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Carroll Gardens Redux: Max Court and Pier 116

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Carroll Gardens Redux: Max Court and Pier 116

Lindsay B. | Oct 10, 2003 01:42 AM

I was very impressed with the food at Max Court last night. It was my first visit. The service was friendly and competent. We shared the mixed green salad with goat cheese, walnuts and strawberries, in a balsamic reduction. I'm biased against complicated salads, but I have to admit this one was delicious. We were amazed at the quality of the ingredients, especially the cheese and the strawberries. The walnut fragments hadn't been blanched, so they were a little bitter.

I had the pan seared codfish, which just an excellent hunk of cod with a little butter and lemon. I just ignored the mashed potatoes because they were cold. My companion had one of the daily pasta specials, smoked mozzerella ravioli with sage and brown butter. The pasta was really high quality, but slightly over-sauced.

Tonight we went to Pier 116 on Smith St. I had been once before, for brunch. My first visit was a lot better. Pier 116 has that chain restaurant vibe, far more so that Village 247, IMO. The menu is full of Coney Island-this and Carnival-that. Thee beer menu is called "Under the Pier".

The 50 cent oyster special was the highlight of the meal. (You may be wondering, didn't she learn anything from last week's "soft" shell crab incident? Well, I didn't order them. But I sort of wished I had when I tasted one of the dozen my partner got.)

The rest of the food was just bad. I ordered the hot wings. I was bitterly disappointed. 1) They weren't spicy, 2) they were served in a thick, gummy sweet and sour sauce(!) They tasted like they came from the Chinese takeout across the street. 3) The wings were pre-fried and then baked in the thick red glaze, so they started off soggy, 4) finally they were served a quaint metal serving bucket so the lower layers could steam a little more, 5) I waited over 40 minutes for these wings.

Thee clam chowder was carefully prepared and obviously made with good ingredients, but it consisted largely of heavy cream and salt pork. It was too rich and it didn't taste like clams.

The staff were very nice and attentive, though. Still, on the whole, I wouldn't go back.

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