Il Massimo Ristorante (Providence, Rhode Island)

Right after Old Canteen if you’re coming from Hilton Providence, There is a not-so-hidden (Italian Restaurant) gem in Federal Hill and it’s called Massimo.

I’ve been to Massimo a few years back and my unsophisticated palate was awaken. So to say that, “it is imperative for an encore” is an understatement.

As there is a comeback of “Tuesdates” in our lives, Hubsy and I cruised along Fed Hill looking for parking spots but decided that complimentary parking makes so much sense to The Pennypinchers.

Our extremely untidy Toyota Yaris’ key was handed to the Valet, he eagerly opened my door (possibly taken by my beauty 🤮) and saw the clutter-fuck called the insides of our car. I got out of the car, Hubsy opened restaurant door for me and we were greeted by a young gentleman at the Host stand. “Table for 2, no reservations.” I said. He picked up the menu and mouthed, “follow me.”

We were ushered to a table at the back of their Bread mise (located posh-ly in the middle of the restaurant) we were greeted with a dash of coldness whenever the door opens but other than that, still a comfortable table.

We were given bread and ratatouille (which I surprisingly liked) and realized that they still have the Restaurant Week Menu.

The Gods of Frugality descended. I ordered a bottle of San Pellegrino Sparkling water because I rarely drink alcoholic beverages anymore.

We placed our order and enjoyed the bread. The very tall waiter was pleasant and polite, did not indulge us with BS, possibly because we have the aura of, Do not bullshit a bullshitter. That kind of vibe never encourage small talk, because we are talkative as an individual and talkative as a couple. Together we are a combo of convo-huggers.

Hubsy was not comfortable being at Massimo wearing regular jeans and NYPD shirt he bought when we were in Times Square with The Salazar’s a few years back. I told him, he looked cute, which he does with a newly trimmed beard.

And before we knew it, our gustatory journey transpired:

Hubsy’s choice of Antipasti:

Insalata di Spinaci (baby spinach, caramelized onion, gorgonzola, candied walnuts, pancetta, balsamic vinaigrette)

My choice of Antipasti:

Insalata Verde (farm salad of mixed greens, seasonal vegetables, grana padano, white balsamic vinaigrette)

Hubsy’s choice of Piatti Principali:

Alla Parmigiana (breaded and pan fried eggplant, mozzarella, tomato sauce, rigatoni)

My choice of Piatti Principali:

Risotto ai Gamberi (gulf shrimp, mascarpone risotto, sun-dried tomatoes, english peas)

Hubsy’s choice of Dolce:

Cannolo (housemade cream, crushed pistachio)

My choice of Dolce:

Tiramisu (espresso soaked lady fingers and mascarpone)

Hubsy’s verdict:

He loves the greens but he felt it needed a raspberry vinaigrette. He has much refined palate so he can express his feelings better but today he was a little off and just gives me mono-syllabic answers.

He also felt that his 🍆 could’ve used a little bit more time in the oven and I got a feeling he did not fully like it because he stopped eating after a few bites and decided for to-go box. To be fair, it was a big portion.

He inhaled his dessert. Literally. 🤣 He need not enunciate his feelings as the empty plate in a matter of seconds proved it was to his liking.

My verdict:

I loved my mixed greens for a starter (antipasti) because I don’t really like salads. But the very first salad I really liked was also here in Massimo a few years back. You can taste freshness in every bite.

My Main course (piatti principali) was a delight. It was quite a big serving and the shrimp was cooked to perfection. I’m not a big risotto fan because I want my risotto to a point of almost over-cooked but that’s just my Asian palate speaking. I enjoyed the taste but the next time I come here, I probably will try something else.

Now my dessert (dolce) is a different story. It made my heart skipped a bit. The taste was so divine, the juxtaposition of the mascarpone and espresso stimulated my palate to no end. This, I was never going to share.

Hubsy asked for the check and we paid roughly $70 (thank you Restaurant Week) including tax and tips.

We will definitely be back in a few months and I will try different dishes. You see, I was never adventurous when it comes to food but this year I would like to have an open mind. 🤞🏼

Tuesdates occurs twice a month on a restaurant and twice a month at 🏡 because we also love to cook for each other.

Thank you for taking time to join us on our Tuesdates. 🙏🏼😘

(Cat eye by Sunnies, denim takeout box by Pop & Suki, jeans by Kensie, black turtleneck by Verve Ami, camel booties by Steve Madden and cardis by Cynthia Rowley)