Max's Oyster Bar

★★★★☆
  • 964 Farmington Ave

    West Hartford, CT 06107

    Map & Directions
  • 860-236-6299

Food

Food
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Very fresh seafood, great service. A bit overpriced but then again, all restaurants in West Hartford center are. Definitely a place to be seen. I recommend.

3
★★★★★

Very fresh seafood, great service. A bit overpriced but then again, all restaurants in West Hartford center are. Definitely a place to be seen. I recommend.

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I am a Divorce Coach/Consultant with clients in CT, MA, and NY. I enjoy the Max line of restaurants to meet clients for a drink. I have always been pleased. No complaints! \r
\r
Taylor\r
DivorceSupport1dotcom

3
★★★★★

I am a Divorce Coach/Consultant with clients in CT, MA, and NY. I enjoy the Max line of restaurants to meet clients for a drink. I have always been pleased. No complaints! \r
\r
Taylor\r
DivorceSupport1dotcom

.

Honestly, I will never come back to this restaurant ever again, and would not recommend it to anyone. This was my second time coming here. We made lunch reservations and were promptly seated. That was really the only plus out of this

3
★★★★★

Honestly, I will never come back to this restaurant ever again, and would not recommend it to anyone. This was my second time coming here. We made lunch reservations and were promptly seated. That was really the only plus out of this

.

bad drinks but a fun scene. lots of yuppies can be found on most weekends. i prefer going on a weeknight

3
★★★★★

bad drinks but a fun scene. lots of yuppies can be found on most weekends. i prefer going on a weeknight

.

I had the salmon tonight and found a piece of cracked plastic or glass in the meal. Upon my complaint, they didn't feel that it was particularly important to make the situation right. No apologies were rendered and no compensation was offered.

1
★★☆☆☆

I had the salmon tonight and found a piece of cracked plastic or glass in the meal. Upon my complaint, they didn't feel that it was particularly important to make the situation right. No apologies were rendered and no compensation was offered.

Pros: Trendy and vibrant

Cons: Max's feels like it can afford to ignore your problems with

.

Someone needs to teach these folks how to make bloody mary's. Terrible drinks.... it was more like a tomatoe and horseradish. Wait staff spent plenty of time talking to folks at the table next to us...in fact while handing us dessert menu's he was still talking to them. Shrimp wrapped in proscuitto was so salty!!!! And paella had no flavor at all!!! Way too bland. Will not return.

0
★☆☆☆☆

Someone needs to teach these folks how to make bloody mary's. Terrible drinks.... it was more like a tomatoe and horseradish. Wait staff spent plenty of time talking to folks at the table next to us...in fact while handing us dessert menu's he was still talking to them. Shrimp wrapped in proscuitto was so salty!!!! And paella had no flavor at all!!! Way too bland. Will not return.

Pros: Nice decor

Cons: food, terrible service, t.v. distracting, bad drinks

.

I don't know why the past few reviewers are complaining about the service, because I, too, grew up in West Hartford and have always found that the Max line of restaurants truly knows how to make a customer feel appreciated. The service at the Oyster Bar may feel a bit more rushed just because it's one of the more popular and vivacious places in West Hartford Center, but it's still above and beyond what you'd receive anywhere else.

Although I'm not an oyster person, there's enough non-oyster cuisine to please anyone. They bring out an interesting (and delicious) plate of carrots with a mustard dressing, which is a nice alternative to the standard loaf of bread. They also provide thin crackers with butter, which are also incredibly good. The martini list is incredible--check out the bloody oyster if you like bloody mary's--and you can find great deals with their grand prix 3-course options. For $25 (and sometimes less), you get an amazing 3-course meal.

Finally, the Oyster Bar provides some excellent people-watching, whether you're outside on Farmington Avenue or inside the beautifully decorated and spacious interior. It doesn't hurt to have good eye candy ;)

2
★★★★★

I don't know why the past few reviewers are complaining about the service, because I, too, grew up in West Hartford and have always found that the Max line of restaurants truly knows how to make a customer feel appreciated. The service at the Oyster Bar may feel a bit more rushed just because it's one of the more popular and vivacious places in West Hartford Center, but it's still above and beyond what you'd receive anywhere else.

