About Ristorante Massimo
Nestled like a hidden jewel in historic downtown Portsmouth, New Hampshire, Massimo's warmly lit brick and stone grotto walls, fresh flowers and oil paintings of magnificent Italian landscapes transports guests to Florence, Rome and Venice. Guests relax in a richly appointed atmosphere beneath mahogany-beamed ceilings and private parties unwind in their own intimate dining room. Ristorante Massimo offers authentic dishes from all regions of Italy. From innovative concepts to timeless Italian favorites, our executive chef creates each dish with a distinctive, refined touch as found in some of the worlds most celebrated restaurants. Thoroughly unforgettable, unbelievable satisfying. **limited dining room availability offered online**
Hours of Operation:
Dinner: Monday - Thursday: 5:00pm - 9:30pm, Friday & Saturday: 5:00pm - 10:30pm
Monday - Friday: for groups of 5 or more - We ask that a guest call by 12:00p.m. the day of the reservation to cancel or we reserve the right to charge a $20.00 per person fee.
Saturday: all reservations - We ask that a guest call by 12:00p.m. the day of the res reservation to cancel or we reserve the right to change a $20.00 per person fee.
$31 to $50
AMEX, MasterCard, Visa
Ristorante Massimo offers complimentary weekend valet service. Our private lot is available for guest parking midweek. Simply alert the maitre d' of your arrival via telephone and we will gladly provide access to our gated lot.
Private Party Facilities:
Ristorante Massimo is the perfect setting for celebrating a special occasion or hosting a corporate event. Here guests can enjoy customized menus, an intimate setting and impeccable service. Our elegant private dining room can accommodate up to 20 guests and special arrangements can be made for larger groups. State-of-the-art audiovisual equipment is available. We look forward to taking personal care of every detail of your entertaining needs.
Private Party Contact:
Massimo Morgia: 603-436-4000
Banquet, Beer, Full Bar, Non-Smoking, Private Room, Wine
Ristorante Massimo Ratings and Reviews
This is my 3rd or 4th visit to Massimo a ...
This is my 3rd or 4th visit to Massimo and it exceeds my expectations every time. From the parking valet to the hostess, waiters, etc., the service is top notch. The ambiance is warm, inviting and elegant. The food is amazing. Our table tried pasta, lobster, steak, and scallops and everything was fantastic. We tried 3 different desserts to share, and they were all delicious. The flourless chocolate cake is divine. We were all fighting over it. No reason to drive all the way to the North End for fantastic Italian food. Massimo is perfection.
We chose Restaurante Massimo for our 25t ...
We chose Restaurante Massimo for our 25th wedding anniversary and couldn't have chosen a better spot. We were greeted at the door by our hostess. She ensured we had the most romantic table and that our every request was taken care of. The drink list was extensive and the staff made sure we were happy with our selections. The food was absoulely outstanding. Wonderful flavor and portions just bigger than our appetites. The desert, as expected, was also great. I'm looking forward to going back.
This was our first visit to Massimo 's. ...
This was our first visit to Massimo 's. We were celebratin our 45th anniversary and we're really impressed that Massimo recognized that fact. Even though we were a few minutes early, we were offered a glass of wine while waiting. The hostess was very friendly and helpful. Steve, our waiter, was also very professional and helpful in explaining the menu. The alcove we were seated in was perfect for a romantic dinner. All the food was very tasty and the presentation was outstanding. I would highly recommend Massimo's to anyone wanting a special night out.
Complementary valet parking just icing o ...
Complementary valet parking just icing on the cake. The food here was unbelievable! Not your traditional 'red sauce' Italian restaurant. Very creative and unique dishes. The veal chop served with pouched lobster was literally to die for! Highly recommend!
Okay, so I'm going to join the list of m ...
Okay, so I'm going to join the list of many fans of this restaurant!
The food was well prepared with manageable portions. My tagliatelle carbonara didn't look too appetizing but it was wonderful! I had the buratta salad which was also very enjoyable. They do cater for vegetarians.
We were seated in a cozy book so it felt a little private but we could look out on the room. Greeted by the owner when we walked in which was a nice personal touch. He stopped by during our meal and when we left.
