Ristorante Massimo

4.5
1289 reviews
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$31 to $50
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Italian
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
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Cuisines
Italian
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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.
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Phone number
(603) 436-4000
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Payment options
AMEX, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Smart Casual
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Executive chef
Jethro Loichle
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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.
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Private party contact
Massimo Morgia: (603) 436-4000
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Neighborhood
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Cross street
State Street
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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.
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Entertainment
Our staff!
Additional
Banquet, Beer, Full Bar, Non-Smoking, Private Room, Wine
What 1289 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.5based on recent ratings
4.5
food
4.5
service
4.6
ambience
4.2
value
Noise · Quiet
90% of people would recommend it to a friend
5
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K
New York Area
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

We enjoyed our dinner very much! I would probably not charge people a cutting fee for the special cake we brought from home for our daughters 18th birthday. Other than that everything was lovely.

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MP
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

My husband and I went here for our anniversary dinner. We were early so we went upstairs to the bar. My husband ordered a cocktail and it came in a lantern which was then filled with smoke. The whole bar was interested in such a display. Very cool. The dinner was perfect. The tagliatelle with hints on truffle and the gnocchi was cooked perfectly in a delicious sauce. It brought us right back to our trips to Italy. We met Massimo and had a wonderful conversation with him. We highly recommend this restaurant.

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BG
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

For a special occasion, this is a special place. The service staff is organized, efficient, friendly and professional. And down to earth too. What a quality, relaxing dinner experience. Thank you!

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AR
1 review
Dined on October 6, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

As always, the food was outstanding and the service excellent

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OT
Montreal
10 reviews
Dined on October 6, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Well, if you haven't been to this restaurant yet, and you like Italian cuisine, then you must make the trek to Restaurante Mossimo at your next convenience. This is a "must eat at" restaurant in Portsmouth..........
M&T

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D
New York Area
1 review
Dined on October 4, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Fabulous birthday dinner for my husband - son drove up from Boston and we down from Portland so perfect in between spot. The food was phenomenal, the staff could not have been more friendly and efficient. We arrived at the bar before 7:30, did not leave the dining room where we had our dinner until after 10. Every space was awesome and everything was delicious: cocktails to dessert.

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JN
New England
1 review
Dined on October 2, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The best place to celebrate in Portsmouth. Massimo’s never fails to delivery a fabulous dining experience. Great recommendations from the staff, fabulous wine pairings, and an absolutely delicious dinner.

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EG
Naples
23 reviews
Dined on September 27, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Massimo is a gem! When we entered we immediately felt the professionalism:
- The lady who confirmed our reservation did so with confidence and a smile.
- The owner, Massimo, continued the positive vibe
- The service lady was personable, efficient, knowledgeable about beverages and our menu. And she was a fun conversationalist.

And what a menu! I chose and we shared a triad of cheese appetizers, each with a tasty side compote. Wish we had a photo to show this masterpiece.

There was only one special. My wife had a half-portion, which was more than enough and as delicious as described.

My Osso Bucco was as great as I expected: an ample portion with flavor throughout.

Even the drink deserved commendation: my wife saying it was the best Martini she ever had.

And the decor is professional, comfortable, romantic (we were in a very romantic alcove).

In summary, Massimo deserves it’s 5 stars.

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D
New England
2 reviews
Dined on September 22, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Love it yum, gourmet Italian food handmade pasta beautiful place and cozy

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OT
Miami
1 review
Dined on September 18, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I visit Portsmouth for work and always try new places, naturally as an Italian I wanted to find an Italian restaurant. Needless to say I found one, and it was great! The staff is very welcoming, kind, and fast. The food was delicious, and the wine was tasty. I highly recommend this place! Thank you Massi for a great experience!

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d
New England
28 reviews
Dined on September 17, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We love Ristorante Massimo! Beautiful, quiet, old-style room, background music from the days of classic popular music (Tony Bennett and Frank Sinatra). We started with a Cucumber Martini and the Massimo Negroni, both were delicious. We shared the Tuttle Le verdure (grilled zucchini, ricotta, tomatoes in a delicious dressing) and the side dish of grilled cauliflower and artichokes as appetizer. Both were delicious. We received extra bread to soak up the Tuttle Le verdure dressing. My husband had the Tagliatelle Carbonara, his favorite dish. Massimo did not disappoint! I had the Chicken saltimbocca which was fabulous. The wine list is extensive and the desserts are sinful! Strongly recommend.

