Max's Oyster Bar
Max's Oyster Bar

Max's Oyster Bar

  • Dining Style: Fine Dining
  • Website: http://maxsoysterbar.com/
  • Phone: (860) 236-6299
  • Hours of Operation:
    Lunch: Monday - Saturday: 11:30am - 4:00pm; Brunch: Sunday: 11:00am - 3:00 pm Dinner: Monday - Wednesday: 4:00pm - 10:00pm, Thursday - Saturday: 4:00pm - 11:00pm, Sunday: 3:00pm - 9:00pm
  • Payment Options: AMEX,Carte Blanche,Diners Club,Discover,MasterCard,Visa
  • Cuisine: Seafood
  • Executive Chef: Scott Miller
  • Dress Code: Business Casual
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Banquet/Private Rooms, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Delivery, Farm to Table, Full Bar, Happy Hour, Late Night, Non-Smoking Area, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Private Room, Smoking Area, Takeout, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine
  • Private Party Facilities: We have seating up to 25 and a private wine room.

Getting there

  • Cross Street: South Main Street
  • Parking: Public Lot
  • Parking Details: Public Lot located behind restaurant.
A word from Max's Oyster Bar
Max's Oyster Bar is the fourth creation of restaurateur Richard Rosenthal and his partner Bob Cooke, formerly of Legal Seafood Restaurant Company. Located among unique shops, coffeehouses, and several restaurants, Max's Oyster Bar compliments West Hartford Center's charming and growing shopping district. The understated atmosphere of muted colors and comfortable seating allows diner's to focus on the truly important, the food. Featuring modern renditions of classic American seafood, Max's Oyster Bar menu has something for everyone. While seafood is the focal point, there are selections for even the most land bound. Ethnic influences are apparent throughout a menu filled with new interpretations on traditional fare.
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerHot Spot
  • Diners' Choice WinnerSeafood
  • Diners' Choice WinnerMost Booked
Max's Oyster Bar reviews from OpenTable diners
187 reviews since July 26, 2014
Overall Rating4.4
  • Food4.5
    Service4.5
  • Ambiance4.3
    Noise LevelModerate
92% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
special occasion (113)fit for foodies (101)hot spot (81)vibrant bar scene (73)neighborhood gem (72)good for groups (63)romantic (58)notable wine list (57)great for outdoor dining (47)great for lunch (39)late-night find (14)great for brunch (14)scenic view (2)kid-friendly (1)Show More
  • Not what it use to be...
    RobbieVIP
    Dined on 11/15/2014
    Haven't been to Max Oyster Bar in 6 months but it still isn't as good as it was in the early days. Food quality is down. Selection of fish dishes is all over the place. They used to have a simple fish menu, with multiple preparations, that worked well. the service was also very weak. Had to return an item as it was so overly cooked. Given the high prices it isn't worth the money. There are much better and more affordable choices in the West Hartford area.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2011VIP
    Dined on 11/15/2014
    Max's Oyster Bar is our go-to place for out of town guests and it never disappoints. Our guests (as well as we) thoroughly enjoyed our oyster and clam selections from the raw bar, We had fluke, scallops, lobster mac and cheese, and crab cakes as entrees. Everything was well prepred and tasty the service is always top notch, and our guests were very happy. Max's is one of our favorite restaurants for just going out as well as special occasions.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • HerrDoc
    Dined on 11/15/2014
    Another excellent meal at Max's Oyster Bar. The gorup had oysters to start -all were excellent. Chowder was superb. Two diners gad the salmon special -perfectly cooked and tasty. Scallop special was also very good. Filet oscar was to die for. We even had desserts - the beignets killed. The only (minor) quibble was the service - the place was packed & it took some time to get orders taken, food and drinks delivered. But altogether a great time & dinner.
