I have been to the grove several times and have really enjoyed it. I haven't left thinking, "Wow! that was an incredible meal!" before, but I've never had negative thoughts about it. They have wonderful bruschetta, quite good pizza(thin, crispy crust, very flavorful), and really good chocolate pudding for dessert. The atmosphere is about a 6 out of 10 for me. It feels modern, clean, and artsy, but it doesn't have a fun vibe like other Austin restaurants.
What are your thoughts, everyone?
I like the Grove a lot, although I agree that it isn't exciting or crazy fun. However, it is relaxing and once the weather warms up, we end up there about once a week to sit on the deck and sip wine. Sometimes we eat a full meal (the spinach lasagna is really good) but most of the time we nosh on cheese, salad, bruschetta, etc.
I appreciate that regardless of the crowd, we never feel rushed or pressured to order or leave. I also appreciate that there is a very long list of wine by the glass, all reasonably priced.
As far as the kid issue goes - I don't have them and stay away from places that cater to parents w/kids. While I have seen a few kids here at times, I have not experienced 'free-range kids'.