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Sun, 5/9
8:00 PM

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$31 - $50
Special Diets
Vegetarian Friendly, Vegan Options, Gluten Free Options
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All reviews veal chop meatball appetizer cannoli homemade pasta bolognese salad charcuterie scallops bread special occasion our waiter romantic dinner fine dining wine list service was impeccable wonderful meal small plates
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Reviewed 1 week ago

Tucked downstairs in one of Portsmouth's lovely historic brick buildings resides an absolute gem of a dining experience. Gracious, unobtrusively attentive and knowledgable staff help guide you through a sublime dining experience. Their carbonara now resides on my "best thing I've ever eaten" list! It's...a must visit place where you will be treated like royalty and choose from a wonderfully diverse and beautifully creative menu for a fabulous dining experience. Portsmouth is so lucky to have this restaurant, one of many reasons why Portsmouth is such a dining destination.More

Date of visit: April 2021
Reviewed February 23, 2021

The food here is amazing, fresh and yummy. Service is impeccable. The veal chop I had melted in my mouth! And the fig salad, just wow. My partner always orders the carbonara, and manages to bring some home!

Date of visit: January 2021
Reviewed February 20, 2021 via mobile

What a night! Fabulous food! Exceptional service- shout out to Corey (hope I remembered his name!)! Desert box was the coolest concept ever! Cheers!

Date of visit: February 2021
Reviewed February 7, 2021 via mobile

Another wonderful visit to Portsmouth & Massimo. When we walked in we were warmly greeted & seated immediately. All COVID requirements are implemented. We always choose a table in the bar and we’ve never been disappointed. Sam, our waiter introduced himself & was an efficient,...attentive & excellent server. He made suggestions & recommendations & we appreciated his knowledge of the menu. It was a wonderful evening & we will certainly return the next time we are in Portsmouth.More

Date of visit: February 2021
Reviewed January 7, 2021 via mobile

We had a wonderful meal last night. From cocktails to dessert. We can not wait to go back to try everything on your menu. Thank you for being a safe place to dine.

Date of visit: January 2021
Reviewed December 24, 2020

We had made a reservation for the main dining room downstairs, but when we arrived opted to sit at the bar on the first floor. Our bartender/waiter, Sam, was attentive and friendly. I ordered a starter of the crispy potato roost with Royal Ossetra caviar…divine!...Hubby ordered the small portion of Veal saltimbocca ravioli —house made with prosciutto cotto, sage, Savoy cabbage, brodo, and shaved pecorino for a starter. It was the best ever! As our entree, we each got the house made tagliatelle pasta carbonara with truffle parmigiana cream, fresh peas and crispy prosciutto. A delicious choice for dinner!More

