I had the opportunity to spend a lovely afternoon at the relatively new to Dallas restaurant/wine bar, Max’s Wine Dive. The restaurant opened in Dallas September 2012, with already established locations in Houston, Austin, and San Antonio. Their motto: ”Fried chicken and Champagne? … Why the hell not?!” It’s not just a slogan – it’s what defines us.” With this motto, you know you are in for a culinary adventure.
The wine list is extensive and so much fun: old favorites, soon to be new favorites, and their own proprietary favorites. Because they do not have a full-service bar (i.e. offering spirits), they do not have to place a restaurant up-charge on the wines by the glass or bottle, and they don’t! The wines are at retail price – and you are more than welcome to purchase wine and take home if you are so inclined.
As I was a brunch guest, let’s take a look at the brunch menu, shall we? With suggestions from the general manager, Jeff Solomon, I started my culinary adventure – of course that had to start with a bottle of sparkling wine (I wasn’t alone, mind you). For brunch they will bring out a selection of juices (orange, grapefruit, and cranberry) to mix, or not, with your sparkler. Don’t turn your nose up – I truly enjoyed my first time drinking a cranberry juice mimosa – give it a try, said the waiter. Who am I to say no?
Next came the food. An order of cinnamon rolls served in its iron cast skillet were to die for. Next came the giant chicken fried steak atop Belgian style waffles, served with cream gravy and syrup. We are in the south, remember. Two of us managed to finish the whole dish, it was that good!
The restaurant is a 4600 square foot establishment – huge! They have a wine bar, 2 separate dining rooms, and a fabulous outdoor patio. It is located in the Uptown area of Dallas, perfect for people watching. A parking garage is right next door, so you don’t have to freak out about trying to find a space on the street, or pay for valet service. Hey, this is always a plus for a wine blogger and sommelier student, such as myself! I’m just saying.
Before the visit, I was lucky enough to speak with one of the owners, Jeff Lasco, who is also the CEO and Founder. He in turn got me in touch with the general manager of the Dallas location, Jeff Solomon. We had the opportunity to meet and discuss the history and culture of the chain. Jeff S. was knowledgeable, personable and truly passionate about his job. He was gracious with his time and led us through a lively discussion regarding the information I have discussed above. The servers really knew their stuff too and were very attentive.
I was also able to get introduced to their events coordinator, Teresa Alioto, who was gracious enough to let me take a delightful photo.
We enjoyed the afternoon – all 4 hours! They probably thought we would never leave, but had no problem with it.