Atlanta's Max's Wine Dive
The cozy, woodsy, bustling environment features a hoping bar full of action and an old school jukebox where the music is free. A further look reveals a wall-to-wall selection of wines for dining-in or to go, and there's executive chef Jason T. Hall makes his rounds from table to table, listening to fans of the fried chicken.
Speaking of fried chicken, Max's Wine Dive offers chicken two ways, including the signature jalapeno-buttermilk marinated recipe, and what they call "BADD ASS Gluten Friendly Fried Chicken!" While both arrive to the table crispy and golden brown on the outside, moist and succulent on the inside, the gluten free version not only uses gluten free flour, but also cauliflower for added crispness. Bottom line, at $17 per entree, served with mashed potatoes, collard greens that have been marinated for a day, and a side of Texas toast, they do chicken right.
Also worthy of note from the small plates section of the menu are the pulled pork stuffed peppers. Tender chunks of pulled pork and cotija (a Mexican cheese made from cow's milk) are stuffed into peppers and topped with a chipotle aioli and cilantro chimichurri sauce. Served on a plate made for sharing, they'r so good that you'll wish you had not. Another signature small plate item is the "MAX 'n cheese:" a rich, luscious truffle cream sauce that has been cheesed with parmesan, Gruyere, and Parmigiano-Reggiano over cavatappi pasta, allowing the velvety smooth sauce to both coat and seep into the pasta.
All in all, Max's Wine Dive keeps it simple. A selection of five small plates, six large plates—including the signature fried chicken, and just one dessert each night. So far, each time chef Jason Hall steps out onto the floor, Atlanta is loving him.