About Ristorante Massimo
Portsmouth, NH 03801
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
Very disappointed in the food as friends ...
Very disappointed in the food as friends had recommended the restaurant. Ordered the gnocchi and having an Italian wife I guess I expected gnocchi similar to her family, but what we got were three potatoe cakes that tasted nothing like gnocchi. My wife ordered the duck and that was disappointing also, tough and not very tasty. A positive was out waiter who was great.
Excellent place to bring a customer. The ...
Excellent place to bring a customer. The service was perfect, the food was delightful, and the decor was really nice. John, our waiter, was attentive, friendly, funny, knowledgeable, and confident in his recommendations. Everything I look for in a waiter.
We had a very special night and it is a ...
We had a very special night and it is a classic restaurant with flowers on the table and the feel of a genuine Italian restaurant. Obvious care with everything. I had the pork chop special which was amazing. (Biggest I've ever seen) I only wish the waiter had mentioned the price in his spiel about the specials.
Wonderful find. We waited 15 minutes for ...
Wonderful find. We waited 15 minutes for our reservation however the owner, Massimo, was so friendly and engaging. He offered us a beverage on the house while we waited. The whole staff was very friendly. The food was scrumptious and the service impeccable. The dining room is cozy and romantic. We will be back!
My first trip to Massimo's for a "busine ...
My first trip to Massimo's for a "business dinner" - I am a self-published author and I took my beta readers out for dinner. My five girls and I had a fantastic evening. The staff was totally on-point - the hostess, the waiters, and we had the pleasure of being served by the Wine Director, who wowed us with an education as well as new and exciting options, plus he had a winning sense of humor. The meal was one of the best ones I've had west of Italy - every single dish we tried was absolutely delectable. The owner dropped by to welcome us as well. A lovely, intimate space, the atmosphere is fancy but relaxed and approachable. The hostess took our coats upon arrival and remembered us upon departure, and valet for Friday night dining is a bonus, too! I cannot wait to take my husband here for a date night!
We went for my husband's birthday and we ...
We went for my husband's birthday and we just had the most wonderful time! Everyone, from the girl checking us in to wait staff smiling as they walked by were so nice. The food was delicious, very flavorful. We truly enjoyed our experience and can not wait to go back.
My boyfriend and I went here for our sec ...
My boyfriend and I went here for our second anniversary and had a lovely evening. We had a 5:15 reservation, probably the first diners for the night, as they were still setting up the dining area when we arrived. The owner greeted us when we were seated, which was very nice of him. The food was delicious--we got smoked duck, beef tartar, and the gorgonzola mountain for our "small bites"; I had the carbonara for my entree and my boyfriend got a beautifully-cooked beef tenderloin (Filetto di Manzo). The recommended wine paired nicely with both of our dishes. The atmosphere livened up as more diners came in. Christmas music was playing in the background at a reasonable volume. It got hard to hear my date at times, but that might depend on your fellow diners. Service was attentive, yet gave us plenty of time to enjoy our night at our own pace with few interruptions. They made sure that we were comfortable and the dining room temperature wasn't too cold, as it was near the entrance. We were fine, but it seems that other diners were cold as halfway through the night, they closed the double-doors that led to the lobby and increased the temperature on the thermostat. We were asked if it was a special occasion right before we ordered dessert and when it came out, our mini cannoli was embellished with a candle and "Happy Anniversary" chocolate, "compliments of the house." Very thoughtful touch! Our bill came out to around $130 with tax and tip. We will definitely be back for special occasions.
Outstanding as always! Massimo's is an e ...
Outstanding as always! Massimo's is an exceptional restaurant ! From the minute you meet the valet, to the friendly and attentive staff, to the extra touch of Massimo's himself coming over to your table - you feel special. The food is extra ordinary and simply put delicious. My wife and I along with our friends truly look forward to our dining experience! Keep up the great work and we will be back soon!
We try to get to Massimo's at least twic ...
We try to get to Massimo's at least twice a winter during our "date night" evenings out. We have never been disappointed. We especially appreciate that Massimo is always a presence and cruises around the dining room to assure satisfaction. We were seated in a cozy alcove on this visit which I loved, quiet and yet still part of the scene.
All the food was excellent but the bread was exceptional.
Only issue was slightly slow service at ...
Only issue was slightly slow service at the beginning, otherwise everything was great! The scallops were perfect and the gnocchi was very good. Burrata appetizer was excellent. Good value and our waiter was excellent as well. The table was downstairs under a brick arch with a mini chandelier. Very romantic and easy to talk. The owner stopped by and was very personable.
"Free" valet parking (you should tip of course!) is a great service as parking can be difficult in Portsmouth. Highly recommend!
I ate here with 4 friends that have been ...
I ate here with 4 friends that have been to Italy many times, they could not believe what they were eating - they wanted to drag the chef out to congratulate him/her. The most amazing meal in years !! Highly recommend.
Massimo is also a great host, he takes careful attention to greet all guests and want to ensure their experience is optimal. Amazing staff too !!
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!
One of the best meals I've had in a long ...
One of the best meals I've had in a long time, and hands down the best meal we've had is 2016. We are big, big fans of Italian and this was our first time - we'll definitely be back.
My only disappointment came with the waiter, though very nice to us, it was clear he was struggling that night with focus and attentiveness. We had to ask a few times for the same thing, and he was very apologetic and kind. We all have off-nights and I'm not faulting him greatly for it - as I said, we'll be back. Besides the food the best part was the owner coming by personally, twice. Feeling like we were welcomed into his home was simply amazing!
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.
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