Max Downtown
Max Downtown

Max Downtown

  • Dining Style: Fine Dining
  • Website: http://maxdowntown.com/
  • Phone: (860) 522-2530
  • Hours of Operation:
    Lunch: Monday - Friday: 11:30am - 4:00pm; Dinner: Monday - Thursday: 5:00pm - 10:00pm, Friday - Saturday: 5:00pm - 11:00pm, Sunday: 4:30pm - 9:30pm
  • Payment Options: AMEX,Diners Club,Discover,MasterCard,Visa
  • Cuisine: Steak, Seafood
  • Executive Chef: Hunter Morton
  • Dress Code: Smart Casual
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Banquet/Private Rooms, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Entertainment, Farm to Table, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Happy Hour, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Private Room, Takeout, Wheelchair Access, Wine
  • Private Party Facilities: Two rooms, one can accommodate 48 and the second, 26.
  • Private Party Contact: Steve Abrams 8605222530

Getting there

  • Cross Street: Trumbull Street
  • Parking: Street Parking
  • Parking Details: Valet during dinner, parking in City Place Garage free after 5pm.
A word from Max Downtown
Max Downtown is one of Hartford's premiere restaurants located in the center of the bustling business and cultural district. Under the careful guidance of owners Richard Rosenthal and Steve Abrams, Max Downtown provides outstanding food and trend-setting atmosphere for over three hundred patrons daily. Max Downtown's innovative cuisine includes Pacific Rim inspired dishes as well as a superb selection of traditional Chop House classics. An experienced staff of over forty people provide an in depth knowledge of Max's unique menu and extensive wine list. The sophisticated Max Downtown garnered a three star rating from the New York Times, and a 26 rating from Zagat's Survey for three consecutive years. The Hartford Courant's Northeast Magazine bestowed Max Downtown with its highest four star rating. For lighter yet equally exciting fare, as well as world famous martinis, a stop a Max Downtown's Tavern is essential.
Continued
Foodspotting photos
See all photos
Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerSteak
  • Diners' Choice WinnerMost Booked
Max Downtown reviews from OpenTable diners
240 reviews since July 25, 2014
Overall Rating4.5
  • Food4.5
    Service4.5
  • Ambiance4.4
    Noise LevelModerate
94% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
special occasion (175)fit for foodies (127)notable wine list (114)romantic (100)hot spot (73)good for groups (66)vibrant bar scene (56)great for lunch (42)neighborhood gem (35)late-night find (19)great for brunch (6)scenic view (3)great for outdoor dining (1)Show More
  • In top 2 business restaurants in downtown Hartford
    OpenTable Diner Since 2005
    Dined on 11/18/2014
    Max Downtown has been around for a long time and its still got to be one of the top two business restaurants in downtown Hartford, Capital Grille being the other top contender. You can not go wrong with having a business dinner here, or a special event. Max never fails to deliver. Pick a meal off of the daily menu. Always something new.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for lunch, notable wine list, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • awesome vibe, bad steak
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 11/15/2014
    Awesome vibe. Don't order your prime rib black and blue; they have no clue how to prepare it that way.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Before the show
    Patrick
    Dined on 11/15/2014
    Max Downtown is usually a sure thing. My wife and I had tickets to Hartford Stage, and figured two hours would be enough time to have a great meal and then see a great show. At least the play was excellent. When we sat down, we informed our waitress of our plans and she told us we would have plenty of time. She then disappeared for twenty minutes before she took our order. Granted it was busy, and I am sure we were not the only ones with tickets, but I did over hear two other tables asking for her to get a move on. When the food finally came, we had five minutes to eat before we had to leave for the play. Otherwise the service was fine. We had the tuna appetizer which was fantastic. I had the pork shop with fingerling potatoes and Brussels sprouts. The chop was over cooked and the sprouts were so salty as to be inedible. My wife had the swordfish which was good, not great. We had planned on heading back to Max's after the show for dessert. We went someplace else instead. Next time we eat in Hartford, I will try another place.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Great service
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 11/15/2014
    Enjoyable meal, excellent wine list. The service was great. Don't expect to leave without dropping a couple of hundred dollars if you do apps to desserts.