    Special Features:
    hot spot, notable wine list, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • HIt or miss
    SouthernerVIP
    Dined on 11/14/2014
    I have been here a few times and find that sometimes its really good and other times its mediocre. The menu does have a lot of variety for seafood and non-seafood lovers. The children's meals are also pretty good (they have a good assortment of food, vegetable and fruit) but the main courses were just ok this time. I tried the paella which is a favorite dish of mine and while the seafood was fresh, the seasoning and rice with the dish wasn't done correctly. My daughter got the black bean and chorizo soup that was on special and it was extremely runny and bland. I will go back but hope that they up their game on the entrees - at $25-$45 an entree - I think most people would expect better execution of the dishes. The service is always good here though and waiters are knowledgeable about the dishes.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, kid-friendly
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Uncomfortable and loud
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 11/8/2014
    Made reservations and were seated early, however the table was tiny, shoved against a wall and cold breeze rushed in each time someone opened the door (which was often). Service was exceptional, food was fresh, plated nice, and delicious. Server made great recommendations, explained the dishes in detail. Noise level was headache causing, had to shout to each other, so gave up on conversation. A fine choice for the bar scene, but would not recommend for a nice dinner.
    Special Features:
    hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Awesome
    Vcb1
    Dined on 11/8/2014
    Awesome - from service to food it could not have been better.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • really gone downhill
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 11/8/2014
    Stale needs a face lift. Noise level very loud distracts from the dining experiece. Was one one of our favoites but has declined. Food not nealy as good as in the past.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Ambiance and food exceptional
    southeasternCTdude
    Dined on 11/7/2014
    Very lively and happy atmosphere. Waiter knew menu, specials, and answered our questions. Seafood was fresh and delicious. Crab cake appetizer was perfect.
    Special Features:
    great for lunch, hot spot, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Perfect as usual...
    Scotteroo
    Dined on 11/7/2014
    A long time friend wanted to get together and have dinner. He asked me where I wanted to go, and I of course said Max Oyster Bar... In lieu of entrees, we decided to order some raw bar. We ordered some shrimp, cherrystones and some oysters. Pair that with a couple of Franzisianer's and you have a perfect meal! I'll be back soon.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, hot spot, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Nice meal
    eosccVIP
    Dined on 11/6/2014
    My wife and I stoppped in for an early light bite. My cherrystone clams were as large and tasty as any I have ever had. We each had a Caesar salad, one with grilled chicken. The chicken was perfectly grilled and the salads were delicious.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for brunch, great for outdoor dining, hot spot, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Love Oysters? Max's is the best!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 11/1/2014
    Always a great time at Max's Oyster Bar. The staff, food, and service are unmatched. Thanks for another fantastic evening!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Always love Max's
    JudyVIP
    Dined on 11/1/2014
    Depend on great food , menu that changes some, good service, and very nice people. The seafood is ALWAYS great.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great as always
    MikeM
    Dined on 10/31/2014
    We come here about once a quarter. Awesome food. Noisy and busy, but love the place.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, hot spot, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Always worth it; still the best
    EGLovetodine
    Dined on 10/31/2014
    I have lived in West Hartford for over 30 years, and over that time there are more and more wonderful places to eat, not just in town, but around. Max's Oyster Bar still astounds me with the "full package". The ambiance is great, from the urban/after work vibe at the bar to the attentive but non-intrusive and very knowledgeable wait-staff. I know it is expensive, but it is WELL worth it. This is a place to celebrate life and food and friendship (and love, if you are lucky enough to have that special someone in your life).
