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May 22, 2009 02:39 PM

Max's Bistro (Flemington) Closed

Max's Bistro in downtown Flemington has closed. This Italian restaurant had a pretty decent run (10+ years) after relocating from Somerville. There is a sign on the door saying 'Olive and Fig' coming soon but this has no meaning for me. Anyone?

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  1. I never liked Max's, but am sorry to hear that they are closed, as Main Street in Flemington is really suffering. Looking forward to finding out what Olive and Fig is all about.

    1. Are you sure it didn't say "Fig and Olive"? There's a midget chain (three locations) with that name in NYC. It would be strange, though, for them to be opening a branch way out in the NJ boonies....

      The incoming restaurant is probably unrelated, just using a name with those ingredients flipped.

      1. Rumor has it the people that own the Cafe California (Lebanon) are involved. Not substantiated though. I personally will miss Max's. Although kinda went down over the last few years. In it's hay day, it was very good.

        4 Replies
        1. re: StantonChef

          Do you mean "California Cafe" in Flemington? That place is pretty good (love the monster salads), but also a bit pricey. The last few times I went there (in the last 6 months) it seemed business was slow, maybe they're branching out or trying again.

          1. re: 10gallonhat

            California Grill is in Flemington, Cafe California is in Lebanon, Cafe California is more famous for its catering than its eatery.

          2. re: StantonChef

            I've been told that Olive and Fig is now open. Looking forward to hearing some reviews.

            1. re: madgreek99

              My husband had lunch at Olive and Fig today. It is apparently a joint venture between the man who previously owned Max's and the man who owns Cafe California in Lebanon. According to my husband, the food is Mediterranean, very mediocre, and he wouldn't rush back. Maybe they are still working out the kinks. Anyone else been there?

          3. Olive & Fig is OPEN for business...we went to one of their opening night dinners and it was OK for a 'first night'. They served a sampler menu and asked for feedback on the food...Everything we had was' just OK' but I have to say the chicken with figs and spinach was really excellent! I would go back for it! So...for a first night...they did fairly well. The servers were on target and made the difference in the experience...much more attentive than when it was Max's. I would give it a few weeks and try again. I long for the days when their patio had umbrellas rather than that awful awning...but thats progress, I guess. The last few nights there has been a crowd outside under 'that awning' so the food must be getting there! Good Luck Olive & Fig...kudos to you for stepping out of your comfort zone & changing with the times. Max's had 'its day', but that had passed...the owner saw the need to switch gears and we wish him luck!

            1. Well, that didn't last long! After about a year, Olive and Fig has closed and been replaced by Bistro 161. When I investigated, I noticed signs outside the new place saying "the bistro is back", and sure enough, Bistro 161 is the second coming of Max's Bistro - same owner, same chef but (I was told) a different menu. I asked why they didn't use the old name and didn't really get a satisfactory answer. I'm sure there is a back story here.

              In any case, we once again have an Italian restaurant in this spot (Olive and Fig claimed to serve 'Mediterranean food'). I can only hope that the new menu is better than the old one. I may check it out but it's not anywhere near the top of my go to list. If anyone else goes, may I suggest you start a new thread.

              1 Reply
              1. re: ambrose

                The most probable reason for this story can be found here.