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Max's in Cinnaminson - (long and painful)


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Max's in Cinnaminson - (long and painful)

Antimax | Feb 24, 2005 09:41 AM

After reading about chef Bruce Lim's place called Max's on Rt 130 in Cinnaminson, NJ four of us went to dinner on Saturday evening. Lim had a great track record with Ciboulette and later at Susanna Foo, we were expecting the same food quality and high service we knew from his other ventures. Sad to report our experience was a huge disappointment. Apparently Lim must looking towards his next venture because he clearly has left this place without any sense of order. While the ambience was potentially nice with wood planked floors, fireplace (not working), and the prices were high but not outrageous, the food quality was inconsistent and the service was virtually non-existent, making this a memorably bad experience. Starting from when we entered the old restored house, we got the welcoming aroma of a smoking staffer who was distracted in a conversation with a fellow staffer, followed by a pretentious and soon to become annoying maitre' de who called the men "chief" and "captain". It's a BYOB, fortunately so we could drink and laugh about the situation as it unfolded. We brought a bottle of chilled champagne and a nice bottle of cabernet. So why does the server want to open the cab first and ignore the chilled champagne that is sitting on the table? I dunno. We redirected the effort and had a toast, to an expected good meal. Don't you love when the menu has stains and spills? I'm more forgiving at the diner but expect better at finer establishments. It's a freaking piece of paper, replace it! There were numerous specials and so we asked them to describe a few in more detail, ingredients, etc,--but this was not going to happen, just a rehash of wehat was previously delivered. The main dining room was "romantically" dark, and they would occassionally come and put tea tights on some tables. I guess you had to specificaly ask for these. We were in the dark in more ways than one. So which is service or bad service? These guys need the Starr team to come in and do some intensive training. I get better server in diners were the servers at least remember who ordered what dishes. Not here. They would come out, staring blanking almost wanting us to decide what the plates were and who should get each one. ARGGGGH. Appetizers included some nice salad combinations and a vegetarian napolean towers with goat cheese. Oh, did I mention that two from our party ordered these? Well, one was a beautiful tower, nicely presented to my wife. The other was handled by the server such that the tower collapsed (we witnessed it so it did not happen in the kitchen!), and bits were strewn across the plate with a piece of cheese falling onto the floor right beside us. Yes, I know accidents can happen but isn't the mark of a good server in how they handle the recovery? Not here. The buffoon server put the plate in front of the other diner, and giggled, saying ooops, I guess it got bumped. Shall we go on. How much time is reasonable waiting time between courses? I get concerned after 15-20 minutes, so you can imagine how we were after 35 minutes. Oh server, where are you? I ordered a steak medium rare and it was way overcooked, crabcakes were filled with non crab extender, etc. At this point we finished, skipped dessert, and had to hunt someone down for a check, yada, yada, yada. Oh, to top it off, the coat check system was equally a joke. Is this your coat, is this your coat? What, you never heard of giving out claim tickets? This is common sense, something that topped off the theme of the night. Sorry, Bruce, but there are too many good restaurants out there and we will be going to them. My recommendation--stay far away, fellow hounders.

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