Stop #1 for Winter Restaurant Week 2012! I’ve been to Grotto once a couple of years ago and remember having an incredible bolognese, so I knew this place made great Italian food. After looking at their RW menu offerings I immediately made a reservation. It was time I return!

Bread: About 6 slices of soft white bread was served with a side dish of EVOO and olives. This almost had the consistency of potato bread, which I’m not complaining about! We could have used a little more EVOO, or perhaps some parmesan to sprinkle on top?

Menu: Most Restaurant Week menus are limited, but not Grotto’s! There were 9 Primi options, 9 Secondi choices, and 4 Dolce offerings. I had to study the menu for days in order to mentally prepare myself. As I had already tried their Bolognese years ago, I ended up going with my selections below (but of course tried a bite of everyone else’s dishes!).

Zuppa: garlic soup, black truffle, parmesan, toasted bread crumbs
Served in a wide bowl, this soup was not a puree nor was it exactly broth based. It didn’t contain cream, but had a liquid-y creamy texture. Really flavorful and not too filling which was perfect … I just adore soup!

Zucca: sweet potato ravioli, amaretti, sage, brown butter
Six ravioli were served, each topped with a tiny mound of shaved parmesan. When I ordered this entree I mistakenly said “butternut squash ravioli”, as I usually think of these 2 veggies as one in the same. I clearly have not had sweet potato ravs in quite some time; this was the sweetest pasta dish I’ve ever tasted. Rich and full of different flavors, I really enjoyed it!

Budino: banana bread pudding, caramel ice cream, spiced walnuts
The bread pudding was topped with a giant scoop of creamy caramel ice cream, and surrounded by a scattering of spiced walnuts. This was unbelievable, but after cleaning the plates of my first 2 courses I regrettably couldn’t finish this one. The bread pudding was moist and delicious; I should have at least taken that part home!

Grotto itself is a small underground restaurant, and the bathroom reflects that. Located in the back past the kitchen, this one room unisex restroom didn’t have many unique or warm characteristics. I did like the fruity smelling soap though!

Service: Our server was nice and able to answer our menu questions. Our water glasses were constantly being refilled, which as a ‘conscious hydrator’ I always appreciate. We were seated for a good 2 hours, which I thought was a bit long, but sometimes it’s nice to take time in between each course.

Overall: Grotto is a small cozy establishment, seating only about 44 people (and up to 55 for private parties). Whether it’s Restaurant Week or a regular Tuesday, I highly suggest you try Grotto for an excellent hearty Italian meal. All of their Primi, Secondi, and Dolces on the regular menu are the same price ($10, $21, and $9 respectively) and they also offer a daily prix-fixe dinner menu for $36.

The Perfect Bite: Each of the three courses I ordered was fantastic! If I have to choose… I’ll go with the Garlic Soup. It was light, delicious, and quite flavorful.

For more photos and descriptions of what everyone in my party ate, visit my Facebook Page. Be sure to “Like” it! 🙂


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