[This restaurant is now permanently closed]
The East Village is home to a gazillion really good Italian restaurants, and Max had always been our favorite. That is, until it was forced to leave. There had been rumors that the owners were on thin ice with their Ave. B landlord for a while, and after Superstorm Sandy wreaked havoc on the space, vacating the premises became inevitable. It was brutal loss for us East Village denizens, who relied on Max and their cheap, delicious, meat-filled pasta as a big part of our weekly routine. But our loss has become Williamsburg's gain.
Max recently re-opened in South Williamsburg, and we're happy to report that the food is pretty much exactly the same as you remember it. The bruschetta is still the best in the game. The gnocchi is on point, the meat sauce recipe hasn't changed, and the lasagna is still incredible. There's no more outdoor area, but the interior received a big time upgrade from the Grandma's basement from the 70's vibe in the East Village. This new Max is a bit more sleek but still cozy, with friendly service, reasonable prices, and awesome food. For the money, Max is the arguably the best Italian in all of New York City. Keep to the script below, and you'll have yourself a damn good meal.
Bruschetta Al Pomodoro
This is how you start your meal off at Max - with our favorite bruschetta in NYC. These two pieces of toast come loaded with tomatoes, onions, garlic, olive oil, and basil. Pretty much perfect.
Like everything at Max, the meatballs are pretty straightforward - big, meaty, and saucy. You can't go wrong here.
Lasagna Fatta in Casa
Our go-to order. There's something incredibly special about Max's homemade meat lasagna. It comes out of the kitchen piping hot, and there's a 100% chance that you won't be able to wait for it cool off and burn the roof of your mouth. At least that's what happens to me every time.
Fettuccine Al Sugo Toscano
Another all-time favorite, and a pasta we order every time. This is a huge portion of homemade fettuccine served with Max’s tomato meat sauce. It rules.
Gnocchi Alla Sorrentina
Yet another winner. You won’t find a better bowl of gnocchi in this neck of the woods.
Spinach & Ricotta Ravioli
Always a good idea. Get it with the butter and sage sauce.
Where else can you find a straight forward meatloaf these days? Not too many places. This one is stuffed with Italian ham, egg, and homemade mozzarella and served with potato pancetta gratin and salad. Will Ferrell would be a happy man.