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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

4.6

service

4.7

ambience

4.7

value

4.4

noise

Moderate

96% would recommend it to a friend

Romantic (48)
Good for a Date (41)
Special Occasion (40)
See All
Good for Anniversaries (38)
Notable Wine List (29)
Creative Cuisine (27)
Good for Birthdays (24)
Fit for Foodies (24)
Quiet Conversation (23)
Authentic (23)
Cozy (20)
Neighborhood Gem (16)
Worth the Drive (15)
Local Ingredients (13)
Pre/post Theatre (8)
Hot Spot (8)
Business Meals (7)
Tasting Menu (6)
Handcrafted Cocktails (6)
Fun (4)
Bar Seating (4)
Casual (3)
People Watching (3)
Comfort Food (3)
Seasonal (3)
Happy Hour (2)
Good for Groups (2)
Historic (2)
Great Beer (1)
Sunday Lunch (1)
Late-night Find (1)
Molecular Gastronomy (1)
Vibrant Bar Scene (1)
Good Vegetarian Options (1)
Private Room (1)
Great for Lunch (1)
Great for Brunch (1)
Organic (1)
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1067 reviews
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·Dined 7 days ago

This place was so wonderful! The owner is very friendly and comes to your table to find out how everything is. The decor is just beautiful, and the food was divine! Our waiter was very friendly and professional. We wished he had known a little more about the wines we asked about, but he said he was relatively new. We had a great night!

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (New England)·Dined on August 11, 2017

Excellent food , service and it was a 11 on a 10 scale

Tags: Casual, Tasting Menu, Worth the Drive, Authentic, Good for Groups, Special Occasion
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Miami)·Dined on August 10, 2017

Lovely setting but our dinner was marred by an adjacent table of 6 which was LOUD (translate drunk) to the point that we couldn't hear our waiter recite the evening's specials. They entered well lubricated so not the fault of the restaurant.
Service was slow but the manager stepped up when informed by providing complimentary post dinner drinks. Carbonara appetizer excellent as were salads and entrees with exception of duck breast which was for lack of better description a bit 'rubbery'.
Would return in hopes of a quieter dining experience which appears the norm from observing other guests/tables.

Tags: Creative Cuisine
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food4
ambience4
service3
value4

 
 (New England)·Dined on August 10, 2017

There are many many choices for great dining in Portsmouth but this restaurant was definitely among the best! Everything was prepared perfectly, the wait staff were attentive, helpful and professional. The owner was available during our stay and made a point of visiting our table. We had the meatballs and octopus for appetizers which were delicious and prepared a little differently as compared to other venues. Our meals included the veal chop, which was the very best I have ever tasted, the cod and halibut dinners which were also outstanding. We did not have room for dessert but saw other tables where it was served and it looked luscious!! This restaurant is definitely on our "return to soon list". Perfect for a special occasion.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Worth the Drive, People Watching, Special Occasion, Good for a Date, Romantic, Good for Birthdays, Good for Anniversaries, Notable Wine List, Hot Spot
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service5
value4

 
 (New England)·Dined on August 9, 2017

Everything was wonderful from the greeting by the hostess to the service from the staff and the taste and quality of the food. The dining room is quaint with the perfect ambiance for a romantic dinner.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Romantic, Good for Anniversaries
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on August 8, 2017

Excellent restaurant in the heart of Portsmouth. The ambience is lovely, the food always excellent, service wonderful. Homemade pasta that is made daily is outstanding. Dinner entree selections are plentiful and varied. The staff tries to accommodate any special requests you might have. The wine is plentiful. Probably best to book a reservation, they do seem to fill up quickly, even during week nights. We travel to Portsmouth once a month and always make this our go to dinner.

Tags: Comfort Food, Neighborhood Gem, Romantic
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food5
ambience5
service4
value5

 
·Dined on August 5, 2017

Amazing food great waiting staff. Great place best date night.

Tags: Fun, Business Meals, Notable Wine List, Romantic
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (New England)·Dined on August 4, 2017

Have been a number of times and always outstanding. Food was great and service was even better.

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food5
ambience5
service5

 
 (New England)·Dined on August 2, 2017

Excellent service, ambiance and food. Massino himself checked on us a couple of times to ensure everything was OK. Would highly recommend for any special occasions!

