My original plan for the evening was to leave the office, whip up an original recipe dinner, and then relax. But after a very long day, I arrived to the house not feeling in the mood to cook. So I locked the door and made the five minute walk to Grotto Wine Bar in Shaker Square to let someone else make dinner for me.
Grotto had been on my list of Shaker Square places to hit since day one. It just seemed to have a cool look from the outside, and would be a nice place to walk down to every now and then for a glass of wine to end the evening. Inside it is dark, but cozy. There is a large bar and plenty of seating. Dark wood and candles help accent the mood, and plenty of stone to help support the grotto theme.
I took a seat at one of the high tables in the bar, and ordered the Malbec flight, one of three wine flights available for under $10. I had planned on ordering the burger, but as I waited and the menu kept sitting there, I started to waver on my decision. The various Italian pastas and pizzas and small plates kept making me think delicious thoughts. Finally, I just asked the waitress her favorite thing on the menu and she went with the duck followed by the veal ravioli. Of the two, the ravioli seemed the way to go, so that’s the way I went.
It took about ten minutes for a plate of four cream sauce covered ravioli to make their way from the kitchen to my table. They definitely had the look of fresh made pasta, and after the first bite, they had the taste too. The pasta was very light, and the filling mild. The cream sauce was simple and not overpowering with a salty kick from some prosciutto and a little freshness from a few fresh peas scattered across the dish. It was definitely a good dish, but I thought the pasta to filling ratio was a little off. For ravioli, I like when there is only a thin amount of pasta around the filling, and these had quite a bit. I think getting some more of the ground veal would have taken it from yum, to wow!
After finishing my dinner, I debated for awhile, and then decided to just go for dessert. Of the four options, my gut said tiramisu. But apparently there was something wrong with it because my waitress informed me that she didn’t like the way it looked and didn’t feel comfortable serving it. So I could have any of the other 3 on the house. I opted for the rum raisin bread pudding which ended up being a pretty good choice. It was light with just a hint of cinnamon, rum and raisins. The fresh whipped cream was a great accompaniment; the blackberries and blueberries were unnecessary. They aren’t in season, so they weren’t super flavorful.
I definitely enjoyed my dinner and was glad I made my way down. While there were a couple of things that i think could have been a little better, it did enough to make me want to go back and try the pizza and the burger, as well as more wine. It was a nice atmosphere for sitting there with just m iPad or for taking some friends or family for a comfortable evening.