No Masterpiece

Grotto serves typical Dallas Italian. Too bad.

But little of what they deliver is worthy of much attention. Though the portions are large, meals are delivered warm to cool instead of hot, though the veal kickerillo threw off a few wisps of steam. It's Parmesan-crusted veal scaloppini topped with fat mushrooms and seasoned with lemon squeezes. A side of fettuccini Alfredo nestled nearby is near perfect, and there's even a mushroom cake, a kind of fungus hush puppy. Pieces of veal are large, sprawling across the plate. But the meat is dry and uninteresting. The Parmesan topping was gummy, like paste infested with soggy fuzz.

Crab claws scapricciatiello, a long string of letters that essentially spells crab claws sautéed in Marsala wine with garlic, basil and tomatoes, was hot and tasty. Crab meat is firm and plump instead of stringy and sweet, nicely foiled by the restrained potency of the herb and spice formula.

But the mozzarella in padella, thick slices of mozzarella with tomatoes, shavings of garlic clove and basil, though served hot, was crowned with golden sheets of "seared" mozzarella that were cold in the center instead of warm.

The Italian wine? Yeah, that's some good stuff.
Tom Jenkins
The Italian wine? Yeah, that's some good stuff.

Location Info


Grotto Dallas

2222 McKinney Ave.
Dallas, TX 75201

Category: Restaurant > Italian

Region: Uptown & Oak Lawn


Crab claws $11.95

Seared mozzarella $8.95

Quarter rotisserie chicken $12.95

Seared scallops $11.95

Veal kickerillo $18.95

Snapper Siciliano $22.95

Salmon becca $19.95

Flourless cake $6.95

Flourless chocolate cake is rich, creamy and moist with a sharp chocolate bite to offset the sweetness, which brings us back to that mural image of the nude woman painting an Italian cityscape. Grotto is like that nude image, because the mechanics of the place, the staff and the color—the movement—is far more alluring than the actual creations. You'll find yourself staring at the artist, wishing all the while you didn't have to divert your gaze to the art. And mostly that's typical Dallas Italian.

2222 McKinney Ave. Open 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Sunday-Thursday, 10 a.m.-11 p.m. Friday & Saturday. $$$

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