The self-styled ‘Fried Chicken and Champagne?…Why The Hell Not?!’ upscale comfort food restaurant chain Max’s Wine Dive has just done a menu makeover for the winter. Slight variations apply to each site, but at a recent media event at the Dallas Uptown location chef Patrick Russell took me through his new additions. Both of the dishes below are on the ‘classic’ menu, meaning they are available at all Max’s Wine Dives Shrimp and grits ($21) was a whole cast-iron skillet filled with bacon, scallions, parsley and jalapeno cheese grits, in a spicy butter broth, topped with a poached egg. Be prepared for the earthy grits, accented by the bacon to prove addictive. One helping can comfortably be split between two as an entrée or four as an appetizer.
Our waiter, turned out to be a qualified level 1 sommelier (with the Court of Master Sommeliers) so he was a great help navigating the wine list. As you would guess from the name, Max’s has a large selection of wines, and sources globally from both familiar labels and house specials. What is not as well known is that the markup on bottles is about 33%-50% lower than at other restaurants around town with respectable wine lists. The best bargains are at the high end as the margins taper with price. One area where Max’s needs to do better, especially being a Texas (Houston) based chain, is Texas wine. Given their roots, it would be really welcome and fitting to see them add a Texas section to the list. Max’s new menu items are available now and we recommend that you check them out!