The Grotto wine bar, Shaker Square

The Grotto is a two-week-old, expensively renovated wine bar in Shaker Square. The menu is Italian and looks interesting enough to reward repeat visits, but they seem to be aiming to serve more drinks than food.

The space used to be an Ann Taylor clothing store and a bank. The ceilings are about 30 feet high at a guess; about half the floor seating is at dining height and the other half are high-boys (bar tables). That's a bar-heavy mix, but they do bill themselves as "a place to start your evening, or to finish your evening". The ambience is lovely with dark wood paneling and stonework on the walls, though I thought the flat-panel TVs didn't quite fit in with the cave aesthetic.

We went for the beef cheek ravioli, but were told they couldn't get the beef cheeks. I believe them, because I spent last weekend asking every butcher in the West Side Market for them, and got a lot of blank stares. Alice had had Lola's beef cheek pierogies and raved about them, so we're looking forward to trying Grotto's version.