I had the pleasure of eating at Max this evening on Ave B. betw. 3&4 st. I hate to even post this rec. but I know you guys will appreciate it as much as I did. It's a one-room 30 seater (est.)w/ exposed brick and lots of charm and they serve up excellent homecooked Italian for extremely reasonable prices. we had a delicious fennel salad, amazing grilled calamari on a bed of arugola, and great bruschetta. Next came the Thursday special - - Osso Bucco - - tender, fall-off-the-bone, and nicely seasoned. We also had a great codfish ($10) and some penne (nothing to write home about but deservedly so - -not the right pick in this kind of place!). With desert, the bill was $80 for three of us, BYOB. Lots of downtown Italian diners speaking in native tongue, good music, prompt service. No reservations and LOTS of smoke but still worth it. In my opinion, it blows away Frank and the Peppe Rosso/Verde chainlet. Enjoy it - - and shhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!