Over the years, this rambling old Arts and Crafts bungalow with sunny rooms and a deep front deck that overlooks the street has housed a string of uninspired restaurants. But Brasserie Max and Julie, opened in late 2007, seems destined for success. The menu and daily specials are unpretentious, with standouts that include velvety onion soup; seafood platters piled with plump oysters, shrimp, and mussels and accompanied by a homemade lemon-spiked mayonnaise; and nicely charred steak frites served with a paper cone of crispy fries. And when it comes time to end the meal, there's no better way to say it: the lacquered crème brûlée and bitter-chocolate profiteroles are to die for.
Tip: Located almost exactly at the midpoint between the Museum of Fine Arts, the Contemporary Arts Museum, and the Menil Collection, this is the place to overhear art world gossip from the city's curators, art dealers, and other assorted players.