Although I'm not an oyster person, there's enough non-oyster cuisine to please anyone. They bring out an interesting (and delicious) plate of carrots with a mustard dressing, which is a nice alternative to the standard loaf of bread. They also provide thin crackers with butter, which are also incredibly good. The martini list is incredible--check out the bloody oyster if you like bloody mary's--and you can find great deals with their grand prix 3-course options. For $25 (and sometimes less), you get an amazing 3-course meal.

Finally, the Oyster Bar provides some excellent people-watching, whether you're outside on Farmington Avenue or inside the beautifully decorated and spacious interior. It doesn't hurt to have good eye candy ;)

Pros: Drinks, environment

Cons: Price

.

I have lived in CT all my life. I grew up only 8 miles from West Hartford. For some reason, all my friends want to live in West Hartford but I'll stay put exactly where I am because this place epitomizes all that is disgusting about West Hartford Center.
I have been frequenting this restaurant off and on for about 4 years now. I will only go once a year only because all my friends continue to think this restaurant is the bomb.

First off, the wait staff is doing YOU the favor of allowing you to sit at a table. Oh, you're the customer and have the money? Doesn't matter. Queen Elizabeth could sit in here and they would still treat her like mud.

Though the food is very good, the service staff is mega-snooty. I have been here three times and I always beg people in my party to be on time. Why? Because if anyone is more than 5 minutes late and the table has one empty chair, get ready for nasty stares from all the wait staff that walk by your table. How many stares will that be? Well, you'll be sitting there for 3 hours waiting for you dinner to come out and that's a lot of wait staff death glares. I absolutely hate the wait staff at this establishment. What I hate more is that I have to give them so much money for such a ridiculous experience.

Are you doing them a favor by giving them your business? Guess not. Too darn loud, couldn't even have a conversation or hear anyone at a small round table of seven. Food took 1.5 hours to come out once we ordered it. Three hours sitting in a restaurant where you can't have a conversation and the prices are over the top is enough. The waiter was not to be found at times and when we paid with plastic he had the air of a martyred saint because he had to swipe several cards. OH MY GOD? You mean you have to work for a 20% tips. With this place, I didn't want to leave a tip at all.

West Hartford isn't all it's cracked up to be and Max's Oyster Bar isn't anything more than a puffed up peacock. No real substance. You're better off taking your money elsewhere. Not only will you get a better meal at a more decent price, the other establishments will actually appreciate your patronage and show you that. And you might even be able to hear and not have to shout at your table companions.

Any reviews where this place is "perfect" is definitely put up by Max staff or owners. Max's Oyster Bar, please read this and read carefully: There is a recession going on. Even if there wasn't, people work hard for their money and expect and should get a good experience when they are dropping this kind of money on dinner. You really need to polish up your act. If it was up to me as an owner, I'd fire the wait staff, reduce the damn noise in the bar (aka sports bar) and actually pay attention to my patrons.

0
★☆☆☆☆

I have lived in CT all my life. I grew up only 8 miles from West Hartford. For some reason, all my friends want to live in West Hartford but I'll stay put exactly where I am because this place epitomizes all that is disgusting about West Hartford Center.
I have been frequenting this restaurant off and on for about 4 years now. I will only go once a year only because all my friends continue to think this restaurant is the bomb.

First off, the wait staff is doing YOU the favor of allowing you to sit at a table. Oh, you're the customer and have the money? Doesn't matter. Queen Elizabeth could sit in here and they would still treat her like mud.

Though the food is very good, the service staff is mega-snooty. I have been here three times and I always beg people in my party to be on time. Why? Because if anyone is more than 5 minutes late and the table has one empty chair, get ready for nasty stares from all the wait staff that walk by your table. How many stares will that be? Well, you'll be sitting there for 3 hours waiting for you dinner to come out and that's a lot of wait staff death glares. I absolutely hate the wait staff at this establishment. What I hate more is that I have to give them so much money for such a ridiculous experience.

Are you doing them a favor by giving them your business? Guess not. Too darn loud, couldn't even have a conversation or hear anyone at a small round table of seven. Food took 1.5 hours to come out once we ordered it. Three hours sitting in a restaurant where you can't have a conversation and the prices are over the top is enough. The waiter was not to be found at times and when we paid with plastic he had the air of a martyred saint because he had to swipe several cards. OH MY GOD? You mean you have to work for a 20% tips. With this place, I didn't want to leave a tip at all.

