Nearby points of interest
Nearby points of interest
About Max a Mia
In 1991, Richard Rosenthal along with partner Brad Karsky opened Max a Mia in Avon, CT. Their vision was a restaurant that would allow diners to enjoy a "casual Italian bistro." That vision was an instant success. In the first year of operation, Max a Mia won "Best New Restaurant" from Connecticut Magazine. It also earned recognition for "top grossing restaurant in it's size" from Restaurant Hospitality. The brick oven, which is visible from the dining room, serves up stone pies "with a thin, wood-smoky-flavor crust and an array of toppings." While all the pasta dishes are outstanding, the daily risotto specials have been described as "luscious." Equally important, desserts such as traditional tiramisu or the unique white chocolate polenta cake complete the meal. Like it's sister restaurants, Max a Mia is focused on providing each guest with a truly enjoyable dining experience.
Avon, CT 06001
Hours of Operation:
Lunch: 11:30am - 2:30pm; Dinner: Monday - Thursday: 5:00pm - 10:00pm Friday - Saturday: 5:00pm - 11:00pm, Sunday Brunch 11:00AM - 3:00PM Sunday Dinner: 3:00pm - 9:00pm
$31 to $50
AMEX, Diners Club, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
We can accommodate large party and take out.
Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Full Bar, Non-Smoking, Outdoor dining, Takeout, Wheelchair Access, Wine
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Max a Mia Ratings and Reviews
I have eaten here for several years and have been a big fan of Max restaurants. This time was different. Sunday reservations for dinner after a show at the Bushnell. Service was the worst I have ever experienced at any of the Max restaurants I have ever been to. Staff obviously had no concern for us. I also heard the table next to us complaining, if you are unable to attend to clients don’t come to work.
Our group of long-time friends meets annually for a short reunion - each year in a new place. This makes restaurant-finding challenging but this year, we struck gold at Max A Mia on a weekday night. The casual, comfortable setting made catching up possible - and our semi-isolated table near the wine case - was perfect, even when the noise level at this very popular spot rose. I imagine that weekend evenings might be a bit more challenging. The salads and home-made pastas were inventive and delicious and we were happy to discover that Thursday is half-price wine bottle night! Our server was knowledgable, efficient and friendly. We'll definitely return. Apparently this restaurant will be closed for renovations sometime in the coming month; call to be sure about the schedule.
We decided to go for an early dinner and had made reservations a day or so prior. We arrived and checked in with the hostess who asked if we wanted to sit in the already noisy bar. We were seated in main dining and given menus. No wait staff came over until after the manager had seen we were sitting and waiting awhile. Although they were expecting groups and wait staff was prepping, they seem to ignore regular diners those nights, until an “oh yeah, anyone come over yet” kind of moment. The food was good and plentiful and large portions.
Max-a-Mia is one of the oldest restaurants in the chain and it’s decor which has not been updated for over 15 years shows its age., as does the strip mall in which it is located.
Max-a-Mia’s charges market prices in the highly competitive West Hartford/Avon market but seriously under delivers. It relies on local talent in lieu of seasoned professionals for bar tending and wait staff and they follow the strict management rules to the letter. Where this presents itself most vividly is in its mixed drinks. Max’s charges $12 for a brand name label, but you will get exactly 3 ounces which in presentation form is about 3/4 glass including garnish. You will not experience this at competing restaurants which only serves to encourage you to enjoy the experience at other local establishments.
The menu at Max-a-Mia’s is dated and not as exhaustive as its competitors and it is dated - think 1990’s menu. Adding insult to injury, unless you order dessert you will leave hungry as the portions are small. Let’s face it how expensive is a little pasta with tomatoes and olive oil.
Desserts are a high point - Nutella cake, coconut cake and bocci ball (e.g., tartufo) are all delicious.
To assure fair balance, Max-a-Mia’s is on par with what you would find in the restored factory district in Cleveland. If your guests are not staying at the Simsbury Inn or Avon Old Farms, then drive the extra 3-5 miles to Bricco’s Restaurante, Grants, or even Max Oyster Bar - you will be far happier and better served for your dollar.
My review is based upon a lengthy history of frequenting local restaurants over the past two decades and dining out frequently each week for both business and pleasure.
Final assessment: if you need a convenient place to dine, Max-a-Mia’s will serve in a pinch. Otherwise, go someplace else and get far better value for your dollar.
I think the food was pleasant and ample, somewhat overpriced, perhaps and the wait for toast was long. I had ordered toast with my brunch items of scrambled eggs and fruit and the toast took a long time to arrive. The waitress also kept disappearing and I had to ask other servers for jam, toast, bread, etc. The waitress seemed new or inexperienced but nice. The fruit accompanying my dish was fresh and plentiful. The restaurant was also quite cold inside and I noticed many, including myself, wearing jackets while we ate. Overall, the experience was disappointing, especially compared to dining experiences in past years.
I want to start by saying the food we had was very good, as it usually is. However, after many visits to Max a Mia (and other Max restaurants), this was the first time we had a bad service experience. First, we waited longer than we should have to get the salad we had ordered as a first course. 15 minutes after we finished our salad, the waitress said the entrees would "be out soon". 5 minutes later, she apologized for the wait and said she had spoken with the manager. Another 5 minutes passed, and the manager came to apologize. He said it would be another 5 minutes. He offered to give us a free dessert, which we declined since it would have meant being there even longer. He was correct that the food (medium rare steak and spaghetti vongole, neither of which should have taken half the time it did) came 5 minutes later. After finishing, the waitress again tried to offer us free dessert, but we just asked for the check.
Then, they redeemed themselves. The manager came over and told us that not only were they comp-ing the entire check (which also included a cocktail and 3 glasses of wine), but he credited us the points to our Max Vantage card which we would have received had we paid for the meal. So, despite feelings as we sat there that we would never return to Max-a-Mia (or possibly other Max restaurants), we now feel better that this was an aberration, and they made it "right".
This was my worst visit ever to this restaurant. Our lunches (salads & soups) took over an hour to get to us. The waitress was unconcerned about the length of time it took and was non-communicative (other than a glare) when we asked about our food. The soups were cold, one of the salads was dressed with a dressing different than the one stated on the menu. The whole experience was terrible.
We tried this Max location because we wanted to try a new restaurant and take advance of CT Week. The waitress was not on her game, as we had to wait for her to come around and take our drink over, then forever to take our dinner order. She was slow to deliver drinks, the bread, etc. We did not expect that from a Max Restaurant.
Food was good, and the dinners around us that were not on the CT Week menu looked good as well.
We are hoping this was a fluke and to come back one more time.
We celebrated our 42nd anniversary at Max a Mia's and the minute we checked in with the hostess until the moment we left, we were treated with a special kindness and respect for celebrating our Anniversary there! We can't wait to go back. Everything was delicious...from the food and wine to the coffee and!
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