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Max Downtown Restaurant Review: Richard Rosenthal presides over an octet of Hartford-area restaurants, and his enduring big city venture with partner Steven Abrams is the flagship. Max Downtown caters to big shots and visiting celebs looking to flash a bit --- okay, a lot --- of cash. The kitchen, however, more than lives up to the hype it generates with a sophisticated menu and wide-ranging wine list that befit the cosmopolitan vibe. For starters, there's panko-crusted calamari with Asian salad and sambal aïoli or Maryland lump crab cakes with radish tabasco aïoli and fingerling chips. Move on to herb-roasted Georges Bank swordfish with broccoli rabe pesto and gnocchi, or cast-iron-seared Berkshire pork chop. Of course, where fat cats gather, steaks proliferate; here, the choice cuts come with tasty sauces such as smoked blue cheese, bacon marmalade and lobster hollandaise. The after-dinner drink list is more extensive than the dessert menu. If you've saved room for more than liquids, try the chocolate chip ice cream cake or chocolate ganache beignets.