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for brunch, great for lunch, hot spot, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • ejbje
    Dined on 10/25/2014
    Table we sat as would cause up never to go back as servers. staff and patrons kept walking by and bumping table making meal feel a bit awkward all the time
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Fantastic food and service
    2dineisdivine
    Dined on 10/25/2014
    This was my third visit to Max's. The food has been consistently fresh and delicious, and the portions are more than ample. The servers are knowledgeable, efficient, and friendly. On this particular visit, we had a hiccup with a trout entree. We couldn't quite put our finger on it, but there was something "fishy" about the trout. It didn't seem old, it didn't smell bad, but it just had an odd taste. We informed the server and he handled it very well. Then, the manager came over and apologized, made sure we were happy, and told us we would not be charged for the entree. I highly recommend the seafood tower appetizer, and the selection of oysters is terrific. My scallop entree was absolutely delicious!! I will definitely return!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great time
    Cgam
    Dined on 10/24/2014
    My husband and I had a great date night here. Food was delicious and the service was impeccable.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, hot spot, late-night find, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • excellent menu
    outstandingVIP
    Dined on 10/23/2014
    Always a favorite of mine in the Max group. The food is always exceptional and the menu so varied. My friend and I both had fish entrees and loved what we had. The service was impeccable and the place was just hoping as always. Never disappointed with a meal or service or the ambiance when dining there
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, hot spot, late-night find, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • service was horrible
    dabb
    Dined on 10/19/2014
    Could not get the waiter to pay attention to our order. asked for lemon for our water 8 times before he brought any. asked for separate checks he made the check 50% of every meal item. did not bring us our change back. took it as a tip
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Saturday dinner
    RoquesVIP
    Dined on 10/18/2014
    The food and wait staff are outstanding at Max's oyster bar. The wait staff was friendly and knowledgable. The scallops and risotto are excellent as was the cinnamon bread pudding. However the ambiance and noise level left a bit to be desired. It was very noisy and a bit hectic to the point that my date and I had a hard time talking to each other. All in all it's a nice place and I will make a return trip.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, hot spot, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • nice evening out
    yumkc
    Dined on 10/18/2014
    Went here for restaurant week which is a good deal to have since you can taste a variety of dishes without breaking the bank. Very crowded the night we went and sat in the back in the small table. Other than that though, experience was great. Service was good and the food delicious. I like the pickled carrots they had to munch on versus having bread. had the chowder for app and the short rib for entrée. that was excellent, very tender and moist. chocolate for dessert was light but satisfying.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Service
    Gator
    Dined on 10/17/2014
    Food was excellent,wait staff attentive. Kitchen backed up meal was slow in coming.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Excellent food, cool atmosphere
    Ntomach
    Dined on 10/17/2014
    I always enjoy dining at any of the Max Restaurant Group establishments but Max Oyster is my favorite. Max Oyster has a cool, art decco sort of a vibe. Their menu selections are out of this world and I highly recommend it. My only complaint is that they jam pack the tables tightly together so that you are literally sitting within 3 feet of the table next to you and can here every word their saying. If you request a booth, you should be golden as they are always spacious. Last time we dined, we sat in the back room and it felt claustrophobic because of the spacing of the tables. Would certainly be 5 stars in my book if the layout was better.
    Special Features:
    vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great meal
    eosccVIP
    Dined on 10/13/2014
    Our party of four enjoyed our meals very much. The service,as usual, was excellent. We always enjoy Max's Oyster Bar.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for lunch, great for outdoor dining, hot spot, late-night find, neighborhood gem, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • High on hype and price; low on quality
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 10/13/2014
    my guest sword fish was not well done, the noddle/spaghetti in my dish were Molto al dente and not to my taste, the food portion was small and not enough zest in the sauce.
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Service is NOT dead
    service101
    Dined on 10/12/2014
    Very pleased to say that service is still alive at Max's. The warm greeting we got upon entering and being seated to the knowledgeable waiter who was very attentive and friendly. The food was outstanding. My son said he wants to visit once a week, not in our budget but we will be back at least 3-4 times a year for special events.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, hot spot, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Outstanding!
