Max's (Grill, I think it's called) in Tenafly
Anyone been there recently and how was it?
I reviewed it about four years ago for the Record. I had heard it had closed. Glad to hear its open.
We went there last night and had been there a few times previously. The food is uneven, sometimes good and others not so much. The wait staff is a similiar situation. Last night was only fair. Fried calamari overdone and no longer tender. The breading was tasty so there is potential there if they can get the fry time correct. Gnoochi was actually a great texture, soft and light, not like some of the depth charges you get that land in your belly like lead. Unfortunately, they had no flavor. Potential there as well. Chicken Picatta was brought with thinly sliced mushrooms, doesn't have 'shrooms as part of the dish and wasn't all that anyway. Eggplant parmagiana was quite good. They bring you a dish of lightly marinated cannelini beans in the beginning which were creamy and flavorful. It is a BYOB so that is a plus, but there are not all that many pluses and actually not worth the chance of hitting or missing. Go to Segreto just a few blocks away. A little more pricey but always delicious.
I dine at Segreto about once a week. It is just excellent and I consider it equivalent to a NYC restaurant that may have a Zagat of 23/24. It's getting to be less and less a secret, too, as the NY Times gave it a "Good" review. They do everything well but in particular the chef is a master at fish. I like everything about the place: the food, the staff and the owner. It's like a second home to us and everyone ought to try it. That said, it's a LOT more pricey and upscale than Max's and particularly so since Max is a BYO.
Max has been going strong from the start and remains a popular restaurant. It's a BYO, unpretentious with good, honest food and the prices are very fair. Max is a personable man, spends time with his patrons and he does a good job, in particular, with pastas but we pick from the broad range of his menus and are always happy. He also has several specials that he changes on a weekly basis.
As always, your mileage may vary.