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KC - Blue Grotto anyone?

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  • jdl98 Jun 24, 2008 01:55 PM
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Has anyone tried the new wood-fired pizza place in Brookside?

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  1. I haven't been yet, but it was discussed on last fridays Walt Bodine show on KCUR- you can listen online. Not stellar reviews, not awful either. Reviewers commented on how loud the place is. It looks great from the street.

    2 Replies
    1. re: goroe

      We tried to go for lunch today, but they won't start serving lunch until after next week. I co-worker has had dinner there and liked it. Wasn't bowled over, but thought it was good.

      1. re: zataar

        My friend recently ate there and said it was absolutely fantastic. I am excited about eating there for the first time tonight. I forsee overeating in my future.

    2. Checked it out this past week... Good, but not overwhelming good. If you like wood-fired pizza, you may like this place. I probably prefer Pizza Bella, but I have only been to each place just once. I do think the salad I had pre-pizza was pretty darn good.

      1. I received the WORST treatment of my dining life at this place. Do not eat here. The service is terrible, the owner is rude an the food is marginal. Go next door to Jalapenos and get treated with an ounce of respect.

        4 Replies
        1. re: jkrono

          Oh no! How dissapointing. I have heard the owner/owners have been overwhelmed.

          1. re: jdl98

            I'm spreading the word on this place--terrible!

            1. re: jkrono

              We loved it. The pizza and salad were great, We live in St. Louis and can't wait to come back to KC and eat there again. I wish we had a restaurant that served pizza made in a wood fired oven close to us and went to as much trouble as these people have to produce a great pie! The owner was very gracious. What, do you work at Jalapenos? Your only posts are disparaging the Blue Grotto.

              1. re: wekick

                I also have heard very good things. Kinda a drive for me for pizza but I can't wait to try it!

        2. Great place. Good pizza, service and reasonably priced for Brookside. The owner is a nice guy and we talked to him for awhile...he used to run the Peanut. Pizza, wine, two beers $30. Not bad for Brookside

          1. Had dinner there a few weeks ago. Good food, not great. But a good addition to Brookside's choices, and a cool, contemporary atmosphere. Owner was very kind and checked on us several times. Had a sundried tomato/cheese torte for an app and the Four Seasons pizza.

            I think it's one of those places where the idea is great and the execution is somewhat less than that. Ingredients may have been less than top quality. But on the whole, a pretty good meal. Like someone above said - I prefer Pizza Bella.

            I think that your average joe "non-foodie" would think it's great.

            2 Replies
            1. re: kuscout

              I had dinner there on Wednesday night. I couldn't remember if my friend recommended it or not. I think it was "not". The food was very, very disappointing. I was thinking that it would be sort of like SPIN. It was greasy, soggy and extremely salty. The antipasta plate was the only highlight. It had a great selection of nibbles. I ordered a glass of wine and it stunk like it had been open for a week. I told the waitress and she started to argue with me that the wine was fine and if I didn't know, Malbecs smell like that. I didn't care that she thought the wine was "fine," And I drink Malbec all the time, thanks and I know what it tastes and smells like. The server shouldn't talk down to their customers period. This was half way thru dinner and set the mood for the rest of the night. She replaced it with another wine finally after my husband made her take it from our table. The whole Blue Grotto experience can be summed up by, WTF!!??

              1. re: chinkymonkey

                I live in the neighborhood and have heard from many about their bad service issues. Seriously, I won't go out of my way for pizza with bad service. Hell, I don't even like Jalapenos so much but the service is spot on and easy.

            2. We had an early dinner on a Wednesday. The salad was the Greek, a little unusual in that they give you a plate of whole romaine topped with feta, olives, fennel, etc. The dressing was VERY heavy on dill, which I find a bit unusual and discordant on a Greek salad. My dining companion LOVES dill and adored the salad. To each her own, eh? Our pizza was the bianco with mushrooms, and while everything was fresh, it was completely unseasoned. Mushrooms need salt and pepper, please. I also would've liked it if they'd preroasted them a bit to eke more flavor out of the mushrooms, but all in all the pizza was good, just not as good as I'd expected or hoped, I suppose. My glass of wine was fine, clearly a fresh pour, and served at the right temperature. No complaints on that front.

              1. I ate there for lunch a month or two ago Had the caesar salad, which was pretty good, but the pizza~yuck. Bland. This place is all atmosphere and no substance.

                1. We just moved to KC and wanted to check out what Pitch called the best pizza in KC. Boy, if this is the best pizza KC has to offer, KC is in trouble. I love wood fired (or coal fired) pizzas, but these were bland as bland can be. We ordered what I think is the benchmark for wood fired pizzas - the margherita, and it was just not very good. It wasn't bad, but it just left me wanting more. A huge faux pas, in my opinion, is the fact that they cooked the basil on the pizza. This, in a wood fired oven that gets to extremely high temps, is a terrible idea. I would have preferred dried basil at that point, as the basil was left with a slightly bitter taste. Basil is supposed to bring freshness to a margherita, and it just made it much heavier. We did, however, have a great appetizer of little bread bites with a saffron and roasted garlic butter. That is highly recommended. I just would never eat pizza here again.