West Hartford isn't all it's cracked up to be and Max's Oyster Bar isn't anything more than a puffed up peacock. No real substance. You're better off taking your money elsewhere. Not only will you get a better meal at a more decent price, the other establishments will actually appreciate your patronage and show you that. And you might even be able to hear and not have to shout at your table companions.

Any reviews where this place is "perfect" is definitely put up by Max staff or owners. Max's Oyster Bar, please read this and read carefully: There is a recession going on. Even if there wasn't, people work hard for their money and expect and should get a good experience when they are dropping this kind of money on dinner. You really need to polish up your act. If it was up to me as an owner, I'd fire the wait staff, reduce the damn noise in the bar (aka sports bar) and actually pay attention to my patrons.

Pros: Good food

Cons: Horrible service, too pricey, super noisy interior

.

Wow. What an awful experience. The dinner was rushed in this very loud restaurant. Waiter forgot to bring our order of oysters for appetizers and the side dishes we were supposed to have with dinner. When oysters did finally come, they were out of some of the ones we ordered. We were just about finished eating when the tiny side orders finally came. My NY strip was ordered medium and came out rare. My friends seared tuna entree was appetizer sized. Everything was overpriced for what you got. Servers were clueless. Table was the wrong size for our group even though we did have a reservation. Bar TVs were distracting. Desserts were pedestrian.

And to top it all off, the waiter ran my credit card through twice so my overpriced $400 meal, actually costed $800. Never again.

0
★☆☆☆☆

Wow. What an awful experience. The dinner was rushed in this very loud restaurant. Waiter forgot to bring our order of oysters for appetizers and the side dishes we were supposed to have with dinner. When oysters did finally come, they were out of some of the ones we ordered. We were just about finished eating when the tiny side orders finally came. My NY strip was ordered medium and came out rare. My friends seared tuna entree was appetizer sized. Everything was overpriced for what you got. Servers were clueless. Table was the wrong size for our group even though we did have a reservation. Bar TVs were distracting. Desserts were pedestrian.

And to top it all off, the waiter ran my credit card through twice so my overpriced $400 meal, actually costed $800. Never again.

Pros: Ample parking

Cons: Everything else. High price, terrible service

.

One of the largest assortment of seafood in the greater Hartford area. The raw bar samplers are amazing! There's also plenty for those in your group who are not seafood lovers.

5
★★★★★

One of the largest assortment of seafood in the greater Hartford area. The raw bar samplers are amazing! There's also plenty for those in your group who are not seafood lovers.

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.

This is the best Oyster Bar around. Fresh and tasty. We love the atmosphere and the service is outstanding. We love to go there when we have company to entertain!

5
★★★★★

This is the best Oyster Bar around. Fresh and tasty. We love the atmosphere and the service is outstanding. We love to go there when we have company to entertain!

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.

This restaurant is a bustling, New York-style place with New York-style prices. That being said, there are some fine things to be found here. My advice would be to focus on the specials of the day. We've found menu items to be disappointing, or over-the-top mish-mashes of tastes and textures when more simplicity would do. The oysters are good; but for the sparkling freshness one expects of a restaurant which specializes in these crustaceans, it disappoints too frequently. One order which contained four oysters which were actually so bad as to have a pungent odor was taken back cheerfully and other, better specimens replaced. Service was very good but they were slow on the draw to re-fill cocktails on more than one occasion. We like to take first-time visitors to West Hartford here, because beside the service and array of culinary delights, it's a very, very beautiful restaurant. But we don't go at night any more because the bar becomes unusually loud and worse, the servers fawn over the bar patrons, striking up conversation with regulars, leaving us feeling left alone in the wilderness in the dining room. The same experience happens when one of the many celebrities who frequent the place shows up; everyone drops the tables belonging to hoi-polloi like us and surrounds the table. We were surprised they didn't offer to shine the shoes of a gentleman who showed up, with entourage, in a limousine. I'd suggest lunch here to be able to enjoy the experience and cuisine and not feel hopelessly un-cool. Drinks were generous and a good value. The wine list, while overpriced, is outstanding.

