Walking into Maxie’s Supper Club, I was confronted by something I never expected this far upstate: The chilling scent of a raw bar — and no, not like the one they have at Wegman’s. This one was fresh enough that even first-timers would have no problem sucking a few oysters down. I was impressed by New Orleans-style décor, and the jazz and swing music tooting from behind the bar made me forget I was in Ithaca.
I skimmed an extensive, unorthodox drink menu, and eyed those at the bar (with envy). I watched a bartender crush fresh mint into the bottom of a mojito and knew that I’d be coming back soon (only 11 months ’til my 21st!).
The selections on the menu were captivating — nothing looked dull. Entrees ran from $15-20. I had just come from a less-than-stellar Econ exam and was yearning some real Southern Comfort food. Maxie’s Mighty-Mighty Gumbo was very good, but it didn’t live up to its name (I was expecting something exceptional). Nevertheless, it was packed with chicken and crawfish and could be described best as soul warming. My date’s chowder was superb.
From there it was onto fish tacos. The blackened fish was cooked perfectly and the mango-lime salsa took the edge off the seasonings; it all combined to make this taco slightly shy of miraculous. My partner, meanwhile complained that there was too much “not-crab” in her crabcakes, but she didn’t know what she was talking about. I thought they were perfect. As for her side … well, they were everything waffle-fries should be.
Neither of us was able to make it to desert, which says something about the portions (who has a big appetite). Overall, Maxie’s brings some sorely needed high-seas cuisine to upstate New York.