Houston >Food & Dining > Brasserie Max & Julie
4315 Montrose Boulevard, Houston, TX | Directions 7700629.733921 -95.390939
Monday 09:00 AM - 10:00 PM
Tuesday 09:00 AM - 10:00 PM
Wednesday 09:00 AM - 10:00 PM
Thursday 09:00 AM - 10:00 PM
Friday 09:00 AM - 10:00 PM
Saturday 09:00 AM - 10:00 PM
Sunday 09:00 AM - 10:00 PM
Neighborhoods: Central, Neartown/ Montrose
Bone marrow never tasted better – When I think of French cuisine in Houston, two types come to mind: French cooked by Mexican/Latin american cooks in the back, or French made to suit the Houstonian palate (over-the-top flavor with too much sauce). A Francophile at heart, I have been searching for a place to satisfy my French food cravings while transporting me to the land of crepe suzette, cafe au lait, and canard a l'orange.
Of all the places I've visited in Houston, Brasserie Max & Julie is the closest I've found to authentic French cuisine. The decor and lighting has a decidedly French sensibility and the menu closely resembles one I perused on my last visit to Paris. A large one-page laminated affair, the menu offers an array of classic French dishes such as oven roasted bone marrow, home made pate, steak frites, and much more.
We started with the "tete de veau", an off the menu house made specialty similar to a head cheese. The bone marrow was the highlight for me (and seemed to be a favorite among other French-speaking patrons), a richly decadent yet simple dish that can be classified as nothing but tres francais. While the overall menu was a bit pricey for everyday dining, Brasserie Max & Julie is definitely a place to go when you are craving that trip to Paris but can't afford one. When we were there, more than 50% of the tables were native French speakers and many of the staff spoke French as well, so not only will you enjoy the French ambiance and cuisine, but you can enjoy the hearing that melodic romance language all around you as well!
Fantastic French Fare – I've had the chance to visit Brasserie Max & Julie for both lunch and dinner now, and each visit was lovely.
On a rainy, cold day for lunch, a friend and I stopped in to check it out. The place hasn't changed structurally since Aries, but quaint antiques are now placed appropriately throughout the restaurant. Our server was very friendly and knowledgeable about both the menu and the wine list. Here's what we had:
Coffee & Cappuccino (free refills!)
Roasted bone marrow - melty beefy fatty goodness with a pinch of salt - if only the toast didn't have so many holes - I enjoyed using the bread basket bread for this instead
French onion soup - well balanced, not too salty
Veal sweetbreads - soft and not overdone, not too mineral-y, very nice mushroom sauce
Veal kidneys - chewy on the outside, creamy on the inside, delicious mustard sauce
(both dishes were served with a vegetable medley and fried potato croquettes)
Tarte Tatin - served with creme fraiche so it wasn't overly sweet, great apple and cinnamon flavor
Creme Caramel - again, not too sweet (yay!) and had a smooth texture
Great lunch! So great, I decided that's where my birthday dinner would be. Only minor issue - I think our server was very, very new. There was some confusion, but through a group effort the other servers assisted with no problem. Here's what we had that night:
Roasted bone marrow (yes I know, again...)
Foie gras - a beautiful smooth pink tureen style served with toast, dried figs, and watercress.
Steak tartare - a raw ground beef presentation with a raw egg, bright raw onion flavor, served with toast and fries
The fries deserve a mention on their own - perfectly crispy and seasoned
Skate wing (stingray) - fabulous texture served with a light but very flavorful lemon/butter/caper sauce on a bed of rice to help absorb all that good stuff, served with a vegetable medley
Creme caramel (again!)
