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Max's Oyster Bar

964 Farmington Ave. (Main St.) Send to Phone
860-236-6299 | Make Restaurant Reservations | Menu
A see-and-be-seen scene and good food in downtown West Hartford.

Lunch & Dinner daily, Brunch Sun.

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Max's Oyster Bar, West Hartford, CT

Max's Oyster Bar Restaurant Review

: Max's Oyster Bar is the fourth venture of seasoned restaurateur Richard Rosenthal, here joined by Bob Cooke, formerly of Boston's Legal Sea Foods. Given its pedigree (and name), that it specializes in fish is no surprise; what is therefore surprising---even maddening---is its unevenness. The kitchen can either yield evocative and thrilling stuff or be curiously wrong-headed; the floor staff tends to be unreliable when the place is bustling---as it almost always is. Hence, despite the fact that its lineup of fresh oysters, littlenecks, cherrystones, chilled mussels and crab claws is ever-changing, it's the raw bar that proves most consistent. Still, when the cooks are on, the good choices are noteworthy. Appetizer-wise, we like the greaseless fried oysters, whole-belly clams and calamari as well as the tuna wonton "tacos" with mango salsa and wasabi aïoli. Among the entrées, our vote goes to Max's interpretation of paella. Temptations like the two-chocolate mousse cake make the kid inside us want to stick around for dessert, but the adult outside would rather join the hip crew at the bar as they do their own type of fishing.


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