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“Italian Food to Die For”

Massimo Italian Bar & Grill
Ranked #16 of 116 Restaurants in Gig Harbor
Certificate of Excellence
Cuisines: Italian
Dining options: Reservations
Restaurant details
Dining options: Reservations
Reviewed March 2, 2013

Here you'll find a real Italian chef that's got garlic and knows how to use it! What it lacks in expensive decor it makes up for when that first forkful hits your tastebuds.

It starts with the oh-my-god-this-is-so-good dipping oil. (The first time I had this, I literally drank what was left of the three servings of it I had.) It's slightly hot from the crushed red peppers and very garlic-y. The bread is not what it used to be (tiny slices of dry bread compared to the luscious fresh bread they used to provide), but you'd rip the tongue out of your shoe to dip it into this oil and not complain.

Their chicken marsala ($14.95) is the best you will ever eat. On a bed of fettucine, the breast is covered in mushrooms and simply the best creamy marsala sauce I've had. It comes with a salad and cooked spinach that was pretty tasty.

If you think you'd never order spaghetti in a restaurant because you eat it all the time at home, reconsider. It's $9.95 and for $2.50 extra you get the most deliciously seasoned meatballs of all time.

The pizza is pretty good, lighter than most American pizzerias and the crust is good enough to eat by itself.

There is a water view, but it's not like Mt. Rainier or the Space Needle, so it lost some points on romance because of the tough competition. The atmosphere - it's just "okay". It is too old of a building to be "nice" and not old enough to be trendy. Sometimes the noise level is fine and others it gets pretty noisy (based on whether someone brought a large group).

Go here for a great dinner and take your friends, but don't try to put on the dog here - it's more of a nice neighborhood eatery.

This is not for you if it's the biggest night of your life and you thought there'd be linen (there isn't). Don't go here if you and your friends are wearing formals and tuxedos and arriving in a limo.

Special Note: If you're not a big fan of garlic tell your server because some of the sauces are made just for your specific plate of food and you can request less garlic. The marinara and meat sauce are made ahead and the garlic in those is not negotiable.

I've been there five times and not had to wait more than 1 minute for someone to greet me.

DO go here if you want a really good meal for under $20 and you don't want to drive to Tacoma or Silverdale.

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Thank writerintheforest
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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99 - 103 of 122 reviews

Reviewed February 19, 2013

It makes me a little sad to write a negative review but this was honestly the most expensive bad experience I've had.
We were completely ignored in the lobby while the host was on the phone at the end of the bar. The chef walked past and into the dining room at least a half dozen times ignoring us. When the host did seat us he did so so hurriedly that it was rude.
Waitress came by quickly to take our drink order, which is the only positive we experienced.
She never offered or brought bread to our table. Our food was presented nicely although my linguine del golfo had very little flavor, my boyfriend ordered the halibut with marinara. The halibut tasted so fishy he couldn't eat it. At one point the host and the chef argued openly in the dining room. The entire experience was awful and a waste of $100

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Thank brewhaha2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 29, 2012

While the menu is not what I'd call "inspiring," it is well-crafted and tasty and is certainly the best available Italian food in Gig Harbor or Port Orchard.

They have a full (but not overwhelming), wine list and a menu of food that extends beyond the "standard" Italian eats (i.e., spaghetti, lasagna, chicken parmigana) without being completely foreign to American diners. The regular menu includes gnocchi, cannelloni (my personal favorite), and chicken saltimbocca.

The desserts are not all prepared in-house, so you will find offerings similar to Il Lucano (they use the same vendor), such as the Limoncello Flute (YUM!). However, at Massimo you get a better overall experience for both food and atmosphere.

Service has been pleasant and friendly in both the dining room and in the small bar area, though the wait staff in the dining room can sometimes lack efficiency.

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1  Thank Kris_K_D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 19, 2012

We are very new to the area, having recently moved from upstate NY. This s a nice spot, larger than it appears from the outside. We went once for dinner and once for Pizza. Although it was motNY stule pizza, it was still good and tasty. We were pleasantly surprised by oth the yumminess of the food and the smallness of the bill.
We enjoyed it very much and will likely make this a regular stop

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Thank dee2673
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 14, 2012

Wow, very nice view (right on the water at Henderson Bay). Try to get there before the sun sets. Their Italian food is more northern and offers many fish dishes. My personal taste leans more toward American flavor, (garlic bread, rich meat sauce, etc.) so let your taste for Italian food be your guide. Be sure to request a booth along the window as some of the window settings are tables with uncomfortable chairs.

1  Thank Star333
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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