Grotto, Beacon Hill, Boston

Grotto is an adorable romantic small Italian restaurant located in Beacon Hill. When you enter the divey basement restaurant all you see is a sweeping room of chic red. There is exposed brick walls and unique artwork from locals. They do a wonderful prixe fixe for $36 nightly. You get your choice of an appetizer, an entrée and a dessert off their regular menu per person. Service was prompt, polite and considerate. The portions were generous and we ended up taking half of our mains home.

Fontina cheese fondue, Beef tenderloin, Aged balsamic, Truffle oil, Portobello mushrooms $10

The Fontina cheese fondue with comes with some tender beef tenderloin, meaty Portobello mushrooms, aged balsamic vinegar and truffle oil. The cheese fondue had a nice rustic, creamy consistency. The portions are pretty generous the only thing I wish there was more of was beef! It seems like they give you more mushrooms than beef in the serving I got.

Crab ravioli, Asparagus, Almonds, Saffron (half portion as an appetizer) $10

There’s actually 4 ravioli in a half order, just to be clear. One of my dining companions snagged one before I could get a picture. The al dente pasta had creamy seafood filling, the asparagus and sweet tomatoes went well with the buttery saffron sauce.

House prepared ricotta cavatelle, Sausage, Peas, Mushrooms, Pancetta, Cream $10

The perfect balance of cream and pancetta combined with crumbles of sausage, sweet peas, toothsome mushrooms and lovely al dente pasta. This was a wonderfully satisfying starter.

Apple stuffed duck breast, Crispy leg, prosciutto, Dried cherries, Parmesan potatoes, Black truffle, Madeira $21

The proscuitto-wrapped stuffed duck breast was tender and cooked perfectly, the crispy leg with cherries delicious and the cheesy potatoes was creamy with lots of Parmesan and truffles. This dish was interesting because each of the 3 items in the dish were great on their own, but if you combined a bite of each all together, it wasn’t so great. There was nothing to tie each of the items to each other in terms of flavors.

House cut tagliatelle pasta, San Marzano tomatoes, Lamb, Pork, Beef

This was delicious. I’m a huge fan of well executed bolognese, especially the kind with multiple types of meat. The bolognese sauce was rich without being overpowering and robust with flavor.  Everything about it was perfect. My dining companion cleaned his plate with the bread.

Butter poached lobster, linguine, spicy tomato sauce $21

This was very tasty. I wish there was more lobster however, not half a tail and 1 claw. The spiciness of the tomato sauce was pleasant and went well with the buttery sweet lobster and al dente linguine.

Pannacotta $9 (foreground), chocolate cake $9 (background)

A blend of velvety custard and smooth gelatin, one of my all time favorites, Panna Cotta. Grotto’s lemon version is bright and refreshing with a decadent balsamic raspberry sauce and a crispy pizzelle cookie. The lemon flavor was very pronounced in some bites however.

Melting chocolate cake with vanilla ice cream It is a VERY dense chocolate cake, that was served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Not my favorite dessert sheerly because molten chocolate lava cake is everywhere these days.

Banana bread pudding, caramel sauce, caramel ice cream and spice nuts $9

This was my favorite dessert of the night. The rich sweet yet slightly bitter caramel ice cream melted into the banana bread pudding so it soaked in the ice cream. It was heaven on a plate.

Grotto on Urbanspoon

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