Max Downtown Supports Journey Home

Max Downtown is very pleased to announce a month-long benefit to help Journey Home, one of Hartford’s leading advocacy groups working to end homelessness in Ct.  Journey Home is a team of innovative problem solvers who are passionate about ending homelessness in our community. Founded in 2007 as the agency responsible for implementing Hartford’s 10-Year Plan to End Homelessness, Journey Home has grown to become a strategic leader and valued partner for homeless service providers throughout the region.

journey-home-logo-FINAL (1) whiteJourney Home’s mission is to accelerate progress towards ending chronic homelessness in the Greater Hartford region. Partnering with the region’s social service providers, Journey Home focuses on solving the problem of chronic homelessness with housing, employment, and support services, rather than managing it with emergency shelter. As a catalyst for systemic change, Journey Home develops and implements innovative ways to improve the housing and service system in order to offer those experiencing homelessness paths toward independent, fulfilling, and productive lives.

IMG_20160104_100302005Max Downtown is supporting the efforts of Journey Home during the month of January 2016, by featuring a special cocktail all month long, of which a portion of the proceeds will be donated to Journey Home.  The Wild Moon Beam Cocktail, created by Max Downtown’s Bar Manager Michael Boiano, features Jim Beam Bourbon along with Hartford’s very own Wild Moon Cranberry Liqueur by the Hartford Flavor Company.

For each drink purchased through the month of January, Max Downtown will donate $1 to Journey Home.  Max Downtown will also be helping to host the Journey Home 2016 Gala at City Place in Hartford on January 29th.  For more information on that event, please click here.

WILD MOON BEAM
Glass: Rocks
.75oz Jim Beam Bourbon
.75oz Wild Moon Cranberry Liqueur
.75oz Averna Amaro
.75oz Lemon Juice
Combine in a tin with ice, integration shake
Garnish: 5 x cranberries (dried) soaked in Bourbon

Max Downtown to Host a “Pairings Dinner” June 12th

Pairing-Dinner-email-3 copy 2PAIRINGS DINNER
Max Downtown’s Chef and Sommelier are Combining Forces to host a Pairings Dinner featuring seasonal cuisine paired with wines, limited release beer and craft cocktails from the Max Downtown Collection

The menu has been created in a collaborative manner by
Chef Christopher Sheehan and
Sommelier Justin Gavry
In the manner of a tasting menu in order to
highlight the best of both the Kitchen and the Bar

Friday June 12th
6:30pm

1st course
LOBSTER STEAM BUN
pickled ramp brown butter
Cava Cocktail
Raventos I Blanc Cava | grilled-lemon & chili syrup

2nd course
PROSCIUTTO WRAPPED FIGS
house made ricotta, stonewall apiary honey
The Lady Sherry
Hidalgo Oloroso, POM & fresh lemon juice, shaken into coupe, float of Moscato d’Asti

3rd course
FERMES ST-CANUT PORCELET DE LAIT
green garlic spring bean ragout
White Gold
Ithaca Beer Co., Bottle Conditioned, Rustic Pale Wheat Ale

4th course
COFFEE CRUSTED WYOMING BUFFALO
squash soubise, marble potato, smoked tomato steak sauce
(side by side)
The Terraces Zinfandel, Napa Valley, 2012,
Jefferson’s #946 Ridiculously Small Batch Bourbon, Barreled for Max

5th course
BROWN’S FARM STRAWBERRY OLIVE OIL CAKE
champagne sabayon
Averna Amaro | Basil Syrup

6th course
PEDRO’S PARFAIT
vanilla gelato pedro ximenez parfait, chocolate biscotti crunch
Bodegas Toro Albala DON PX Gran Reserva, Montilla-Morilles,1985

$75 per person
(not including tax or gratuity)

Please call Max Downtown for reservations
Seating is very limited

(860) 522-2530
185 Asylum St | Hartford, CT | 06103

7th Annual Whiskey Dinner at Max’s Oyster Bar Featuring Rye Whiskey

RYE: A New York-inspired Cocktail & Food Pairing Dinner

whiskey on the rocksThis year for our annual Whiskey Dinner, Max’s Oyster Bar team will be featuring classic Rye Whiskey based cocktails from the New York City historical drink book, and specifically the regional variations on the Manhattan Cocktail. Each course is paired with a classic interpretation of this delicious drink, each with their own touch made famous by bartenders past and present.

Rye whiskey is an inherently American spirit, and what better way to showcase this than with an inherently American drink? We say, there is no better way, and so we have an entire menu centered around these themes. Join us for this excellent dinner, “tour” the regions of New York City, and stay warm with Rye Whiskey.

