boston restaurant week @ grotto
so this is what restaurants look like when you make reservations at 5PM :) we were one of the first diners in the restaurant, and we were seated in a nice snug spot under the front window. grotto is a “subterranean” restaurant (it’s in the basement), so as the sun set and the small dining room filled up, the atmosphere got cozier and cozier.
we were immediately served a basket full of soft airy bread. i started with a small piece, but stopped eating it because i realized…i don’t even like this type of bread and i shouldn’t spoil my appetite. it was subtly sweet and good but i prefer crusty breads. i still had one and a half small pieces through out the meal though.
allison chose a nice bottle of chianti for everyone to share (and melinda had raspberry bellinis if you’re wondering what’s in the flute above)
i’d describe grotto’s food as “rustic italian.” the setting is intimate, so it’s a nice romantic date spot, but i can also see a group of guys stopping by after work to enjoy some meat and pasta. grotto offers a regular pre fixe menu, but with surcharges for dishes like beef or duck and is a popular choice for restaurant week because they basically offer their regular menu with small changes and no surcharges.
so while the bigger menu makes it much easier when you have a picky eater in tow (the bf!) it makes it all that much harder to choose your own meal :)
i started with the “mare” which was grilled calamari, white beans, peppers, greens, lemon
don’t worry, there’s lots of yummy calamari under those greens!
yummy! this was perfect. i finished every bite and even used a piece of bread to soak up the white bean puree under the calamari (i didn’t realize it was there until after- and i couldn’t let that go to waste!)
everyone insisted i take a bite of their dish “for the blog!” i don’t even know how that makes sense since i’m trying eat less here but i happily obliged :)
melinda got the fontina cheese fondue with tenderloin and portobello, i had a bite of portobello with cheese. umm. i don’t think i could ever have anything bad to say about mushrooms and cheese.
nay ordered an arugula salad with poached pears and prosciutto. he assembled me a little bite. salty & sweet, what’s not to love about that combo…
oh, and before i forget! nay is in cali this week and he wants to know if anyone can recommend a good place to eat crab in san francisco. i promised him you guys would be helpful! if you don’t know about crab, feel free to recommend any kind of eatery for him! he’s currently obsessed with kara’s cupcakes.
okay, and back to dinner! i had trouble deciding between my dish and the sweet potato ravioli, so of course i had tommy order it. that’s what boyfriends are for, right?
well he loved this dish, which really shouldn’t surprise me because it was amazing. this was definitely the winner of the night. if i go back to grotto, it’ll be for their sweet potato ravioli. (sorry horrible picture!)
for my main course, i had the crab ravioli with asparagus, almonds, and saffron.
it was good, but not amazing like the sweet potato ravioli. i loved the crunchy almonds though. i finished everything but two of the ravioli skins (had to get that yummy crab meat out despite being full- haha)
i also tried some of melinda and nay’s duck which came with a leg, and breast stuffed with apple and wrapped in prosciutto. i was thinking of ordering this but as much as i enjoy it, i usually get sick of duck after a few bites.
my red meat loving boyfriend got the grilled beef tenderloin over reggiano risotto. it was just as rich as it looks…i only wish i had space for more of his risotto!
and now onto DESSERT! nay and i split a quartino of sauvignon blanc, and i ordered the panna cotta with raspberry sauce.
i was really happy with this choice. i always pick really decadent desserts because it seems like the right thing to do at meals like this, but i think fruity and tart are more my thing. i loved the raspberry reduction and the panna cotta was cool and creamy :)
of course, i still had bites of everyone else’s dessert! nay and melinda got the banana bread pudding with caramel ice cream, and tommy got the molten chocolate cake with vanilla ice cream. he really wanted to get the ice cream trio, but i lied to him and said i was getting that because i wanted to taste the chocolate cake. haha.
melinda posing with the wine list, her dessert and her ??th bellini :) though i can’t speak, because this is me after two glasses of wine…
lastly, me and the boys…
oh, and my boyfriend is such a trooper! he got punched in the face right before this meal!
after we parked the car, tommy ran to the atm while i went into the restaurant, and someone punched him! apparently he was running down the street and some big thug turned around and punched him under his left eye and said “don’t run up on me!” tom said it took him completely by surprise and he stopped and told the guy he was just trying to get to the atm. tom then decided it wasn’t worth “discussing” further with a crazy person and kept running. we concluded that the guy must have been high on something (crack!) and totally paranoid. anyway, tom’s fine, his cheek was red during dinner, but didn’t end up bruising. i guess the funniest thing about the incident is that first, it happened in beacon hill, (for those of you that aren’t from boston- beacon hill is an upscale neighborhood where the state house is located) AND my boyfriend weighs barely more than me and looks like a total goof when he runs, i always laugh when i see him running towards me- it’s not intimidating at all!
despite my boyfriends little altercation, this was a great night. i loved grotto! it’s been on my to try list since i first moved to boston! that’s a long time to be waiting for a meal, and it really didn’t disappoint. i’d definitely go back for the sweet potato ravioli (which i think is usually an entree) AND all their desserts were amazing. great meal, great wine, great company! loved it!