Tags: Local Ingredients, Romantic, Good for a Date, Good for Anniversaries, Fit for Foodies
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
·Dined on July 28, 2017

My wife of 44 years and I were going to Portsmouth for the weekend and wanted to celebrate our anniversary at a nicer restaurant. I started looking online and reviews on Massimo's. The reviews were fantastic and the actual experince did not disappoint. The waite staff is very attentive and knowledgable. The ambience and decor is fantastic and the food was excellent. Excellent choice.

Tags: Authentic, Notable Wine List, Good for Birthdays, Good for Groups, Special Occasion
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Washington DC)·Dined on July 22, 2017

Excellent spot in great NE town. Menu is quite varied and, despite restaurant's name, not quite as much Italian as you might expect. Service was very good. There is valet parking for free which would have been nice to know as we spent time parking. Overall, very good.

Tags: Notable Wine List, Romantic, Fit for Foodies
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience4
service5
value4

vip
 (New England)·Dined on July 21, 2017

A fine, elegant dining experience. Food was excellent, grilled octopus appetizer and halibut entree. Excellent wine suggestion for pairing by our waitress.

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food5
ambience5
service5

 
 (New England)·Dined on July 15, 2017

I'm not normally one to write reviews but our meal this past Saturday night was absolutely tremendous and could only be topped by the service provided. On every single level of staff interaction from the personable bar staff, to the warm and relatable hostess, to the knowledgeable waiter (who mixes what can only be described as a fabulous Woodford Reserve Manhattan) we felt welcomed and almost like an old friend. Massimo taking his time to personally stop by our charming corner booth to check in (and also chat about the white peacock stalking the waiting area) really pulled together the experience like a finely wrapped present. The attitude and charisma of everyone was glowing and truly infectious. Which makes sense since it sounds like a delicious staff dinner is served. You have earned two customers for as long as you'll tolerate us. Well deserved.

Tags: Bar Seating, Worth the Drive, Authentic, Notable Wine List, Cozy, Good for Anniversaries, Romantic, Good for a Date
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on July 15, 2017

It was excellent

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Washington DC)·Dined on July 14, 2017

Superb Italian food, excellent service, lovely ambiance. Highly recommend. It was well worth the drive.

Tags: Romantic, Creative Cuisine, Seasonal, Good for a Date, Worth the Drive, Notable Wine List, Cozy, Good for Birthdays, Fit for Foodies, Special Occasion, Good for Anniversaries, Authentic
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (New England)·Dined on July 13, 2017

Such a great evening. Top notch all the way around. Beautiful restaurant, great food, and outstanding service.

Tags: Romantic, Happy Hour
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Birmingham)·Dined on July 12, 2017

Clearly one of the best Italian restaurants in New England. Menu was classic and modern at the same time. Small plates are not to be missed. Service was outstanding. Servers were extremely knowledgeable about wine pairings and menu item preparation. A real restaurant gem.

Tags: Special Occasion, Good for Anniversaries, Cozy, Neighborhood Gem, Quiet Conversation, Romantic, Authentic, Notable Wine List
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on July 10, 2017

Authentic Italian. Fresh seafood options. Great small plate choices. Excellent in house Burratta. Delicious.

Tags: Authentic, Notable Wine List, Pre/post Theatre, Good for a Date
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food4
ambience4
service4
value4

 
 (New England)·Dined on July 10, 2017

Absolutely perfect for our anniversary! Beautiful setting, quiet rooms, amazing waitstaff, and INCREDIBLE food!

Tags: Romantic
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (New England)·Dined on July 8, 2017

We had a gift card to this restaurant, and it was outstanding. The food, the service, the ambiance were wonderful. We split two appetizers, the gnocchi with lobster and the meatballs. Both were delicious. My husband had the veal chop and I had the scallops which was very fresh and flavorful. We each had dessert and loved them! Great cocktails and a fantastic waitstaff in tuxedo dress. We will definitely go back for another special occasion like an anniversary or birthday!

Tags: Hot Spot, Good for Anniversaries, Neighborhood Gem, Creative Cuisine, Seasonal, Handcrafted Cocktails, Notable Wine List, Quiet Conversation, Authentic, Romantic, Fit for Foodies, Good for a Date, Special Occasion
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (New England)·Dined on July 5, 2017

Massimo's has always been one of our favorite places in Portsmouth. If you've never been, you need to put it on your to-do list.

