Last Friday my husband and I spent a delightful evening with two other couples at Chez Max (way out west on Patterson). And while all of us ordered differing appetizers, entrees, and desserts; and while Ricci, our server, took decent care of us, I want to concentrate on four distinct items.
1. Chateau Haut Surget 2003 Lalande-de-Pomerol: 70% Merlot, 15% each of Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc. Plenty of red cherry notes here as well as bacon and tobacco. So, this wine was part of the tasting at River City Cellars on Friday (they had a spectacular Bordeaux tasting last week!). Hubby and I really liked it. When we arrived at Chez Max – voila! – the wine list carried it. River City Cellars price: ~$25. Chez Max price: $48 (since twice retail is usually the going rate, we weren’t complaining and we knew exactly what we were getting).
2. Tuna Tartar ($12.95). This was a special appetizer for the evening. Sushi grade tuna chopped and tossed with minced shallots and capers. My husband ordered this and I had to take numerous bites. Before ordering the Haut Surget, we had a glass of Grandin Brut, a Loire sparkling wine ($8.95). The two paired very well together.
3. Duck Breast with a Green Peppercorn Sauce ($26.95). Tender, sliced duck breast, prepared medium with a cognac peppercorn sauce – not too overpowering on the peppercorns. Very lovely, served with mashed potatoes and sautéed green beans.
4. Molten Chocolate Cake ($6.95). A few years ago hubby and I had dined at Chez Max for an anniversary celebration. For dessert I had ordered Crème Brule. It was sheer heaven. The best I have ever eaten. Since the memory of this dish left such dreamy thoughts, I assumed that all of the desserts would be equally as delightful. Sadly, I had a lapse in judgment. While the cake had a great chocolate flavor, it had not been heated enough to melt the chocolate inside, leaving me with a somewhat chocolate gelatinous interior to slice through.
I would recommend Chez Max as far as appetizers and entrees. If you want dessert, always order the Crème Brule.