Scott Herritt’s career as a chef was anything but planned. While enrolled as a marketing major at the University of Oklahoma, Herritt started working in kitchens throughout the city to earn money for college. He quickly learned that the restaurant business was his true calling and moved from the classroom to the kitchen, working his way through some of the area’s most prestigious establishments.
Within three years, he became Executive Chef at the city’s premiere, three-star restaurant Legends. But like many head chefs, Herritt wanted his own place. So, at the tender age of twenty three, he opened Victoria‘s, a traditional Italian bistro that still thrives today. Meanwhile, Boston was garnering a national reputation for its burgeoning restaurant scene and talented chefs. He had reached the pinnacle of success at home, so he packed up those recipes and headed to Boston.
Herritt worked in kitchens throughout the city from Charley’s (where he met his wife Danielle), to Legal Sea Foods, to Seasons at the Bostonian Hotel. Eventually, he settled in at Florentine’s as Executive Chef where he turned the casual lounge into one of the North End’s most popular and enduring Italian restaurants.
The success of Florentine’s inspired Herritt to open Grotto in July of 2003. A smaller, quieter venue where he’s able to focus on fewer dishes with finer flavors and styles,Grotto is an Italian inspired bistro with a cool Greenwich Village vibe. The menu incorporates a little bit of everything that makes Italian cuisine so popular – marinated meats and chops from Tuscany, stews from the Mediterranean and pasta dishes from Rome. Hailed as one of Boston’s hidden gems, Grotto has hosted politicians, dignitaries, celebrities and fellow restaurateurs to rave reviews.
In 2008, Herritt saw a small for rent sign in the upstairs window of The Marliave, a dining landmark in Downtown Crossing. The enterprising chef jumped at the opportunity to breathe new life into this hidden gem, which was opened originally in 1885 by Henry Marliave, a French immigrant who came to America to find his fortune. The refurbished restaurant features two dining rooms: The Upstairs which serves classic continental cuisine in a more formal setting and The Downstairs, which evokes the restaurant’s bootlegging days with classic prohibition-era cocktails and updated versions of the classic dishes.