Restaurants & Bars

Manhattan

Grotto: report (long)

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Restaurants & Bars

Grotto: report (long)

shortstop | Jan 4, 2004 07:19 PM

This is one of those places I’d like to keep to myself a little longer, as during the winter (their outdoor patio is closed) it only seats about 20 and 2 at the bar, for dinner - however I cannot hold out on my fellow hounds.

The meal starts with crusty country Italian bread and house-made focaccia, olive oil and a small dish of salt for dipping. We started with an arancini. Instead of the usual 2 or 3 arancini in an app, this was one large arancini, with peas, proscuitto and fontina. It was served in a pool of light tomato sauce with a hint of cream along with a drizzle of pesto. The tomato sauce had a hint of spice to it, which added a nice touch to this delicious dish. I did hit one piece of proscuitto that was slightly cold, but it didn’t detract from the dish for me. Their salads also looked good on the tables next to us.

We both had pastas as mains. I had the Carbonara, which was scrumptious and a huge portion. Not Lupa’s, but perhaps the second best I’ve had in a while, it had the right heft for Carbonara, and there was a certain lightness to it as well that made it somewhat different than your typical rendition of the dish. (I had it again for leftovers the next night and it did not disappoint.)

My dining companion had the porcini panzarotti, little house made raviolis, with wild mushrooms and truffle oil. Very tasty, also a large portion. (All around the portions are very generous)

We didn’t sample the entrees, but I took a menu home to peruse and there seems to be something for everyone: tuna, shrimp, beef pizzaiola, pork cutlets milanese, rosemary chicken.

Dessert was an incredible flourless chocolate cake with vanilla ice cream that was almost more of a steamed chocolate pudding. One of the better renditions of this dish I’ve had. (a special, not on the regular dessert menu)

A handful of wines by the glass (all Italian), didn’t look at what was available in bottles. The owners are a charming couple, who own the panini bar upstairs and our waiter could not have been nicer. Total before tip with one bottle of sparkling water and one glass of wine was $63. It’s at 100 Forsyth b/Grand & Broome.

I look forward to going back. Hopefully I can get in. [g]

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