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Max Fish or 2 Hopewell?

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Anyone braved the crowds at either of these yet? I'm visiting the parents in Portland for a few days over Thanksgiving and was hoping at least one of these was chow-worthy ;) Was leaning towards Max Fish since the one review of 2 Hopewell sounded like it had a few kinks to iron out. Thanks all!

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  1. I have visited 2 Hopewell -- last Saturday, just one day after their grand opening on Friday. My friends and I did not come for a formal dinner up in the dining room, but instead enjoyed drinks, apps, and desert downstairs in the bar area. I think that this place has progressed leaps and bounds from what it used to be. In fact, I don't think that it ought even be compared to the old M&H. They have done a glorious job refurnishing the place. It is sparkling with a fresh new look -- which, to me, is an important part of the experience. It's makeover, however, is surpassed by the food. The mushroom app has a hint of tangy sweetness -- I think provided by a splash of balsamic vinegar redux. The desert that I tried was a silky sweet bread pudding. It's creamy richness was the perfect way to end our autumn evening out. We cleaned our plates and wet our whistles with a couple of draught beers -- which, I might add, we chose from a fine assortment. Yes, they have the stand-by's -- the Bud and the Sam Adams, etc., but I personally tire of these trite comfort brews, and am always looking for a place that may have a little more to offer (especially after being spoiled with west coast microbrews). Their wine list provides the same array in its category of adult libations -- some that we all know and love, others we've never heard of. The appearance of such offerings on a menu provide us with a little intrigue for the evening, and what better way to try them out!?! Certainly better than purchasing a bottle that ends up being so-so, and ultimately finds it's way to the spaghetti sauce - at best; or just sours after a week in it's glassy, lonely hollow. Anyway, I digress... I would give 2 Hopewell a solid thumbs-up, and would encourage my foodie peers to check it out. I would guess that they still have logistical "kinks to work out," but feel confident that this place breaths new life and believe that it will add a much needed spark to the immediate neighborhood. I only wish I lived closer!

    1 Reply
    1. re: ktbugfood

      I have been to Max Fish twice and 2 Hopewell twice and my strong opinion is that 2 Hopewell definately surpasses MaxFish. I was dissappointed both times at Max Fish. The first time I figured it just had some kinks to iron out. I went again last week and was more dissappointed then the first time. I found the entrees to be very bland and void of all seasoning. The service was completely subpar as our waiter came back and apologized for taking so long but he had an oppurtunity to filet a fish and must have felt that was more important than serving the guest.
      2 Hopewell on the other hand has provided wonderful service on both occasions. We were there late but no there seemed to be no urgency to close up and kick us out. It was so nice to actually be able to dine in Glastonbury with out being kicked out by 10-10:30ish. The food was also well prepared and I loved the wine and beer list.

    2. I live in town and am absolutely thrilled w/ 2 Hopewell. A great asset to our community. the food is great, atmosphere is very well done w/ nice wood tones, and the staff very accomodating and helpful. Braised Shortribs a must and the Chocolate Mouse to die for. I am so glad they are here especially compared to what used to be located in the same building for years. Upstairs is more upscale while the downstairs bar is well done and a more relxed atmosphere with live music on occassion that is not too loud.
      A+ in my book.
      Please support them as I would love to see them do well.

      1. we ate at max fish a few weeks back and were very disppointed. side dishes were cold - the mashed potatoes were not only cold -- they tasted like someone dumped a salt shaker in the pan. the waitress was distracted [we went to the bar and got our own cocktails for two rounds]. and the fish was just ok.

        1. have you considered Sauce? I'm going in a couple of weeks but the courant sure gave it raves.

          2 Replies
          1. re: geminigirl

            I went to Sauce after reading the glowing review in the Courant. It was the worst meal I have ever had in my life. Meatballs were cold and the first bite had a bone in it. An appetizer described as "grilled pears with gorgonzola" was an ice cold, grayish mushy sludge plopped into a bowl. Their sauce tastes like jarred store-brand. The service was horrible. I know other people who have had similar experiences there as well. The manager gave us a gift card and didn't charge us for the entrees (which is good since we only took 1 bite each). The gift card went in the trash.

            1. re: stretchy cat

              Wow - this is the first really bad review I have heard of. I know people that go to Sauce often and they haven't had this kind of experience or anything close to it. I wonder could it just have been a really bad night??? Jay

          2. I've been to Max Fish twice and both times it was stellar. Better than sister restaurant Max Amore's. More like Max's Oyster Bar. A friend and her husband went to Sauce and had one of the worst dining experiences of her life, and that's no overstatement. The manager apologized profusely and they didn't have to pay their bill but they won't go back. Now I'm afraid to go. I've never been to Hopewell's.