The culinary ideology behind Max's Wine Dive lies in a simple slogan: "Why the hell not?" With the gourmand irreverence to unite fried chicken with champagne, chili dogs with an Australian shiraz, and grilled cheese with a French sauvignon blanc, chef James Moore's menu of eclectic and upscale comfort food has earned Max's a spot on Bon Appetit magazine's Top 10 Wine Bars in America.
Though the cuisine evokes the flavors of a rustic diner, the ingredients are all gourmet—chefs spangle dishes with fresh seasonal produce, piquant cheeses, and unique sauces such as chipotle aioli and wasabi crème fraiche. Meanwhile, an extensive inventory of world wines pours freely from a temperature- and humidity-controlled Enomatic wine dispenser, sending selections to tables by the glass even when the menu lists a varietal as bottle-only, thanks to the restaurant's two-glass commitment policy. On weekends, brunch bravely blends fried chicken and pancakes, available in traditional or red velvet, and the signature Max 'n cheese puts a twist on an original in a more critic-friendly manner than editing a high-speed chase into Casablanca.