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Nearby points of interest

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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**

59 Penhallow Street
Portsmouth, NH 03801
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Dining Style:
Fine Dining

Cuisines:
Italian

Hours of Operation:
Dinner: Monday - Thursday: 5:00pm - 9:30pm, Friday & Saturday: 5:00pm - 10:30pm
Cancellation Policy
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.

Cross Street:
State Street

Dress Code:
Smart Casual

Price Range:
$31 to $50

Payment Options
AMEX, MasterCard, Visa

Phone Number:
(603) 436-4000

Website:
http://www.ristorantemassimo.com/

Entertainment:
Our staff!

Parking Details:
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.

Executive Chef:
Jethro Loichle

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

Additional:
Banquet, Beer, Full Bar, Non-Smoking, Private Room, Wine

Ristorante Massimo Ratings and Reviews

5
4
3
2
1

4.6

Overall Rating

based on recent ratings
food

4.7

service

4.7

ambience

4.7

value

4.4

noise

Moderate

94% would recommend it to a friend

Good for a Date (49)
Special Occasion (48)
Romantic (45)
See All
Good for Anniversaries (32)
Quiet Conversation (30)
Notable Wine List (30)
Creative Cuisine (29)
Authentic (23)
Worth the Drive (22)
Cozy (22)
Good for Birthdays (21)
Fit for Foodies (21)
Neighborhood Gem (14)
Pre/post Theatre (10)
Local Ingredients (9)
Historic (8)
Bar Seating (6)
Hot Spot (5)
Handcrafted Cocktails (4)
Business Meals (4)
Comfort Food (4)
Fun (3)
Tasting Menu (3)
Private Room (3)
Vibrant Bar Scene (2)
Late-night Find (2)
Happy Hour (2)
Casual (2)
Great Beer (2)
Healthy (2)
Great for Lunch (1)
Good for Groups (1)
Molecular Gastronomy (1)
Outstanding Value (1)
Organic (1)
Seasonal (1)
Sunday Lunch (1)
Good Vegetarian Options (1)
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1036 reviews
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 (New York Area)·Dined 3 days ago

Have never been to Portsmouth before and picked Massimo after reading OT reviews to celebrate our 5 year wedding anniversary. It definitely lived up to our expectations. They had an upstairs bar with an exceptional staff and great cocktail menu (cucumber martini & rum punch). As requested, they sat us in a cozy corner table and the ambiance was exceptional. Our waiter was very attentive and accommodated our request to slow down the arrival of our food in between courses. They had a great wine list and we were even visited by the owner Massimo who seemed to take pleasure in visiting all the guests which gave it a warm and friendly vibe. All the food was great but I'd have to say the meatballs were our favorite. We would go back and would recommend Massimo to our friends.

Dining Occasion:Special Occasion
Tags: Notable Wine List, Bar Seating, Special Occasion, Neighborhood Gem
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (New England)·Dined 5 days ago

Great ambiance, service, food and drink. We were pleasantly surprised to find out that this formerly was Anthony Alberto's!

Dining Occasion:Special Occasion
Tags: Creative Cuisine, Romantic, Good for a Date, Good for Birthdays, Special Occasion, Notable Wine List, Good for Anniversaries
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (New England)·Dined 6 days ago

Had some dank tortelinni. The Gorgonzola app was also fire. 10/10

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food5
ambience5
service5

 
 (New England)·Dined 6 days ago

Ristorante Massimo is our go-to restaurant when we want the very best in food, service, and atmosphere. We were greeted at the door by the owner and shown to our table. Luna, our server, was attentive and very knowledgeable about the wine choices and meals. My wife had the scallops and I had the veal. Both were prepared and presented magnificently. Oh, we also had the signature meatballs as a starter. Incredible! As I've said before, don't waste the trip to the North End for unforgettable Italian food. Just journey to Portsmouth and Ristorante Massimo. You'll be in for a treat!

Dining Occasion:Special Occasion
Tags: Good Vegetarian Options, Business Meals, Pre/post Theatre, Romantic, Creative Cuisine, Good for Birthdays, Local Ingredients
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (New England)·Dined on June 18, 2017

A really nice place to dine if you enjoy authentic Italian!

Dining Occasion:Special Occasion
Tags: Romantic, Creative Cuisine, Good for Anniversaries
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (New England)·Dined on June 17, 2017

Knocked our socks off! The food was unbelievable--I'd recommend the "small bites" to start the meal. The gnocchi with lobster was so good, I nearly wept over my plate. The service was attentive without being intrusive; wine list spectacular. I can't wait till our next visit.