The diverse French wine list caters to all tastes and pocketbooks. This may very well become our new French favorite :)
Valentine's Day Disaster – We joined another couple at Brasserie Max and Julie for what we had planned would be a delightful Valentine's Day 2009 celebration among four close friends. The plan was dashed however. All four of us either are European natives or have lived in Europe previously so we have a clue about what fine French dining should be. Oh my! The Valentine's Day menu was set with a few choices built in for appetizer and main course. Our dinner's courses ranged from mediocre to awful. The appetizers were varied. The Petite Salade was just okay, but both the Salmon Terrine and the Pate were coarse and not especially flavorful. The Oyster Bisque was quite good, and frankly we all had the notion at that point that we were heading for a wonderful meal that matched the one we had for Valentine's Day 2008. Wrong! Main courses included Honey and Thyme Roasted Chicken (average but we have had better even at home), Flounder Almondine (again average at best), and New York Strip amidst Peppercorns (tougher than leather). Potatoes were overly salted, and we were all dismayed at how much this [place had declined in a year. The dessert was Baked Alaska, and it was acceptable but nothing great. Because we ordered champagne (which was excellent -- HOORAY!), our tab was $300, a ridiculous price to pay fro what ended up being a meal of average bisque and champagne; truly, the rest was pretty bad.Needless to say, we shall not be returning here.
Terrible Service!!!! – I had my birthday get together with my friends on Saturday the 7th and our waiter had no clue what he was doing. The party of 14 was way too much for an inexperience waiter to handle obviously. We got there around 7:15, took one hour to order which was ok. The problem was each order showed up randomly spread in 1.5 hours of duration so we couldn't enjoy the meal together as a group. We ordered around 8:15, the fist meal came on the table around 9:00 and the last one didn't show up till 10:30!!!
We told our waiter we were still waiting for the last meal to show up and from that moment till they actually put it on the table took like additional 45min. Then a lady (i am not sure who she is, maybe a manager) came and apologized to us about how terrible the meal delivery order was and they will not charge the meal for the last one. We all felt Okay at this point but then when the waiter brought the check, the order was not taken off from the check!! What kind of restaurant doesn't follow up and make sure it's taken cared of?? Don?t they communicate to each other?? Then, our waiter brought our check one by one because we order separate check at the time we order but had mistake on most of them.
Wrong order was on the wrong check, missing order, and so on.... It took us another 30 minutes for him to correct the check. This place is nice and food was "okay" but definitely doesn't deserve 4.5 star reviews! I must say this was the worst experience ever! I am not going back there gain.
French cooking has home in Montrose – Yet another great restaurant in the Montrose scene. The decor is tasteful and not overdone. The wine list is long and large. Waitstaff and management is more than happy to navigate and recommend from the list. And their recommendations are excellent! Soup du jour was mushroom and crab claw. Soup was rich and loaded with flavor, yet not complex. Perfect for a chilly evening. Roasted bone marrow was done well. The steak (#25, don't remember the rest) was melt in your mouth and the recommended bordeaux wine complemented it very well. The Cauliflower side dish was just incredible, though surely the most unhealthy cauliflower I've ever eaten. Although full after dinner, we went on and ordered dessert. 43 and 45 were both nice, although the prolifere (prob spelled wrong) was the clear winner. I'll definitely be making return visits. Nicely prepared food, great service and waitstaff all at a reasonable price!
The Only Authentic French Cousine in the Area – Perfect ambiance leads to great wines and food. The chef takes a personal touch with each plate. The pepper steak was amazing! The quality of meat is unlike anywhere. I feel comfortable eating rare meat servings here because of the care taken with each dish and the fine selections of quality trimmings. Definitely a supreme place to take a date and a great opportunity to explore a large variety of French wines. Beautiful patios and overall dining experience. You will always leave satisfied and happy!
Max & Julie get it right! – Setting:
The place was clean, good color scheme, and well lit. Large windows afforded street views. It has a roomy outside eating area if you need to hear the traffic on Montrose Blvd. We sat at a corner table inside. The menu was extensive and the prices were reasonable. I don't know a lot about French food, but what little I knew was on the menu. Since it was lunch I just stuck with water for my drink. I don't drink wine and cannot comment on the selection. Though I can say it took up the entire back of the menu.
