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Another very good meal at Max's in NJ


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Another very good meal at Max's in NJ

Matt Kantor | Jan 18, 2003 11:14 PM

"Max's Fine dining" (their words, not mine) in Connaminson, NJ always provides very good to sometimes excellent food along with very good to excellent service.

The amuse-bouche was nice. A Lobster salad, served a bit cold, but nice. (It bugs me to no end when a server explains what the words "amuse-bouche" mean. Get over yourself.) I thought I would let the server order for me. A potential mistake, as she ordered all the expensive stuff. I'll remember that next time. I started off with a lovely appetizer poached Lobster with Roasted tomato coulis over linguini. I never realized how well tomato goes with lobster.

Next up, the always excellent chicken ravioli in a red wine reducion with wild mushrooms. Although I don't consider button mushrooms wild, there were some shitakes to help redeem the still excellent dish. These guys know how to make a good sauce - very clear and silky, good color, no bitterness. This was true in other dishes as well.

For my entree, I received a grilled strip steak with mashed potatoes (they have mashed potatoes for most of their dishes, which is gets tiresome after several visits). The steak was cooked perfectly, but unfortuntely underseasoned and boring (boring after seasoning). Luckily, someone wasn't prepared for their Venison Rib Chops, so I got to have that. Quite yummy, the chops (3 big ones) were dry rubbed with a spicy pepper rub and grilled rare. Despite the POTATOES, the venison was quite tasty.

For dessert, I received a gelatenous thing. The bottom layer was a thin chocolate cake, the middle layer was a thickened grand marnier pudding,topped with a thin caramel coating. Pretty good, still odd.

Some oher dishes at the table which were raved about included Escargots with Gnocchi, Cesaer Salad, amd Gnocchi with cheese and tomatoes. The one dish NOT raved about was the lemon cake, which I thought was ok.

They seem to have a couple of issues. In a BYO, managing wine service is always tricky, as people bring the wines and tend to be more possessive of the bottles. And large tables will sometimes bring lots of wine - we had about 10 bottles, which screwsup their common-use chilling bucket at the server station. And they didn't fix my wobbly table leg after I told them about it. But overall, the service is real good - maybe the best in South Jersey.

An excllent place to eat in NJ, my personal favorite, beating out Siris and Mikado. Although I prefer the food at Django for a BYO meal, I like being able to get more than 3 courses, and MAXs has a parking lot.


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