A few weeks ago, I went to a friend’s birthday dinner at Max Caffé, a very cozy little cafe on 122nd and Amsterdam. The casual version of Max Soha, Max Caffé is filled with artsy types, most of them hailing from the nearby Columbia University. Definitely a place for the bear to wear his beret.
The place is all dim lighting and mismatched furniture, and there is something very casual and composed about the atmosphere. The waitstaff is all very personable and friendly, and they recommended a number of things without dairy, most of them being salads. They have a large selection of paninis, but the bread ingredients were not available, so I decided to go with a basic chicken salad on baby spinach.
To me, the salad wasn’t something that was particularly noteworthy or special, though the dressing was delicious. I appreciated the touch of orange, especially combined with the spices on the chicken. However, sometimes plain things are comforting when comfort starts to become an issue. Their selection of desserts was impressive, though I did not partake. The birthday girl received some free cake in addition to the tiramisu and ice cream and espresso that everyone else ordered.
Because the focus was on the friends and not the food, I don’t have much to say about the restaurant. Max Caffe was not my personal favorite, but I definitely recommend it as a good foray into “hispterville” with all the couches and coffee and college students. All in all, it was a fun setting for all the girls and gossip.