About Ristorante Massimo

59 Penhallow Street
Portsmouth, NH 03801
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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**

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/Private Rooms, Beer, Full Bar, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Private Room, Wine

Ristorante Massimo Ratings and Reviews

5
4
3
2
1

4.8

Overall Rating

based on recent ratings
food

4.7

service

4.7

ambience

4.8

noise

Moderate

97% would recommend it to a friend

Loved For

Best Service
Boston / New England
Best Ambiance
Boston / New England
Notable Wine List
Boston / New England
10 More
Romantic
Boston / New England
Italian
Boston / New England
Best Overall
New Hampshire
Best Food
New Hampshire
Best Service
New Hampshire
Best Ambiance
New Hampshire
Best Value
New Hampshire
Notable Wine List
New Hampshire
Romantic
New Hampshire
Special Occasion
New Hampshire
Best Restaurants in Portsmouth ›

romantic (85)
special occasion (78)
fit for foodies (60)
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notable wine list (53)
neighborhood gem (31)
good for groups (11)
vibrant bar scene (7)
hot spot (5)
late-night find (4)
scenic view (1)
great for lunch (1)
kid-friendly (1)
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798 reviews
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Phenomenal food. Staff (all of them) we ...

Dined 6 days ago

Phenomenal food. Staff (all of them) were excellent. Small place, so either get there really early to find space at the bar for a drink, or get there just on time. Their waiting area is literally big enough for 4 people. Hostess served us a drink in the waiting area, which was cool. Waitress was super attentive, and knew the menu inside and out. Everything was prepared perfectly.

Tags: romantic, special occasion, notable wine list
food5
ambience5
service4
value5

Romantic birthday dinner

vip
Dined on May 15, 2016

We celebrated a birthday and it was the perfect choice. The atmosphere is warm and welcoming--clearly lots of regulars who favor it for Saturday night out. The food is northern Italian with flair. Definitely have dessert.

Tags: fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list
food5
ambience4
service5
value5

We celebrated our Anniversary & it didn' ...

Dined on May 14, 2016

We celebrated our Anniversary & it didn't disappoint. Food was over the top delicious. The service was impeccable.

Tags: fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem
food5
ambience5
service5
value4

Never disappointed

Dined on May 13, 2016

Massimo's is one of our favorite restaurants in Portsmouth. Everything about it is special from the time you walk through the door and are greeted by Massimo . He makes you feel like you are in his home. The wait staff is very friendly, knowledgeable and professional. The food is nothing less than perfection. We have been a number of times over the years and it never disappoints.

Tags: fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
food3
ambience3
service2
value3

The service seemed a bit rushed. Speaki ...

Dined on May 8, 2016

The service seemed a bit rushed. Speaking while walking away is bad form in any circumstance much less a service situation. The Chef "resisted" some of our food prep requests and seemed to prepare it a way that he wanted versus what was asked for.

food5
ambience5
service5
value5

always magnificent at massimo's!

Dined on May 5, 2016

from greetings upon entering, to the cozy ambience, friendly & professional wait staff, superb wine selection, exquisite food, attention to detail...massimo's is the place for any special occasion or to make any regular day special. consistently excellent throughout all the years we've been dining there.

Tags: fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, notable wine list
food4
ambience5
service5

Authentic and upscale

vip
Dined on May 4, 2016

Authentic and upscale

food5
ambience5
service5
value4

Excellent dining experience

Dined on April 29, 2016

Ristorante Massimo is one of Portsmouth best restaurants. The entire experience, from stepping foot in the door to finishing up and leaving, is elegant and civilized. The service is fantastic. Every server and employee seems to be on the same mission, which is to provide the highest level of service for the guest. Massimo also goes around and chats with every table, which is a nice touch. Aside from the A+ service, the food is also exceptional. The wine list is legitimate and the cocktails are great, too. While Massimo's is a little pricy, you pay for what you get and the experience is worth every penny.

Tags: fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, special occasion, notable wine list
food5
ambience5
service5
value3

Ristorante Massimo

Dined on April 15, 2016

Dining at Massimo's is a wonderful experience. From the moment you arrive you feel welcome and special. The food is excellent. The service is exceptional. The ambiance is conducive to fine dining. Relax, your food will take a while to come, and there is time to digest between courses. We had wonderful food and were very well cared for. We will come again for another special occasion

Tags: romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem
food5
ambience5
service5

Excellent food... excellent service

Dined on April 9, 2016

Excellent food... excellent service

food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Excellent!

