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Montepulciano: La Grotta

Localita' San Biagio, 15 , Phone: 0578 757607
Closing day: Wednesday

Reviewed by: Jean from WI, review #3451

When: 2010

Simply excellent! Worth the price! Best meal we had in Italy!

Directions: Across the street from San Biagio.

We had been to La Grotta several years ago when we were in Montepulciano, and it was one of the restaurants we knew we wanted to return to. It was just as wonderful as we remembered. The setting is so beautiful, and the waiters are very professional and yet friendly. This is the perfect restaurant for a romantic meal or a special occasion. The food is not like what you'll eat in the other local restaurants.

I had the pecorino souffle and the pici with ragu. My husband had the frittata (which didn't look like one but was excellent) and the lamb (which he raved about for days). We shared some kind of wonderful dessert too. With a nice bottle of wine, dinner was 100 euros.

The one thing that surprised me this time was when a family was seated near to us with a small dog. I wasn't shocked to see a dog in a restaurant, because I've seen them in European restaurants before. But this dog started barking loudly, and it really was annoying to the people there. The family made a small attempt to stop the dog, but they also thought it was very cute and kept laughing each time she'd start up again. I was surprised that the staff of the restaurant didn't do anything. It just didn't fit at all with the ambiance of this fine restaurant. Perhaps the family was in some way related to the owners or staff members.

Reviewed by: Steveilaria from NJ, review #1057

When: 2004

I enjoyed the restaurant.

Directions: Next to the San Biagio church, just outside the city walls.

We enjoyed it very much; good food and good wine. The staff was very friendly. We went with 9 people, tried basically everything on the menu, and nothing was disappointing. Most were excellent.

Reviewed by: KenC from MA, review #930

When: 2004

Delicious Tuscan food in a relaxed atmosphere--highly recommended!


Dinner at La Grotta, photo by KenC

We’ve heard so many good things about La Grotta—a spectacular place that is located next to the stunning Abbey of San Biagio, below the town of Montepulciano, so we were psyched to have dinner there. We arrived at 8 pm and parked in front of the restaurant.

We were escorted to a nice table inside a beautiful room decorated with arched and bricked ceilings. We ordered typical Tuscan dishes that were absolutely delicious. One antipasto, two first courses, one second course, a bottle of Vino Nobile de Montepulciano, water, dessert, and four cappuccinos came to €102. Our meals were exceptional. Highly recommended.

Reviewed by: Jean from MI, review #792

When: 2004

Perfect restaurant for a splurge when in this area

Based on the reviews already posted, we were anxious to try La Grotta, and we were not disappointed. It was a wonderful dinner, and we recommend it highly. We each had the cheese souffle on the spinach salad and then the lamb chops. Everything was done perfectly. Service was excellent too.

Reviewed by: R. G. Diamond from Rome, Italy, review #777

When: 2004

Upscale but lovely restaurant with excellent Tuscan food.

Directions: Outside the town walls across the street from the temple of San Bagio. There are signs to both the restaurant and the temple.

The five of us (four adults, one 8 year old) squeaked in at 2:20, on a crowded Saturday, the day before Easter. The place was hopping and they almost didn't seat us, glancing at their watches and sighing -- they were tired. But our hopeful expressions won them over. They seated us at a lovely table. I would characterize this restaurant as a bit of a treat -- not a place for a casual plate of pasta and a salad, but a place for a bit more elegance and class (although without stuffiness). The menu wasn't particularly surprising -- classic Tuscan specialties -- but the preparation and presentation were quite fine. They served the best ribollita we had on our trip (a peasant soup that can really be boring in the wrong hands), fabulous bistecca Fiorentina, great pastas. The waiters became more and more involved with us as they noticed my foodie child wolfing down everything he was served -- inluding wild boar!

For a bit of a splurge, I prefer this restaurant to any I've found within the town walls, and the easy parking is another plus. They also sell a good assortment of wine. English spoken.

Reviewed by: travelers from MD, review #616

When: 2003

A garden lunch that was just excellent... a bit expensive, but worth it.

When we sat down in the garden we were served a complimentary cherry tomato stuffed "morsel" with cheese and a glass of Prosecco. The perfect way to start while we waited for our waiter and menu. It was a long lunch with pleasant and friendly people at surrounding tables. And it was an Italian meal so there was no rush and lots of time to both talk and sit in quiet communion between courses.

The old (corrupted) adage,"a bad lunch at La Grotta is better than a good lunch in many other restaurants" wouldn't be a stretch. And our lunch was excellent—service and all.

Reviewed by: Jane from CA, review #507

When: 2003

Having read nothing but great reviews from Slow Travelers as well as other sources, we were surprised to find this restaurant to be overrated and disappointing.

I know that we will be thought of as peculiar, but we were not impressed with La Grotta. Our impression was of a restaurant trying to evoke sophistication and class but falling short. We were not impressed with the wait staff or the food preparation or presentation. (Maybe we were there on a bad night or maybe we were having a bad night as this is at such odds with what most people report.) In our estimation, the La Grotta is several notches below the Le Logge in Montepulciano although in the same price range -- expensive. We would not return here.

Reviewed by: Edna from NY, review #197

When: 2002

This was a very special restaurant where we ate in the shady garden bursting with flowers.

They serve typical Tuscan dishes but with a creative flair. I had the ravioli stuffed with ricotta mousse, basil and pine nuts. Parmesan shavings and flavored olive oil adorned it. The food was very light and tasty. Save room for dessert! We splurged with a wonderful bottle of Avignonesi Vino Nobile Riserva.

Reviewed by: Bill from Montefollonico, review #196

When: 2001

Another lovely restaurant with an outdoor seating area. Expensive, but good quality.

Reviewed by: Karen from PA, review #195

When: 2000

Many people's favorite restaurant in this area.

Directions: Located directly across from the San Biagio church below the main town of Montepulciano.

We had a dinner reservation, but stopped in to change it to lunch, which they gladly did. The rooms are beautiful with arched, bricked ceilings lending a pink glow to the room. The big hit was a special of raw porcini salad dressed with lemon and Il Frantoio di Montepulciano olive oil. Yum. My primi was eggs with white truffles. The gnocchi with rabbit sauce was good as were the ravioli. $25 pp.

This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.

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