Traditional, seasonal and locally-sourced from Valpolicella

Opened in 1980 in Sant’Ambrogio di Valpolicella, Ristorante Groto de Corgnan serves authentic, traditional, seasonal cuisine from Valpolicella and the Veneto region. They are renowned for their exquisite handmade pasta and their warm, friendly service. Dining at Groto is an unforgettable experience not to be missed when visiting Valpolicella. Guests enjoy a delicious seasonal tasting menu, in a warm welcoming environment, in the ambience of an Italian family home. In summer guests dine outside on their terrace surrounded by flowers and under a canopy of grapevines. In winter, inside one of their cozy dining rooms with a warming open fireplace.

Their menu changes weekly based on the availability of high quality, seasonal ingredients, which they source locally from small family-owned farms and suppliers in the Valpolicella and Lessinia regions. They have an extensive wine list of more than 250 labels including the top producers from Valpolicella, Piemonte and Toscana. In addition they offer an excellent Valpolicella wine degustation to accompany their tasting menu.

The history of Ristorante Groto de Corgnan is a delightful love story in two parts. It started in 1980 when Giorgio Soave and his new wife Assunta, fell in love with a little old house in Sant’Ambrogio di Valpolicella and turned it into their dream restaurant. The second part started in 1999, Judy Harman came to dine at Groto and from that first meal, she fell in love with Groto. For the next 16 years Judy and her husband Jonny dined at Groto de Corgnan at least once a year.

Then in 2015 Giorgio told Judy that he was going to retire and close the restaurant. Judy immediately said she would come to help. She and Jonny packed up their life and moved from Sydney, Australia to Italy. Judy then spent 2 years working by Giorgio’s side learning how to make fresh pasta every day and all of his recipes. Giorgio also took Judy and Jonny up in the nearby Lessinia mountains, teaching them where to forage for wild nettles, mushrooms, fruits and herbs.

In 2017 Judy full-filled her Italian restaurant dream, buying Groto from Giorgio when he retired and ensuring Ristorante Groto de Corgnan’s legacy will live on for several more decades. To Judy’s delight in 2021, Groto was asked to participate in a popular Italian restaurant TV show called “4 Ristoranti”, hosted by celebrity chef Alessandro Borghese. The program put Groto de Corgnan on the Italian “foodie” map and confirmed that it remains one of the best restaurants in Valpolicella.

Some of Groto’s favourite seasonal dishes include: Handmade Tagliolini pasta with black truffles from Lessinia; Handmade Tortelli filled with fresh ricotta cheese and hand-picked wild nettles; Wild boar from Lessinia slow- cooked in Amarone wine, with stone-ground polenta and wild spinach; Ricotta and dark chocolate cheesecake served with local pears cooked in recioto wine and pear sorbet.

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