We did it! We finally made it to Grotto! But will I be verbally lamblasted for not falling in love at first bite?
We sampled three of the pastas, selecting different ones to try as appetizers and/ or entrees. My partner got the cavatelle and my one bite was filled with fresh pasta, peas, cream sauce, and bacon. Quite lovely, with a light tang presumably from lemon juice. The spaghetti with meatballs reminded me of home cooking, fresh basil and parsley were the predominant herbs, with nice perfectly cooked noodles. I enjoyed the short ribs with gnocchi, which were beautiful light pillows of dough surrounded by lovely pieces of melt-in-your-mouth beef. The pasta dishes were well executed and delicious, but lacked a certain creative/ artistic binding which when present provides a certain harmony and continuity in flavors and texture.
As delicious as the pastas were, the sea scallops were an entirely different story. The scallops were served with a corn souffle and sauted mushrooms. The souffle and mushrooms went quite well together, but neither complimented the scallops. The scallops were pan seared, but the crust was not firm and the texture overall was not appealing. That, coupled with the grit did not leave me impressed.
The desserts were delicious, served beautifully, my only comment is that they were all... well... round... I know, funny comment. But the chocolate cake, banana bread pudding, and panna cotta were all round in shape.
For oenophiles, the wine list was not extensive but did provide some nice priced values. Italian wines are not my specialty, but we were able to find two reasonably priced bottles that went well with our meal.
Overall, we enjoyed our first visit to Grotto. For the price, it is quite the value and we will recommend it to others. However, next time we want to indulge in pasta we will head back to Sage.