Grezzo – Boston Raw Food Restaurant Review
Update: Grezzo is offically closed (both locations). I am leaving the following review online, in case someone is curious about the now-defunct restaurant.
Andrea, who lives in Northern Ireland, recently visited Grezzo during a trip to the U.S. She kindly took the time to write a restaurant review about her experience at Grezzo. For those who are unaware, Grezzo is Boston's newest raw food restaurant, owned by Alissa Cohen. Andrea writes:
"Grezzo was, as expected, amazing. On the website, the only way of booking was by phone, but we wanted to secure a table since we were only going to be in Boston for 3 nights, and our UK cell phones don't work in America, and so we emailed them and got a reply back with a confirmation of our booking. A great and very profesional and helpful start!
We found the restaurant (at 69 Prince Street) easily enough, in the heart of Little Italy, which is a really fun and lively district of Boston and a great place in which to eat out during the evening. Grezzo is small, with only around 10-12 tables, and not much space to move around in, but it was cosy and elegant and had a really good vibe. For starters, my husband, who isn't a raw foodist, but will always enjoy at least one raw meal on holiday in a restaurant, went for the Grezzo Sliders – house-made patties on vine-ripened tomato. It was good, and there was plenty of it, but we both agreed my Gnocchi Carbonara was amazing—hand-rolled dumplings, creamy rawmesan and fresh English peas with pea shoots (the pea shoots were delicious) and crispy egg-plant. This was a really stand-out dish.
For the main course, I had the Lobster Thermidor—a terrine (so stacked like a lasagne really) of tarragon and mustard seed cashew cheese, black grapes and baby spring vegetables. The black grapes really made this dish stand out, as did the addition of papaya – delicious! My husband had the star-anise encrusted papaya steak, which is really Grezzo's signature dish and it was delicious—imaginative and filling, delicately flavoured and refreshing, it also looked really cool. We both loved the use of papaya, so imaginative! We've never had that in any other raw food restaurant before, but it really made the dishes fresh and flavoursome.
For dessert, I had the rich brownie sundae, which is another one of their signature dishes and it was amazing—really indulgent, filled with house-made gelato (lavender from what I remember, although I may be mis-taken), chocolate truffle and brazil nut crumble. Raw foodists don't usually get such indulgent desserts and this was fabulous! The alcoholic cocktails featured sake and my husband had one of those (can't remember which one) but we felt the drinks were expensive compared to the food. The tap water was plentiful though and our glasses kept being refreshed. Of course, we went back again the next night. My husband had the Gnocchi Carbonara as his only course. I had the Vietnamese Coconut Soup, which I was a little disappointed with, simply because I had been expecting more lemongrass and ginger to give it a kick. I felt it was maybe a bit bland.
My husband didn't have a main course that evening, but I had the Land & Sea—a mushroom dish made from locally-harvested maitake, yellow oyster, black trumpet, hedgehog and honshimeji mushrooms. It came with lemon ricotta, dulse and kelp. I have to say I was disappointed by this dish. I felt that the mushrooms could have been marinated in something to bring out their individual flavours more and it was just a bit too heavy on the mushrooms (and I love mushrooms!). I wish I had ordered something else and wouldn't had that dish again, but would jump at the chance for any of the other dishes. The photo at the top shows the Land & Sea mushroom dish.
My husband didn't eat dessert either, but that night I had (from what I remember) the chocolate torte, with chocolate and golden raisin crust with salty almond gelato (pictured).
It was delicious—as you can see from the photo on the left. It looks fabulous, and it tasted every bit as good as it looked. The staff was really friendly and professional, and I'd love to go back again any time I'm in Boston—it's a real gem. Bostonians are very lucky to have Grezzo, and the small size of the restaurant seems to work in its favour. It feels like a real "find," in the heart of Little Italy.
The menu was small enough so that we didn't feel overwhelmed by choice and you can tell that everything has been thought through. Alissa Cohen has really brought her own imagination to the menu, and doesn't rely on the usual raw lasagne/pizza/burgers options."
Thanks Andrea! If you're in the Boston area, be sure to check out Grezzo.