Photo by Catherine Downes, Dallas Observer

After a long day, who wants to endure jostling and jockeying at a busy bar?

And if the venue has good food? Good luck landing a table large enough for your group. Soon enough, your fun night out may lapse into whine-and-dine territory.

Dallas?s new Max?s Wine Dive--long loved in Houston and with outposts in Austin and San Antonio--has a perfect, best-of-both-worlds solution to this omnivore/oenophile dilemma: They?ll bring their famous fried chicken (strips are $30 per dozen) and Champagne to your location, thanks to the restaurant?s creative catering team.

The menu is unique with a seasonal bent, from the giant Pan Borracho (torn sourdough baguette and prosciutto soaked in white wine custard and baked with Gruyère, provolone and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheeses; serves up to 35 people; $60) to the Nacho Mama?s Oysters (fried Gulf Coast oysters with garlic aioli on fried wontons, topped with habanero salsa and cilantro; $24 per dozen).

If you?re interested in diving into the Max atmosphere on your own terms, there?s a private dining space as well as a patio, which is perfect for our near-brisk fall evenings.

And one bite of the Max ?n Cheese (cavatappi pasta tossed in truffle cream with fresh mozzarella, white cheddar, Gruyère and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheeses; a small plate is $10) is sure to mellow anyone out.

Max?s Wine Dive, 3600 McKinney Ave., Dallas; 214-559-3483 or maxswinedive.com

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