Monday, April 15, 2024

Max’s At 20—WINNING

Last night Max’s Grille celebrated 20 years in Boca Raton at Mizner Park. Normally, these kinds of media dinner events leave most of us cold–too much food, stilted conversation, and the inevitable wannabe food critic talking about legs in the wine.

But not last night. Last night was one I would not have missed.

Dennis Max hosted a who’s who of food writers and media types at Max’s to celebrate the big anniversary–Linda Gassenheimer, host of  the radio show “Dinner in Minutes,” Palm Beach Post columnist Lelsle Gray Streeter , foodie extraordinaire Jan Norris of jannorris.com “Food and Florida,” and “Uncorked’s” co-host Mark Spivak, to name a few. He assembed all of us, recounted the good old days and then delivered a sampling of what has become the Max’s Grille legacy; the appetizers and entrees we have come to count on over the years. Credited along with Burt Rapoport for bringing California cuisine to South Florida, the dishes that worked decades ago are  now simply a part of our lives. Who in the Boca-Delray area doesn’t live by these: mahogany chicken wings, sesame seared rare tuna, chicken and goat cheese flatbread, chopped salad, radiatore chicken pasta, “everyday” gravy, creme  brulee pie?  Max’s has so long been the go-to place for great food I think we sometimes take it for granted.

And now Maestro Max is taking the tradition into 2011 by opening  farm-to-table restaurant Max’s Harvest in Delray next month, a natural progression of the standards he has long embraced: great fresh food at reasonable prices that is consistently good.

Yes, we’re excited about the new place, but I have to say I  am still toasting the old one. It’s still my catcher’s mitt of restaurans when I need a place I can count on, for any occasion, any reason.

So happy birthday, Max’s Grille, and here’s to many more years of serving up our favorites.

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