Dining Occasion:Special Occasion
Tags: Good for Birthdays, Handcrafted Cocktails, Special Occasion, Good for a Date, Romantic, Fit for Foodies
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Adelaide)·Dined on June 11, 2017

When we arrived the free valet is a great touch in busy downtown Portsmouth. The hostess spoke to us immediately and got our table ready when we arrived half hour before our reservation time. The wine list was impeccable and the food was amazing. We couldn't finish all our food and found the prices very reasonable. I would recommend and will be going back for future occasions.

Dining Occasion:Special Occasion
Tags: Special Occasion, Notable Wine List
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (New York Area)·Dined on June 10, 2017

Dlsappointing. We have been here several times and always had great meals. The salad was overdressed and had to be sent back. The duck was just shy of being overdone and was salty. Service remains excellent.

Dining Occasion:Everyday Dining
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food3
ambience4
service5
value3

 
 (New England)·Dined on June 3, 2017

Top notch service and food comes with a price. In my mind, it is well worth it when the experience is so good. Go for it, you will not be disappointed!

Dining Occasion:Special Occasion
Tags: Romantic, Fun, Cozy, Fit for Foodies
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value4

vip
 (New England)·Dined on June 2, 2017

The food was delicious. The service was excellent. For the quality and amount of food the value was good.The lighting downstairs was a little too dark but other than that it was an enjoyable evening. I would recommend this to any friends heading to Portsmouth!

Dining Occasion:Date
Tags: Good for Birthdays, Good for Anniversaries, Good for a Date, Special Occasion, Notable Wine List
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience4
service5
value3

 
 (Washington DC)·Dined on May 20, 2017

From the surroundings to the food every thing was amazing.
There was a great wine list, and the menu was different then your normal run of the mill Italian. I also loved the fact the owner was there, greeting guests. Will definitely return !

Dining Occasion:Date
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Philadelphia)·Dined on May 20, 2017

I highly recommend Massimo's for their excellent food, wine, formal ambience,friendly and attentive service. Our family dined here after UNH Commencement.

Dining Occasion:Special Occasion
Tags: Authentic, Special Occasion, Romantic
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value4

vip
 (New England)·Dined on May 13, 2017

My second visit, but the first was better. During both visits they were out of food options by 6:30. I don't get that. Service was exceptionally slow Mother's Day weekend. Veal chop is the best item on the menu.

Dining Occasion:Special Occasion
Tags: Special Occasion
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food3
ambience5
service5
value3

 
 (Philadelphia)·Dined on May 13, 2017

Great restaurant, ambience

the server seemed to rush us through

Dining Occasion:Special Occasion
Tags: Cozy, Notable Wine List
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service3
value5

 
 (New England)·Dined on May 5, 2017

Food could not have been better. Nice and quiet. Staff was wonderful. Perfect night out

Dining Occasion:Special Occasion
Tags: Good for a Date, Fit for Foodies
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (Portland)·Dined on May 5, 2017

Amazing food. Service was excellent. We ate in the main dining area (not upstairs) and it was fancier than we had planned on (men in suit jackets/ties) but they were very accommodating of us!

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food5
ambience5
service5

vip
 (New England)·Dined on May 4, 2017

We had a wonderful birthday celebration for my wife. We had several courses of delicious food fit for a foodie.

Dining Occasion:Special Occasion
Tags: Pre/post Theatre, Authentic, Quiet Conversation
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (New England)·Dined on April 29, 2017

After hearing its praises for many years, we went to Massimo for our first time on April 29, 2017. One is first taken by the quiet, intimate dining room which is warm, inviting and full of character. This setting creates a great backdrop for any occasion and remained quiet despite a full room of diners. Our first impressions inferred that we should be prepared for greater things to come and we were not disappointed. The wait staff was well versed on the menu offerings and specials, was attentive and accommodating to special requests and further insured that our dining experience was paced to our liking. It was my wife's birthday and additional arrangements were made to enhance the celebration. The staff of Massimo made sure these items were executed beyond my expectations. The menu offerings were inventive to say the least. I have dined in countless Italian restaurants my entire life; however, the menu at Massimo was full of dishes which we had never experienced before. As such, we over-ordered in an attempt to sample as much as we could. Presentation was exceptional and the dishes were complex and full of flavor. Everything we tasted was a sheer delight. The evening was capped off with some inventive deserts, coffee and lemoncello that's was to die for. Thank you all for the wonderful evening. Upon leaving, our only regret is that we hadn’t visited Massimo sooner!!!

