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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

4.7

Overall Rating

based on recent ratings
food

4.7

service

4.7

ambience

4.7

value

4.3

noise

Moderate

94% would recommend it to a friend

Special Occasion (41)
Romantic (38)
Good for Anniversaries (35)
See All
Good for a Date (29)
Cozy (25)
Quiet Conversation (23)
Creative Cuisine (22)
Worth the Drive (21)
Fit for Foodies (21)
Good for Birthdays (20)
Authentic (20)
Notable Wine List (17)
Neighborhood Gem (13)
Historic (12)
Pre/post Theatre (9)
Local Ingredients (7)
Handcrafted Cocktails (6)
Bar Seating (6)
Hot Spot (4)
Private Room (4)
Business Meals (4)
Fun (3)
Good for Groups (2)
Gluten Free Options (2)
Healthy (2)
Tapas (1)
Vibrant Bar Scene (1)
Comfort Food (1)
Molecular Gastronomy (1)
Casual (1)
Family Style (1)
Fireplace (1)
Organic (1)
Happy Hour (1)
Tasting Menu (1)
Outstanding Value (1)
Late-night Find (1)
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987 reviews
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 (New York Area)·Dined 3 days ago

Food was not as good as I thought it would be. a little disappointed

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food3
ambience5
service5
value3

 
 (New England)·Dined on March 11, 2017

The service was outstanding-and the food was exceptional

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

 
 (New England)·Dined on March 11, 2017

Nothing negative in this review, food and service were both outstanding.

Tags: Creative Cuisine, Quiet Conversation, Special Occasion, Worth the Drive
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service5
value4

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on March 11, 2017

The food was really amazing, and the service was even better.

Tags: Worth the Drive, Good for a Date, Quiet Conversation, Good for Birthdays, Notable Wine List, Special Occasion, Romantic
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (New England)·Dined on March 10, 2017

An intimate setting with beautifully crafted dishes and divine service, Massimo's is a gem in Portsmouth.

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

 
 (Birmingham)·Dined on March 9, 2017

This was our first time to this restaurant which was on the top of a list given to us by a friend. The menu was full of tantalizing choices. I chose 3 mini appetizers which were presented beautifully on a bread board and followed this with an eggplant ravioli which was superb. My husband had a garden salad with a delicious light dressing followed by scallops which he loved. We did not choose a wine but the wine list looked extensive. The only drawback was trying to find parking in Portsmouth near the restaurant at 6 p.m. Later, the waiter told us we could call from the street on weekdays and they would park the car. On weekends they have valet parking. Problem solved. We will go again, probably for a special occasion.

Tags: Good for a Date, Romantic, Quiet Conversation, Late-night Find, Creative Cuisine
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food5
ambience4
service4
value4

 
 (New England)·Dined on March 8, 2017

We haven't had good food like this in this area for a long time

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

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

An absolutely wonderful experience from start to finish. The food was phenomenal, and the service outstanding.

Tags: Quiet Conversation, Worth the Drive, Outstanding Value
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (New England)·Dined on March 4, 2017

My go to in Portsmouth and it has never disappointed.

Tags: Good for a Date, Romantic, Special Occasion
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience4
service3
value4

 
 (New England)·Dined on February 25, 2017

Took my wife for her birthday. First time we've been here. The staff all seemed very polite and very professional yet comfortable. Our server just happened to be the wine expert which was perfect as we wanted a nice bottle of wine. My meal was the best I've ever had and was grilled beef tenderloin cooked to perfection. I had a small amount of ground pepper put on and that made this a perfect meal. My wife had the scallops and said that she thought they were slightly undercooked. But to be honest we aren't restaurant snobs so understanding exactly how they should be cooked properly may very well have been the way they were brought out. She would have liked them a little more cooked but she said they were very tasty and I had a bite and thought they were awesome so maybe it was just some of them? They were huge scallops I must say. Overall this was the best night and meal I've ever had and will go back again on our next bid day. Oh the wine we had was Damiano Lecinquevigne Barolo 2012 and was so good we went and bought three bottles at NH Liquor.

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food4
ambience5
service5

 
 (New England)·Dined on February 24, 2017

Took the wife out for the 27th anniversary. It turned out to be my treat as well because the Kobe beef entrée was absolutely taste heaven. She had the lobster and said it was delicious as well. Out of the wine requested, but the suggested replacement was even better. Have been there numerous times and have never been disappointed, but this one was special. Highly recommended for special occasions or a romantic getaway.

Tags: Special Occasion, Good for a Date, Cozy, Good for Anniversaries, Fit for Foodies, Worth the Drive, Tasting Menu
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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (New England)·Dined on February 21, 2017

Great food. Even better ambiance. Overall a very enjoyable experience.

