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“Should go here more often!”
Review of Max's Oyster Bar

Max's Oyster Bar
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Ranked #5 of 192 Restaurants in West Hartford
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: USD 31 - USD 40
Cuisines: Seafood
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Groups, Business meetings, Special Occasion Dining, Bar Scene, Local cuisine, Romantic
Dining options: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, After-hours, Reservations
Dining style: Fine Dining
Cross street: South Main Street
Reviewed 28 June 2016

Met a friend for lunch today, hadn't been there for probably several years - that's a mistake! We both had a hard time deciding what to order, there were so many yummy dishes with local, fresh ingredients. We shared FRESH oysters on the half shell (only $1 on Mondays!) and Oysters Rockefeller were to die for! I had a kale, brussel sprouts, dried cranberry, almond salad that was superb! My friend had a fresh strawberry salad with fresh, local greens. Definitely need to go back there sooner rather than later!

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Thank Kaceyro
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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165 - 169 of 479 reviews

Reviewed 13 June 2016

Was at this restaurant last night. One member of the party ordered a one and a half pound lobster and was served a one pound lobster. He complains and they brought another one which was no much bigger! My wife ordered Thai mussels which were plain horrible. Menu mentioned Cape Cod mussels but they looked more like frozen asian mussels. Some of them smelled really bad and she asked the waiter to take them back. This dish was totally unedible. I don't think we will be visiting this place soon!

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2  Thank bonbou
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 June 2016

To borrow some of the other reviewers comments, yes, it is very pretentious, but it is also located in West Hartford center, the center of pretentiousness. It is no more so than Grants or the Elbow Room, its close neighbors and competitors.

Noisy? Yes.

Waitstaff was fair to average at best.

My real problem was the food-none of it was really prepared poorly, but it is the presentation that I have a problem with-keeping in mind I was dining with two classically trained chefs, we debated this issue throughout our meal. I prefer to taste what I order, not have it masked or covered up for the sake of being trendy. An example is the steamed mussels appetizer-while a traditional simple presentation of white wine and garlic highlights the mussels flavor, this restaurant offers "Thai mussels with coconut curry sauce, cilantro and lime", which to me overpowers and completely masks the mussels flavor. Fresh, quality seafood and meat don't need to have their flavor covered up! The raw bar was frankly not anything special and pricey. Another example was the tuna, prepared as Wasabi Pea Crusted Hawaiian Big Eye Tuna with
Soba noodles, broccoli, peppers, napa cabbage, sugar snap peas, sesame citrus dressing and crispy wontons...really? I get it, you went to culinary school, but apparently are more focused on trendy presentation than taste.

The menu has a very strong Asian flair to it. Again, our meals were not bad, but the natural flavors of the trout, scallops, sea bass we ordered were all overpowered.

If you want trendy and pretentious, you will enjoy it.

If you want quality over presentation, I would recommend you pass.

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1  Thank mjd572
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 June 2016 via mobile

This place was fine, nothing special, and expensive for the area. Good size menu that is French with a bistro type selection. A huge raw bar selection which is nice but VERY pricey. Servings were very generous though. I had the seafood paella (definitely not French), which was enormous and well done. Plentiful seafood and none of it over cooked as can often happen with seafood paella. Nice decor but narrow bar area and hard to get attention of the bartender on a Monday night who seemed mostly interested in chatting with the locals. My issue was mostly with the pretentious server. He seemed very disappointed that we were not ordering copious amounts of food from the raw bar and that we passed in dessert. I liked to food, but it is expensive and I would try other places before coming back here.

1  Thank Cindy K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 June 2016

My family celebrated two events here. On both occasions, the restaurant was packed, service attentive, food delicious and beautifully presented. Unfortunately the noise level throughout both visits precluded hearing any conversation at all, which ruined the experience for me.

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Thank Marcia W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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West Hartford, CT

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