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Max Stein's (ex-Hartwell House) in Lexington just opened

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Max Stein's (ex-Hartwell House) in Lexington just opened

Tir na nOg | May 5, 2006 11:53 PM

Noticed a couple of posts below about the new Max Stein's in Lexington (94 Hartwell Avenue, on the left, just before you get to Hanscom Air Force Base).

http://maxsteins.com/

This is the former "Hartwell House", a place that never really lived up to its billing.

They've been working on an extensive remodel for the past 7 months (!), and have done a great job. Very elegant, with dark wood and leather booths, fitting in with the "1940/50's supper club" ambience they claim to be aiming for. A bit on the dark side for my taste. Capital Grille meets Locke Ober, maybe.

They opened just this past Monday, and we stopped in a couple of times for after-work drinks, but haven't tried dinner yet. A small half-ellipse of a bar seats ~15, with 3 bartenders, but they are apparently planning another bar upstairs (along with two meeting rooms). The dinner menu looks good, but conservative. They will apparently open next month for lunch.

Had a chance this evening to chat with one of the managing partners, Richard, who kindly comped us a few apps (spicy fried calamari, crab cakes and escargot, all of which were good). As I gather, there is a connection with the owners of Capital Grille, but this is a completely separate entity.

Most notably, they have an outstanding wine list (the attractive glass-encased wine cellar is next to the entrance), with extensive 1st growth Bordeaux verticals and something like 600 different bottles (from $6/glass for the ubiquitous ghastly Berringer White Zinfandel to $18,000 for a Jeroboam of Lafite Rothschild that is probably more for show than drinking). Again, conservative, but high quality. I need more time to stare at the wine list, but I’d like to see more adventuresome choices in the lower price brackets. It’s so easy to have Lafite-this, and d’Yquem-that if you want to impress, but it is just too easy to write a wine list like that. But, as it stands, it should be a pretty easy Wine Spectator award winner.

Had a nice martini, by the way.

Cheers,
Kevin

Link: http://maxsteins.com/

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