Tags: Quiet Conversation, Notable Wine List, Romantic, Good for a Date, Good for Anniversaries, Historic
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service4
value4

 
 (New England)·Dined on February 20, 2017

Splendid, professional service. Perhaps the best wait staff in Portsmouth. Tremendous wine list which is priced fairly. Owner is on the floor greeting patrons. Not cheap but worth every cent. Always a memorable evening.

Tags: Cozy, Creative Cuisine, Notable Wine List, Special Occasion, Romantic, Business Meals, Quiet Conversation, Authentic, Worth the Drive, Good for Anniversaries
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on February 18, 2017

What a lovely way to celebrate a birthday. The staff were so welcoming and the ambiance comfortable and inviting. Exceptional meal. Will definitely return.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Handcrafted Cocktails
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (New England)·Dined on February 17, 2017

This was my third time dining at Ristorante Massimo. Simply put they achieve consistent excellence in service, ambience, and food preparation.

We started with a meatball appetizer that was quite delicious. I had the ravioli with eggplant and sausage and my girlfriend had tagliatelle carbonara with pancetta; both were outstanding. We also shared a very fresh salad with burrata cheese.

Planning to return the next time we're in Portsmouth.

Tags: Special Occasion, Good for Birthdays, Good for a Date
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (New England)·Dined on February 17, 2017

Massimo's is always great and it didn't disappoint this time

Tags: Authentic, Special Occasion, Good for Birthdays, Good for Anniversaries, Notable Wine List, Creative Cuisine, Hot Spot, Fit for Foodies, Neighborhood Gem, Cozy
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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (New England)·Dined on February 17, 2017

Outstanding in every respect! Service was attentive but not hovering. Questions were welcomed and we weren't made to feel like idiots. Unusual items on menu made the meal interesting. All the food was terrific with beautiful presentation. Noise level was such that you can easily hear your table mates. We recently dined at a pricey Italian restaurant with good reviews on the upper East Side NYC. Ristorante Massimo outclassed the NYC place in every respect. We will be back!

Tags: Authentic, Local Ingredients, Pre/post Theatre, Special Occasion, Worth the Drive, Good for a Date, Quiet Conversation
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (New England)·Dined on February 15, 2017

Hands down best restaurant in Portsmouth, and we have a lot of great restaurants

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (New England)·Dined on February 14, 2017

We are Portsmouth locals...we had been wanting to try Massimo since moving to the city three years ago. We got a gift card and decided to go for Valentine's Day. I was so incredibly disappointed after hearing so much hype about the restaurant. First, I will say that the service was outstanding- kind waiters, very classy and very attentive (but not overbearing.) We ordered the meatballs to start- they were very good- Kobe beef, pesto sauce, ricotta- yum. Then we had the carpaccio salad- very small portion and not a 'salad' at all... just a few beets on top of the carpaccio with goat cheese- not worth the order. We ordered the brussel sprouts as a side- they were good, but not amazing. We each got the homemade pasta dish that had peas, proscuittio, cheese and a raw egg in it... lacked in flavor and not worth the hype! The egg never cooked by mixing it around, the meal was only luke warm. My husband and I both only took a few bites and left almost a whole bowl of food. When our waiter came back he made a joke about the food left and asked if we wanted to take it to go- we both said NO! I would've thought that would be a hint that we dind't like it- but it was never mentioned. Just so disappointed to spend over $100 on a meal that was not good and overrated- so many other gems in the Port City. Really wonderful staff, but... We won't be returning.

Tags: Cozy
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food1
ambience4
service5
value1

 
 (New England)·Dined on February 14, 2017

Ristorante Massimo is definitely one of the true romantic restaurants in the area. Many claim to and they are wide open and often very noisy. At Ristorante Massimo it is always quiet, they have little nooks and quaint spaces to enjoy your dinner. I recommend making reservations, as they are always busy.

Tags: Special Occasion, Romantic
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food4
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (New England)·Dined on February 14, 2017

The food was tasty, portions are on the small side. The corner booth was quiet and romantic. The waitstaff was very nice. I love they have parking across the street at their private lot.

Tags: Creative Cuisine, Cozy, Good for a Date
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food4
ambience4
service4
value3

 
 (New England)·Dined on February 11, 2017

My wife and i were very pleased with the service and food. The wait staff was very pleasent, promt, and curtious. The prices were surprisingly low for the service we received, and we felt very comfortable with the situation of the dining room. The only negative thing that we encountered had nothing to do with the restaurant, but with the woman sitting at another table that was very loud and annoying, but again, not the restaurants fault.
To sum up, a very pleasent experiance, and my wife and i will be returning to dine again.

Tags: Romantic, Worth the Drive, Good for a Date
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (New England)·Dined on February 11, 2017

Great food & service, My Scallops were cooked to perfection! My wife really enjoyed her pasta dish. Will definitely go back again.

Tags: Romantic
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food4
ambience4
service5
value4

 
 (New England)·Dined on February 10, 2017

Celebrated our 33rd anniversary here and it was outstanding as always!

