MAX’s Wine Dive

Dive into your day with brunch at MAX’s Wine Dive

We have been so excited to share this week’s restaurant with you because it also means we get to share our favorite meal with you—BRUNCH.

Not to go on too much of a tangent, but brunch, in our opinion, is the quintessential mealtime. It’s not so early that you feel like you have to drag yourself out of bed to go, but not so late that you can’t enjoy all your favorite breakfast foods. Feel like a syrupy monster stack of pancakes? Fine! Want something heartier, like fried chicken? Great! Want them together? Everything goes! Brunch is truly Hannah Montana-style the best of both worlds…and MAX’s Wine Dive knows how to do brunch.

Caramelized pineapple mimosa and peach bellini

The Fizz

Any brunch savant knows that no meal can truly be considered brunch without a good drink…which is why we here at fizz & fork consider a good drink menu to be just as important as the food selection. Here’s what we love about MAX’s—you can choose a bottle of champagne to purchase and they provide you with a juice selection for DIY mimosas. Orange, cranberry, pomegranate, you name it. If that sounds like too much, they also have a great premade drink selection. From the menu, we ordered a couple bellinis and a caramelized pineapple mimosa. The bellinis were classic, refreshing, and paired nicely with our meal. The caramelized pineapple mimosa was unique and not what we expected. It was good, but tasted almost burnt (if a mimosa can be burnt). Our recommendation is to go with the DIY mimosas to get the most bang for your buck!

The Fork

MAX’s Wine Dive describes their menu as “gourmet comfort food.” From our experience, they don’t have a particular style of food, and there are a lot of eclectic, unique options (like carrot cake pancakes!). We ordered the ham and cheese omelette, the fried egg sandwich, and the honey butter chicken benedict. Each entree was served with MAX’s signature home fries, which were incredible. They were a bit on the spicy side, so be aware, but the seasoning was flavorful and not too salty. The omelette had plenty of hearty ham and wasn’t overcooked as omelettes so often are. The fried egg sandwich was HUGE, and though there was a lot packed into it, the ratios were balanced and no flavor overwhelmed another. Our personal favorite was the honey butter chicken benedict. We cannot say enough good things about it. It’s exactly what it sounds like—biscuits topped with fried chicken, poached eggs, gravy, and honey butter sauce. We were a bit wary of the combo at first, but it proved to be a winner, and it brought together what we love so much about brunch, with sweet and savory beautifully balanced.

Things to Know Before You Go:

  • Parking: Parking at MAX’s on Fairview is either street parking or valet. The valet is tip-based, so make sure you have cash on hand if that’s your plan.
  • The area: MAX’s Wine Dive has two locations in Houston (in Montrose and on Washington Ave), one location in San Antonio, one in Denver, and one in Austin, although the ATX location is temporarily closed at the moment. We visited the Montrose location, on Fairview.
  • Seating: There is indoor and outdoor seating available, but if it’s a nice day, the outdoor seating will go pretty quickly. If you make a reservation, be sure to specify which you prefer.
  • Other meals: MAX’s isn’t just brunch! They also serve dinner, complete with quite the robust wine menu.

So when should you make your own trip to MAX’s Wine Dive?

Brunch with out-of-town friends! MAX’s favorite saying (you’ll find it printed on your server’s shirt) is “fried chicken and champagne..why the hell not?” As evidenced by that motto, it’s pretty easy to find something for everyone—from the classy friend who wants only eggs benedict (it’s fine, we’re that friend), or a simple pleasures kind of pal who just wants to go to town on a good chicken and waffles platter. MAX’s Wine Dive has it all, and anyone you bring is sure to be impressed!

Have you been to MAX’s? When did you go, for brunch or dinner? Let us know, and be sure to subscribe to receive notification emails whenever we have a new post! See you next Wednesday!

Sixty Vines

Houston’s “tappiest” date night spot

When we first walked into Sixty Vines in Rice Village, we didn’t think much of the name. We knew it was a wine bar, of course, and the name makes for a cute logo, but as it turns out, they mean what they say.

Sixty Vines has at least sixty wines on tap at all times (sixty-three, to be exact. We counted!). It’s a wino’s haven. Plus, all the food is ethically and locally-sourced, and all inspired by wine country cuisine, more than living up to expectations.

House-made frose

The Wine

We ordered a total of four different wines—a Cascinetta Vietti sparkling moscato from Italy, a Vine Huggers pinot noir from the Russian River Valley, a South African Lubenzi Chenin Blanc, and, to go with dessert, a house-made frosé. Don’t worry, we brought friends! The wide variety of the menu and the seemingly endless bar of wine taps could easily get overwhelming,but the staff was helpful and friendly, and were able to make recommendations to tailor to each of our preferences. The result was that each person got a wine fitting to their flavor profile, and we all know how a good glass of wine can elevate a meal.

The Savory

Up first on our savory docket was a plate of mushroom toast. The plate was small and best shared between two people, but the mushrooms were exquisitely cooked. Then came the entreés. The menu has enough options that you don’t have to order a particular kind of food, and you can stay in your individual price range, but not too many options as to be overwhelming. We ordered the Orecchiette Primavera, the Spicy Sausage Pizza, the Tonnarelli, and the Pork Chop. The overall verdict from us and our fellow diners? The food is delicious, but not too rich. The coconut in the Tonnarelli was noticeable but not overpowering, the pizza was light enough to still work with wine, the butter pesto was incredible but not overdone, and the carrots on the side of the pork chop were perfectly tender. If we were limited to two adjectives about the food, they would be light and flavorful. Even after a full plate, you’ll feel satisfied but not sluggish, and you know what that means…plenty of room for dessert!

Texas Citrus Olive Oil Cake

The Sweet

Because we couldn’t just decide on one, we ordered two desserts, from each side of the flavor spectrum. First up, the Deviled Affogato, which was a devil’s food cake topped with salted caramel ice cream, coffee caramel, and on the side, a shot of nitro cold brew coffee shot. The coffee comes on the side and you can choose how little or much of it to pour over the top. It was perfectly balanced, and none of the flavors felt like they took over the dish. We also ordered the Texas Olive Oil Citrus Cake. To be honest, by the time we got to the olive oil cake, we were all stuffed. Yet the unassuming slice proved to be a perfect night cap. The cake was light and not too dense, and the apple slices on top gave it the perfect little crunch. It made a great side for the frosé, too!

Things to Know Before You Go:

  • Parking: There’s a parking garage that offers free two hour parking and that opens directly onto the second floor of the restaurant. Otherwise, there is metered parking available throughout Rice Village.
  • The area: The Sixty Vines we visited is located in the heart of Houston’s Rice Village, but there are also locations in Plano, TX, Uptown Dallas, TX, and Winter Park, FL.
  • Serving sizes: Before you go, be aware of the wine serving sizes. 

So when should you make your own trip to Sixty Vines?

Date night! This restaurant and wine bar is the perfect place to show off your impressive wine knowledge to a blind date or to enjoy a dressed-up evening with your significant other.

Have you been to Sixty Vines? What did you think? Can you guess what recipe we’ll be trying out next week as inspired by our trip there? Let us know by leaving a comment below!