The Buzz: Grezzo

Welcome to The Buzz, a feature where we look at what the Internet is saying about brand new restaurants. It’s too early for a review, but when has that ever stopped anyone?

We must confess to somewhat ambivalent feelings about Grezzo, the new raw vegan restaurant in the North End, operated by raw food expert Alissa Cohen. On the one hand, we find raw foodism suspect: while there are certainly uncooked foods we love (guacamole and sushi both come immediately to mind), we feel that basing your diet exclusively around the fact that raw foods are healthier misses the point that food is about more than simple nutrition (not to mention the fact that cooked foods are perfectly healthy in their own right). On the other hand, Grezzo is something entirely new for the Boston dining scene and, even if we don’t necessarily agree with the philosophy behind its food, the dishes are fascinating. At any rate, most of the buzz seems to be pretty promising.

The Good: Grezzo’s target audience (that is to say, raw foodists and vegans) is definitely responding well. In a post on the Gone Raw message boards, user jackiev writes: “I made it to Grezzo last night for Valentine’s Day and let me tell you…it was DELISH!! Alissa Cohen herself actually served us our salads…I thought I was going to pee my pants!! Although I don’t think my tummy can handle eating there everyday, I’m definitely going to be a faithful customer.” Chowhounder Bob Dobalina concurs: “If you are a raw food vegan, this place is clearly the pinnacle, the Olympus of your philosophy. Go here now. … If you are a vegetarian, vegan or raw food acolyte, RUN don’t walk to this place. It is the best vegan food I have ever had ” This is not terribly surprising. Grezzo is, after all, the first raw food restaurant in Boston and one of the city’s few vegan eateries. More surprising is Grezzo’s popularity with those not necessarily identifying as vegans or raw foodists. ‘Hound enhF94 writes “parsnip soup for me! Maybe I’ll double starters and also have the endive salad. This meat eater is excited!” The food has won wide praise, especially the vine-ripened tomato soup and the “cheesecake.”

The Bad: There are plenty of gripes about the space itself. Bob Dobalina writes “It is a nicely decorated place, pleasing earth tones, some highlights of color, but the room is very narrow … and so the tables are rather packed in and servers had some difficulty serving the patrons on one side of the wall.” Yelper Katherine I. concurs: “Tables: One too many in the row. We needed more leg room.” There have also been a few complaints about slowness. Chowhound’s marilees writes that “they seem to have issues with timing still. My friend joked, ‘I don’t understand why our dinner is taking so long if they’re not even COOKING the food!’”

The Nauseating: Here’s something we didn’t know until today: apparently, when you first try raw foods, you are likely to be ill, especially if you’re also drinking alcohol. We counted at least seven reviews that mentioned extreme nausea a few hours after the meal. Grezzo makes all their food fresh every day, so we doubt it’s anything they’re doing and indeed, when Yelper Jasmine S. contacted the restaurant after being sicked by her meal, she was told that nausea and headaches are par for the course the first time you eat raw food and, apparently, it is best to limit your consumption of nut cream and alcohol the first time around. We can’t understand why raw foods would make one nauseated (we don’t get sick after, say, a salad), but it’s a good warning nonetheless.

Grezzo [Official Site]
Has Anyone Been to Grezzo Yet?? [Chowhound]
Grezzo [Yelp]
Grezzo!! [Gone Raw]
Alissa Cohen [Official Site]

The Buzz: Grezzo