In addition to wine, Max's features a menu divided into dishes served at all locations and seasonal specials from chef Shane Way, a Colorado native. In fact, all of Max's staff are hired locally. Between the homegrown talent and Way's menu, Horowitz says "it allows us to create a unique experience for each neighborhood."
That unique experience includes several globetrotting dishes from Way: a fiery drunken noodle dish served takeout-style in a paper pagoda box with flash-fried rice-paper chips; a lamb curry with Way's vindaloo-style spice mix (he grinds his own spices for the blend) and house-made garlic naan; and gnocchi with spring peas in sage and mint brown butter. Southern dishes include Anson Mills grits kicked up with bacon, jalapeño and cheese and topped with shrimp and a sous-vide poached egg; and corn-meal crusted oysters served with garlic aioli and habanero salsa atop fried wonton chips. Much of the bread served with entrees and appetizers comes from the City Bakery Cafe just a few blocks away.
The main attraction is Max's fried chicken, marinated for 24 hours in jalapeño buttermilk and deep-fried at low temperature to slow-cook the meat while leaving the skin crispy. The chicken is available with a gluten-friendly coating too (the kitchen has a separate fryer for its wheat-free items), and chicken-fried tofu is also an option.
If you can't make it tonight, Max's is running a tax-day special tomorrow with two glasses of Dom Pérignon and a small order of fried chicken for $78 (if you're refund came in on time, that is). Read on for a few more photos of menu items at Max's.