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Jan 27, 2008 07:24 AM

Richmond's Chez Max nothing special last night

A full Sat nite, and a backed up kitchen should not let Alain off the hook - a sophisticated French restaurant should not be serving a mound of bland mashed potatoes on the plate's center. The appetizer seafood crepes were good, my oranged glazed duck was yummy, DH's lamb chops not really competitive with what we find elsewhere at like places,another's rockfish was good, and several loved their calves liver (of course, I can't see paying big entree bucks for a small piece of that, but to each his own - I'll wait and have mine at our SR favorite,Pegasus); a typical FR restaurant salad of good lettuces and an oily but lite dressing, and I must say I'll be hesitant to go back. MAybe I'll get a yearning for the duck again at some point, but not anytime soon.

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  1. bummer. know people that love it but i haven't been despite the fact that it's crazy close to me. menu's never done much for me. but i was still hoping it was fab. wishing you better meals for this week! :)

    1 Reply
    1. re: AMFM

      I'll defend Chez Max. I like the mashed potatoes..they aren't fancy but certainly not bland and they are piped in the center (and I've always had them served with crispy potato shavings as well) not served as a "mound". They are consistent and also when considering the price, remember the salad is included with each entree (a rarity this day and age at similar restaurants). I love the veal with a cognac sauce and their Sole (when they have it, it's a special) is some of the best I've had. Consistent food and service, they take reservations, solid wine list.

    2. Okay; maybe I was a bit harsh; I had the good veal dish the time before and that's what brought me back. I still feel mashed potatoes are common food, and have become more so as they graduated from truck stop fare to the gourmet table. At least give me a choice: I still yearn for Frog & Redneck's wonderful corn grits that had me coming back for more. And the salad is included - it's wholesome, and adds one to the five a day rule. The gr beans were not so al dente I couldn't eat them, another endorsement. The clientele are appropriately attired, and we can hear each other at our table. Now, that's fair!

      1. I'll also defend chez Max. It is a bistro, and wonderful mashed potatoes are certainly bistro fare!

        1. A BISTRO!!? Well, I must say, that will come as a surprise to Chef Alain et al. They have had themselves listed among some very fine nationally known FR restaurants, and serving bistro food is not the way they are touted. At any rate, the mashed potatoes were not wonderful; not even tasty.

          1. so i went the other night for drinks and an appetizer before the symphony. i liked it and would go back to try more of the food.
            i thought it was charming on the inside and a surprising escape from it's surroundings. most of all it smelled divine. i had thought that looking at their menu it would be too rich or something for me but that my husband would eat there - but once you catch the yummy smells i just wanted to eat what was on their menu even though it was a warmer day. had a better than average cab by the glass and the smoked salmon app which i really liked and fit the bill perfectly - nice frisee greens in the center and some creme fraiche - i didn't note specifically the grey goose scenting, but I did like it. i was surprised their was a tv at the bar and they had basketball on - there if you wanted but still a really nice environment. it's close to me and i would've rarely thought of it for a drink - i usually hit rare old times.
            i did notice though that i was about half the age of most people in there (at least!)

            2 Replies
            1. re: AMFM

              Yes, at 43 I feel like a young pup in there :-) Glad you had a good meal & yes it's a good place to stop for a glass of wine as well as a meal.