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L
New England
1 review
Dined on September 10, 2018
Overall 1food 1service 2ambience 5

This was the most over-priced awful food I have had, maybe ever. I don't mind paying for excellent dining but this was almost inedible; almost everything was burned.....meat, vegetables, and how do you char ravioli? The dining room is charming but the ridiculous prices for "a single risotto or meatball" would be laughable if it wasn't so angering. Rack of lamb is NOT 3 over-grilled rock hard bites of ribs. It's a shame that this place spends its money in "special occasion " advertising and not in producing just decent food.
Absolutely despicable robbery.

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b
1 review
Dined on September 8, 2018
Overall 2food 3service 4ambience 4

We booked the reservation online & had no idea how “fancy” the establishment was. We felt very uncomfortable in our attire and felt the staff was unfriendly.

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OT
1 review
Dined on September 8, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The staff at Ristorante Massimo is top notch. It was incredible to watch how each of them was clearly looking for whatever needed to be done whether it was their table or not. If a drink was low they refilled it. Empty plates were quickly removed. Everyone operated as a team and it created a beautiful experience.

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GM
1 review
Dined on September 6, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 5

Great food and wine list. The ambiance was perfect for my wife's birthday celebration. The flavor combinations worked very well.

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OT
1 review
Dined on September 2, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

My wife and I went for our anniversary. They put us in a little nook in a sweetheart table. The food was fantastic and the service was attentive without being intrusive. Crooners played quietly in the background. What could be better?

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t
New England
17 reviews
Dined on August 30, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

we always have a great meal here. Massimo is the ultimate host..

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TC
Tampa
2 reviews
Dined on August 29, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Food and service were outstanding. Noise level did go up when two large groups arrived.

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a
New England
1 review
Dined on August 28, 2018
Overall 3food 1service 2ambience 5

Usually we love this restaurant but this night was not good! They ran out of the first three things we ordered!

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RE
1 review
Dined on August 26, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food, romantic setting, remarkable service. Would definitely return to dine again.

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MT
New England
2 reviews
Dined on August 25, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

Very good meal to celebrate a 40th birthday with friends. Service was good and food was fabulous. Would definitely return for another special occasion.

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KH
New York Area
1 review
Dined on August 24, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 3

Food was excellent with delicate seasonings. Carbonara was awesome. Ambiance is quiet and nice but not quite there. Not warm and inviting. Service staff good but not outstanding or confident in their service. No feeling of being in the hands of a pro as at Continental Restaurant in Quebec City. Bread truly awful. Good Italian restaurant should have outstanding bread and olive oil. This bread was soggy and tasteless.

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A
1 review
Dined on August 22, 2018
Overall 2food 4service 1ambience 4

Unfortunately our server was very inattentive and somewhat bizarre. She was kowtowing to her upper crust diners. Couldn't wait to get out of there and felt embarrassed for having chosen the restaurant. Food was good, but nothing exceptional in our selections. The atmosphere was also nice, but a bit dark and ornate. I'm sure if we had a different server all other aspects would have improved. The hostess and a young man who helped us a few times were very pleasant.

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K
Salt Lake City
12 reviews
Dined on August 22, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Awesome! Loved the ambience, food, and service. We started off with signature cocktails and tapas like appetizers on a cheeses board to share, cool presentation. The osso bucco, pasta, and fish dinners were fresh and tasty. With the carpeted floor and stone walls, we felt like we were in Italy!

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p
New York Area
87 reviews
Dined on August 20, 2018
Overall 2food 2service 4ambience 2

Requested quiet table in corner. Instead we were seated in the back in the middle next to a very large table. When I asked to be moved to a quieter location , host refused. I had dined here twice before and was looking forward to the experience. Very disappointed. The atmosphere and food were disappointing. The Osso Bucco lacked flavor. Wine by the glass was not up to par.