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food5
ambience4
service5
value5

 
 (New England)·Dined on February 10, 2017

Amazing food, amazing atmosphere, amazing service.

Tags: Special Occasion, Good for a Date
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (New England)·Dined on January 28, 2017

Such a lovely experience from start to finish. Welcomed as old friends by the owner, attentive service, lovely menu and wine choices and a delicious meal. What more could one ask? Yumm!

Tags: Special Occasion, Fit for Foodies, Pre/post Theatre
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (New England)·Dined on January 28, 2017

while we usually eat upstairs we decided to do downstairs. its is great to talk and great atmosphere and service. food was as usual excellent. Massimo is great and treats us so well.

Tags: Special Occasion, Cozy, Good for Birthdays, Molecular Gastronomy, Worth the Drive, Neighborhood Gem, Historic, Pre/post Theatre, Quiet Conversation, Authentic, Creative Cuisine, Good for a Date, Romantic
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (New England)·Dined on January 26, 2017

We had a wonderful dining experience. The room is great, and the food is outstanding. My wife had a braised beef pasta dish, app size which she likes. I had what may have been the best veal chop i ever ate! We had a burrata salad, and a bufala mozzarella salad both great. We had a nightcap at the wonderful upstairs bar, with two very entertaining bartenders!!
We'll be back, and most likely will eat at the bar.

Tags: Good for Anniversaries, Romantic, Quiet Conversation, Fit for Foodies, Bar Seating, Good for Birthdays
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food5
ambience5
service3
value5

 
 (Nashville)·Dined on January 22, 2017

We had a wonderful dining experience from the moment we sat down. Massimo added to the overall experience, greeting our younger daughter with compliments and even had a complimentary coloring set waiting for her and our older daughter at the table. Melissa, our server made us feel right at home and Erin, the lovely lady who greeted us and took our coats has a the unique gift of being able to remember who each coat belongs to without a number system :) The Foie Gras, Gnocchi, Pappardelle pasta and Scallops were È delizioso!!! It was a night to remember :)

Tags: Special Occasion
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (New England)·Dined on January 22, 2017

Don't know what all the hype is about! Made a reservation one month ago for a special birthday dinner. Asked for a quiet, alcove table. When we got there we had to wait 20 minutes for our table (which would have been ok if we got what we asked for). When we were seated we were put in an alcove table right inside the door, directly facing a party of 20! It was also in the direct path of the kitchen where all the waiters had to pass. The large party was so loud we could hardly hear ourselves. They were so loud that the waitress actually apologized to us. She was our waitress as well as the party of 20's waitress. As you can expect we were the ones left out in the cold. We had ok service but not what it should have been. The meatball appetizer was fantastic but the meal went down from there. The scallops were overcooked, as was the filet. The filet had so much pepper on it that you really couldn't taste the meat, and the carrots that were served with it were burned. We got the cookie basket for dessert which supposedly had biscotti in it but there were no biscotti. We also had to remind someone to get it for us as we had our coffee and tea for about 10 minutes but had no dessert. When it was time to leave we even had to find our own coats!!! Luckily we saw where the hostess had put them. All in all it was not a good dinner. We may return to the bar (so that we can get those delicious meatballs) but we will not return to a restaurant that is so noisy you can't hear each other. Very disappointing!

1 person found this review helpful.
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food2
ambience1
service2
value1

 
 (New England)·Dined on January 20, 2017

Anniversary

Tags: Special Occasion, Good for Anniversaries, Romantic
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (New England)·Dined on January 17, 2017

Went for the first time to celebrate my husband's 65th birthday and attend a Pat Metheny jazz concert in Portsmouth. The food was fabulous and the service impeccable. We will definitely go back.

Tags: Authentic, Fit for Foodies, Cozy, Romantic
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience4
service4
value3

 
 (New England)·Dined on January 14, 2017

Always a treat dining at Massimos. Best food in town by far along with the best service and ambiance.

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food5
ambience5
service5

 
 (New England)·Dined on January 12, 2017

We had a very enjoyable and relaxing evening evening of food and conversation.

Tags: Romantic
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food4
ambience4
service5
value4

vip
 (New England)·Dined on January 12, 2017

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.

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food1
ambience3
service5
value1

 
 (Dallas)·Dined on January 11, 2017

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.

Tags: Authentic, Romantic, Local Ingredients, Special Occasion
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (New England)·Dined on January 7, 2017

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.

Tags: Special Occasion
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food4
ambience5
service4
value4

 
 (New England)·Dined on January 6, 2017

Excellent service,great food, great selection of wines and meals.

Tags: Bar Seating, Creative Cuisine, Good for a Date, Good for Anniversaries, Romantic
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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (New England)·Dined on January 1, 2017

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!

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (New England)·Dined on January 1, 2017

A special evening was made even more so with the staff, food and atmosphere of Massimo's! Will be a treasured memory for us and we look forward to coming back in the future!

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food5
ambience5
service5

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