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“Perhaps the best in Portsmouth” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Ristorante Massimo

Ristorante Massimo
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Ranked #5 of 199 Restaurants in Portsmouth
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $31 - $50
Cuisines: Italian
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Special occasions, Local cuisine, Business meetings, Romantic
Dining options: Dinner, Late Night, Full Bar, Private Dining, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Valet Parking, Waitstaff
Dining style: Fine Dining
Cross street: State Street
Level Contributor
8 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Perhaps the best in Portsmouth”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 24, 2012

This may be the best restaurant in Portsmouth, rivaled only by Mombos. Tucked away in the basement of an older building (aren't they all in Portsmouth ;-)) the decor is very elegant and warm. Tables are comfortably separated for some privacy and there are a few two person tables in old coal bins! Service is outstanding starting with Massimo himself. I love someone who enjoys his job and takes pride in it. Food is eclectic Italian and always interesting and well prepared. A tad pricey but really not bad. Deserts not quite up to the quality of the other meal components but still pretty good. All in all a great dining experience! Highly recommended!

  • Visited September 2012
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank Da-lug
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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475 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    345
    81
    30
    14
    5
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
New Hampshire
Level Contributor
20 reviews
7 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Disappointed”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 23, 2012

My husband and I and 2 friends were guests at this restaurant last night. While the atmosphere gets five stars, the food doesn't, nor does the service. We arrived almost on time, as we had trouble finding a place to park on a busy Portsmouth Saturday night. We were shown immediately to our table as we had a reservation. The restaurant itself is beautiful, perfect for making a grand impression. We had to wait several minutes for our waiter to come. He was very nice and personable. After serving us water, we again had to wait maybe 10 minutes for our menus and then even longer for our drinks. The meal progressed that way, with the longest wait being about a half hour for our entrees. The entire meal was 3 hours and 15 minutes. While we all enjoy a leisurely meal, this was way too long. The restaurant did not seem to be overly crowded, so we had trouble understanding why it was so slow.

On to the meal - in a word, bland. We all know good food, and while the premise of the offerings was good, the execution was not. I had the arugula and fig salad, which was ok, but mediocre, and my husband's spinach appetizer was small but well prepared. It was maybe 3 bites. The best item on the menu that night was the Chet's special butternut squash soup. Really good and really rich. The oyster appetizer was ok, but not impressive. Except for the oysters, all portions were on the small side, definitely not large enough to share if you were so inclined.

I had the gnocchi and beef primo for my entree. It was bland. The dumplings were not good and I, who never add salt to anything, added salt just to give the dish some flavor. The meat portion was decent, but not as flavorful as it could have been. Thank goodness we still had bread left, as we all had it to fill us up! My husband had the duck entree, which he said was just bland. There were only 2 ravioli and there was nothing else to give the dish body. There was a good amount of duck, though, he said. Our companions had the shrimp entree which she said was good but very rich, and her husband had the steak, which was large and looked to be cooked to perfection.

Dessert was, I'm sorry to say, not good. My husband and I split the plum tart, which was insipid and the plums tasteless. The crust of the tart was very good. Very disappointing, overall. Our companion had the chocolate cake which was ok, but nothing special, according to his wife.

We will not be going back to this restaurant, especially since our meal was nearly $250 without tip. We definitely did not get our money's worth. It' s miss for us. Too bad. We need fancy restaurants but this isn't it.

  • Visited September 2012
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
1 Thank LoulouNH
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New Hampshire
Level Contributor
44 reviews
26 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“Italian at its finest!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 18, 2012

Now, I'm 100% Italiano and I have to tell you, next to dining in my own kitchen this is the place to be. Food, outstanding. Most romantic dining establishment in Portsmouth. A little pasta, a little wine, magic happens. Ciao baby!

Visited September 2012
Helpful?
Thank JoeNH
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tortola
Level Contributor
31 reviews
24 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Best food, service and atmosphere in the Seacoast for years”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 16, 2012

I have eaten here a few times per year since 1995. It has always had excellent food, extensive wine list and good recommendations from Massimo himself, fine service, and a quiet atmosphere.
A couple can reserve the coal bin (now very clean) for a sense of privacy. The only drawback is a long entrance staircase.

  • Visited June 2012
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank dhk365
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dover, New Hampshire
Level Contributor
65 reviews
46 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“Last night in Portsmouth...'bella noce'(?)”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 3, 2012

Wonderful, out of the way. Dressier than most restaurants in Portsmouth. Not run of the mill 'Italian restaurant' food. I had fried oysters over chickpea salad as an appetizer...superb! My husband was looking for typical 'Italian restaurant' fare; the concierge at our hotel called and ... voila! His request was served to him for dinner! We both enjoyed this place and the staff, immensely. I highly recommend for an out of the ordinary 'Italian restaurant' dining experience.

Visited August 2012
Helpful?
2 Thank M L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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