Life by Lovejoy: A Q&A with Massimino’s Cucina Italiana Owner Paul D’Amore

Our Life by Lovejoy series features key figures in our neighborhood and offers an inside look at their businesses, favorite spots in the city, and most importantly, highlights why they love this area. Massimino’s Cucina Italiana has been a neighborhood classic for more than 30 years and serves authentic Italian cuisine just minutes from Lovejoy Wharf. The award-winning, family-owned restaurant hosts wine tasting dinners, private parties, and features a wine cellar offering nearly 70 different bottles. Our Luxury Attaché can arrange for Massimino’s to host and cater dinner parties at Lovejoy Wharf. We sat down with Owner Paul D’Amore to discuss what the neighborhood means to him and his favorite spots in the North End.

 Can you describe a moment of joy that you feel in our neighborhood?

I’d have to say walking through the neighborhood and reflecting over the years. It’s incredible to visit the same places that I used to go as a kid and are still in operation. For example, on Hanover Street there’s a pizza place called Umberto’s. I’ve been going there since I was a small child and it’s still operated by the same family. That’s a great thing to see.

What do you love most about what you do?

I’m able to create new things every single day, whether it’s new dishes, flavor palates, or curating the perfect wine pairing. Basically, I’m just like an artist!

 When I’m at the Harborwalk …

I feel relief because you can walk for miles. You can walk all the way to Cambridge or the opposite direction, all the way down to Fan Pier. You can see all of Boston on the Harborwalk.

Do you have a daily routine within the neighborhood?

I have a strong daily ritual. I start my day by shopping for my restaurant at local places throughout the city. Then, I enjoy an espresso in the local coffee shops on Hanover Street, such as Caffé Vittoria. Afterwards, I walk back down the road and get my bread for the day for the restaurant.

A delicious pasta dish at Massimino’s

Do you have any insider tips or facts that most people don’t know about the neighborhood?

There are close to 100 restaurants in the North End, but only a dozen or so are family run. And it just so happens, that these are all the best restaurants in the neighborhood!

 How would you define luxury?

Whether it’s big or small, luxury is having everything you want at your fingertips.

 When you return to this neighborhood after being away what’s the first thing that comes to mind?

I love coming home to my roots here in the North End. The neighborhood has such a community feel – you know everybody. Just walking from one side of the neighborhood to another, which should be a 10-minute walk, can take me an hour because I run into so many people I know.

 People say that being near water has a certain magnetic pull and a certain therapeutic effect. Describe a moment when you felt that way.

Absolutely, feng shui comes to mind when I go down by the water. It’s so relaxing and puts you in a different headspace. I’m very lucky that the water is only a stone’s throw away.

The intimate wine cellar and downstairs dining and event space at Massimino’s

 How do you see this neighborhood changing in exciting and new ways?

The neighborhood has changed dramatically since I was a little boy. There has been such an influx of new and different types of people including college students, young professionals and people from all over the world.

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