March 15, 2010

Restaurant Review: Brasserie Max & Julie

To celebrate a belated birthday for my sister, the whole gang went to Brasserie Max and Julie for a fun french dinner. This is a sister restaurant to one of my other favorite places in Houston, Cafe Rabelais, and was also highly recommended by a coworker, who loves food just as much as me.  This place is in the same location where Aries use to be - another old favorite that sadly went away - so I was aware of the atmosphere and setting.  Its small and intimate with both an upstairs and downstairs seating area.  Also, I appreciated that for such a small place, they didn't try to cram as many tables as possible.  That means, no hitting other people or having to scoot your chair when another table is arriving and leaving, which I find way too common in many places. Service was great - they were prompt with menus, bread and water refills.  Our waitress was helpful in what she highlighted as the key traditional French dishes and which ones she liked.  I'd probably stray from the fish dishes as they weren't as good and I'm not highlighting below.

Now, on to the food!
Cassoulet: Waitress highlighted that this is a very traditional French dish. I guess I wasn't paying too close attention and missed the part where she said that its all beans. Ha. I like beans, don't love them, but if you do, then you should order this dish.  There were about six pieces of different sausage and also a leg of duck.  Duck was a little dry but the different sausages where a nice touch to the creamy and somewhat bland beans.

Beef Bourguigon: My sister had this dish and the flavor of the stew/broth was pretty delicious!  You can taste the veggie and the wine they added.  Coupled with the hearty pieces of veggies and beef, this is a good dish to get especially for a cool night out.

Steak au Poivre: Or pepper steak. Brother in law got this dish, cooked medium.  Not the best steak I've ever had (dad's still hits out of the park) but still good enough that I wouldn't be completely disappointed if I got this. I think the best part of this dish was the Pommes Dauphines, which are basically mash potatoes puffs, in a ball and lightly fried.  YUM.

Canard Roti au Miel Lavande: Peking duck in lavendar and honey.  I think this was probably the best dish out of the group. I did not taste the lavender so much as the honey but the duck was cooked perfectly and went well with the complement of veggies.

Souffle: We ordered the souffle at the beginning of the meal and was not disappointed. It was shared and consumed pretty darn fast!

Overall rating, I give this place a 3 out of 5. This is attributed to my dish that I didn't quite like so much.  Cute atmosphere, good for a small group, and the service is friendly and right on.

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