New York in Walnut Creek

Massimo Ristorante in Walnut Creek is one of our favorite places.  We eat there often, not only because it is perfectly located across the street from the Lesher Center.  The owner/host in his impeccable suit, the dark wood, low lighting and the man at the piano all combine to make me think of Manhattan every time–this place makes you feel sophisticated just by being there.

You feel warm and rich just being here.

You feel warm and rich just being here.

There is another New York touch, too.  The signature salad of Massimo is a Waldorf—apples, grapes and walnuts with a rich dressing.  I have it every time.

Waldorf Salad

Waldorf Salad

Getting photos is hard–the lighting is very dim.  Probably not the best place to bring the little kids or grandkids, but wonderful for adults who savor a romantic atmosphere.

The Northern Italian menu has a decent selection of pastas, meats and fish, prepared with tomatoes, oregano, basil and expertise. I had fish:

Chilean Sea Bass, angel hair primavera and lemon beurre blanc

Chilean Sea Bass, angel hair primavera and lemon beurre blanc

We’re quick to complain if the food isn’t hot when it gets to the table–not a problem here.  The pan-seared bass arrived so hot it burned me, which isn’t a complaint.  The angel hair pasta was excellent with the beurre blanc.

Gail wishes I would serve more veal at home, but how can I compete with this?

Veal Piccata

Veal Piccata

Veal, capers and lemon–Gail was in heaven.  She asked to have the mashed potatoes instead of the linguine, and there was no problem.  We’ve seen places that refuse to make alterations because they “would harm the integrity of the dish”, but have never been impressed by that argument.  The customer is always right, and Massimo does everything they can to accommodate.

Service here is very professional.  Nothing casual, no “Hi!! My name is Joe and I’ll be your server.”  Sometimes the old-fashioned ways are the best.  Massimo is successful because it provides a very good meal, with solid expert service, in a warm and inviting facility perfectly located.  I don’t think you can ask for anything more.

If you get on their mailing list, they’ll send you a free dinner for your birthday.  Of course, you have to remember to give them the coupon before you get out of the restaurant and back to your car.  Don’t ask me how I know this.
Massimo Ristorante on Urbanspoon

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