This week, NESN’s Dining Playbook has teamed up with @TheLilacPress to give you a look at Grotto in Beacon Hill.
Tucked away inside the heart of charming Beacon Hill, Grotto is a cozy and intimate hidden gem that you might overlook when passing by. The inconspicuous location is part of what makes this spot a favorite of so many native Bostonians.
Upon descending into the garden level restaurant, it’s easy to feel a sense of comfort and refuge from the hustle and bustle outside. Cozy up in a booth or a candlelit nook and prepare to enjoy a deliciously authentic Italian dining experience involving all of the senses. The warm, dimly lit atmosphere lends itself particularly well to a romantic date night or an intimate dinner with friends.
The distinct aromatic Italian flavors wafting from the kitchen are sure to get your mouth watering immediately, but this is not a place you’ll want to rush through your meal. Be sure to take your time and enjoy each dish, and of course, don’t forget to start off with a nice glass of red wine.
First off, the pan toasted buffalo mozzarella, accompanied by fresh veggies and salty capers and olives, is a perfect way to awaken the taste buds. Plus, this is a great dish for sharing with the table in order to save room for the next courses.
Moving on to the ricotta gnudi, this is an absolute must-order for any first-timers at Grotto. The delicate semolina dumplings filled with creamy ricotta carry the flavors of the wild mushroom medley quite well. Each bite is bursting with flavor, so this course is definitely worth savoring.
For the main event, the scallop “ravioli” is one of the most unique dishes on the menu at Grotto. Nestled between two large flat delicate pasta noodles, these scallops were tender and cooked to perfection. The combo of leeks, mushrooms and arugula create a fragrant complement to the fresh New England seafood.
To finish, the warm and gooey banana bread pudding, delectably seasoned with notes of cinnamon and spiced walnuts, was the perfect sweet treat to end the whole experience.