By Dane Feldman
Max Soha is located on the corner of 123rd Street and Amsterdam Ave in the Morningside Heights neighborhood of Manhattan. The Italian restaurant is owned and operated by the same people who run Max Caffe, which is on the same block.
The menu embodies the idea of a neighborhood trattoria. As their website suggests, Max Soha’s menu is not a large one, but the restaurant offers daily specials.
I, for one, figured I’d continue my lifelong search for the perfect penne alla vodka. The best I ever found was at a spot that closed about 6 years ago, but I was pleased to find that Max Soha’s dish satisfied my craving. Is it the best ever? No, but I would still order it again.
My cohort ordered the la pugliese: shell pasta with broccoli rabe and Italian spicy sausage in a red sauce. This dish was delicious and the ground sausage was plentiful. We were also given warm fresh bread for the table, which we used to sop up our sauces.
After dinner, we ordered dessert and coffee. Tiramisu is up there with my most beloved dessert options and I was happy to have theirs; it was the perfect combination of ladyfingers, coffee, and mascarpone.
Truthfully, nothing on the menu stands out immensely the way some of the popular Italian restaurants’ menu items do. With that said, however, Max Soha’s menu is dependable as well as classic and the prices truly can’t be beaten.
The same can be said for the drinks. Max Soha offers soft drinks, homemade iced tea, sparkling water, coffee, espresso, and wine. The wine list isn’t overwhelming nor is it outstanding, but it, too, is inexpensive and interesting enough.
The restaurant even boasts a special $20 bottle selection each night, which changes based on what they have on hand. We ordered a sauvignon blanc from this list and were pleased with the results. Any time a bottle of dry white wine is up for $20 at an establishment, I’m happy.
The wait staff here is excellent. Everyone is friendly, attentive, and knowledgeable about the menu. Combine that with the true ambience of an actual corner trattoria and you have Max Soha: an incredibly reliable, altogether homey experience. It’s constantly busy, but patrons can spend all night lounging in their chairs sipping on wine and cappuccinos (which by the way are also excellent).