Dining Occasion:Special Occasion
Tags: Romantic, Good for Anniversaries, Worth the Drive, Good for Birthdays, Cozy, Neighborhood Gem, Fit for Foodies, Creative Cuisine, Good for a Date, Notable Wine List, Quiet Conversation, Casual, Authentic, Special Occasion, Business Meals
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (New England)·Dined on April 28, 2017

Great food. Great atmosphere. Great place. Highly recommended

Dining Occasion:Special Occasion
Tags: Notable Wine List, Good for Anniversaries, Neighborhood Gem, Quiet Conversation, Good for a Date, Historic, Romantic, Special Occasion, Local Ingredients
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (New England)·Dined on April 26, 2017

We loved our dinner the other night. Been here before. This time we had three spectacular Kobe beef meatballs to start. Lots of food, wine and an amazing dessert.

Dining Occasion:Friends' Get-Together
Tags: Notable Wine List, Good for Anniversaries, Good for a Date
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (New England)·Dined on April 21, 2017

Great place for a personal or business dinner. Outstanding variety of food choices. My wife has celiacs and they were very helpful... she had many choices. Also a nice wine list... will go back again when I am on the area.

Dining Occasion:Business Meal
Tags: Healthy, Good for Birthdays, Bar Seating, Romantic
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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (New England)·Dined on April 21, 2017

Great food and top notch staff. Staff were attentive, but not intrusive.
Would recommend as an ideal spot for special occasions.

Food was delicious and sizes were just right.

Dining Occasion:Special Occasion
Tags: Cozy, Pre/post Theatre, Romantic, Quiet Conversation, Good for Birthdays, Special Occasion, Fit for Foodies, Good for Anniversaries, Molecular Gastronomy, Creative Cuisine, Good for a Date, Worth the Drive, Historic
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (New England)·Dined on April 20, 2017

I made it clear when I made the reservation that it was a celebration dinner for my wife's birthday but no extra effort was put into making this evening special for us. The service we received from the waiter was far less than I expect from this restaurant, especially in light of the fact that we were celebrating a birthday. The food was very good and the table was very quaint but I was very disappointed overall in the service.

Dining Occasion:Special Occasion
Tags: Notable Wine List, Special Occasion, Good for Anniversaries, Pre/post Theatre, Romantic, Bar Seating, Good for a Date, Worth the Drive, Neighborhood Gem
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience4
service2
value4

vip
 (Atlanta)·Dined on April 20, 2017

Charming and great food. Service a bit slow

Dining Occasion:Special Occasion
Tags: Romantic
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service4
value5

 
 (New England)·Dined on April 18, 2017

We visited Massimo's for our sons 21st birthday. The staff was super friendly and could not do enough to make our experience pleasurable. The food was great as well as the cocktails. Of the six of us in our party, five chose the Tagliatelle Pasta Carbonara, Prosciutto, Peas, Black Truffles, Egg Yolk; it is our favorite dish at Massimo's. Most of us ordered the entree portion as we had it for lunch the following day.

Dining Occasion:Special Occasion
Tags: Good for a Date, Creative Cuisine, Fit for Foodies, Authentic, Good for Birthdays, Special Occasion
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (New England)·Dined on April 17, 2017

Delicious food (with smaller plates available) in a romantic "old world" atmosphere, gracious service and a good wine list

Dining Occasion:Friends' Get-Together
Tags: Special Occasion, Worth the Drive, Good for a Date, Quiet Conversation, Romantic, Good for Anniversaries
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Montreal)·Dined on April 15, 2017

My wife and I visit Portsmouth, N.H. several times a year. However, Ristorante Massimo is a restaurant that we have not visited before - but surely will again. This is a "must dine" location in Portsmouth, with wonderful food, a romantic atmosphere and a terrific wait staff.

Dining Occasion:Friends' Get-Together
Tags: Authentic, Good for a Date, Special Occasion, Good for Anniversaries, Notable Wine List, Romantic, Creative Cuisine, Fit for Foodies
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (New England)·Dined on April 15, 2017

You will never have a bad meal here, period. Such a unique place, food is always top notch and always worth every penny.

Dining Occasion:Date
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on April 14, 2017

Loved the food service and overall experience. A restaurant not to miss!!!

Dining Occasion:Date
Tags: Cozy, Authentic, Romantic, Creative Cuisine, Local Ingredients, Notable Wine List
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience3
service4
value4

 
 (New England)·Dined on April 14, 2017

This was our first time at Massimo's. Although the staff is very well dressed, the place is actually very casual - jeans everywhere. The valet parking is a big plus in (where the heck do I park) Portsmouth.

