Sunday, August 18, 2013

Maya: Upper East Side, Manhattan, NY

This week I dined at Maya in Manhattan for Restaurant Week. For those who aren't familiar with Restaurant Week, it happens for a few weeks every summer from the end of July to the middle of August (and I believe there's another one in the winter) where some of the nicer, more expensive restaurants offer prix fixe, 3 or 4 course menus for $38.  My friend and I were going out to celebrate her birthday and wanted to try one of these nicer restaurants, but she has a gluten allergy and it was hard to track down which restaurants had gluten-free options on their restaurant week menus.  After a bit of searching, I was able to find this blog post from last year about different restaurants who were offering gluten-free menus for restaurant week and decided to contact a few of them to see if they were offering these menus again this year.  I heard back from both Alloro and Maya that they were offering nearly entirely gluten-free menus, both of which sounded delicious, but we decided on going to Maya.

The restaurant was packed for a Wednesday night, which I suppose could have been because of the Restaurant Week menu, but it didn't seem like all that many people were ordering from that menu.  Luckily, we had a reservation, otherwise we may have had a long wait for a table.  The tables were set pretty close together, which is standard for a NYC restaurant, but I had some difficulty getting comfortably settled in the booth because of how close we were to the other tables.  My friend and I decided to split the guacamole to start.  I'm a big fan of spicy food, but we decided to go with medium guacamole since we were unfamiliar with how spicy they usually make their food. I wish we had gotten the hot guacamole because it was lacking a little something, in my opinion, but my friend really enjoyed it.  Additionally, the guacamole wasn't included in the restaurant week menu, so we had to pay an additional $10 for it, but we weren't getting drinks or anything to drive our bill up more so I really didn't mind.

For my first course, I got the striped bass ceviche.  I've only had ceviche a few times before, but it's something that I'm really growing to enjoy.  This ceviche had spicy tomato sauce blended in, which really help cut the strong citrusy flavor of the dish.  The dish was garnished with onion and cilantro as well to make it a really flavorful dish.  For my main course I got the salmon con vegetales, which was absolutely amazing.  The salmon was marinated in chipotle grain mustard and sat atop a bed of spinach.  I was getting pretty full at this point from all the chips and guacamole I had eaten earlier, but this salmon was so delicious that I cleaned my plate.  As you've probably noticed from my other entries, I'm a big fan of salmon and this dish definitely lands in my top 5.

For dessert, I got the chocoflan.  It was the only item on the entire restaurant week menu that wasn't gluten-free because of the chocolate cake on the bottom.  I'm not really a fan of flan, but I decided to try it because of the cake on the bottom.  Unfortunately, I my opinion of flan didn't really change with this experience, so I just ended up eating the chocolate cake off the bottom and most of the caramel sauce drizzled on the plate.  Oh well, it was worth trying again.

 I really liked the atmosphere of this restaurant so I'll definitely be back again.  In my searching for restaurants, I came across the fact that Maya offers a bottomless brunch menu on the weekends, which I would absolutely LOVE to try.  I also discovered they have a few other promotions throughout the week, so it's worth taking a look at what they're offering before heading over there. The wait staff was friendly and knowledgeable about the menu, so my friend felt really comfortable trusting that everything she ate was truly gluten-free.  The menu was a little pricy, but not over the top, especially for a NYC restaurant.  I was also eyeing some of the food at the surrounding tables and the tostadas and tacos look delicious, so I'm hoping to try those next time around!



Maya on Urbanspoon

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