    Special Features:
    notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • It is slipping
    OMalleyVIP
    Dined on 11/11/2014
    Servers made many mistakes. Seems lack of detail or training. For the price they charge, would expect more. Tuna and cod were bland.
    Special Features:
    great for lunch, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great food
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 11/11/2014
    The wine steward was knowledgeable and really helped to pick a wine to have with our varied menu choices. The food was elegant and tasted as good as it looked. We were seeing a show and we made it with time to spare. Felt like we were in a big city not downtown Hartford.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Bar Service Big Dissappointment
    LaurieW
    Dined on 11/11/2014
    Dinner service was proficient & friendly. Steak & swordfish entrees were both excellent. Slight disappointment with the sides. Mac & Cheese was neither "cheesey" nor creamy, Downside... We arrived early as we were going to the theater & were asked to wait in the bar. Bartender was cold as ICE. As we attempted to sit in the 2 of the 3 last remaining seats at the bar we were informed by the unsmiling bartender that the seats were" taken",(by other people who had not yet arrived). We consumed our very expensive cocktails standing uncomfortably while dodging the service people passing by. Apparently this bar is a private club for regulars only? Too bad that our unfriendly bar service marred what otherwise would have been a great experience.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Impeccable Quality & Service
    DinerZ
    Dined on 11/10/2014
    This restaurant is a must-go for anyone looking to truly enjoy their dining experience. The staff was impressively knowledgeable and the food was cooked to perfection. We highly recommend this restaurant.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Sadmax
    Dined on 11/8/2014
    Great restsurant fir many years Our reservation was at 8..we were seated at a too small table at 840 Then moved to a larger one ..finally seated (petty of 6) at 9 Our apps came out around 945 Dinner arrived at 1015 A little too long for the whole process...
    Special Features:
    hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • just awesome!
    bones
    Dined on 11/8/2014
    The food was just fantastic, the service beyond belief. I was very impressed with the wine list , the cocktails and the atmosphere..
    Special Features:
    notable wine list, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great dinner
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010VIP
    Dined on 11/7/2014
    I had a customer and a friend out for dinner, great service all around. Girls at the check-in desk were also appealing to the eyes
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, hot spot, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Not bad not amazing
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 11/5/2014
    It was pretty good, but I've had better. Our seats were in the corner right at the door and I wasn't impressed with that. It took some time for the waiter to come over but he was very friendly and professional. We had an appetizer which was a little cold, but still pretty good. My boyfriends steak was cooked to perfection and he really enjoyed it. I had the pork chop and I thought they were a bit dry and I was not a fan of ts broussel sprouts salad. We didn't see a dessert we would like so we skipped that. Overall pretty good experience but I wasn't wowed. Think I could have gotten a better dinner for cheaper at other places.
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Business Lunch
    OpenTable Diner Since 2007
    Dined on 11/5/2014
    Made reservation online but restaurant was overbooked and we ended up offering to take a table in the bar since we were on tight timeframe.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Enjoyed Max to the max!
    CRT1
    Dined on 11/1/2014
    Despite the fact that there was a big concert at the XL center, we were not rushed at all. The food was superb, presented well, and our waiter efficient, yet friendly. I would definitely eat here again.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Wish Max was closer to home
    tymelyronVIP
    Dined on 11/1/2014
    In town for a concert at XL Center, which is right across the street, perfect location for dinner. Most impressed with the food, a special, butternut squash soup, and one of the best filets ever. Save room for the beignets, filled with chocolate with a vanilla sauce. Service was prompt and professional and got us out of the packed restaurant in time, and it was not too loud despite the crowd. Too bad Max is an hour away, or we would be back regularly.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Not Fine Dining
    KILLERWINEGUY
    Dined on 11/1/2014
    I felt like I was put into a race to see how fast I could order, eat, pay the check and get out. 55 minutes in and out, did we win the race??? Just finishing the app and the wait staff was standing at the table with dinner. The food was very good but I have other options for good food in establishments that understand how to treat the people that pay the bills.
