According to the NRA (National Restaurant Association), Virginia ranks 13th in the country for having the most restaurants per capita. Narrow that statistic down to cities with the highest number of restaurants per capita, and Richmond makes the top ten. Maybe that’s why Maximo Mozo and partner Nick Rossicci decided to open a tapas bar and Italian bistro in Shockoe Bottom in the dead heat of one hot summer. They knew Richmonders would support good food.
Maximo’s restaurant offers something different for the Bottom. The dining room is one part Spanish tapas bistro with high tables overlooking a full bar and the city streets, and one part sit-down Italian dining room, serving homemade pasta and Italian specialties to diners on plush banquettes.
At a recent soft opening for the restaurant, the two chefs demonstrated their double talents. Chef Maximo, originally from a small town outside Madrid, Spain, sent nibbles of white anchovies, breaded and fried codfish croquettes made creamy with béchamel and fried potatoes topped with brava sauce, a spicy, tomatoey sauce borrowed from his Castilian grandmother, a longtime chef in Madrid who passed on her recipes to her grandson.
Chef Rossicci wooed the table with homemade fettucine noodles topped with langoustine, an oversized shrimp reaching rock lobster proportions. Our table couldn’t resist chef’s man-sized lasagna, rich with meat and cream, that we swore we were too full to finish.
Both grazers and the ravenous will be satisfied with the bifurcated menu at Maximo’s, a welcome addition to the Shockoe Bottom neighborhood of Richmond, and new home to both of the restaurant’s owners. In addition to their lunch and dinner menus, Maximo’s offers Happy Hour Tues- Friday from 5pm to 7pm and a wicked Sunday brunch, featuring paella from their dinner menu as a special, Spanish egg dishes and Italian main courses.
14 North 18th Street | Richmond, VA 23223
- Tuesday-Thursday – 11:30 a.m. – 2 p.m. & 5 – 10 p.m.
- Friday – 11:30 a.m. – 2 p.m. & 5 – 10 p.m.
- Saturday – 5 – 11 p.m.
- Sunday Brunch – 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Genevelyn Steele gets a rush from the kitchen. She loves its erratic hours, theatre of polite chaos and working with committed cooks who respect natural order and simplicity. She’s worked in the restaurant industry for 22 years.