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The Grotto or Icarus for a Special Dinner?

Can't decide, special occasion, want good food and romantic ambience. Thoughts?

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  1. I have always had very nice meals at Icarus. I really like their goat cheese salad and I find all of their nightly specials to be perfectly in season for whatever time of year we are eating there.

    1. I like both these places, but Icarus feels much more like a special occasion place to me, with much better service, wines (and cocktails, if that's your fancy). It also costs accordingly. Request a table in the lower dining room half, which is a bit quieter. Live jazz on Fridays is nice. I'd have used Grotto for an early date back in my dating days.

      5 Replies
      1. re: MC Slim JB

        How is the vibe at Icarus? I've heard that it feels dated and very serious.

        1. re: gramercyfoodie

          I thought it felt like a supper club but in a good way -- fancy and special occasion but not forbidding.

          1. re: gramercyfoodie

            I guess your take on the look of Icarus depends on what you think of Art Deco, which has been around since the 20s. I frankly prefer its look to more modern designs like those at, say, Sage, or Rocca (where I agree with the recent poster's observation that its brand-new design, with those silly changing-color lights, already looks dated. I thought that whole design was hideous from the pre-opening party.)

            Icarus is the oldest fine-dining restaurant in the South End, even in this, its third location in the neighborhood. It does have a "serious" feel compared to the much more casual and funky Grotto. The New American menu doesn't feel edgy the way it once did, either. I'd venture it attracts an older crowd than many places in the neighborhood, too.

            1. re: MC Slim JB

              thanks so much bachslunch and MC Slim...i totally agree with you on classic v. way too modern...sounds like Icarus is classic, updated and tasteful. Thanks so much.

              1. re: MC Slim JB

                You've both hit the nail on the head: an Art Deco supper club with simple elegance. It's in a basement, but you'd never know it (Craigie Street: take note!). I love everything about Icarus, from the beyond-the-call-of-duty, friendly, professional service to the impeccable food (and comfortable booths!)

            1. Can't comment on Icarus, but as for Grotto...I would vote NO for romance. Now-husband sweetly took me there for dinner the day he proposed because he knew I always wanted to go. It was one of my worst dining experiences ever. A large party of loud (screaming) obnoxious diners in the middle of the room made it so we could not think, let alone hear each other. There were no real tucked-in tables either as far as I remember, which is what I like for romantic dinners. We ended up walking out. I did write to the owner, got no response.

              1. I went to Grotto one time. It was perfectly nice, homey, decent food and wine list. But not special. I would go back only if I were in the neighborhood and stuck for a bite.