Dined on April 9, 2016

Foodwas great service was great I have no complaints, and that is rare for me!

Tags: romantic, special occasion, notable wine list
food5
ambience5
service5

As always, an amazing experience!

Dined on April 8, 2016

As always, an amazing experience!

food4
ambience4
service4
value4

Always a pleasure

vip
Dined on April 7, 2016

We love going to Massimo's. The food is fantastic and the host (Owner) makes you feel right at home. Just like an Italian kitchen! Put it on your to-do list.

Tags: fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Restaurant week gem!

Dined on April 5, 2016

I went with my sister for restaurant week. I've tried to go before but always forgot to make a reservation so I love the fact that I can make them online! Food and service was amazing!

Tags: fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
food5
ambience4
service5
value5

Restaurant week delight

Dined on April 2, 2016

Have always wanted to go to this restaurant and we were not disappointed. The special menu for restaurant week was wonderful. Went with two other couples and we all had trouble deciding what to order for the first two courses, and we all had no trouble choosing the chocolate torte for dessert. I don't think anyone was disappointed! highly recommend this restaurant for special occasions or high end dining. A real treat!

Tags: fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, notable wine list
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Always a great time!

Dined on April 2, 2016

Massimo's is always a fantastic night out! We usually meet friends here for dinner and have a wonderful meal. The food is always a culinary treat. There is something on the menu for everyone in our party and we always leave here fully satisfied and vowing to come back soon! Upstairs at the wine bar is a fun time as well. A lighter menu, but still incredible food! A fun place to meet up with friends downtown. Massimo is always the gracious host as well.. there is always a smile on his face.

Tags: romantic, special occasion, notable wine list
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Simply Amazing!

Dined on March 28, 2016

Our dining experience was simply amazing! Massimo was there to greet us upon entering his fine establishment , which was extremely welcoming! This was our first visit and we were floored by the outstanding waitstaff, service, and food! It was so hard to decide on a meal because everything on the menu sounded incredible!We will certainly be back for more, and would recommend this jewel of a restaurant to everyone!

Tags: fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
food4
ambience4
service5
value3

Great food, read menu carefully, and ask questions

Dined on March 27, 2016

Beef tenderloin and Salmon was excellent, lobster ravioli was not. Salad was excellent, asparagus was not. Bread was good (would have been better warm), cannoli was very good, wine was outstanding and Steve, our waiter, was excellent, and helpful/knowledgeable about all aspects of the meal.(I wish we had asked him about the lobster ravioli !)

Tags: neighborhood gem, notable wine list
food5
ambience5
service5

Steve and Massimo's attention for servic ...

Dined on March 26, 2016

Steve and Massimo's attention for service highlighted a terrific experience. Their passion and dedication to a life's work for the best evening provided for the first of many memories there.

food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Excellent, would recommend and will return!

Dined on March 17, 2016

Loved it! Massimo the man is incredibly friendly and welcoming, and his food is just as wonderful as he is. We came in on St. Patrick's Day for our anniversary dinner and everything was perfect. It's definitely a Portsmouth gem. As newer residents of New Hamphire, my boss, a native, quoted this restaurant in particular as "the best meal in town." And it most certainly is.

Tags: romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
food5
ambience5
service5

One of the many things I enjoy about com ...

vip
Dined on March 11, 2016

One of the many things I enjoy about coming to Massimo is that it's always wonderful experience… The service is impeccable and each dish is better than the previous one that comes out of the kitchen… First Course… Local summer sausage made with Breezy Hill Farm pork, cornichons and mustard... An nice blend of Flavours that just dance on your palate in preparation for the meal… Second Course… Asparagi con Prociutto… Roasted asparagus, lemon-saffron hollandaise, Prosciutto di Parma, crostini and brandade… What an amazing dish... The brandadade lightly breaded and then perfectly fried… The hollandaise counterbalances the other spices and are sure to delight… Just wow! Entrée… Seared scallops, double ravioli filled with chickpea and ricotta, cauliflower and ricotta salata… A main course here is like going to the theatre… It's presentation… It's blending of flavours… It's and orchestra in cuisine… Dolci… Marbled semolina kettle corn cake with rum buttercream and caramel… Just the right amount of everything… And not too much of anything… And of course capped off with my signature Cappuccino… Perfect as usual… Thank you Massimo for adding yet another favorite memory to an already memorable life… See you soon…

food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Housemade pasta, perfect portions

Dined on March 5, 2016

The tagliatelle carbonara was delicate and luscious. The half-size pasts portions were perfect for having a smorgasbord that didn't leave us feeling overly full. And the uni butter OMG! Everything was just perfectly done and super delicious.