    foodieVIP
    Dined on 10/10/2014
    We loved our evening at Max's Oyster Bar. The oysters were so very fresh and presented perfectly. I had the Rainbow Trout with grits which I would highly recommend. We will be back.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 10/8/2014
    Food was outstanding but the noise level is a challenge especially if conducting a business meeting. For a party of four it is fine, but with a larger group it is very difficult to hear casual conversation. I most likely would choose a different venue for a business meeting for a group in excess of four people.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great Place
    OpenTable Diner Since 2006
    Dined on 10/7/2014
    Food and service were excellent. Great seating and beer selection.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, hot spot, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Fresh Seafood in a Vibrant Setting
    Agodava
    Dined on 10/4/2014
    Happened to be in the area for an event that happened to fall on our anniversary. Max's was recommended by a friend. The seafood is fresh and expertly prepared. The raw bar provided an excellent starter with the taste of the sea. It was like sitting on the dock and eating the catch fresh off the boat. The sides are inventive and tasty. Desserts capped a fun evening. Our server was friendly, knowledgeable and helpful. Solid wine list. Place can get loud as they do pack them in.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, hot spot, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Enjoyable Lunch
    HyExpectations
    Dined on 10/1/2014
    It's been a while since the last visit to the Oyster Bar and it was rewarded with a thoroughly enjoyable lunch. Service was attentive and accommodating. The food was tasty and the Squid Ink pasta is now a new favorite. This was a late lunch (2:00) and completely solved the rather high noise level the Oyster Bar attains at peak lunch and diner times. Go and enjoy.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • frequentfoodie
    Dined on 9/28/2014
    We go to Max's fairly regularly these days, since we have found it to be consistently excellent. I particularly love the crab cakes, and the salads are delicious too. Their regular French fries are memorable, as are the ones with truffle oil. It is a very comfortable atmosphere, yet it still feels like a bit of a hot spot. It is usually quite busy when we are there.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for brunch, great for lunch, hot spot, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The details are the key.
    Funfood
    Dined on 9/27/2014
    Excellent knowledgeable service, a reasonable uncontrived wine list, predictabley superior food and of course the oysters all add up to the best.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 9/23/2014
    Excellent food, service and ambiance. I would recommend for special occasion, business meal or night out!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • To loud and overpriced.
    Sweetie2040
    Dined on 9/20/2014
    Went there on a special date night which was a sat. It was so loud I had to yell over the table to talk. Not romantic at all. More of a "hang out" atmosphere. Food decent but very pricey. Would not go there on a weekend if you want a quiet dinner. Otherwise if you don't mind talking loud and feeling very crammed into a small space it might be for you. Not returning any time soon.
    Special Features:
    vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
  • Great dinner again
    SharonCTVIP
    Dined on 9/20/2014
    Max's Oyster Bar is one of my favorite Max restaurants. Always lively, we were here during restaurant week and it was completely full. I had to change my reservation multiple times, and they were able to accommodate me by calling even though they had blocked out the time on Open Table by then. Had a great time with friends. Took a few people who had never been before and everyone loved it. Great seafood.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, hot spot, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Wonderful outdoor lunch
    SammiD
    Dined on 9/20/2014
    It was great to eat with friends and enjoy the outside weather. Fish tacos were great!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for lunch, great for outdoor dining, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • A dinner of ups and downs
    Barbara
    Dined on 9/18/2014
    My husband and I had dinner at Max's Oyster Thursday night. Our waiter was busy but provided fine service. Our drinks were delicious, the gazpacho was excellent, my fluke fish was wonderfully prepared, but my husband's steak was overcooked. When we alerted the waiter, he ordered an entire new platter that came from the kitchen perfectly cooked to medium rare. The dessert was a perfect ending to dinner. After we paid, we strolled up the street. Walking through CVS to return to our car in the parking lot, our waiter found us. I don't know how he located us, but there he was to return my credit card which I had carelessly left on the table. I am sorry that I don't remember his name, but I consider him a fine man, and I thank him.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, hot spot, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Buzzing Dining
    HappyDinerVIP
    Dined on 9/13/2014
    Great food and service but the restaurant is loud. We were seated right next to the kitchen, which was actually quieter than the middle of the restaurant, although we had to put up with a parade of wait staff. There were some benefits to sitting there; our finished plates were picked up right away by passing staff, and our waiter was very attentive since he couldn't forget about us. It all worked out. The smokey gazpacho was outstanding, as was the swordfish I had.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, hot spot, notable wine list, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Enjoyable dinner
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009VIP
    Dined on 9/12/2014
    Another enjoyable dinner. Tried the 3 course dinner menu. From the gazpacho to the dessert, delicious! Love coming back- never disappointed.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.