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Restaurants & Bars

[Portsmouth] Massimo

Harters | May 27, 2012 02:16 AM

Thursday night is “bistro night” at Massimo’s, which means that, in addition to their main menu, there’s a short fixed price one, offering three courses at just under $30. With such a bargain on offer, it was a little surprising that only a few tables were occupied. Did the locals know something we didn’t? Had we simply picked a “wrong ‘un” for a good dinner?

Well, no, the was no problem. Dinner was good. Not outstanding, even for this price point, but pretty good.

Beef featured in both of my partner’s savoury courses. To start, ravioli filled with a little meat and served with a tomato sauce. It came topped with a little frisee and a sprinkle of Parmesan. A good, simple, enjoyable bowl of food.

Gnocchi, light as a feather, formed the centrepiece of the main course. They came with long cooked beef, braised in Chianti.

My own starter, a shrimp bruschetta was also simplicity itself. Two overly thin slices of bread, each topped with a tomato dice and a couple of jumbo shrimp. There was also a couple of dabs of avocado mousse, which added absolutely nothing.

To follow, chicken cooked in a Milanese style – i.e. coated in breadcrumbs and fried. This was very well executed – the chicken moist and tasty; the coating crisp and not oily. Alongside, a few slices of potato and a couple of baby carrots and courgettes.

Desserts were a bit of a disappointment. But then, desserts are very often a bit of a disappointment. Pear, poached in port, came with a tuile biscuit and butterscotch ice crea. It was light and OK but just a bit, erm boring. Cannoli for me. One stuffed with a lemony ricotta. The other filled with a chocolate cream. They weren’t a particularly good texture, nor were they particularly good flavours in themselves – and the two didn’t work too well on the plate.

Front of house service was fine and the delays between courses arriving were obviously down to some dilatory work in the kitchen.

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