I was surprised when I heard Elizabeth's sister's wedding rehearsal dinner was going to be at a place called Maxwell's Pizza. I immediately conjured up an image of all of us sitting around eating pizza, drinking pitchers of beer, maybe watching baseball on a giant TV. In other words, the greatest rehearsal dinner ever. But something about it didn't seem to jibe; I didn't think that could really be what we were doing.
It all became clear when we arrived at Maxwell's, in a part of Uptown Kingston known as the Stockade. The small inside of the restaurant looks somewhat like a pizza joint - albeit an upscale one - but the outdoor patio was quite attractive, with views of the surrounding streets and the hills in the distance. This is where our party was going to be.
I cooled down with a few pints of summer ale. Eventually I turned my attention to the appetizers. A three-section pizza had been set down at our table, so I took a slice of goat cheese and a slice of margarita. The goat cheese slice was a little on the dry side but the margarita was fantastic. The crust was dense and crackled with each bite.
Next up were the crab cakes. I love crab cakes but as years go by I realize I eat them less and less. Or, more to the point, I order them at restaurants less and less. Far too many places - even well known places - serve crab cakes stuffed with filler, where the taste of crab is barely noticeable.
These were outstanding, full of crab and fried golden brown on the outside, served with a chipotle sauce and a some grilled wedges of lime. I could've eaten a dozen of these. But that seemed like it wouldn't have been appropriate. So I only ate ten.
The bruschetta looked pretty good. But I dislike tomatoes, so I did not eat any. When the buffet line was ready I checked out what they had: eggplant parmesan, chicken marsala, roasted vegetables, and salad. There may have been a couple other things; I wasn't paying much attention as I had pretty much filled up on appetizers.
I have never been a huge fan of chicken marsala, but this was as good as any I have ever had. Often I find the taste of the marsala sauce so overpowering that I can't taste anything else. This sauce was a nice complement to the chicken. The vegetables, especially the potatoes, were very good.
Towards the end of the meal I noticed the mother of the bride (and also, obviously, Elizabeth) had been sitting by herself for quite a while, so I asked Elizabeth - who was catching up with old friends - if I should go talk to her. She said that would be very nice of me. So I did, and I had a couple more drinks... but somehow missed out on the cannoli, which everyone later raved about. Since I'd left my camera at my table, Elizabeth took a picture for me. But I didn't get to taste any.
I would gladly return to Maxwell's to try some of their other pizzas, including the "chipotle bbq pork" pizza. And finally try the cannoli.