Boston >Food & Dining > Grotto
37 Bowdoin St, Boston, MA | Directions 0211442.359955 -71.062977
Sat-Sun 5pm-10pm, Mon-Fri 12pm-3pm
Neighborhoods: Back Bay, Beacon Hill
Where is the service? – It's sad because the food is so good. Went there couple of weeks ago for the first time but will not return.
Romantic and elegant! – My boyfriend and I recently tried this place, and we cannot wait to go back! The food was to die for!! The waitstaff was helpful and efficient. Our meals were delicious! A great first date place or a place to go to meet a friend after work. It's dark and elegant inside. About 20 or fewer tables. Check it out!
Cozy, intimate dining! – Been a few years now since I've been here. Don't want to rush anything you know.
Great, intimate, cozy and romantic restaurant. Seats only about 40 or so folks.
We got super lucky (since we arrived early) and got the best table in the place, far left corner as you enter. Not too many great tables though. Either in foot traffic path, next to the front door or the entrance to the kitchen.
Food was excellent all the way around. We had 2 different appetizers we split, 2 different entres which we shared. We also spilt a dessert which was deee-licious!
Flavorful, decent portions and great presentation.
Service was efficient, although not overly great.
Pros: Romantic, intimate, food!
Cons: Only a couple of good tables in the joint.
I will come to Grotto whenever I am in Boston! – 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 surrounded 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!
Great Italian influence by the state house – Three of us jumped in a cab from the office and chose to go there on a limp without prior reservation or anything. It was 9:30pm and we quickly call them. Their kitchen was closing at 10pm that day.
They took care of us. Certainly we were the last ones (us 3 and a 'souris'). The dishes were very tasty. We ordered the gnocchis with steak tips and Gorgonzola, the duck (wrapped in bacon) and the tenderloin. All three were very tasty. The steak quality was quick good and went well with the risotto. The duck was sophisticated and well dressed. I enjoyed the gnocchis though I probably would I have loved to pair them with the steak instead.
Definitely recommended as one of the best Italian influenced restaurant outside of the North End.
Pleasantly surprised! – I was very apprehensive about going to Grotto after reading some of the reviews here saying the service was awful. My partner and I went there on a Friday evening during Restaurant Week and were pleasantly surprised. The room was full, and as it is a small space (only about 15 tables) it was a bit warm. The greeter and the rest of the wait staff couldn't have been nicer (no attitude or comments like others on here have mentioned). The food was fresh and well prepared, the pasta was cooked al dente. I would definately recommend the bread pudding with hazenut ice cream, yum!
Excellent – I have been here at least 4 times since 2005 and it always manages to please. I'm wondering, though, if it has come under new management, because although it was owned at one time by the actor Tony Shalhoub (known for his lead role in the TV series Monk), the last time I ate here the menu looked very different (not in a good way). The food was still excellent. The service has always been efficient and friendly, and I find this place is very affordable when I order a salad and sparkling water (which is more than enough, as the appetizer salad is relatively big). However, if you do order a main entree (pasta or meat) then be prepared to pay upwards of $20/person.
Worst Service Ever! – Do not dine at this place unless you like being treated as if they're doing you a favor for serving you. Granted it was restaurant week when we went- as I was reminded of this by the manager when I called to complain- as if all should be forgiven. Don't think so. There's no reasoning for bad service. Many restaurants are busy throughout the year so I don't qualify the fact that it was RW as a free pass for poor service. Actually it wasn't even that busy when we were there. The waitress basically ignored us from the beginning, our entrees came about 45min after our appetizers. When I asked to have my beef tenderloin cooked more because it was far from med rare (it was still mooing on my plate), it came out exactly the same way. At this point the people I was with were done, so I just said that I didn't want it anymore...no apologies from there server, not even "can I get you something else"?? She ignored us for the rest of the time. Hope she liked the tip that we left!
Favorite restaurant in Boston! – Excellent food, excellent service, and very romantic location makes for one of the best places in the city.
Charming and Romantic – Grotto is quite possibly the most adorable restaurant in Boston. The space is small, but the decor is soft and romantic. I felt very special dining there. The fall menu is incredibly well done. My tuna cooked just as I ordered. I LOVED the presentation of cous-cous inside a carved mini-pumpkin. The wine list is well priced, too. I am looking forward to going back there on a special date.
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