Tags: fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, notable wine list
food5
ambience5
service5
value3

outstanding

Dined on March 2, 2016

warm and embracing atmosphere with a fabulous menu and wine list.........everything we had was outstanding..........VERY PRICEY though

Tags: fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, notable wine list
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Old School Italian

Dined on February 27, 2016

This basement dining room is spacious, yet cozy. Intelligent wait staff, great Italian wine list, good food. Very nice place to unwind on a freezing February evening with friends. had branzino which was served as roasted filets with an excellent sauce, the simple salad had really memorable dressing. Then the macaroons - don't miss those - initially sweet, tough and chewy but the idea is to let them soften in the accompanying syrup - really exceptional.

Tags: romantic, notable wine list
food5
ambience5
service5
value4

Enjoy your special occasion here

Dined on February 26, 2016

I took my husband here for his birthday, we enjoy fine dining and new experiences and we got both when trying Massimo for the first time. The food was well cooked and tasted great!

Tags: fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
food5
ambience5
service5

Quiet romantic restaurant with a profess ...

Dined on February 26, 2016

Quiet romantic restaurant with a professional waitstaff and delicious food. Perfect for a special evening.

food5
ambience5
service5

Of all the restaurants I go to, and I go ...

vip
Dined on February 25, 2016

Of all the restaurants I go to, and I go to quite a few… This is by far my favorite! It goes well beyond the incredible service and the amazing food… It’s not dinner, it’s a full scale unparalleled fine dining experience. As I descend into the main dining area, my senses become acutely aware of my surroundings. The ambiance it’s really something to behold… it is a place unlike any other… For this evening’s dining extravaganza… First course… Beets Piadina with Prosciutto de Parma, Gorgonzola dolci, and lovage… from it’s beautiful arrangement, colors and plating…, This is truly one of those dishes that would qualify as ones last request on earth… Second course… Smoked Duck with blood orange agrodolce… I almost felt guilty eating this it looks so good… The house-made toast points add a nice touch to this incredible dish... Third course… Pollo Arrosto con Gnocchi, Roasted chicken breast, cabbage & bacon gnocchi with a porcini brodetto… I don’t order chicken out of that often, but if it’s on the menu at Massimo’s…, It’s just one of those dishes that you have to try… Fourth course… Bigné alla Crema do Caffe House-made Bigné, coffee pastry crime, dark chocolate, dark rum syrup and crushed cacao alongside my signature cappuccino! This is Massimo’s spin on an old favorite… Massimo style… This is my first choice go to restaurant whenever I’m in Portsmouth… They just do an amazing job here…

food3
ambience2
service2
value1

A big disappointment

Dined on February 14, 2016

Made a Valentine's Day reservation here to have a special romantic evening with my hubby. We had a 545pm reservation and were sat almost 40 minutes past our res time. I asked for an appetizer suggestion that did not have red meat, since neither my husband nor I eat red meat. The waiter suggested a seafood dish, which we promptly ordered. Upon looking at the menu a bit later, i realized that this appetizer indeed had beef sausage in it, which the waiter "forgot". He said he would run back to the chef immediately and have him prepare a sausage-free version. Well, 25 minutes later I asked about our appetizer and the waiter said "oh I'm sorry I forgot to tell you, the chef can't prepare it without sausage" 🙄.

food5
ambience5
service5

Of all the restaurants I go to, and I go ...

