I recently had the chance to share a meal with fellow food blogger Soopling of Salty Savory Sweet, an excellent food blog that breaks it down for you… in much less words than I could ever hope to. She chose Max, a cozy Italian joint down in the LES/East Village (what’s with me & Italian places in the LES/East Village lately?!), neither of us realizing just how cozy and… romantic the place was. Super dimly lit, we were joking about how our photos were coming out (and you’ll see how poorly mine came out) and how all I had to do was reach across the table, take her hand, and we’d be on a bonafide date.
I did not do those things, though I had a very lovely time chatting and chowing down with her! We’ve been readers of each other’s blogs since the pre-food-blog-days, so it was especially nice to be able to put an actual face to the name 🙂
The bread served to us after we were seated. Nothing extraordinary but tasty nonetheless.
We opted to share the liver pate on country toast appetizer. Both of us were surprised when it arrived hot, and agreed it needed something to balance the earthiness of the liver. The accompanying greens were great to this end, though the lone tomato remained untouched due to manners, and might have been an even better foil to the liver. If so, I wish they would have given us more than one slice, although tomatoes are definitely out of season.
A terrible photograph of my delicious fettucine al sugo toscano. This was served PIPING SCREAMING HOT. We actually sat for a few minutes waiting for it to cool down a little bit so we could eat – I really couldn’t eat more than a nibble here or there without wincing in pain. Impressive that it stayed hot so long, especially considering how cold it was outside that night – and a great winter spot, warm you up. I really enjoyed my dish though, don’t let the tone fool you – in fact, I have friends who LOVEloveLOVE piping hot food (Cookie, for one, who scarfed down the boiling hot soondubu while I miserably watched, and BB, who I haven’t yet witnessed eating something screaming hot, but has told me she likes her food very hot) – so this is right up their alley.
My memory is failing me here, so please tell me if I got this wrong, Soopling! sorry! – but this should be a photo of Soopling’s spaghetti alla chitarra, homemade spaghetti with lamb ragu. I’m pretty sure she said she really liked this dish, we were both pleased with our entrees if I recall correctly, and I’m sure she’ll be posting her review soon enough!
Though we did wind up both taking leftovers home (which were still piping hot when he handed me my container, which I promptly packed for bento!), we still managed to order two desserts.
First the panna cotta, which I found a bit too dense to my liking, yet still tasty – just not the best example of panna cotta EVERRR.
And the tiramisu, which I found too cakey for my personal tastes. Could be a good thing – that means it’s less cheese – but I personally prefer more cheese to cake 😉
Overall, a good place with average prices, though I find it a bit out of the way for me (it’s a bit far from the train station).
Yvo says: Great winter warmer, though as I said, it’s a bit far from the train station, so by the time you make your way back to the train, you might need to be warmed up again! Although my pasta was STILL on the hot side of warm when we got on the train 😉 I enjoyed my pasta greatly and wouldn’t hesitate to tell a friend to go here if they’re in the area, though I would skip dessert here. Go for the pastas on a nice cozy date. The place wasn’t busy on a Monday night, and we had no problems hearing each other at normal volume. Service was attentive but not overly so.