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KB
New England
3 reviews
Dined on August 18, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Absolutely incredible restaurant! Cozy and the best meal we’ve ever had! The carbonara, filet, and veal chop were just a few of the delicious options on the menu!

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EM
1 review
Dined on August 18, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

Food was delicious. We chose three of the small bites- cheeses and crostini. They were all delicious and the presentation was nice. For the meals we had the gnocchi and ravioli with sausage and meatballs. I would recommend both. Presentation was really nice. Glass of frogs leap Artemis cab was good, but quite pricey. Not sure I would spend that much again for that particular wine. Server was attentive and nice.

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C
New York Area
28 reviews
Dined on August 17, 2018
Overall 2food 3service 3ambience 4

The ambiance was great in the restaurant. The service seemed friendly enough but our glasses went empty most of the time. Not very attentive. The main courses were ok but uninspiring. Desert was absolutely fantastic.

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JZ
New England
3 reviews
Dined on August 16, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Always a wonderful experience. Everything about dinner at Massimo's is perfection.

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AC
1 review
Dined on August 15, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This was classic Italian fine dining done right. The atmosphere was very traditional, from the beautifully framed artwork to the grappa still, just perfect.

The wine list was extensive and the dinner menu had variety and very well prepared traditional Italian classics.

We will return on our next visit to Portsmouth.

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H
New York Area
1 review
Dined on August 14, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food, service, and ambiance. Portions were a little small for the price but a great overall experience.

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R
Washington DC
11 reviews
Dined on August 13, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent menu. Delicious meal. Great wine. Lovely staff.

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CH
New England
1 review
Dined on August 9, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

The porcini pasta special was OUTSTANDING! We enjoyed every bite...

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CS
1 review
Dined on August 9, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 5

Went with friends, beautiful ambiance. Waitperson attentive. Disappointed in food, restaurant had a reputation for great dining so my expectations were high. Salad was average, entree was average. Yet this is $40. So maybe that's average price in portsmouth but i was dissappointed.

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LH
1 review
Dined on August 6, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We went this past weekend for my birthday and it was amazing! I only wish we didn’t live so far away so we can go more often. The food was delicious and the service impeccable.

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s
New England
23 reviews
Dined on August 4, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I've been dining here for many years now, and it is perhaps one of the most consistent, wonderful restaurants in Portsmouth. Chef Jethro turns out great food, the dining room is wonderful, and host Massimo makes everybody feel so welcome.

I have to thank Massimo for taking special care of us on this last visit. We were a party of 4 just finishing dinner, and two other friends arrived earlier than expected from a flight. We were to meet elsewhere after dinner for a drink, but Massimo brought chairs by to get them settled with us in the main dining room, and then found a table for 6 for all of us upstairs, without a reservation, on a busy Saturday night. Talk about going out of your way for us. This level of service and detail shows throughout on all of our visits.

You'd be hard pressed to find better!

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OT
New England
31 reviews
Dined on August 3, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 4

Very iffy (inconsistent). The octopus appetizer was tasteless and tiny. The Tagliatelle Carbonara di Lazio was, as apparently it always is, superb. The Ravioli con Polpette was, on the other hand, ordinary in everything (presentation, texture, taste). Our guest loved his beef tenderloin (cooked medium, of all things).

The service was peculiary artificial, as if the server's lines had been memorized. The real problem was that there was no refilling of our wine glasses (which we are happy to do ourselves, except our wine was in the unreachable bucket).

The hostess was equally as satisfying (helpful and cheery) as the Tagliatelle.

Seemed overpriced, but that was expected.

Tthe wine list on the website should be updated. A bottle I had specifically wanted to order was no longer on the list (and apparently hadn't been in some time); our server was unfamiliar with that wine (and also with its renowned producer).

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G
Richmond
1 review
Dined on August 3, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Get the black truffle carbonara! Top 5 best Italian dishes I’ve ever had. Glass selection was appropriate for the beverages but I would expect a more fancy rocks glass for a smoked whiskey cocktail, perhaps something with etching.

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OT
1 review
Dined on August 2, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Amazing as always! No better place to go out for a special meal!

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KC
1 review
Dined on August 1, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

Creative and delicious sampling from appetizers to dessert. Wonderful service!

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