1
★★☆☆☆

This restaurant is a bustling, New York-style place with New York-style prices. That being said, there are some fine things to be found here. My advice would be to focus on the specials of the day. We've found menu items to be disappointing, or over-the-top mish-mashes of tastes and textures when more simplicity would do. The oysters are good; but for the sparkling freshness one expects of a restaurant which specializes in these crustaceans, it disappoints too frequently. One order which contained four oysters which were actually so bad as to have a pungent odor was taken back cheerfully and other, better specimens replaced. Service was very good but they were slow on the draw to re-fill cocktails on more than one occasion. We like to take first-time visitors to West Hartford here, because beside the service and array of culinary delights, it's a very, very beautiful restaurant. But we don't go at night any more because the bar becomes unusually loud and worse, the servers fawn over the bar patrons, striking up conversation with regulars, leaving us feeling left alone in the wilderness in the dining room. The same experience happens when one of the many celebrities who frequent the place shows up; everyone drops the tables belonging to hoi-polloi like us and surrounds the table. We were surprised they didn't offer to shine the shoes of a gentleman who showed up, with entourage, in a limousine. I'd suggest lunch here to be able to enjoy the experience and cuisine and not feel hopelessly un-cool. Drinks were generous and a good value. The wine list, while overpriced, is outstanding.

Pros: Gorgeous restaurant professionally conducted

Cons: Don't go unless you're wearing Armani Coutoure or Dolce & Gabbana

.

Well, the ambiance is awesome. The place was loud and bussling. The decor was retro. Our server must have been having a bad night, but she still was polite and helpful. I would recommend reservations. The food was good, but not what everyone raved about. It was overpriced for the portions received.

2
★★★★☆

Well, the ambiance is awesome. The place was loud and bussling. The decor was retro. Our server must have been having a bad night, but she still was polite and helpful. I would recommend reservations. The food was good, but not what everyone raved about. It was overpriced for the portions received.

Pros: atmosphere.

Cons: $$$, and if you dont like it loud.. dont go here

.

I have been to Max's on more than one occasion and will continue to go back as often as possible. I will admit that it is loud, but that's part of the fun! The oysters are just fabulous and if you haven't had the sushi style tuna, you have not lived! The waitstaff is attentive and knowledgeable. (Plus they don't ask how your doing right after you put a bite of food into your mouth!) Certainly the place to be if your looking for a good time. If you want a boring dinner at a restaurant where there are no people, go to...well, I don't know, those are the places I stay away from.

2
★★★★★

I have been to Max's on more than one occasion and will continue to go back as often as possible. I will admit that it is loud, but that's part of the fun! The oysters are just fabulous and if you haven't had the sushi style tuna, you have not lived! The waitstaff is attentive and knowledgeable. (Plus they don't ask how your doing right after you put a bite of food into your mouth!) Certainly the place to be if your looking for a good time. If you want a boring dinner at a restaurant where there are no people, go to...well, I don't know, those are the places I stay away from.

Pros: Food, Service, Atmosphere

Cons: n/a

.

Plain, bad food! Will never go back. Spent a lot of money, but went home with a badly upset stomach.

0
★☆☆☆☆

Plain, bad food! Will never go back. Spent a lot of money, but went home with a badly upset stomach.

.

Just have a few words for this place- If you are not a snob do not enter- If your not pretentious you probably will not enjoy it- If you have no idea what really good food is you will love it- Make sure you are ready to spend a lot of money on little food, awful atmosphere, and a terribly "know-it-all" minded staff. As for the atmosphere - utilitarian and posses a feel as if starch was sprayed in the air, not a great place for a romantic conversation your going to have to scream to your date to be heard. A little advise to those that run the place - Create better acoustics, come down from your ladder, and start living in reality! This restaurant is located in the center of West Hartford and is that nice, yes, but you need to realize youre not in the village!!!!!

0
★☆☆☆☆

Just have a few words for this place- If you are not a snob do not enter- If your not pretentious you probably will not enjoy it- If you have no idea what really good food is you will love it- Make sure you are ready to spend a lot of money on little food, awful atmosphere, and a terribly "know-it-all" minded staff. As for the atmosphere - utilitarian and posses a feel as if starch was sprayed in the air, not a great place for a romantic conversation your going to have to scream to your date to be heard. A little advise to those that run the place - Create better acoustics, come down from your ladder, and start living in reality! This restaurant is located in the center of West Hartford and is that nice, yes, but you need to realize youre not in the village!!!!!