    Special Features:
    notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Birthday Dinner
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 10/31/2014
    This hasn't been my first time to this establishment. But I can say this has been the first time I didnt leave completely happy. The service i received this evening lack. When I was then changed servers to who I first requested things became a bit better. But nothing nice or "special" was done for my boyfriend for his birthday. As I was told would be done. No candle. No card. I was really disappointed and sad about that.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Kell
    Dined on 10/29/2014
    Everything was great. Nice ambiance, professional staff. Quality food. The waitress was quite long winded with the specials. Too much!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Good food, good ambiance
    OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    Dined on 10/29/2014
    Nice restaurant in center of Hartsford. Will be back if I am ever in Hartsford, CT again
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, great for outdoor dining, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Unfortunate experience
    OpenTable Diner Since 2007
    Dined on 10/25/2014
    Typically a big fan of Max restaurants who has frequented Max Amia, The Tavern, Trumbul Kitchen, Max Oyster bar and Downtown. This is the 3rd time in the past year that we have had a less than favorable experience. Twice in Avon and now in Hartford. Our waiter was exceptional!! Unfortunately I cant say the same for the kitchen and considering we had an early dinner (6:00) there is no excuse for cold food (my wife's entree) or a late side dish(mine) that was over salted, and then issues with espresso of all things. I must admit, my entree was perfect except it came with no side? Oh, the aged Ribeye really wasn't an entree. I'm beginning to loose faith. Are they growing too fast??
    Special Features:
    notable wine list, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Visit from NC
    TerryT
    Dined on 10/25/2014
    What an awesome experience as expected. I recently moved to NC 3 months ago. The visit was a quick weekend filled with lots of sightseeing and great food. Unfortunately we had a 6:00pm reservation with a travel time supposed to be 20min but an accident closed the highway. We ended up with a 3 hr road trip only to arrive to a staff unblemished and ready to please. That they did from the necessary Tequilla shot to a fabulous meal ending with a delightful dessert. Steven and staff did it again. Thanks for making our night spectacular.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, hot spot, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2005
    Dined on 10/24/2014
    They had a bad night. We had an 8:00 reservation. Arrived at 7:30 for a drink at the bar and did not get our main course until 9:30. Maybe they ran out of the fresh food by then.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Business lunch
    krccb
    Dined on 10/24/2014
    Great variety of food choices, excellent service. We had people arrive late, the wait staff was very attentive, gracious and took excellent care of us.
    Special Features:
    great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great restaurant.
    Hartfordctdiner
    Dined on 10/22/2014
    Great for business lunch. Perfect atmosphere. Service is excellent and you are never rushed.
    Special Features:
    great for lunch, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great Music & Food
    Lucy
    Dined on 10/19/2014
    We found Max Downtown while searching for a place that included music/Jazz with the dining experience. We sat in the tavern side so we could enjoy the Jazz band and we were offered the Tavern menu or the restaurant menu. The homemade pastrami was exceptional. The wait staff were very friendly and attentive. The band was very very good. We had a very nice evening and would definitely return.
    Special Features:
    vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • "Pastrami sensation"
    chocluver
    Dined on 10/18/2014
    Sat at bar for about 1/2 hour prior to sitting for dinner. Friends from Monroe NY were visiting...Max's was my preferred place to showcase. Friends enjoyed the ambiance and appetizers; loved the pumpkin soup and remarked "best ever had"; the pastrami appetizer was wonderful! Swordfish was nicely prepared yet I have personally prepared swordfish many times and felt mine was tastier and fresher?! Braised short ribs were very tender- busy week for all of the Hartford restaurants but Max's Downtown still performed to meet quality (food) and service was impeccable- Alyssa was our server and she was friendly and spot on for all of our requests! Took the desserts to go - and enjoyed at midnight- so yummy! We'll be back.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, hot spot, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • First time
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 10/18/2014
    This was my first time having dinner at Max downtown. The food and service was great. I would recommend Max downtown to anyone looking for a great experience in Hartford.
