by Mike Marrero
This week’s date night is on a Thursday, and starts off at Max’s Wine Dive to participate in Battle of the Grapes. Max’s Wine Dive excels in serving gourmet comfort food paired with your choice of spectacular wines and champagnes from around the world. If you’re craving “Chicken and Champagne” then you need to visit Max’s.
Executive Chef Patrick Russell prepares unique edibles using fresh, seasonal ingredients. The spread is comprised of two sections: on one side you have traditional Wine Dive Classics, with the other side being creative and seasonal specialties. This gourmet comfort food entices customers with unique flavor pairings that seduce the palate.
Battle of the Grapes is a blind wine tasting every Thursday in which patrons vote for their favorite red and white wine. The following day, Max’s will announce the winners on social media. The winners, one red and one white, will be available at special pricing all the following week until the next winner is declared. The tasting is $12 a person and features a sample of 4 different wines.
Max’s portions are large and very satisfying. This visit you should order the Famous Southern Fried Chicken, a jalapeño-buttermilk marinated chicken with mashed potatoes, collard greens and Texas toast along with a side of chipotle honey for $17. Since you will be sharing, order an extra piece of chicken for $4. Another great shared plate to order is the Pork Stuffed Piquillo Peppers, pulled pork and cotija stuffed peppers, topped with chipotle aioli and cilantro chimichurri for $12.
Now that you’ve tasted some of the best fried chicken in DFW and participated in determining next week’s wine special, let’s take a short drive to Barter for some of the best craft cocktails in town.
Cocktail maestro Rocco Milano has Barter, formerly Private Social, alive and well. If you want an exceptionally well crafted cocktail tailored to what you’re feeling in that moment, stop by Barter and order at the bar for your night cap. Any good relationship, whether it be with your significant other or bartender starts with communication. If you are lucky, you will get to order from Rocco himself, or his young Jedi Juli Naida.
We highly recommend ordering two “Bartender’s Choice.” You will be asked “What kind of spirits do you like, do you like light or dark liquors?” Next, “Do you like sweet or acidic?” Two “Bartender’s Choice” will run $13 each, but worth every penny. By this time of the evening the dinner rush will have subsided and you will likely have the privilege of hearing the story of how your custom drink originated. You can sit at the bar and listen to live music, or take your drink on the gorgeous and spacious patio.
Here you have it, another great evening with delicious food and drink for $100 or less including minimum 20 percent tip. Enjoy, be safe!