Definitely good for a revisit!
This was our first visit to Ristorante ...
This was our first visit to Ristorante Massimo and it was a great experience. I let them know in advance that it was a special anniversary for my wife and I. They sat us at a wonderful private table and our waitress Melissa was so warm and attentive that she really made the night. The food was excellent but the service and ambiance makes this restaurant very special.
What an evening. Arrived a half hour ear ...
What an evening. Arrived a half hour earlier than our reservation during restaurant week and it wasn't an issue. Massimo and his very nice hostess sat us just outside the dining room and we had drinks fairly quickly. Ate the three course meal special and every bite was fabulous. From the meatball amatraciana, to the braised short rib, right on through the caramel apple shortbread. All quite delicious. The service was also pretty perfect. Massimo really knows how to make you feel welcome and he clearly cares about his restaurant and it's guests. Bravo, we shall return.
I was blown away by the overall experien ...
I was blown away by the overall experience of Ristorante Massimo. The staff we're attentive but low key and helpful. My girlfriend has a severe seafood allergy that sometimes causes a problem for us to choose a restaurant, but our waiter was almost happy to tell us that it wouldn't be a problem and he would make sure both of our dinners contained no trace. I have never experienced this kind of reaction at a restaurant and was very impressed.
We were served in a booth set back into an alcove surrounded by the original granite foundation and (what looked like) polished cherry with what I consider just the right amount of down light. We each chose a 3 course meal so I won't go into details about each dish but they blew our expectations away. Overall I truly couldn't have been more impressed with the atmosphere, staff, food, etc. and we have been talking about visiting yearly for our anniversaries.
PS. If anyone from RM should read this, thank you for making the anniversary/birthday dinner one to remember for us!
Outstanding, the staff was incredible v ...
Outstanding, the staff was incredible very attentive, food was impeccable. The atmosphere is just so romantic and the owner Massimo made sure that he spoke to every table welcoming new and old customers like you are part of a family. This is definately a gem of a restaurant. If you have time check out the beautiful bar area upstairs. The wait staff there are also incredible. Can't wait to go back
We visited Massimo during restaurant wee ...
We visited Massimo during restaurant week, which meant it was very busy. Perhaps that had something to do with our experience. We arrived about 30 min early, hoping to be seated a bit ahead of our 8:15 reservation. Unfortunately, they were overwhelmed and not entirely organized, so we were seated about 30 min late (8:45). Our table and dining room was very nice, but I found the food and the service to be average, particularly for the price range. I also thought that the chef had a tendency to overdue the flavors in the dishes, which is not typical of good Italian cuisine. I may try again in the future, but for now, I am left thinking that the food and the service were very average, for a price range that would imply something much better.
I wish I could write a great review but ...
I wish I could write a great review but instead this one is a mixed bag.
First, the positive: service, ambiance - all great. Nice wine list - the pairing the sommelier suggested was great. Thumbs up on the Rotolo e Polpette (meatballs with a mini manicotti-like rotolo) and Burrata e Finochietta appetizers (house-made burrata cheese with fennel salami), as well as the Costolette di Manzo (braised beef short rib with polenta). I would recommend any of these dishes.
Negative: the Bistecca e Cavolfiore (sirloin with cauliflower) was a poor cut of meat – too much gristle to chew around. The crab was missing from the crab tortellini (Granchio e Tortellini Autunno) with the exception of one tortellini where it was noticeable. The Torta Ciocolato (flourless dark chocolate cake) was undercooked, there was nothing cake-like about it. You should be able to cut a flourless cake with your fork, not smear it.
In summary, like the nursery rhyme about the little girl with the curl in the middle of her forehead: what was good was very, very good – but what was bad was horrid.
There's a difference between a restauran ...
