Who we are
Just step inside Massimo’s, with its well-finished yet easygoing spaces and the smells of true Italian cooking, and you will feel a bit at home. This is because of the hard work of the owner of the restaurant, Massimo Lapeschi, which can be summarized in two words: quality and tradition. He is personally responsible for the selection of the ingredients and the choice of menu, with recipes from the deepest culinary traditions of the different regions of Italy, and everything at Massimo’s, from bread and desserts to pasta, is rigorously hand-made.
Massimo Lapeschi, what is unique about your restaurant?
Since the very first day, we have founded our cuisine on the choice of traditional quality Italian products, especially those that are part of “everyday” traditional cooking, not overly sophisticated or refined. In simpler terms, you can eat at Massimo’s like you would eat at home. Our menu starts from the typical, and simple, true Italian ingredients. Of course, we also cater to the asks of our different customers, Italian and international, but we never gave up on our initial concept: starting, as I said, from the raw materials to prepare real dishes.
How does the kitchen operate?
Regardless of the chef, who is always Italian, we have developed our own recipes and always check each and every one of our products, which I buy personally. Both the ingredients as well as the dishes are the restaurant’s, and we control and test them with great attention and care. You see, our commitment, our guiding principle, is, first and foremost, quality. So if, for example, we hire a new chef, he or she will initially have to conform to our existing ingredients and recipes and only later, should there be a chance to propose innovations, will these be looked at and finally introduced.
You have achieved the “Italian Hospitality” certification, what does this tell us?
Following an initiative of the Chamber of Commerce, distinguished restaurants are nominated for the certification. Following this, an ad hoc commission looks at different parameters: hospitality, does the restaurant truly meet the requirements of an Italian restaurant, for example ownership, and, most of all, it looks at the ingredients used and the recipes of the menu, which must come from Italian tradition. In other words, the restaurant must honor the standards of an Italian restaurant that follows the tradition of Italian restaurants worldwide. All documentation is sent to Rome where, if it is approved, the restaurant will achieve the certification.
Let’s talk about the menu: which traditional dishes do you offer?
We have quite a nice choice of dishes. We choose the best, and most popular, recipes from the different regions of Italy. As starters we offer vitello tonnato (veal in tuna sauce) from Piedmont, parmigiana (fried aubergines further cooked with tomato sauce and cheese) according to Neapolitan tradition, avocado and salmon tartare, one of our bestsellers, arancini (a typical dish from Sicily, fried rice balls stuffed with cheese and meat), carpaccio (thin slices of raw meat or fish, usually garnished with oil and parmesan cheese). As entrées we offer risotto alla Milanese (saffron risotto), paccheri (a kind of large, cylindrical pasta) Sicilian style, traditional lasagna, but also hand-made ravioli and tortelli (both are a kind of stuffed pasta). And, of course, pizza, made with top quality flour, including a kind that is 100% whole wheat, leavened slowly (for 24-36 hours), by using very small amounts of yeast to make the dough soft and light. As main courses we have some excellent filets, as well as daily fresh fish; for example, our salmon comes directly from Scotland. And finally the desserts, all hand made. We don’t buy anything prepackaged, we even make our own bread.
You have chosen a really nice location, in the heart of the Marina
That’s right, the ambience and atmosphere of our restaurant are very much appreciated by our customers, especially the terrace overlooking the water. We are in the heart of the Marina, on Park Island, and yet far away from the chaos, on the sea among lighted palms. Usually in the Marina people have to eat at narrow tables, on uncomfortable chairs, all crammed together and with crowds walking in front of you all the time. Here, on the other hand, there is plenty of room, a fantastic view, and you can easily spend an entire evening chatting with friends.
Do you offer delivery service?
We are one of the few Italian restaurants to offer full service: pizzeria, traditional restaurant, and delivery. We also have full catering service, on yachts or for special events. And I must point out that people can also order online using our App and our Web site.
What are your plans for the future?
We are working on a new menu, which we will launch after Summer is over, and we are also planning to open branches in other parts of town.