The Grotto has been an institution in Flower Mound and Highland Village since 1994. For many people, it’s their go-to restaurant to celebrate special occasions and has been for the past 20 years.
For example, last night I had the opportunity to dine with Gary and Emily who were out celebrating Emily’s birthday. They are some of the restaurant’s most loyal customers, making The Grotto one of their regular spots for the past 20 years. Their daughter even chose to have her wedding reception here!
Chef and owner, Morris Salerno, is also a local icon. He was just awarded the Circle of Honor trophy by the Texas Chef Association and was also given the Spirit of Flower Mound award last month by the Flower Mound Chamber of Commerce. Chef Salerno is known throughout the community for giving back to local residents by providing for their needs at his own expense and without seeking praise.
You may have heard that The Grotto is currently undergoing a name change. Chef Salerno has decided to separate the fine-dining experience and re-name it Bistecca (which means “steak for two”). In doing so, their existing customer base will be able to enjoy some wonderful enhancements to their current menu. They hope to establish a reputation for offering fresh and seasonal ingredients with a fine-dining experience.
But have no fear, The Grotto isn’t going anywhere. The grill and bar portion of the location will keep its former name. So, you’ll continue to be able to experience that environment as well.
Also, I think it’s important to note that the Steak Salerno is also staying. Cue the sigh of relief.
The improvements they’ve made to enhance what will now be Bistecca are beautiful. You’re greeted by fresh paint, new linens and tables with beautiful table settings.
So, let’s get to the food, shall we?
Me, Gary and Emily actually shared food with each other, each taking turns ordering off the menu and allowing each other to try it all.
First I had some beautiful heirloom tomatoes served with mozzarella and goat cheeses and a balsamic glaze. They were so fresh and were a great way to start the meal.
Also fresh was this house salad which included tossed California field greens, topped with cheese and your choice of Grotto Sundried Tomato Vinaigrette or Creamy Italian Dressing.
I tried a few of their entree menu items, including the fresh snapper served with seasonal vegetables and seared scallops over a risotto. I LOVED this. The fish tasted so (you guessed it) fresh, which is an incredible feat to accomplish with seafood in Dallas, Texas.
I also tried the Lamb Osso Bucco which is the Chef’s Pick served over polenta with root vegetables in a Lamb Juliet. This was my favorite of the night and was crazy good. I was seriously blown away.
For dessert, they brought out this special plate for Emily’s birthday with their Chocolate Explosion. Prepare yourself – this description is about to make you drool. When they serve this dessert, they pour some hot chocolate over the centerpiece which then cracks open, revealing a hot, fresh chocolate cake and strawberries. See? I gave you fair warning.
After eating here, I now understand why many call this place the “Cheers” of Highland Village. When you come here, you’re treated like family. In fact, my new friends Gary and Emily requested an old menu item and Chef Salerno gladly whipped it up for them, which just goes to show that they really do care about giving you a wonderful and memorable dining experience.
So, if you’ve been a fan of what was previously The Grotto, be sure to go check out the changes they’ve made and try out the new menu for Bistecca. And if you’ve never been here before, make it your next destination for a beautiful date night out. You won’t regret it. And as always, when you go, be sure to tell them Jay Marks sent you.
Until next week, fellow foodies.