ABOUT

For Will and Margie Hennessee, a restaurant should be like home in its best sense.

"We want guests to feel the same kind of warmth and hospitality that we extend to family and friends at our home."

The couple has spent nearly half of their lives at Maximillians: Will at the front of the house and Margie as the can-do whirling dervish in every part of the operation -- kitchen, bar and dining room.

Beyond their vocation, restaurants are their passion. They can walk into a restaurant and discern almost immediately what's clicking and what's not.  A pride in serving others was engrained at an early age in each of them.

Will's notion of hospitality can be traced back to his great grandfather, Manassas Nixon Hennessee, who ran a general store in Glen Alpine, North Carolina. His slogan: "Quality courteous service."

Margie remembers cooking sauce for her family of seven in Erie, Pennsylvania when she was in the second grade. As a young girl she sat at her Aunt's side while she flipped through issues of Bon Appetite and lavishly illustrated cookbooks.

When the previous owners decided to retire, Will and Margie knew what they wanted to do with little discussion: They would extend Maximillians 25-year legacy, while placing their unique stamp on the Cary institution.

"They were doing local sourcing and farm-to-fork before anyone had coined those terms," says Margie. "We're honoring that commitment with food that is fresh, light and approachable."

What remains are the international influences -- Mediterranean, Caribbean, Asian, American -- mingled with the singular approach to delivering layers and layers of sublimely intense flavor. The global wine list reflects the international components found in the food.

Service is casual and relaxed. Educated but not pretentious. Vigilant but not fussy.  "A restaurant should be like a visit to the home of a cherished friend, but with a lot of talented cooks, servers and bartenders at your service. Everybody should be nice to one another. We want people to leave here feeling a little better about life."