Menu by Chef Hunter Morton
Cocktails by Brian Mitchell
Whiskey Presentation by Ed Dunn, American Whiskey Specialist

nyc-empire-roomThursday January 29th

Reception 6:30pm
The Manhattan
Old Overholt Rye, Carpano Antica, orange & aromatic bitters

Hors d’oeuvres

Course 1
Brooklyn
Dickel Rye, Dolin Dry Vermouth, China China, Maraschino Liquor

Rye Cured Loch Duhart Salmon | Baby Greens | Rye Crisp | Orange Honey Marmalade | Pickled Mustard Seed

Course 2
Red Hook
Bulleit Rye, Punt e Mes, Maraschino Liquor

Smoked Oyster Stew | Salsify | Bacon | Grits

Course 3
Carrol Gardens
Russell’s Reserve Rye, Amaro, Punt e Mes, Maraschino Liquor

Butternut Squash Ravioli | wild mushrooms | maple Sage Butter

Course 4
Green Point
Whistle Pig Rye, Yellow Chartreuse, Carpano Antica, angostura and orange bitters

Braised Pork Belly | Brussels Sprouts | lentils | Bacon Marmalade

Dessert
The Slope
Hudson Maple Rye, Punt e Mes, Apricot, angostura

Sweet Potato Doughnuts | Whiskey Caramel

Please call Max’s Oyster Bar for reservations

964 Farmington Avenue | West Hartford | CT 06107 | (860) 236-6299
$89 per person, not including tax or gratuity

Forager Cocktail #1 – Rosedale Flower

By Brian Mitchell, Corporate Beverage Director, Max Restaurant Group

Rosedale FarmsLast night we had the pleasure of kicking off our new season for the Max Chef to Farm Series, now in its 7th season.  This dinner series is a popular series where we take the Max experience out to local farms and present meals based on the ingredients available at that point in the season and what we can source locally.

This series has become so popular that we routinely sell out each event, and often have a wait list.  Chef Scott Miller along with a number of the other Max Chefs creates thoughtful, delicious meals with locally sourced farm produce as well as locally sourced meats, cheeses and seafood.  For my part, I get to start the evening off with a welcome cocktail when guests arrive, and in line with the locally sourced ingredients I try to find not only local produce or other ingredients to make this cocktail.  I also like to find local, or at least hand-crafted / artisanly produced, spirits for the base of these drinks.

For the summer of 2014, I have decided to theme my drinks under the umbrella name/concept of Forager Cocktails, and will be producing a series of these drinks for each C2F dinners through the season, each making best use of local ingredients available at that point in the season.

I had so many requests last night for my recipe that I am posting here for any to see and use.  Please feel free to contact me if you need assistance or have questions on how to recreate this cocktail or any others in the series.

Rosedale StrawberriesFor the Forager Cocktail #1, I made a drink based on a slightly obscure, but well thought out drink called the Artemis Flower.  This drink combines fresh ingredients that fit perfectly with what is available in early summer –  berries.  For my part, I called this drink the Rosedale Flower, as we were serving the dinner at Rosedale Farms in Simsbury, Ct, and the main ingredient here were the strawberries picked fresh that morning.

I used the berries with some Bourbon, fresh lime juice, house made “sambuca”, and a thyme syrup that I made in the morning.  The “sambuca” actually makes use of a few other locally sourced items for a great flavor twist that is hard to replicate.  I use Rime Vodka, which is made by Westford Hill Distillers in Ashford, Ct as the base, to which I infused about a dozen (per 750ml of vodka) fennel blossom heads into slowly for about 3-4 hours.  This process allows me to pull the flavor out of the fennel, but not the harsh green components that would detract from the lovely licorice flavors.  I added some sugar to balance and the result is very similar to a Sambuca.

My Bourbon of choice for the night is a small production bourbon called Corner Creek Reserve Bourbon, from Kentucky.  This is an 88 proof whiskey that is actually aged about 8 years for mellowing.  I like the power this bottling has, along with the deep bourbon flavor, and the extra touch of proof did not hurt at all.  In fact, the tempering of alcohol by the sweetness from the fresh thyme syrup was perfect.  Very simple to make, I used a big fist of thyme sprigs and added them while the water was still cool and then let it steep as it came up in temperature.  Once I could smell the thyme strongly, I pulled it off the heat just before boiling.  I let it sit for a few minutes and then strained out the leaves and stems.  While still hot, I mixed in equal parts (by volume) of granulated sugar to make my syrup.  Very flavorful and delicious – adding a great extra flavor element to this drink.

anyone can make this drink at home, and if you are willing to go a little extra for the local and the home-made ingredients, then you will have an even more special experience – something we try to achieve out on the farm.

Forager #1 Rosedale FlowerForager Cocktail # 1 – The Rosedale Flower
In a mason jar –
Add 3-4 fresh picked strawberries – lightly crushed, but not pulverized
Then combine in jar
2oz Corner Creek Bourbon
½ oz House-made fennel-buca (you can use regular Sambuca like Meletti)
¾ oz Thyme Syrup
½ fresh lime juice
Let sit for a few minutes to absorb the strawberry juice
Fill with ice, add splash of Club Soda and serve with Thyme sprig for garnish