Restaurant Review

Restaurants with a view typically charge too much for mediocre service and food.  This is a reality I’ve experienced time and time again.  Oh, there are exceptions to be sure, but they are few and far between.  But I like waterfront dining, so I suck it up.  One spot that bucks the trend is Massimo Italian Grill (13802 Purdy Dr NW, Gig Harbor, WA - ).  The address says Gig Harbor, but I put it squarely in Purdy – about a 15 minute drive from Tacoma.  As the name might suggest, it is a pretty casual Italian restaurant.  I like their Pizza – it is thin crust and totally worth eating.  Other fare is pretty standard, although their pasta puttanesca is a standout (a dish heavy on flavor, with a few different origin stories, all of which are great tales).  The prices are reasonable, which is pleasant.  Recently, my son and I split the calamari appetizer, the crostini di prosciutto, the insalata mediterraneo, and a small margarita pizza – a quite enjoyable meal.  Like most restaurants, the appetizers and worth your attention.  This was a great destination when I had small kids.  First off, kids love pasta – no denying that.  And the restaurant is right on the beach next to the Purdy Bridge, so after you order, you can play around on the beach while you wait for your food.  I also love this restaurant at high tide on a  stormy day.  When our dominant Southwesterly wind comes howling up Carr Inlet at high tide, the waves crash on the bulkhead sending sea spray  onto the huge, South facing windows.  And there I am, Chianti in hand, appreciating nature’s fury from a toasty seat by the fireplace, both the wine, and me, nice and dry.  The restaurant has been a few things over the years – Pearls by the Sea when  I was a kid, a brief stint as The Beach House (a Gordon Naccarato effort), until finally the owners of Il Terracciano (an Italian place in Gig Harbor proper) decided to move to a waterfront location – and Massimo was born.  They also have a deck, for those balmy summer days.  So, make a little trek out of Tacoma to a relaxing lunch or dinner, with food you’ll enjoy, in a location well worth the drive.       

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