    Special Features:
    hot spot, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great
    Hols10VIP
    Dined on 10/17/2014
    I absolutely love this place. abeen coming for years but this time encountered my first very poor waitress. It was a great disappointment. She was almost silent when at the table, made us wait for 20 minutes before we got our menus. We managed to have fun without her but I hope she finds somewhere else to work.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The best
    JamesO
    Dined on 10/16/2014
    It is a favorite among favorites. Great food. Unique. Pricey but worth it.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Consistent Excellence
    Todbo
    Dined on 10/16/2014
    We go to Max Downtown for special occasions, including Restaurant Week bargain times. Every meal we have here is outstanding and the service is consistently efficient and friendly. Our most recent visit, taking advantage of both our MaxVantage accumulated points and the Restaurant Week special menu was a bargain all around. We'll be back.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Outstanding Again
    fishbone
    Dined on 10/13/2014
    I have never had a bad meal at any Max Restaurant. 5 Stars.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, notable wine list, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great as usual
    Husk28
    Dined on 10/12/2014
    Had an anniversary dinner on a Sunday night and the food and service were great as usual. We moved to NY last winter but make the trip back to CT to go to dinner at Max Downtown!
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Always Great
    GMGP
    Dined on 10/11/2014
    We are frequent visitors to all of Max's restaurants. Max's Downtown is one of the best restaurants in Hartford/Western Mass, consistently great food and drinks and, except in the "back room," great ambience. The steak (we had filet and rib eye) is as good as you'll find in any steakhouse anywhere, perfectly prepared. The truffled tater tots were a big hit at our table too! The only reason I didn't give it 5 stars in every category is that service was slow, almost to the point of negligence, during this visit and we got stuck in the dreaded "back room." However, don't let this deter you, this is a first class dining experience.
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Superb in every way
    RiverNorthJeffVIP
    Dined on 10/11/2014
    Great follow up experience to Hartford marathon. Craved best steak in Hartford. And I got it. Riveted was fabulous. Dessert of flour less chocolate cake was amazing.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Loved it
    Mikki
    Dined on 10/8/2014
    I love all the Max Restaurants! Very romantic and mature. Perfect for special occasions!
    Special Features:
    notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great place in downtown Hartford
    Labatt
    Dined on 10/7/2014
    I ate here on a business trip and was very pleased -- the meal was remarkable. It was an easy walk from the Hilton Hartford. The food is excellent and the service was impeccable, a very good, fine-dining choice.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Liked better than it tasted
    DavethedinerVIP
    Dined on 10/6/2014
    Looked very high end and the food presentations were impressive but the taste was bland - seasoning in the flat iron was supposed to be coffee but it just tasted like unsalted meat
    Special Features:
    late-night find, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Birthday dinner for my wife
    bdaynight1
    Dined on 10/3/2014
    Took my wife here for her Birthday and after a less than stellar beginning at the bar while waiting on our table to be readied, we were quickly seated. Food was outstanding and our server Melissa was AWESOME! Very friendly, knowledgeable about the menu and specials and.energetic. The assistant manager Rachel came over later to be sure all was well and then drove home the point on why Max Downtown is the benchmark. Had the chef prepare an awesome birthday desert with champagne for my wife and I yo close out the night, as well as personally singing happy birthday to Jen. Will be back a few more times.during the year because of the two of these awesome employees!
    Special Features:
    romantic, scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Not quite up to snuff
    travelwithcousins
    Dined on 9/30/2014
    One of our party ordered the bone-in filet, one of the restaurant's specialties. He requested it medium, which usually signifies pink-to-red center. The steak was far over cooked, even burned on one side. The waiter was apologetic, but it was sad to see such a fine piece of meat ruined. We expected much more of Max Downtown.
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2007
    Dined on 9/29/2014
    As always, great food with strong service. Perfect for the business lunch that was held.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate