Ciao down: Galveston's Grotto restaurant brings top-notch Italian right to the Gulf beachfront
While the San Luis Resort, Spa & Conference Center continues its reign as Galveston's premier spot for sand and sun, the popular hotel complex also has earned a reputation as a dining destination.
Opened this summer, the resort's new Grotto restaurant is already making waves on the island thanks to its phenomenal beach views, impeccable service and classic Southern Italian cuisine.
Located among the San Luis' exclusive collection of eateries — including the hip H2O lounge, the award-winning Steakhouse and a luxurious hotel cafe — Grotto is committed to freshness, says Executive Chef Brian Robertson.
Pastas are made in house, pizzas are cooked inside wood-fired ovens and all seafood is sourced directly from Galveston's busy fish markets to bring customers the best catch available.
“This is fine dining but in a relaxed, casual atmosphere,” the chef explains. "We have wonderful food as well as great views of the Gulf and our unique tropical pool area.”
"We have wonderful food as well as great views of the Gulf."
Robertson got his start at Houston hotspot Tony's, whose esteemed owner Tony Vallone launched the original Grotto in the heart of the city's Galleria area. His close personal and professional relationship to the restaurant — which has branches in The Woodlands and at the Golden Nugget casinos in Las Vegas and Atlantic City — further adds to Grotto's family atmosphere.
Of the 10 restaurants dotting the San Luis resort's 32-acre beachfront property on Seawall Boulevard, Grotto boasts one of the area's most distinctive wine lists, with exquisite selections from Italy's top vineyards.
Those interested in cocktails need look no further than the restaurant's famous Bellini, that fabled Venetian drink made famous by Ernest Hemingway, as well as an array of delicious martinis. Be sure to take advantage of all the cocktail specials at the Grotto's popular happy hour from 4 to 7 p.m., Tuesday through Friday.
Whether you're planning a getaway to the San Luis resort or making a quick day trip to the beach, the new Grotto is a must for any foodie . . . And it's all just a quick drive south from Houston.
So what’s your excuse for not hitting the road for some island time to ciao down?