A Taste of Italy at Blu Grotto Ristorante

Named after the natural sea cave located on the coast of the island of Capri in Southern Italy, Blu Grotto Ristorante in Oceanport is the Jersey Shore’s hidden sea cave serving the most authentic cuisine from the roots of Italy. 

Blu Grotto opened its doors once again at the end of June after almost four months of closure due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Guests are able to sit outside with a ventilated tent complete with an upper and lower deck complying with social distancing regulations. There is a full outdoor bar where guests can watch their uniquely crafted cocktails being created then wind down with a view of the Monmouth County Racetrack and the miniature golf course 

All the food that was brought to the table was explained in full detail by the well informed and professional waitstaff — down to where the dish originated, how it was cooked, and what inspired it. We had a “VUE” of the entire menu with a tasting of each dish. 

We had the best way of starting the meal with the short rib meatballs that were so moist that they basically melted in your mouth; complemented beautifully with a side of ricotta cheese and creamy polenta. Everyone at the table thought the grilled octopus was out of this world with just the right amount of bite and tenderness. The addition of the sauce allowed it to burst with even more flavor — this is saying a lot as some of us are not the biggest fans of octopus, to begin with. And of course, no antipasti course is complete without the bread — a toasty, warm Italian focaccia bread. 

Traditionally, a pasta dish is its own course in Italy and usually comes before the main course. At Blu Grotto, all their pasta is made from scratch with a lot of love. The fettuccine bolognese had a hearty tomato sauce with veal, beef, and pork where flavors of the small European country were truly brought out. 

Despite all the delicious food we had so far, we made sure to have room for the main course. The veal porterhouse tasted as though you were at a steakhouse while still maintaining those authentic Italian flavors with an artichoke piccata. We had an extremely juicy chicken scarpariello that practically fell off the bone with notes of sweet and spicy from the side of chorizo sausage. The aromatic pesto risotto had the creamiest consistency with the shrimp scampi on top adding a savory touch. 

Blu Grotto was exactly like stepping into a grandmother’s kitchen in the streets of Italy but in New Jersey. We knew exactly what we were going to eat from the descriptive explanation of each dish from the staff. After being closed for four months, the Blu Grotto came back better than ever with the best Italian cuisine the Jersey Shore has to offer.