Each Tuesday - Friday they offer a lunch special. I had the Wednesday special which was a wonderful shrimp dish. I opted for the three course plan (only $2 extra and worth every penny) which included a salad (dark lettuce and pan seared plumb tomatoes which added a nice sweet flavor to balance out the raspberry vinaigrette) and your choice of three desserts. I chose the Creme Caramel (Caramel Flan) for dessert.
Shrimp was served over a bed of long grain jasmine rice with olives, capers, zucchini, mini squash, turnips, red pepper, and a light butter sauce. The quality of the food outstanding. The vegetables were cooked perfectly. There was plenty of shrimp and the flavors really worked. Fresh baked bread and butter are provided with the meal. Dessert did not disappoint! The flan was flavorful and the Caramel Sauce was well made: A clear golden liquid with a sweet warm taste.
The staff were very attentive. This may have something to do with only 4 people in the restaurant at the time, but still I was impressed.
Total Cost for my 3 course meal - including a 20% tip: $27.71
Exceptional for both the amount and quality of food. I came hungry and left full. I really feel we got a bargain. I plan on going back again. I'm sure the dinner experience will be even better.
I've only 97 characters left so I'll keep it short: Go. Go now! You won't be disappointed!
Charming and Authentic French Restaurant – With a charismatic atmosphere, admirable service, and an extensive menu of genuine French food and wines, you cannot go wrong. We were kindly welcomed and seated on the second floor which was nice and cozy. The first floor featured a small but charming bar and dining area. We ordered a half carafe of the house red wine which was very tasty - and only $15 - a great deal. They serve sourdough bread to snack on and are very good with water refills. We started off with the Max & Julie salad - it was good, but not great...the dressing was kind of on the bland side. After a comprehensive overview of the menu items, specials, and favorites from our waiter - we decided on the Sweetbreads with madiera sauce and frites, and the Roasted Trout. If you are a fan of sweetbreads, I'm sure you would love these - the flavor and sauce were delicious. But I just cannot quite get past the texture of the dish. The frites were cooked to perfection - highly recommended. The trout was very good - lightly to under-seasoned (which is indeed a French trait) which made it just "okay" - nothing spectacular. Many people around us were oooing and ahhhing over their dishes - so I'm sure there are many winners on the menu. We followed up our main courses with an apple tart, which was mediocre. I'd say this is definitely a place to try out if you LOVE French food or are able to tolerate the lackluster in which it often delivers. The wine list was HUGE with tons of very affordable bottles and glasses - which is always a huge plus. I would definitely go back here - but I'm not rushing out my door...
We could have been in France, except the service was perfect! – Everyone has those Friday nights where comfort food and relaxation are the only things acceptable. Something new was risky. It was so worth it. The service couldn't have been better-gracious, guiding, charming and on point without intruding. We were nominally biased before the first course.
I remember thinking, "I can taste the vegetables!" when I had the house salad. It was so flavorful, fresh and perfect! The dressing was light and not smothering, but very notable at the same time.
My husband ordered the lamb-medium, medium rare, not bloody, but pinky. Not an easy order. He declared it the best in Houston.
I had a sort of roast with vegetables in a broth. It was perfect universal comfort food. The shrimp at the next table looked wonderful too.
We finished our meal with a fanastic vanilla bean souffle. Do yourself a favor-even if you aren't an "egg person" get it. I am not and I loved it.
Our waiter, Frances from France was amazing, but we watched all of the waiters in action and it appeared like they were all wonderful.
Have dinner here. You will love it!
Les deux behind Cafe Rabelais bring authentic brasserie dishes and an all-French wine list to the Montrose area. – In Short
Homey touches augment the once modern space occupied by Aries/Pic. Brasserie classics include cassoulet, crisp sweetbreads, foie gras, house-made pate, trademark French shellfish platters served over ice, and steak tartare with pomme frites. More French mainstays are featured during rotating daily lunch specials as well as in coq au vin and boeuf bourginnone. Save room for a cheese plate or profiterole. The wine list is varied and well priced or choose from a selection of imported beers on tap.
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