Pros: none

Cons: management's attitude, food, atmosphere

.

I have no idea why Max's Oyster Bar would be well thought of, by anyone who knows how to cook mac'n'cheese and shake a good cocktail in their own home. The food is less than notable, and the only thing great about the drinks is a 25% retail markup compared to any other restaurant in the area. It does not take a critic to know the difference between decent and cheap commercially frozen cheesecake. If Max's is going to middle man entrees and desserts while charging consumers upper mid range prices, shouldn't they at least care about the quality of what they are peddling. If your date is cheap and drunk, she will be impressed by the bill, and numb to the prepared food isle of the grocery store taste. The crowd is wannabe cool dudes, and girls that like them because they drive a luxury line of japanese automobile.

1
★★★☆☆

I have no idea why Max's Oyster Bar would be well thought of, by anyone who knows how to cook mac'n'cheese and shake a good cocktail in their own home. The food is less than notable, and the only thing great about the drinks is a 25% retail markup compared to any other restaurant in the area. It does not take a critic to know the difference between decent and cheap commercially frozen cheesecake. If Max's is going to middle man entrees and desserts while charging consumers upper mid range prices, shouldn't they at least care about the quality of what they are peddling. If your date is cheap and drunk, she will be impressed by the bill, and numb to the prepared food isle of the grocery store taste. The crowd is wannabe cool dudes, and girls that like them because they drive a luxury line of japanese automobile.

.

While the ambience, food, and drinks were all good and the prices were ok for what you got, what really makes us keep going back is the service. Every time we have gone we have had a different, wonderful server. Someone who we didn't have to look for when we needed something, yet, we didn't feel like they were hovering. Hats off to the staff!

2
★★★★☆

While the ambience, food, and drinks were all good and the prices were ok for what you got, what really makes us keep going back is the service. Every time we have gone we have had a different, wonderful server. Someone who we didn't have to look for when we needed something, yet, we didn't feel like they were hovering. Hats off to the staff!

Pros: Great Service

.

Granted that I'm a recent transplant from NYC, but I really don't see what the fuss about this place is all about. I ate there once and 2 of us had seafood dishes priced in the low/mid $20s. Was good, but nothing great. Ambiance is ave (just dark), and extremely loud. Wine list is good. For this price range, take a drive to Boston or NY for the real deal, or go someplace in Hartford that has some character. gs

1
★★★☆☆

Granted that I'm a recent transplant from NYC, but I really don't see what the fuss about this place is all about. I ate there once and 2 of us had seafood dishes priced in the low/mid $20s. Was good, but nothing great. Ambiance is ave (just dark), and extremely loud. Wine list is good. For this price range, take a drive to Boston or NY for the real deal, or go someplace in Hartford that has some character. gs

Pros: people watching, wine list

Cons: price, noise

.

Casual elegance, wonderful food, excellent service, good wine list. Small, comfortable, intimate.

2
★★★★☆

Casual elegance, wonderful food, excellent service, good wine list. Small, comfortable, intimate.

Pros: ambience, great food, casual

.

The food's good, but certainly not worthy of the pomp and circumstance. I will say though, the service is generally very good.

1
★★★☆☆

The food's good, but certainly not worthy of the pomp and circumstance. I will say though, the service is generally very good.

Pros: Raw bar, Service, Happy Hour

Cons: Pretense, Over priced

.

Great atmosphere and excellent service make this restaurant a must.
Oh, did I forget to mention the food?
If you like Sea Bass that melts in your mouth, a great selection of oysters and seafood with wonderful creativity, this is the place! You will dream about it for weeks to come.

2
★★★★★

Great atmosphere and excellent service make this restaurant a must.
Oh, did I forget to mention the food?
If you like Sea Bass that melts in your mouth, a great selection of oysters and seafood with wonderful creativity, this is the place! You will dream about it for weeks to come.

Pros: place to be seen, great selection, worth every penny

Cons: loud, crowded

 

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