In 1994, Massimo Morgia opened the doors of Ristorante Massimo, celebrating his lifetime dream of running his own upscale and truly authentic Italian restaurant. Born in Italy and growing up with a first-generation Italian family in America, he envisioned a restaurant that felt like it belonged in his hometown of Portecorvo. Massimo believed then, and still today, that a guest’s experience should mirror a Sunday meal at the Morgia home – earnest preparation, the freshest ingredients, plenty of laughter, love, and hospitality.
In 2017, another dream of Massimo’s was fulfilled by acquiring a ground level space, providing the opportunity to create another dining room for more casual fare. This is known as Upstairs at Massimo’s. Depending upon your mood, today you can have a tuxedo service formal dining experience at Ristorante Massimo, or lighter fare with a more vibrant atmosphere at Upstairs at Massimo’s. In either case, you’ll discover the same authentic Italian cuisine accompanied by exceptional service and hospitality.
After the Great Fire of 1813, the federal style building was erected at the corner of Penhallow Street (then Ark Street) and Daniel Street. It originally served as the federal government’s Custom House from 1816-1850. The ground-level floor housed the Post Office, while the lower level was the Custom’s Office. Today the original restaurant, occupies the former Custom’s Office space. Some of the details still remain from 1816 including elegant brick arches containing wooden sunbursts set in plaster, exposed wooden beams, mahogany finished walls, and the large cellar arch once built to support a vault fitted with double iron doors. As you approach the restaurant, be sure to notice for a marble headstone carved with the words “Custom House” set above the second story level in 1838.
The collaboration between restaurateur Massimo Morgia and Executive Chef Jethro Loichle has earned the respect of culinary peers and experts far and wide. Ristorante Massimo has received numerous honors and accolades. Most recently, Taste Magazine’s Best Restaurant in 2019 and Most Romantic Restaurant. Wine Spectator bestowed their Award of Excellence, Food & Wine Magazine awarded Ristorante Massimo the Most Romantic Restaurant of NH in 2019, and Phantom Gourmet’s Gourmet Greatness.
World-Class Italian Cuisine
Ristorante Massimo considers Italian food an art form and our passion is to create the ultimate dining experience as if it were a brilliant painting. It is a restaurant that offers authentic dishes from all regions of Italy: colorful antipasti; a variety of cheeses; crispy, warm Italian bread; homemade pastas; tender beef, pork, and poultry dishes; succulent seafood; seasonal vegetables; luscious desserts; Italian coffees—all artistically presented by our executive chef and our skilled staff—the truly talented artists behind the dining masterpieces.
Service isn’t an afterthought. It’s intrinsic to the best restaurants. It sets superior restaurants apart and makes the best bistros buzz. Our guests may not be aware of the lengths we go to ensure the best possible dining experience—but they appreciate it. Our skilled and thoughtful waitstaff is deeply attuned to the emotional experience of our customers. A romantic first date, a wedding anniversary, a business meeting, a family reunion—each customer receives the kind of first-class hospitality found in the world’s finest restaurants.