New York City is famous for it fantastic food. Your once-in-a-life time trip to The Big Apple could be a culinary waste if you don’t know the right place to dine. The last thing you want to do is blow the entire contents of your wallet on sub-par seafood at Bubba-Gump Shrimp Company while enjoying all the kitschy ambiance of a Disneyland attraction. Luckily there is a delightful Italian restaurant in the heart of Harlem that will rescue you from that sinking shrimp boat.
Max Soha on 123rd and Amsterdam looks like it belongs on a cobble street corner in Rome, so don’t let the housing project across the street deter you from enjoying the cozy atmosphere. It’s rather small, like most city restaurants, so don’t be surprised if you are seated next to strangers while wait staff shuffle plates of pasta overhead. Be sure to keep your chair pushed in to avoid a collision.
Now let’s get to the point – the food! This place has some of the best Italian meals in the city. Fresh baked bread, still warm out of the oven, will greet you as you are seated, served with an olive marinara dipping sauce. You might be tempted to munch on the scrumptious bread all evening but once you take a look at the menu you’ll be sure to save some room for the other courses. The selection is relatively small, but each item is worthwhile. Don’t forget to pay attention to the ever changing specials which consistently offer creative and tasty options. What truly separates Max Soha from the many fine NYC Italian eateries in the price. The entrées start at $9.95 and the most expensive item is $17.95.
The Gnocchi ala Sorrentina is the star entree on the menu. These mini potato dumplings cooked in marinara and mozzarella will keep you coming back. If you order this dish, try to pace yourself – you will be tempted to inhale it. Familiar items may have a surprising twist. You might be shocked to find a hardboiled egg at the center of your meatloaf, but don’t worry – it works!
They don’t take reservations, so dine early. After 7 pm you might have a bit of a wait on your hands. Max features a beautiful deck with outdoor seating. So, why not enjoy a nice meal outside before sunset? The wait staff is friendly, but can seem overwhelmed. You might have to flag someone down for your check.
Max Soha with its out of the way locale, stellar food and dirt cheap prices can save any vacationer’s trip from the depths of overpriced theme restaurant hell. If you are still tempted to visit Bubba Gump or even drawn to the Olive Garden in Times Square, just take a deep breath and remember – there’s a Red Lobster back home.