                  11 Replies
                  1. re: jhojati

                    It's not the best pizza in KC, but some are better than others. The red sauce is really sweet and not to my taste, but the white pizzas were better. Still, KC is in trouble as far as pizza is concerned. Where did you move from, and what style or what places did you like there? The "Neapolitan" style places here are SPIN!, Blue Grotto, and Pizzabella. I like Pizzabella best of that style, but none are really strong, I don't think.

                    1. re: Aaron Deacon

                      what about la cucina di mama / bella napoli?

                      1. re: jdl98

                        Good point, forgot about them. It's been quite a while, but I don't think I liked their pizza very much, and strangely, almost never hear anything about the place. I'd be curious for more recent reports.

                        1. re: Aaron Deacon

                          I've eaten there in the last couple of weeks. No pizza, but the anchovy mozzarella bruschetta was nice even though the server forgot the caramelized onions I opted to add and it took 30minutes to get (she obviously forgot to order it). Both our entrees were heavy on the crushed tom and evo which is what I like, however, the server screwed up my dining partner's entree order as well. The tiramisu was dry and looked like Sysco brand. I'd try it again. I just won't be ordering dessert and hopefully they're fully staffed or have people who can handle it. Also, I won't be eating at Blue Grotto by design. I've heard several bad reviews.

                          1. re: inbiz

                            i have eaten at Blue Grotto 3 times now - I haven't had the problems others report. twice i had pizza - once a margherita and once something with sausage, roasted peppers, etc. i enjoyed it. i don't know if it was luck or i'm not as discriminating though i like to think i am?!? i'll go again and report back more thoroughly now that i know many of you haven't been happy with it. salads i recall being pretty good, too.

                          2. re: Aaron Deacon

                            i know, i hear nothing of it either though we picked up a pizza a month or 2 ago from there (was just OK - probably needed to be eaten right away) and the place was busy. though w/ 9 tables it's easy to look busy, i suppose. jake's a well known and like guy in the neighborhood which helps.

                        2. re: Aaron Deacon

                          I moved from Des Moines (not really a pizza mecca, either), but we have a couple of really great Neapolitan style pizza places (Centro, Red Rossa), as well as my favorite non-Neapolitan pizza, Wig & Pen. I have since tried D'Bronx, which I enjoyed and will eat again (I only got a slice at lunch), and Minsky's, which is fantastic (I love cheesy pizza equally with Neapolitan, light on the cheese, pizza). Planning on trying Pizza Bella, Spin!, and Grinder's very soon.

                          1. re: jhojati

                            Oh man, I had never realized just how great Grinder's pizza was until this past weekend. Maybe it was the rain, or the great IPA, or First Fridays, or just the simplicity of a good pepperoni pizza, but I can not stop wanting more pizza from Grinders. I've had the philly cheesesteak pizza before, which was very respectable, but it didn't totally blow me away (it just pushed me to eat their regular cheesesteaks). But we had just a plain pepperoni and it was fantastic. The crust was perfect and there was lots of cheese. I want more! Wish I lived closer to the crossroads.

                            1. re: pollymerase

                              I like Grinders pizza as well - has the nice NYC "flop factor" which I love. :)
                              Spin! Pizza is decent but their salads/sandwiches are very tasty!!

                        3. re: jhojati

                          Oh, the Pitch is often way off base with restaurants, unfortunately. The KCStar isn't much better, ahem. Really, hounds are your best source for recommendations, if I may say that? Pizza Bella is quite good most of the time. Sometimes, I wish they'd season a bit more liberally, but most of the time they're tasty. I like their dough, too--it tastes of wheat and smoke, like it should. Please try them next time you want pizza. Spin is okay, better than Blue Grotto, IMO, but their crust lacks flavor and they don't use a wood fired oven, which makes a huge difference. The Leawood location has a nice patio and they have attentive servers, but about half of the time I just get a salad there, which tells you something.

                          1. re: jhojati

                            I'm a thin crust fan. My favorites are at the Pizza Man in Lenexa and Imo's Pizza in Overland Park, but Johnny C's and Old Shawnee Pizza (both in Shawnee) aren't bad.

                          2. I went to Blue Grotto last week - it was my first time there and I was mighty hesitant, mostly based on things I've read about it. I was pleasantly surprised, and possibly because my expectations were so low. The back patio is a lovely place to hang out in the summer, I had a really delicious glass of wine I'd never tried before, and my pizza and salad were pretty tasty. We had the Funghi pizza and the Grotto salad (with apples and gorgonzola) and received really good service. It is not my first choice in KC pizza places, but I would definitely go back.