Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Max's Wine Dive

There was some speculation after Jonathan Jones left Max’s Wine Dive for Beaver’s last year that Max’s was done. The venerable restaurant shot out of the gate as the front runner for fun when it first opened and won rave reviews for its large portions of updated comfort food. Could it maintain its flava’?

I was pleased to discover last night that Max’s is still going strong under chef Michael dei Maggi. The new-look menu features several of the old favorites: gator bites, braised short ribs, kobe beef burger, truffled “max and cheese,” and the ever-famous haute dog. It is the additions, though, that speak volumes. While the escargot seems out of place, the remaining items flow smoothly into the Max’s niche: kicked-up comfort.

We started with the warm spinach salad, served with a smooth balsamic vinaigrette and loaded with autumn fruits like prunes, raisins, and huckleberries. That’s right, huckleberries. Afterwards, the fried egg sandwich arrived perfectly cooked, lidded with bacon, and topped with bibb lettuce and fresh tomatoes. The sandwich comes with mind-bendingly thin potato chips sprinkled with Parmesan and the slightest bit of truffle oil.

The half-order of chicken and dumplings was plenty for two of us. The dish had all of the traditional creamy goodness, but adds green beans, turnips, and wild mushrooms to give it a bit more texture. Delicious.

I don’t know what has kept me away from Max’s, but I’m glad I’ve rediscovered. It’s a down-to-Earth spot with a snappy atmosphere. Plus, hearty food seems like a necessity, given the frigid temps. Better get there before it soars back up to 80 next week. [sigh]

Max’s Wine Dive – 4720 Washington (at Shepherd)


Jody said...

I must try the chicken and dumplings next time I go...I must, I must, I must!!!

bud said...

...soon! jerry lasco and his wife sat with me at table 10 in the cafe and talked for a couple of hours bout leaving the airline business as a pilot, right after 9/11, too start a wine bar, "the tasting room" in uptown. that was 7 years ago and they have not looked back.
thye are good people and they work hard!
bless, bud the pieman!!!

Leigh Anne Rayburn said...

i must go again. i loved that place when we went last year.

neverfull said...

so random... i just had a full order of max's chicken and dumplings for dinner and i could have eaten 2 of them. i was on a 2 hr quest for C&D thanks to foodinhouston's blog on avenue grill. the pork belly at max's is yummy too.