Massimo's: Reviews

Save ArticleSave Article

Failed to save article

Please try again

This article is more than 8 years old.

Massimo's: Reviews | restaurant info + video | full episode video

Victoria Clinton
Name: Victoria
Occupation: Executive Assistant
Location: Fremont
Favorite Restaurant: Massimo's
Reviewed Massimo's: Saturday, December 7, 2013

Family run for over 45 years, you’re greeted like family when you arrive and anticipate your next visit when you leave. The place is full of regulars and visiting business people or family, genuinely appreciative of great food. The décor is warm and inviting, with even a fireplace in the lounge. It’s beautifully designed with soft music surrounding you only to be outdone by warmth and laughter, feeling very Italian, just like family. The freshest ingredients combined with the love of good food guarantee the best dining experience every time.

You never saw a thicker, juicier, tastier Veal Chop in your life! Don’t try this at home, you can’t beat it! And their signature Rigatoni alla Massimo is the freshest, creamiest pasta ever! The bread is always soft and warm, freshly baked and tastes best without the butter or olive oil/balsamic vinegar they provide. Enough said. But I forgot to tell you about the tableside flaming desserts – Cherries Jubilee and Bananas Foster. Such spectacular presentations set on fire and so delicious, old school and memorable! But my favorite is the Tiramisu, which the owners replicated from an original Italian recipe they brought back from Italy that rivals none! Portion size and value? Big enough to split or share, better to take home for later, worth every lira! My longtime, all-time favorite, always fabulous! They never miss a beat. It’s timeless tradition with new changes. They still prepare some food tableside, so entertaining and passionate! Consistent tried and true favorites combined with new special offerings. Authentic, great quality and service every single time. Ciao, bella!

Chris Gerben
Name: Chris
Occupation: Stanford Professor
Location: San Francisco
Favorite Restaurant: Baker Street Bistro
Reviewed Massimo's: Thursday, December 12, 2013


Massimo’s is an island in a parking lot. Surrounded by national chains and small local shops, you wouldn’t expect upscale dining, but this is exactly what the restaurant aspires to inside its beige nondescript exterior. The menu is best described, perhaps, as old school. We ordered Calamari Fritti, a Warm Spinach Salad, and even a Chicken Picatta in line with this traditional vibe. But our order of the Crab Spaghetti stole the show. Though it was crab season when we went, you’d never find a dish this decadent and this overflowing with actual fresh crab meat for this price in San Francisco. The sauce was so buttery and the portion so large that we could only finish a portion of it. But what we did have almost justified our long drive across the Bay.

In the end what separates a place like this from other fine dining in the area is the people. This place feels alive and lived in: we were warmly greeted at the door and put at a table even though it was busy and we had no reservations, the staff was professional but still took time to talk to us and compliment our infant daughter, and there were no less than three birthday parties and one reunion within twenty feet of our table. People were here because they wanted to be with others and they wanted to be happy. It’s impossible to hate on something like that. Massimo’s is indeed an island in a Fremont parking lot, but it’s the most sincere island I’ve been to since emigrating from the Midwest.

Rebecca Cervantes
Name: Rebecca
Occupation: Cross Cultural Educator and Dance Teacher
Location: San Francisco
Favorite Restaurant: Old Jerusalem Restaurant
Reviewed Massimo's: Saturday, December 7, 2013

Massimo's is an old school Italian American restaurant with deep leather booths and an atmosphere somewhere between upscale and casual. There are 2 separate eating areas-the more staid and quiet Dining Room and the warmer and livelier Lounge.

The food is traditional Italian American cuisine, and for the most part, executed very well. The portions were big, without being supersized. We started with the Beef Carpaccio, which was pounded nice and thin, but a bit caper-heavy. We also had the Crab and Artichoke Fondue, which was a little salty and light on the crab. The Wedge suffered from a watery, bland dressing. The star of the show was Massimo’s Famous Caesar Salad, prepared tableside by Ramon Garcia, from all raw ingredients (nothing premade) in a wooden bowl. The flavors were perfectly balanced and it was worth the $20 you have to spend (you need to order at least 2 per table) to watch his quiet attention to detail. All of the entrees were brilliantly executed, save the Chicken Parmigiana (which was a little bland). We shared the Veal Picatta, Cedar Planked Salmon Fillet and one of the specials—Sea Bass Saltimbocca. I would recommend any of those three. The seasonal vegetables were cooked perfectly al dente and the risotto (served with the Veal Picatta) was amazing. We also shared the Fettuccini Carbonara-another standout, and the Crab and Spaghetti, which had plenty of crab. For dessert, we had the Bananas Foster, also expertly fired up tableside by Ramon Garcia, with his 40 plus years of experience.

The wine list was predictable and somewhat overpriced, but adequate. We ordered by the glass.

The service was attentive, the ambiance was friendly and overall the food was delicious and filling. Massimo’s is the place to go when you want to splurge on classic Italian American cuisine in a warm, inviting, attentive environment.