MAX’s Wine Dive makes its debut today with doors opening promptly at 4pm. This is the legendary restaurant that is known for their Kobe beef hot dog, fried chicken and Dom Perignon by the glass. It’s the bad boy of the neighborhood, inspired by the best dive bars in Texas, but with a wicked twist. We checked out the restaurant last night during one of the preview events, and certainly were not disappointed.
The atmosphere is fairly typical with few exceptions. The restaurant features a large kitchen that is as wide as the bar and very open so you can view the action as your Veal Sweet Bread Pot Pie or Chicken Fried Brussel Sprouts are being concocted by chef Patrick Russell, formerly of Craft Dallas. Both of those dishes are crazy good. What is unexpected are the walls stuffed high and wide with glassware and bottles upon bottles of wine. It is interesting to note that chef Russell served us our last meal at Craft and our first at MAX’s.
The wine is curated by former Dali Wine Bar manager Kyle Curd and the restaurant is managed by the former owner of Dali, Paul Pinnell. Wines may be selected by the bottle to be enjoyed on premises, or taken home, with fantastic deals with six and twelve packs. The by-the-glass option is available for any wine with a two glass commitment.
Although not open for lunch, MAX’s is open for brunch Friday through Sunday with plenty of outdoor seating for some of the best people watching adventures around.
We did sample quite a bit of the food last night. The menu is broken down into two sides. The left side hosts more of the classic Max dishes, and the right is more of a playground for chef Russell. Here is uses many of the local ingredients he was used to at Craft, such as Spicer greens, Caprino Royale cheese, Empire Baking and Beeman Ranch. These are some of the top names in the fresh and local business.
We will share much of what we sampled last night on the limited menu we were offered, but without a doubt the highlight of the evening was the fried chicken. This chicken is light, seasoned perfectly and large enough to share. This may very well be the best chicken now in Dallas.
Pulled pork and cotija stuffed piquillo peppers, chipotle aioli and cilantro chimichurri
Bison sliders with house-made pickles, ketchup and grilled onions
Fried Gulf Coast oysters with garlic aioli on crispy MAX’s wonton “chips,” habanero salsa and cilantro
Roasted Alaskan Halibut in a piquillo broth with braised fennel and creamy fennel soubise
Texas Prairie Fire Chili
Jalapeño-buttermilk chicken served with mashed potatoes, collard greens and Texas toast
The Fried Egg Sandwich is three pan-fried eggs drizzled with truffle oil, applewood-smoked bacon, Gruyère, Bibb lettuce, tomatoes and black truffle aioli, sandwiched between two pieces of artisan sourdough, served with MAX’s truffle chips