TripAdvisor has a single listing for Ristorante Castelgrande and Grotto San Michele, apparently because they are both part of the Castelgrande. However, they are really two separate entities. The grotto emphasizes Ticenese dishes, while the restaurant might be described as Italian-Mediterranean at prices 2-5 times those of the grotto. My wife and I have eaten three times in three years at Grotto San Michele. Their 3-course daily menu, at CHF 31, is a terrific value, especially since the food is really good and decent dining in Switzerland is generally pricey. Every dish is at least average, and most are much above average. The “castle”, i.e., house, merlot is also above average and good value. Service has always been friendly and professional. But perhaps the best thing is the setting: on a nice day, you can sit outside on the terrace, which hangs off the side of the Castelgrande, with a wonderful view over the top of the old city, the Castel Montebello, Castel Sasso Corbara, and snow-capped peaks beyond. On a cold rainy day (which we have experienced here too), you are seated inside the castle (but on the opposite side from the restaurant). Some might think of this as the dungeon, but we found it warm and comfortable. I recommend a reservation: just specify the Grotto, not the Restaurant, when calling.
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