A couple of weeks ago I had dinner at Maximillian's with some business colleagues. I don't usually trek to Cary from Durham but with a bit of arm-twisting and a recommendation from someone that Maximillian's is worth the trip, I decided to go.
Maximillian's claims "exceptional service. adventurous menu" on it's website. I would agree that the menu is adventurous. It featured items like voodoo mahi and leg of duck. The presentation was fantastic. All of the dishes were beautiful. I had a grilled mahi salad. Now that doesn't sound very exciting but it was light, refreshing, and enough to eat at 9pm (I don't believe in heavy food late at night...it gives me bad dreams). Everyone thoroughly enjoyed their meals. For wine, we had shared some bottles of Earthquake zinfandel. It was smooth and not overly sharp as some zins can be.
Regarding the service, it was above average but not exceptional. My standard for exceptional service in the Triangle is Fearrington House. Their service is perfection. To claim exceptional service in light of places like Fearrington House or even Magnolia Grill is a risky value proposition!
The waitress was fine but she was awfully young and not terribly knowledgeable. She was overly friendly, and I prefer more discretion. Plus I'm not sure she'd eaten any of the food. If I owned a restaurant, all of the wait staff would have to try every wine and every dish. They need to know it so they can make recommendations!
In addition, the waitress STACKED our plates at the end of the meal when she was clearing the table. Ok, so stacking dishes may not be the end of the world, I will grant, BUT I have this pet peeve about stacking dishes: if you stack dishes, it makes washing them harder because God only knows what gets stuck on the bottom.
Plus, I always think of my friend Sally who told me that her grandmother's housekeeper used to interview help for big dinner parties and she asked them, "Are you quality or do you stack?" What a question! Who is going to say, "Oh, I stack," after that?
Once I heard that tale, I reformed my lowbrow ways and became quality. No stacking of dishes at my house!