The Eat: A pretzel flight, just in time for those cold nights.
The Place: Maxwell’s in Islip.
The Story: Winter is right around the corner. That means seasonally driven food, sure, but it also means stick-to-your-ribs fare. That’s what the team at Maxwell’s, in Islip, had in mind when they changed their menu over last month.
There are a number of delicious options on the new and improved Maxwell’s menu, including a one-pound meatball, which arrives stuffed with oozy burrata; roasted Brussels sprouts with a Thai peanut glaze, scallions, and toasted sesame seeds; an Autumn harvest salad, featuring kale, roasted beets, pecans, goat cheese, apples, raisins, and an apple-maple vinaigrette; a root beer-braised short rib entrée, served with garlic-roasted baby potatoes; and a pumpkin pecan crunch for dessert, which arrives topped with fresh whipped cream.
But my pick for the season is the so-called pretzel flight, a German-style appetizer that comes with three different cheesy dips: a smoked gouda fondue, a beer cheese, and a queso fundido. Few things on the planet are as pleasurable as ripping apart pieces of hot, fresh pretzel and dipping them in hot, fresh cheese.
During other seasons, pretzels and cheese might be considered an outrageous excess. But this is near-winter we’re talking about, the season of cold days, cold nights, and concerted cozying up. If there’s a dish that’s cozier than this pretzel with cheeses, I don’t want to know about it.
So let go of your guilt (if you had any to begin with) and make a beeline for Maxwell’s, where the Season of Giving begins with giving yourself permission to eat all the cheese all the time. It’s the holiday hug you didn’t know you needed.
Read more: Counting Our Lessings