deVine Thoughts

May 3, 2012

Dream Mexican Meal

Filed under: deVine's Daily Blog Article — Dirk @ 10:04 pm

maya_appetizersAuthor: Dirk Chan

Sometimes, you have no expectations and then are blown away – well that happened when Annabelle and I visited Maya, a Mexican Restaurant owned by famed Richard Sandoval on the Upper East Side of Manhattan a couple of days ago. We had read a few excellent reviews and it was within walking distance of our condo location, so we made a last minute reservation and dropped over.

Lovely modern decor with warm wood accents, sublime lighting and a very friendly staff made us feel comfortable right off the bat. The interesting menu gave us contemplation before making hard choices. For appetizers (pictured), Annabelle chose the Tacos de Entrana (organic skirt steak with cilantro corn tortilla, avocado and cilantro. It was nicely nuanced with a creamy texture combining nicely with the slightly spicy skirt steak. Very complex and yummy! I had the Sopa de Elote (roasted corn soup with huitlacoche (a corn fungus) dumpling) – we didn’t know it at the time, but found out afterwards this is one of
the restaurant’s signature dishes – it was absolutely stunning, the best corn soup either one of
us have ever had. The corn was exceptionally sweet, the texture velvety and silky, and pure, no starch agent added to thicken the soup. Speechless!

For mains, Annabelle had the Carnitas Maya (pork tenderloin on top of pulled pork shoulder with avocado puree, black bean-requeson huarache and red onion-orange salsa. The meat was so tender it melted in your mouth. Flavors were explosive yet nothing overwhelm the other. Nicely accompanied by saute spinach, huitlacoche dumplings (corn fritters), and panfried plantains. Delightful. I partook the Langosta y Camarones (lobster and adobo marinated shrimp, creamed corn, watercress, chile de arbol vinaigrette and habanero rouille). Corn is a specialty of this house, it is masterfully done, the seafood perfectly grilled, the side dishes adding contrasts that challenged the taste buds while the whole package left me wanting more.

For dessert, Annabelle had Churros (a Mexican fried pastry sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar, and accompanied by Mexican hot chocolate and caramelized goats milk). Delectible! I had a Martini Espresso made from Patron XO Tequila, espresso coffe, citronage orange liqueur topped with roasted coffee beans.

Not a Michelin starred restaurant, but it should be – the most splendid Mexican food we’ve ever tasted. Can’t wait for the upcoming cookbook that features these dishes. Here is the link to Maya.

Highly recommended. Up next, Cafe Boulud..

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