There's a difference between a restaurant where you eat versus where you dine. At Ristorante Massimo we dined and dined very, very well. At no time did I feel rushed nor overlooked by the staff. By the way, this staff is very well trained and it cooperates within itself. If something needs attention, it's noticed and cared for whether it's your wait person or not. The host, Massimo, is a gentleman; in Italian "un Gentiluomo" whose connotation goes beyond being polite and encompasses "caring, attentive, friendly, and knowing". He is sincere when he hopes you enjoy your meal since it reflects on him, personally. And the meal that I had began with grilled octopus, a delicacy perfectly prepared. It was succeeded by a fusilli served with a Bolognese-style tomato sauce with rapini. The amazing part, for me, was that it was placed on a thin bed of fresh ricotta which added a unique and most pleasant sensation in the mouth! We had a bottle of Chianti (Riserva/DOCG) which was excellent and moderately priced. I was sitting quite close to the wine cellar and saw an extensive array of bottles, many very fine, from both Italy and California. Desert was also excellent. I chose the cheesecake: creamy, firm and not too large a serving. It was accompanied by pitted Bing cherries - a nice presentation. Finally, the espresso was served hot and was fresh, not burned. This is a true Italian restaurant, not a wanna-be.
This restaurant is in a beautiful older ...
This restaurant is in a beautiful older building in Portsmouth that is worth the visit just to see the décor. The service was excellent, the menu offered a variety of dishes and wines that suited everyone's taste. The quality of the food, preparation, presentation and taste was excellent. Everyone in our party choose something different from the menu and none were disappointed in their choice. Prices are in line with the quality of the food, service and the restaurant overall. A fine dining experience that I would definitely recommend to others.
We had an incredible selection of food, ...
We had an incredible selection of food, a great bottle of wine, and champagne to celebrate our 40th wedding anniversary. The service was top shelf, and food recommendations and descriptions perfect. We travel from south of Boston to Portsmouth several times a year just to eat at Massimo's.
My husband and I were spending the nigh ...
My husband and I were spending the night in Portsmouth on the way back from ME to home in CT. We chose Ristorante Massimo for its great reviews on Trip Advisor. We were not disappointed.
Our server was great. She was friendly, attentive, and professional. The entire wait staff appeared to care that their customers enjoy a special evening.
The food was delicious. My husband had a duck appetizer and butternut squash ravioli (with sage, brown butter, and pine nuts) for the main dish. Both of which he totally enjoyed. I'm a big fan of salad and have eaten variations in many different restaurants. I ordered the "special" salad of the evening. It was made with Kale, pancetta, grape tomatoes and an unbelievably tasty dressing. Definitely, 5 stars! For my main course, I chose the rack of lamb. It was cooked rare just the way I requested. The quality of lamb was fantastic. I'm not sure of the spices used on the lamb but the dish could not have been tastier. We, also, enjoyed a wonderful bottle of wine with this dinner.
From our point of view, Ristorante Massimo deserves all the accolades!
Disappointing... We were seated at an un ...
Disappointing... We were seated at an uncomfortable booth between the kitchen door and a table of 20+. Massimo's should lose this booth - it is awful as the servers are constantly coming and going and/or standing in front of your table watching others'.
The service was erratic (long waits between courses) and it was nearly impossible to carry on a conversation. Don't understand why such a small restaurant would book a party that overtakes half of the main dining room at prime time on a Saturday night... Food was okay but not up to Massimo's former standards nor the price (it's been a long time since we were there and will be a long time before we go back).
Beautiful atmosphere, knowlegable and fr ...
Beautiful atmosphere, knowlegable and friendly staff, small servings, creative menu. I had a lobster dish which strangely (to me) sat on a bed of ratatouille like veggies - a creamy risotto or special,pasta withnsauce would have been much better. My husband had a divine veal chop.
Can't beat the ambience for a special evening.
We had a wonderful dinner with another c ...
We had a wonderful dinner with another couple. The atmosphere is for special occasions. Exposed brick, formal, but comfortable. The food was excellent. I had the veal chop which was perfectly cooked, juicy and flavorful. I tasted my husband's meatball appetizer, and I would come back just for those!! He had a pasta dish with lobster that he said was really good. Only 3 stars for service due to our server bringing out our entrees before our appetizer course was served. We had ordered 3 courses...the soup and salads came, then there was a really, really long wait without the server coming by. When she appeared with the entrees, we were quite surprised, but it explained the long wait. The owner came by to apologize. Despite the mis-step, we look forward to another special occasion meal at this restaurant. We also plan to try the less formal upstairs restaurant in the near future.
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