After a fun day at the Saratoga Race Track, my friend Kathy and I decided to pop in to Max London’s restaurant in Saratoga Springs for a couple of cocktails – we didn’t win a single race at the track, and felt like drowning our sorrows with a wee bit of happy hour.

OK, I should be honest – I was planning on dropping in to Max London’s all along, to visit my friend Chef Mark Graham, who’s the new Executive Sous Chef there. It was just a great bonus that Kathy was able to join me. Plus I wouldn’t look like a loser sitting all alone at the bar on a Wednesday night.

First – Max London’s is a great little space. The bar runs almost the entire length of the restaurant, and there’s an etched glass wall that separates the bar area from the main dining area. Past the bar in the back is an open kitchen with a wood-fired pizza oven. The view from my bar stool:

This photo does not do the bar justice – it doesn’t show the extremely attractive bartenders that were on duty. What?!?

Happy Hour at Max London’s runs from 3-6pm, and they offer a 2-for1 (per person) special on well cocktails, wines by the glass, draft beers, sangria, and – get this – PBR CANS.  Those damn hipsters and their PBR. The bar wasn’t crowded at all, so we were able to get the nearly undivided attention of the young and cute bartenders. I’m a 4o year old married woman – so sue me for staring.

Anyway, Mark is a fantastic friend and an even better chef, so he was eager to strut his stuff a bit. He sent us out “a few things to nibble on”. A total understatement. Take a look:

Lobster claw meat with fava beans and frisee; tuna tartare with apple, banana pepper, and chive; Merguez lamb sausage with chanterelle mushrooms, peaches, and fig paste.
Roasted Berkshire pork and duck breast; served with blueberry, honey and marcona almonds, and a rosemary aioli
Corn ice cream (yes, CORN ICE CREAM), served with sweet and sour plums and Mrs. London’s Bakery shortbread cookie

Needless to say, Kathy is now my best friend for life and I must get myself back to Max London’s to try everything else on the menu.

Many thanks to Chef Mark and the great staff at Max London’s for a fantastic night out in Saratoga Springs!

(Mark: I promise not to tell anyone that you had to borrow salt from me last night).