Tags: Good for Anniversaries, Romantic, Fit for Foodies, Good for a Date
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food4
ambience4
service3
value3

 
 (New England)·Dined on July 1, 2017

Amazing place with an amazing owner and waitstaff. Can't wait to go there again

Tags: Good for Anniversaries, Notable Wine List, Good for a Date, Cozy, Casual, Tasting Menu, Great for Lunch, Creative Cuisine, Great for Brunch
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (New England)·Dined on June 30, 2017

We enjoyed a wonderful anniversary dinner at our favorite "special occasion " restaurant. The atmosphere is romantic and cozy, with soft music leaning toward Sinatra and Ella Fitzgerald in the background. The service was attentive without being overbearing and the food is exquisite, with depth of flavor that is not often found at this price. We'll definitely be back!

Tags: Good for a Date, Quiet Conversation, Fit for Foodies, Good for Anniversaries, Creative Cuisine
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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (New England)·Dined on June 30, 2017

The wife and I went for our anniversary and for the most part enjoyed a delicious meal. While I enjoyed my meal I did find it a bit salty but the wife enjoyed hers throughout. The wine menu was exceptional. Our service led by our server Sam, was outstanding and contributed to our having a great evening.

Tags: Local Ingredients, Good for Birthdays, Notable Wine List, Special Occasion, Cozy, Good for Anniversaries, Quiet Conversation, Romantic, Creative Cuisine
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food4
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (New England)·Dined on June 28, 2017

Delicious meal and tremendous service in a very sweet location.

Tags: Authentic, Neighborhood Gem, Notable Wine List, Romantic, Fit for Foodies, Local Ingredients, Good for Birthdays, People Watching, Good for Anniversaries, Worth the Drive
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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

vip
 (Philadelphia)·Dined on June 24, 2017

Too much BACON. Both my appetizer and entree were overwhelmed by bacon. I had an asparagus appetizer with a six minutes egg - sounded interesting, but all I could taste was bacon. My scallops entree with brussel sprouts was again overwhelmed with bacon and bacon fat. Really didn't enjoy the meal.

Tags: Quiet Conversation
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food2
ambience4
service4
value3

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on June 24, 2017

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.

Tags: Notable Wine List, Bar Seating, Special Occasion, Neighborhood Gem
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (New England)·Dined on June 22, 2017

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

Tags: Creative Cuisine, Romantic, Good for a Date, Good for Birthdays, Special Occasion, Notable Wine List, Good for Anniversaries
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (New England)·Dined on June 21, 2017

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

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food5
ambience5
service5

 
 (New England)·Dined on June 21, 2017

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!

Tags: Good Vegetarian Options, Business Meals, Pre/post Theatre, Romantic, Creative Cuisine, Good for Birthdays, Local Ingredients
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Charleston)·Dined on June 17, 2017

What a pleasant surprise! A lovely restaurant with a creative menu. The owner and staff are very accommodating. You will enjoy your visit!

Tags: Authentic, Special Occasion, Good for a Date, Handcrafted Cocktails, Local Ingredients
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (New England)·Dined on June 17, 2017

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

Tags: Romantic, Creative Cuisine, Good for Anniversaries
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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.

Tags: Good for Birthdays, Handcrafted Cocktails, Special Occasion, Good for a Date, Romantic, Fit for Foodies
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (New England)·Dined on June 17, 2017

Seth was a great waiter! The ambiance was very romantic and he brought out a dessert for my boyfriends birthday! All the food was incredible and we loved the wine we chose and the cucumber martinis!

Tags: Handcrafted Cocktails, Comfort Food, Creative Cuisine, Romantic
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Adelaide)·Dined on June 10, 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.

Tags: Special Occasion, Notable Wine List
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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.

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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!

Tags: Romantic, Fun, Cozy, Fit for Foodies
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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (Portland)·Dined on June 2, 2017

This is one of our favorite restaurants and they never fail to deliver great service and amazing food. If you happen to visit Portsmouth, New Hampshire you should visit this gem of an Italian restaurant.

Tags: Creative Cuisine, Neighborhood Gem, Cozy
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

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!

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 !

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

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