May 11, 2009 - Max’s Wine Dive Media Party
     The invasion of Houston eateries continues downtown, this time with the opening of Max’s Wine Dive on the corner of San Jacinto and 3rd.  Sporting a 180 label wine list and a menu of “gourmet comfort food,” the upscale yet stripped down restaurant was filled with local media celebrities on Monday night for the pre-opening celebration.  We never did find the “underground” private dining space in the remodelled warehouse space, but we did have a
great time visiting with friends at the event.
    We chatted at length with master mixologist David Alan from the Tipsy Texan and  marketing guru Oliver Everette from L Style/G Style Magazine.  We spied food reviewer Rob Balon and media power couple Olga Compos and Kevin Benz, and stopped to reconnect with Austin arts icons Linda Ball and Forrest Preece.
     The staff at Max’s is quick, friendly, and very knowledgeable about their wine selections.  We sampled several different labels while snacking on the trays of foods that kept circling the room.  The restaurant’s signature fried chicken - with its jalapeno and buttermilk marinade - was a big hit, as were the buffalo sliders and fried oyster nachos.  And who knew that Parmesan-dusted French fries would taste so good with a glass of Pinot Noir?!
   We meet Executive Chef Steve Super, who talked about the fresh local area ingredients that his kitchen will be utilizing, including buffalo from San Antonio and breads from Sandra Bullock’s new downtown grocery venture Walton’s Fancy & Staple.  And as the Austin American-Statesman’s Mike Sutter recently reported, Chef Super was a touring musician for almost three decades - so he will be right at home among Austin’s downtown late night entertainment and dining district.