Awesome Meal - To The Max!

Today is Election Day, and an historic one at that. Amidst the many politically-charged emails I received today was one the foodie in me found most intriguing: an Election Day special - Buy One Entree, Get One Free at any of the Max Group restaurants, which are some of my local favorites. Thinking of their consistently fabulous food made with high-quality, seasonal ingredients, served with professionalism and flair, the pork chops I had planned to grill with who-knows-what on the side disappeared from my mind as I left Chris a voice-mail that we were going to Max's. Having already voted, the current dilemma was - which Max's??

We wanted to be relatively close to home, so that we could get home early enough to watch history in the making, so we chose Max Fish in nearby Glastonbury. Max Fish is set up a bit differently than other Max restaurants, with a dining room, a very large bar area, and a raw bar. In addition to the dinner menu, the bars serve what they call "Shark Bites," which are smaller, lighter and/or less expensive dishes. Rather than wait in the ever-increasing line we sat at the raw bar where we could order off either menu.

Jason was our server and he was very busy. Apparently another server is usually there to assist him, but tonight he was alone, serving 10 bar guests and shucking oysters and clams for the entire restaurant. Although he never stopped moving, Jason was attentive, funny and friendly. He made conversation and suggestions with ease, and we would definitely go back to sit at his bar again.

Chris loves oysters, and asked Jason which of the five available kinds he preferred. Without hesitation, he praised Wellfleets as the "sweetest" and told us how he had recently had gone there to participate in a shucking contest - doing well but being humbled by the more-practiced home team. Chris enjoyed the nice balance of sweetness and brininess these Massachusetts oysters offered.

For his entree, Chris ordered the Char-grilled Mahi Mahi. This seemingly small, but in reality, perfectly sized dish consisted of a 4-ounce piece of fish lightly seasoned, perfectly grilled, and served over green beans and rice in a butter sauce that had a nice toasty flavor with hints of lemon and mustard. The fish was flaky and tender, and the accompaniments were enhancing rather than overpowering. Chris ate every bite and pronounced it "delicious."

I'm not a huge fan of raw oysters, but I did partake in one of Chris' half-dozen. I added plenty of cocktail sauce and lemon, and did find it to be quite tasty, although I still wasn't crazy about the texture. When I was ready to order dinner, I asked super-shucker Jason what he thought of my getting the shrimp and scallop pot pie and he enthusiastically approved. The four or so large shrimp and several small bay scallops were served in a savory cream sauce with chopped herbs, caramelized shallots, diced carrots, and green peas. A perfectly browned, flaky puff pastry crust topped off this masterpiece of a pot pie. I can see myself going back for this entree often, especially as the days grow colder. It was comfort food at its finest.

Each entree cost a decent $15.95, but the added value of the "election offer" made for an exceptional meal at an exceptional price. The service was great, the ambiance exciting, and the night, memorable for so many good reasons. Here's to Election Day 2008 and to being an American in these interesting and exciting times.
Max Fish on Urbanspoon

1 comment:

jck said...

Yum. Can't wait to try Max Fish.