Maxwell's Restaurant tweaks dishes, headed for the BIG Melt

By Jackie Fender on August 13, 2014

Seasonal menu transitions keep dishes extraordinarily fresh and flavorful, especially with the plethora of amazing seasonal options here in the Northwest. Downtown Tacoma restaurant Maxwell's Restaurant + Lounge has a reputation for serving up some of the freshest quality ingredients while striving for sustainability yet delivering exquisite flavor with a touch of class.

Chef Hudson Slater revamped the menu recently with season-ready ingredients such as zucchini and figs paired with fowl and fish alike. Take, for instance, the grilled scallop starter ($12) with bacon-wrapped scallops dressed in a jalapeno pesto served atop a bed of pickled zucchini. It was love at first sight for me while admiring Chef Slater's Instagram account and the perfect way to start a meal.

>>> Bacon-wrapped scallops at Maxwell's! Photo credit: Jackie Fender

Recently, I raved about the seared duck breast ($28) paired with a creamy fennel risotto teasing with pops of summer sweetness in braised and fresh figs. The duck is seared to perfection with a nicely seasoned exterior and tender meat throughout.

When I inquired which dish I should dine upon, Slater recommended the Northwest cod ($22). Here's a tip: always take the chef's suggestions. The meaty, generous cod steak is wrapped in prosciutto and partnered with tomato and burrata (a creamy mozzarella cheese) raviolis, zucchini and crispy capers. It is creamy, smoky, well-balanced and filling.

There are lots of "minor tweaks to better showcase the awesome season we have here in Washington," Slater said. "Maxwell's will have specials daily depending on what is fresh, with some fun heirloom tomato dishes in the very near future."

The bar doesn't disappoint, either, with staff concocting some fun craft cocktails to compliment the new dishes. Maxwell's also boasts a diverse wine selection for pairing.

With a proven track record of outside event and competition participation and award-winning culinary skills, having scored top spots in Museum of Glass' Slider Competition (twice), Netshed 9's Fight Night chef throwdown, second place in our Tournament of Burgers, and even bringing home a collaborative T-town win with Wingman Brewers at the Seattle Bacon and Beer Classic, it only seems natural that you can look forward to more from Chef Slater, such as The BIG Melt on Sept. 7 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Held in Seattle's Magnuson Park, The inaugural BIG Melt festivities will include grilled cheese masters getting creative with ooey-gooey, cheesy goodness.

Bottom line, these minor menu tweaks are all the excuse you need for date night or downtime at Maxwell's.

MAXWELL'S RESTAURANT + LOUNGE, 4-10 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 4 p.m. to midnight Friday, 5 p.m. to midnight Saturday, 454 Saint Helens Ave., Tacoma, 253.683.4115


Chef Hudson Slater shows his competitive spirit