Ristorante Massimo

Ristorante Massimo    
59 Penhallow Street   
Portsmouth, NH 03801   
(603) 436-4000   

Est. 1994   



Ristorante Massimo

Staff Profiles

Massimo Morgia, Proprietor

Behind every successful restaurant is a creative artist, a caring leader, and a person with an unparalleled passion for delighting guests with the ultimate dining experience possible.

Born in Pontecorvo, Italy, proprietor Massimo Morgia has traveled extensively and mastered the art of authentic Italian cuisine and the genius of outstanding hospitality. "Growing up, every Sunday dinner was a feast. Everything was fresh and purchased that day from different, local specialty Italian markets." Massimo's family also picked their own tomatoes, jarred their own sauce, made cheese, and cured their own meats. To this day, his family still harvests their own tomatoes. "Eating wasn't just part of our day, it was the core occasion around which our entire family worked, gathered, shared, laughed, and lived," explains Massimo.

Massimo began working in the kitchen of his brother-in-law's North Shore seafood restaurant at age 13 before moving on to maître d' and manage all aspects of several prominent, four-star restaurants, including the exclusive Ipswich Country Club and Ponte Vecchio at the Wentworth Marina in New Castle, New Hampshire.

In 1994, he became co-owner of Anthony Alberto's Ristorante Italiano where he was instrumental in building the restaurant's culinary reputation. Acquiring full ownership of the establishment in 2003, celebrate his long-time dream of running his own elegant, unique, and truly sophisticated Italian restaurant.

Massimo remains inspired by his love of Italian food, the brilliance of his staff, and perhaps most important-by his satisfied guests. "When a guest seeks me out after dinner to tell me he absolutely loved every minute of his experience—that is the highest compliment any proprietor could receive. It honors our artistic work, reflects our strength of character, and is a source of pride for every single person on our staff."

Massimo Morgia, Proprietor

One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well. -Virginia Woolf

Jethro Loichle, Executive Chef

From a very early age, Jethro always had a love for fresh food. He grew up enjoying tomatoes and vegetables harvested from his family's organic farm and learned how to cook and combine ingredients that delighted and amazed his family.

With important, practical culinary knowledge and a passionate obsession for high standards, Jethro began working at a local restaurant in his hometown of Lakewood, New Jersey when he was 16. Intrigued by the chef's creations in the kitchen and inspired by their camaraderie, Jethro decided to begin a career as an apprentice chef and quickly absorbed everything his mentors taught him.

In 2003, Jethro became sous chef at 98 Provence in Ogunquit, Maine. There, he honed his culinary knowledge by helping create and maintain a comprehensive, changing menu. He then joined the 100 Club-a private restaurant and club in Portsmouth, New Hampshire-before Massimo sought him out, inviting him to be the restaurant's executive chef in 2005.

At Ristorante Massimo, he continues his passion for the culinary arts through a combination of experimentation and dedication that renders truly original, unique, and "soulful" Italian cuisine. Insisting on the freshest seasonal ingredients, Jethro pleases discriminating palates with delicious, rich flavor combinations.

Jethro's harmonious approach to flavor, intuitive cooking ability, and wealth of culinary knowledge remain a source of pride and a constant amazement to Ristorante Massimo staff and guests alike. Jethro is described as someone who spends every waking moment of his day thinking about ingredients, creating dishes, preparing food, and delighting guests.

"The atmosphere at Ristorante Massimo feels like home," he explains. "And that enables me to use my experience in the culinary field to teach others, share what I've learned, and continue to learn through doing."

Jethro Loichle, Executive Chef

I want to be the best that I can be and let everyone share in my growth because a true chef never stops learning.

© Ristorante Massimo