrooms. I dove into absolute cheese bliss and had to convince myself not to lick the fondue bowl at the end.

The second course was chicken parmesan with fresh mozzarella, tomatoes and cheese manicotti. It was quite delicious, but not knock-your-socks-off like the fondue. I ended up taking half of it back to our hotel and we enjoyed it for breakfast the next morning.

Dessert was banana bread pudding with caramel ice cream and walnuts. The bread pudding itself was a bit too dense for me (a little reminiscent of a hockey puck, but it had a good flavor) but the caramel ice cream was on par with the fondue....delectable, amazing, and worth savoring. I can't wait to get back to Boston to return to Grotto!

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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boston
Level 6 Contributor
124 reviews
20 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 162 helpful votes
“Superb food, excellent service, so-so decor, good value”
Reviewed April 27, 2008

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED - we had a very good first experience at the Grotto and will try it again.

FOOD: Our party of four went with the prix fixe menu, with a starter, main course and dessert for $35, with additional charges for some items as noted. A good value, as most items were excellent. Details on the items that we tried and shared.
STARTERS
* Arugula, Reggiano, proscuitto, pear, lemon, spinach, beets, walnuts, chevre, raspberry vinaigrette.
Comment - this melange worked well. a superb light starter
* Grilled calamari, white beans, pepper, green, lemon
Comment: flavors and textures worked, calimari was not rubbery
* Ricotta, sausage, peas, mushrooms, pancetta, cream
Comment: substantial basic dish with great flavor
MAIN COURSES
* Potato gnocchi, short ribs, mushrooms, and gorgonzola
Comment: Signature Grotto dish, with divided reactions. Foodie friends proclaimed "gnocchi to die for." I found it good, but a little heavy and slightly oversalted.
* Scallops "ravioli", leeks, wild mushrooms, arugula (+$4)
Comment: Great combination of textures and flavors, perfectly prepared. Highly recommended.
* Dismembered lobster: Poached claws, roasted tail, knuckle macaroni & cheese, spinach (+$10)
Comment: Sinful challenge to austerity of New England Puritanism. This item takes the work out of eating lobster and takes the agony out of deciding how to order.
DESSERTS: All were fine!
* Rich chocolate cake with intensely flavored vanilla ice cream
* Better than average Tiramisu,
* Terrific banana bread pudding, caramel ice cream, walnuts
* Contrasting lemon panna cotta, raspberries, lemon cookie

SERVICE: We had a waiter who combined the best of student enthusiasm and professionalism -- a hard core foodie who knew the menu items well, with a gift for description and a knack for matching items to his guess as to the tastes of diners. Service was attentive but not excessively intrusive.

DECOR AND LOCATION: This is a grotto - drafty small basement room with a view of the shoes of those passing by on the street. Parking is typical of Beacon Hill - impossible. To park, go with your state senator or senior staff, and use the reserved-for-legislators parking garage across the street. If that option is not available, either go on Sunday when residential parking restrictions are not in effect, or go with public transportation.

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