vip
Dined on February 13, 2016

Of all the restaurants I go to, and I go to quite a few… This is by far my favorite! It goes well beyond the incredible service and the amazing food… It’s not dinner, it’s a full scale unparalleled fine dining experience. There may not be much parking in Portsmouth… for me…, I get buzzed into their private parking lot… As I descend into the main dining area, my senses become acutely aware of my surroundings. The ambiance it’s really something to behold… it is a place unlike any other… For this evening’s dining extravaganza… First course… Beets Piadina with Prosciutto de Parma, Gorgonzola dolci, and lovage… from it’s beautiful arrangement, colors and plating…, This is truly one of those dishes that would qualify as ones last request on earth… Second course… Smoked Duck with blood orange agrodolce… I almost felt guilty eating this it looks so good… The house-made toast points add a nice touch to this incredible dish... Third course… Pollo Arrosto con Gnocchi, Roasted chicken breast, cabbage & bacon gnocchi with a porcini brodetto… I don’t order chicken out of that often, but if it’s on the menu at Massimo’s…, It’s just one of those dishes that you have to try… Fourth course… Bigné alla Crema do Caffe House-made Bigné, coffee pastry crime, dark chocolate, dark rum syrup and crushed cacao alongside my signature cappuccino! This is Massimo’s spin on an old favorite… Massimo style… This is my first choice go to restaurant whenever I’m in Portsmouth… They just do an amazing job here… Massimo has become a friend…

food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Nice hideaway

Dined on February 11, 2016

Even though it's downtown it is away from all the noise of downtown. Very attentive and friendly staff serving excellent food! The pork chop was amazing! As was the housemade limoncello!

Tags: romantic, special occasion, notable wine list
food5
ambience5
service5

Delicious food with amazing service

vip
Dined on January 30, 2016

Delicious food with amazing service

food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Creativity continues to shine brightly

vip
Dined on January 30, 2016

Tried the razor clam app and the grouper entree. There was nothing left on either plate. The creativity coming from the kitchen just gets better and better. The staff is always welcoming.

Tags: fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Very nice restaurant

Dined on January 29, 2016

Love this restaurant. It feels like I am in an Italian wine cellar. The food is excellent, as is the service. Bit on the expensive side but well worth it. Perfect place for a romantic dinner.

Tags: romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem
food3
ambience5
service4
value3

Promises much but delivers less

Dined on January 21, 2016

The ambience is outstanding and we must have had a good experience our last time there several years ago so to return but the elegant menu which touts ingredients sourced locally didn't live up to our expectations.The spaghetti dish with urchin and a variety of other seafoods came out as a sort of mish mash where the ingredients that looked so appetizing in the menu were no where to be seen.or tasted. The pork chop which was sufficiently tender was over breaded to the point of obscuring the flavor of the pork. I think they are a bit overambitious. It would be interesting to try them again to see if it was just a bad night but I think they blew their chance of turning us into regular customers.

Tags: special occasion
food5
ambience5
service5

Always special. Food and wine superb and ...

Dined on January 16, 2016

Always special. Food and wine superb and personal service makes you feel like you are dining with family.

food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Always the Best at Massimo's

Dined on January 9, 2016

Massimo's is truly one of the best finds in Portsmouth, NH. Everything is excellent and you always feel special and well attended to. I have NEVER been disapointed. One of my favorite and special places.

Tags: fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem
food3
ambience4
service4
value2

We were seated in the center of a seemi ...

Dined on December 31, 2015

We were seated in the center of a seemingly cozy back room. It felt like the catacombs. As we were in the center of the back wall,we could hear virtually every word spoken from the tables around us. Maybe the sound was bouncing off the brick walls? Anyway, my husband and I couldn't really converse because of that. We are small eaters, but these portions were ridiculous. The lobster tail was more like a large shrimp, and the duck was tough. The fried oyster and brussel sprouts hors derve was literally a bite for each of us. And the desserts, as well, very small. We love good food, but I think I'd rather have spent ha;f as much and eaten at one of the many local pubs.

food5
ambience5
service5

Wonderful food and location for New Year ...

Dined on December 31, 2015

Wonderful food and location for New Year's Eve dinner. Friends recommended this restaurant to us and now we are recommending it to everyone. Very personable and friendly. Loved it.

food5
ambience5
service5
value5

A gem

Dined on December 30, 2015

beautiful place for people who like smaller portions , with the highest quality and food presentations. Excellent service. great ambiance of Italian diner. quiet and romantic. Can not wait to go back.

Tags: special occasion, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Exceptional meal

Dined on December 26, 2015

From start to finish, the meal was spectacular. For an appetizer we had the special ravioli filled with tomato and ricotta and covered with braised beef and a sauce that was to die for. Our entrees were the lobster risotto, roasted cod, and sea bass with prosciutto. We could not help but clean our plates. The preparation on the proteins was spot on, and the flavors in each dish were fresh and distinct. Ken, our waiter, was friendly and informative. He is a true professional and clearly takes pride in his work. We will definitely be back!

Tags: fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem

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