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Family Owned Italian Restaurant in Bristol

Published on July 1, 2019 by Clare Cambridge

La Grotta is situated in the very heart of Bristol’s City Center and Shopping area and is definitely a Family Affair – originally opened in 1981 by Alfonso Merlino and his wife Anita and passed on to their son Andrea in 2015, who has worked in the restaurant since a child, there are waiters and chefs that have also been working there for going on 30 years.

It is not just one of the oldest restaurants in Bristol but also the only independent Italian Restaurant in the City Centre serving both the residents of Bristol and visitors from far and wide authentic Italian cuisine for over 38 years !

Being on Union Street right in the Centre of Bristol La Grotta is perfectly situated for either lunchtime visits whilst shopping, early dinner after wandering Broadmead & Cabot Circus, Dinner before venturing out to one of a host of Bristol’s many night spots, pubs, clubs & Theatres etc or for a Special night out meal.

Once inside the arched ceilings, décor and ambience give the feeling that you could actually be Italy, with customers chatting & laughing making for a lively but comfortable atmosphere.

La Grotta Italian Restaurant Bristol

Winners of numerous awards including “Best Pizza in the Bristol Good Food Awards” and is a Trip Advisor Recommended Restaurant with over 500 reviews.

They have a very extensive menu, including the obvious Pasta & Pizzas but also a good range of Fish, Chicken, Meats & Steaks and Daily Specials with an array of homemade desserts to finish your meal. There is also a Lunchtime & Early Evening Special menu and a Children’s menu. La Grotta is very proud that all meals are prepared with the freshest locally sourced ingredients and all meals are prepared & cooked freshly to order.

We have visited La Grotta numerous times (we have been fairly regular customers since the late 1980’s) so upon our most recent visit, I knew what to expect, from the friendly welcome by waiters Romeo & Simone to the quality of the food prepared by the resident Chef Richard.

I opted for a bowl of olives and Garlic & Cheese Pizza and my wife her favourite Funghi Dolcelatte (Sautéed mushrooms in a creamy Dolcelatte  sauce with a splash of white wine served  on toasted Ciabatta bread) for starters, followed by Fillet Steak with Pepe Nero (pepper) sauce, with generous fresh side salad and Chips (this is one of very few places I will eat steak as we produce our own beef on the farm and find it very difficult to find anywhere that supplies steak anywhere near as good as our own).

La Grotta Italian Restaurant Bristol

As usual the steak was cooked to perfection, tender & juicy, the salad fresh & crispy, the pepper sauce tasty & peppery enough to make my lips tingle and the chips fresh & crunchy.

Fortunately there is such a comfortable relaxed atmosphere we were in no rush to leave, we sat happily chatting after our meal that there was enough time for the steak to go down making space for a dessert, this time one of Andrea’s fantastic Cheesecakes, which are homemade and different every week – this weeks was a tangy Apple Crumble Cheesecake, which although sounds a strange combination was absolutely delightful and we finished off the evening with a zesty Limoncello. If you are too full after your meal the Cheesecake is available as a takeaway, which I have done on several occasions and is recommended, you really don’t want to miss out on the opportunity to try the Cheesecake.

La Grotta is able to cater for larger groups as well as couples so are an ideal venue not only for a romantic dinner with a loved one, Hen Party, Birthday Party or Family Gathering and I would not hesitate to recommend them very highly.

A visit to La Grotta is more than a meal but more of an experience, Andrea and his staff are so friendly and welcoming they really do want you to have a great time and leave feeling like part of the family.  Visit their website for more information.

Address - 9 Union Street, Broadmead, Bristol BS1 2DD     Tel - 0117 9290466

Opening Hours - Monday to Friday - Lunch 11.45am - 2pm,  Monday to Thursday - Evenings 5.15 pm - 10.30pm, Friday 5pm - Late, Saturday open all day until late.  View Menu

 

La Grotta Italian Restaurant Bristol

 

Independent Review - 2 months ago

Fantastic food at an attractive price at Bristols pizza gem. Went for a quick dinner before the cinema and wasn't disappointed. The pizza was absolutely perfect as was the service. They have some great deals going on there all the time. There's a reason this place has won an award for pizza place of the year! Recommend big time.

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Meet The Author
Hello my name is Clare, I'm married with 3 children. We live on the farm. The Holiday Accommodation is part of an 8 acre small holding, which we've been renting out since 2009. We have chickens and a small number of pedigree Cows. The Holiday Home is completely separate from the Farm Area and has it's own parking spaces for at least 6 vehicles. We have had many guests and really enjoy sharing our local knowledge with them, if there's anything you need to know, just ask.
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