The food at Max is stellar and they know it. The earthy, home-style pastas could be considered some of the best in the city. And even though everyone from hipsters to cool, Euro-chic, part-time New Yorkers flock to this offshoot of Frank’s for fresh, Southern Italian fare, the staff is not pleasant – actually they can be downright rude. But what do they care? Once you’ve tasted the pillowy gnocchi smothered in a rich but light tomato sauce and dotted with soft pieces of mozzarella, they know you’ll be hooked. Plus, for the price and portion, enduring the rudeness might just be worth it.
Swallowing the attitude is made easier with one of the excellent wine selections or a very decent pitcher of sangria – especially in the summertime, when you know you’ll be falling over yourself to get a seat in their outdoor patio (what New Yorkers do for outside seating in the summer!). But if bad service is really a deal-breaker, don’t lament. Max’s food delivers exceptionally well (I think they were even awarded best delivery at some point by the Times). Just be sure to leave yourself 40 minutes for the food to arrive.
Max – East Village
51 Ave B (between 3rd and 4th)
Max – Tribeca
181 Duane St. (between Greenwich and Hudson)