Date of visit: December 2020
Reviewed December 15, 2020

My wife and I just had overnight in the charming little town of Portsmouth, New Hampshire. This is our second visit for a getaway, and we knew we had an incredible number and diversity of choices for dining out, several of which I have already...reviewed. We had decided before we even started our drive north. We wanted to have dinner at Massimo, a traditional Italian restaurant. Let me start by telling you why we picked Massimo in the first place. This past summer, we spent a week with the family in Portsmouth, and on "Date Night," she and I dined at a place called the Cure. We arrived early, and another restaurant on the corner had a great outdoor seating setup. We decided to see if we could "walk-in" for a cocktail or glass of wine. The owner (we discovered that later) met us at the host station and immediately sat us, knowing we would only have a drink and not stay for dinner. The cocktails were superb, the service outstanding, the ambiance incredible. My wife went into the building to use the restroom, and when she came out, she said, "I want to have dinner here someday." She was so impressed with the old-world interior and what she saw for food just in passing. So that brings us to this past weekend. If you ever wondered what kind of place Frank Sinatra might hang out in, I think I found it in Massimo. We could not get a table, but we did have reservations at the bar. Thank goodness! Surrounded by dark wood, this cosey upstairs "wine bar" is a mix of old-world with a steampunk sprinkling. The steel top of the bar contracts the deep mahoganies, and the ceiling fans being run via cables from a single motor was just so cool. Our Bartender / Waiter Sam was the real thing. He is a true mixologist with an impressive knowledge of everything from whiskey to wine and a comprehensive understanding of the menu—also, a true gentleman and all-around nice guy. We started the evening with a couple of house cocktails, both exquisite. I am an admitted cocktail snob. You know you have a real bartender when the drink preparation in front of you makes you want to take the first sip that much more. Later in the evening, I told him what characteristics I liked in a whiskey and a mixed drink and said, "Bring me something good. Again, he nailed it. Wine with dinner; the recommendations were spot on. Food. The Executive Chef is a culinary god. No joke. We started with the Formaggi, Salumi e Cicchetti ~ Small Bites of Fontina, butternut squash, dried cranberries; Brie, prosciutto cotto, fig; and Toma, fennel, winter citrus. We moved on to the Appetizers trying the roasted brussel sprouts, crispy Wellfleet oysters, roasted garlic aioli, and shaved parmigiana. Every bite was fantastic. I wish the portions had been larger, much larger! Rather than order from both the pasta selection and the main course selection, we decided to divide and conquer. It's a good thing we did. The portions get bigger the further down the menu you travel. My wife ordered the Carbonara, house-made tagliatelle pasta with truffle parmigiana crema, fresh peas & crispy prosciutto. I had a bite and wanted to eat the entire thing. The explosion of flavor and texture in my mouth was incredible. It is the best Carbonara I ever had. Once broken and mixed in, the egg yolk gave the entire dish a silky, creamy texture that could not be beaten. I ordered the Lobster Risotto. Maine lobster risotto, arborio rice, brown butter-poached lobster, lobster veloute, chives. I have had various lobster dishes throughout New England and often have to hunt for the lobster supposedly on the plate. In the Lobster Risotto case, you could not take a bite without getting some lobster in it. It was worth every penny and more, AND we had to take some home because we were full! At the end of the meal, the owner came by and asked us how we liked our dinner. As I said, the service is superb, and this guy takes the fact that his name is over the front door very seriously. Oh, and at least I forget desert. My favorite dessert is tiramisu, and the one I was served is one of the best I have ever tasted. My wife had a box filled with Italian pastries and chocolate featuring a cannoli she raved about. In summary, Massimo is another example of excellent dining establishments in Portsmouth. I give it a solid ten and cannot wait until we have the opportunity to eat there again.More

Date of visit: December 2020
Reviewed December 11, 2020 via mobile

This a a gem. We had been out hiking & birding all day so we were hungry & looking for a casual place. The wine bar section of Massimo was perfect. We were greeted upon arrival & seated. All COVID precautions are followed. It is...a small intimate bar & simply perfect. There is a full bar with a talented barkeep. Staff brought menus, took our drink order promptly. The menu selections sounded so good it was difficult to choose. The brussel sprout appetizer was awesome. The scallops were perfectly prepared; pan seared, flavorful & tender. The pasta bolognese was exceptional. Service, food & presentation were impeccable. We loved Massimo.More

Date of visit: December 2020
Reviewed October 26, 2020 via mobile

We were very excited to get an outdoor reservation for as soon as they opened at 5pm on Sunday. We got there are were immediately greeted by the owner who sat us and turned on the heaters around us. It is such a beautiful atmosphere...and we felt safe and well taken care of the entire time. Now for the food, we loved everything we ordered but it’s really true what everyone says about the carbonara. The people sitting next to us got it also and had the same feelings as us. For our first trip to Portsmouth, we know we’ll be back with this restaurant as a staple on our agenda, it’s totally worth it!More

Date of visit: October 2020
Reviewed October 17, 2020

We enjoyed the freshness and high quality of the food we ate outside at Massimo. The barrata salad was delicious. The gnocchi dish had great flavor. Of course the tiramisu dessert is a must. Memorable experience.

Date of visit: October 2020
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Questions & Answers
Ask a question
February 16, 2018|
AnswerShow all 3 answers
Response from John H | Reviewed this property |
No, there are two sets of stairs, one short set to access the bar and a second long set to get to the restaurant that is below street level. I don’t recall seeing any handicap access features. I suggest you call to confirm.
March 26, 2017|
AnswerShow all 7 answers
Response from T4349TOinfo | Reviewed this property |
Their entrees vary from $20-$35. range .If you are looking for the best deal that they offer,try the Bistro Night on Thursday. It is a 3 course deal for $29.95.You get an appetizer,main meal and dessert.
Ellen S
October 3, 2016|
AnswerShow all 12 answers
Response from corianderchef2018 | Reviewed this property |
There's not a dress code, but I think you would want to look dressed up. The place is pretty elegant and I would hate to feel silly in anything less than nice jeans and a dress shirt.
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Frequently Asked Questions about Ristorante Massimo

  • Ristorante Massimo is rated accordingly in the following categories by Tripadvisor travelers:
    • Food: 4.5
    • Service: 4.5
    • Value: 4
    • Atmosphere: 4.5