We arrived a half hour early so we had a drink in the bar upstairs. We had so much fun with the bartenders that we thought about staying upstairs and eating at the bar. I had a Citradelic beer for the first time (tangerine IPA) at the recommendation of the bartender and it was way better than it sounds.

Diner was great. I had the Filet and it was cooked to perfection. My wife had the Eggplant Ravioli and as she loved it!

Massimo, the owner, stopped by the table to see if everything was to our liking. Great guy!

Definitely book a table. You won't be disappointed.

Dining Occasion:Everyday Dining
Tags: Good for a Date, Great Beer, Special Occasion
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (New England)·Dined on April 8, 2017

As always, a great dining experience. Both dinner and service were excellent.

Dining Occasion:Date
Tags: Romantic, Cozy, Quiet Conversation, Fit for Foodies, Notable Wine List, Special Occasion, Good for a Date, Historic, Creative Cuisine, Authentic
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (New England)·Dined on April 8, 2017

Great staff, great food and service, a must stop in Portsmouth!!

Dining Occasion:Friends' Get-Together
Tags: Worth the Drive, Neighborhood Gem, Tasting Menu, Special Occasion
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (New England)·Dined on April 7, 2017

Wonderful as always.. Can't go wrong here.. Especially if it's a special occasion... Fabulous wine list and wonderful atmosphere... We will return...

Dining Occasion:Friends' Get-Together
Tags: Neighborhood Gem, Good for Anniversaries, Historic, Notable Wine List, Special Occasion, Quiet Conversation, Good for a Date, Romantic, Worth the Drive, Good for Birthdays
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (New England)·Dined on April 5, 2017

Never disappointed with this wonderful restaurant!

Dining Occasion:Special Occasion
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (New England)·Dined on April 4, 2017

Went for 2017 Spring restaurant week. The portion sizes were perfect and the service was great. I had the opportunity to sit in the back room, which was actually quite nice. It was quieter than the main room. The servers were attentive and the food was very good. My favorite thing this year was the dessert, which was an excellent little cake with apple cider mascarpone. The mascarpone was amazing. Instead of just putting cinnamon in it or something, I could tell it was made with reduced apple cider. It had a very subtle and complex flavor.

Dining Occasion:Friends' Get-Together
Tags: Special Occasion, Quiet Conversation
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on April 4, 2017

Fantastic food and warm service make this restaurant a favorite!

Dining Occasion:Everyday Dining
Tags: Good for Anniversaries, Quiet Conversation, Romantic, Special Occasion, Authentic, Good for a Date
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (New England)·Dined on April 3, 2017

This is our favorite restaurant in the Portsmouth area. To top this off it was Restaurant Week where there is a fixed price fixed menu with sufficient choices for all to enjoy. Only one slip up by the wait staff, mishearing my appetizer order so I received the lobster versus the salami. Why am I complaining about having to eat lobster (which was my second choice)? Just that I was surprised by any error at this fine restaurant. Note that they did offer to reorder / replace the lobster but I decided to stay with what I had received.
The whole staff is friendly, from the Owner stopping by to check on us down to the sharp young gentleman bussing the tables.
Plus they have a fantastic Italian wine selection. What more can you ask for?

Dining Occasion:Date
Tags: Good for Anniversaries, Cozy, Good for a Date, Fit for Foodies, Special Occasion, Pre/post Theatre, Notable Wine List, Creative Cuisine, Romantic
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service4
value5

 
 (New England)·Dined on April 2, 2017

Highest quality food and service, consistently; never disappoints.
Cozy relaxing ambience.

Dining Occasion:Friends' Get-Together
Tags: Romantic, Fit for Foodies, Creative Cuisine, Quiet Conversation
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (New England)·Dined on April 2, 2017

Absolute perfection. The level of quality in the food and staff is that of a restaurant 4 times the price.

Dining Occasion:Date
Tags: Good for Anniversaries, Fit for Foodies, Special Occasion, Romantic, Authentic, Quiet Conversation, Cozy, Good for a Date, Notable Wine List, Worth the Drive
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (New England)·Dined on April 1, 2017

We had a great anniversary dinner with several close friends. The food was great and our server, Candice was wonderful !! The menu is wonderful and the atmosphere is very cozy !!
Highly recommended for special occasions!!

Dining Occasion:Special Occasion
Tags: Good for Anniversaries, Worth the Drive, Creative Cuisine, Notable Wine List, Romantic, Special Occasion, Good for a Date, Good for Birthdays
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

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