★ ★ ★ ★
€ € € €
Nestled cutely on Baggot Street, Chez Max oozes with Parisian style and class. Patrons may well stop by for a coffee without even realising the fantastic restaurant that also lies within. The indoor setting is perfect for intimate dates, whilst the outdoor areas are equally as enjoyable and arguably the best seats available. I visited in winter and the heaters did a great job of making me forget that we were outdoors! If you have an anniversary coming up, or simply want to treat yourself to a taste of authentic French cooking, Chez Max is one of the best establishments in Dublin to do so.
The menu, as is to be expected, is populated predominantly by classic French ‘brasserie’ dishes. This means you won’t find anything overly complex, but rather some excellently-executed, simple recipes. In Chez Max, simplicity is emphasised, all for the better. Everything I have eaten in there is top class. Their onion soup, which sounds average at best, is one of their specialities, one which I can’t recommend enough as a starter. Follow this either by the hake or the mussels and you’re set for a great dinner! Finish it up with one of those coffees I mentioned earlier (ideally an espresso!) and you’ll be satiated for a considerable amount of time.
Price-wise, it certainly represents value for money. You get premium food and pay slightly more for it, which is more than fair. Bear in mind that this is not supposed to be a day-to-day restaurant, but rather one where you go to celebrate and splurge a little bit.
As a French native, the best compliment I could give is that it reminds me of home; this is true of Chez Max. There are few places that do French food this good in Dublin, so if that’s what you’re looking for, give Chez Max some consideration.
Alex Lohier – Deputy Editor