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“Good happy hour” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Max's Oyster Bar

Max's Oyster Bar
964 Farmington Ave, West Hartford, CT 06107
(860) 236-6299
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Ranked #6 of 157 Restaurants in West Hartford
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Price range: $31 - $40
Cuisines: Seafood
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Bar scene, Romantic, Doing business, Special occasions, Local cuisine, Large groups, Entertaining clients
Dining options: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Late Night, Reservations
Dining style: Fine Dining
Cross street: South Main Street
Farmington, Connecticut
Top Contributor
52 reviews 52 reviews
25 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
78 helpful votes 78 helpful votes
“Good happy hour”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 9, 2013

Max's has an incredible daily happy hour in the bar from 4-6pm. The salmon burger and truffle fries are so good. The mussels were really good too. I preferred their old way of making them with the mustard a bit more, but both are good. The happy hour is a great value.

Visited January 2013
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231 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
“Always Delicious”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 2, 2013

A premier Hartford-area restaurant. Great seafood and steaks. A bit noisy, but service and ambiance are excellent. Bar is a bit small and crowded at times.

Visited December 2012
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cheshire, Connecticut
Top Contributor
139 reviews 139 reviews
125 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 66 cities Reviews in 66 cities
47 helpful votes 47 helpful votes
“2nd time was not a charm”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 23, 2012

This was supposed to be a special treat. I am a fan of Max Downtown and Trumbull Kitchen and have eaten here before. It was good, but for the price and more importantly the expectation this was generous as a 2.

First, I made reservations. WIBG if tehy asked up-fron if they asked if we were max Advantage member - maybe they would think twice in putting us way back in a room clearly not part of the main dining. Good news they were accommodating in my request to move to a table in the dining room. The hand-off from one wait staff to the other was done with out issue. But I hope they got this side room is not desirable as I watched two other tables seated and ask to be moved. I get they are busy but keep private rooms private.

So onto dinner.

So we order a dozen oysters. Thats why we came. The order came and we saw we only got 11. Now mistakes happen. So we mention there is one missing and the waiter, nice guy, very personable, says " I wil fix that right away". Now, I assume he wil go the raw bar, get one done poste haste and have it delivered before we finish the ones we have.


We finish, the busboy clears plates and sides. Then the one lone oyster on a plate is delivered, with no ice or any asides - I guess he thought it would be be able to bring and deliver to the plate already there. But I have no oyster fork, not even a lemon!

WIBG if he showed up with two or 4 and made a big deal of it - that service would have changed the review to a 3 or 4 star.

So lets talk about the bread. It came after the oysters. Since we used the bread plates to eat the oysters - he had to arrive and then leave in search of plates. Good bread and crackers for sure. But we had to wait till we could catch his eye and ask for butter.

So now dinner. my sea bass - delicious, the blue cod - fantastic. But Huckleberry sauce does not go with these beautiful white meat fish and and wonderful root vegetables. Sorry - just not a good pairing. Probably wonderful with a chicken or pheasant or duck.... someone did show up and ask us how the meal was but by then we were looking forward to dessert.

Speaking of chicken - it was overcooked and hard to use a knife on in a curved plate. The trout - wonderful but the blackened seasoning was lackluster.

So batting .500 an ejection for a missing oyster and butter!

I really like the ambiance, the noise/vibe and the location but instead of having coffee and dessert we opted to walk to Starbucks and enjoy the lights and sights.

So my wife just looked over my shoulder and the receipt - they (over) charged us for the wrong glass of wine. Not a big deal but one more mis-step for what should be an excellent experience and was not. Thus the two.

I will be back and hope this was just a case of being very busy and someone not focused on remembering its about the service experience.

  • Visited December 2012
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Great Seafood”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 22, 2012

Have been here with my family three times in the last few months and each time was really good. The quality is excellent, the prices a bit high depending on what is ordered and the service can be good to excellent depending on who takes care of you. Well worth the visit though.

  • Visited November 2012
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Morris, Connecticut
Top Contributor
91 reviews 91 reviews
60 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 39 cities Reviews in 39 cities
53 helpful votes 53 helpful votes
“Freshest Fish around”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 17, 2012

Visited on a Sunday night so the crowd was relatively light, but the ambience still lovely, fun, alive; very nice decor. Service was great-attentive, friendly, but not intrusive. Amongst 4 people, we tried an assortment of raw bar items which were super fresh; lightly fried calamari-very delicate and tender; whole belly clams-nicely done, on the smaller side which we preferred. Entrees included organic salmon, clams, and sea bass-all absolutely excellent. They have a nice selection of wines by the glass & bottle, along with a number of signature mixed drinks. If you enjoy the bar scene, this is a great one, but it does not take away from the excellent dining room experience. Can't stress enough how good the seafood was-super fresh, and wonderfully prepared. Have had beef dishes here before, and those were as excellent as the fish-but this IS a great experience for someone looking for the freshest fish away form the shore!

  • Visited December 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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