EAT: Maya brings together traditional and modern Mexican flavors in Avon | VailDaily.com
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EAT: Maya brings together traditional and modern Mexican flavors in Avon

By Kari Mohr
Special to the Daily
Roasted vegetable sopes are new on the menu this season.
Susi Thurman | Special to the Daily

Editor’s note: This story first appeared as a paid feature in EAT magazine, highlighting restaurants across the valley.

At Maya, there is traditional and boundary-pushing cuisine, executed with precision and style. And then there’s the setting.

Located at the Westin Riverfront Resort & Spa in Avon with sweeping views of Beaver Creek, it welcomes a vibrant clientele well beyond hotel guests. Its spacious decor mimics its menu’s sensibilities: traditional Mexican tile and warm natural textures layered within a hip modern design. The space is bookended by its renowned tequileria to one side and floor-to-ceiling windows on the other.

Those windows and the restaurant’s location across from the hotel gondola to Beaver Creek set the tone of the restaurant throughout the day. In the morning it’s a bustling breakfast and Sunday brunch space; by afternoon the expansive patio boasts a lively après scene. As the alpenglow fades on the mountains, the restaurant lights up with a warm, inviting glow. Long tables accommodate larger groups while high leather-backed booths are perfect for an intimate meal.

Chef Richard Sandoval, originally from Mexico City, is committed to the traditions of Mexican cooking while incorporating bold flavors and techniques that have earned him praise as the “Father of Modern Mexican Cuisine.” Executive chef Angel Munoz Jr. oversees the daily operations with a tightknit team.

“When you work long and hard together, it is important to relax and laugh together as well,” Munoz said. That sense of camaraderie feeds directly into the welcoming atmosphere of Maya and inspires the dynamic dish and drink offerings.

One of the newest additions to the menu is the roasted vegetable sopes. The sope’s cornflour dough is dyed with beets to create a rich purple color then topped with black beans, roasted vegetables and crispy lettuce, with cotija cheese. It’s a perfect appetizer or vegetarian main dish.

While most people opt to start their meal with Maya’s tableside prepared guacamole (and for good reason), don’t miss the deceivingly simple tortilla soup. Blended in the traditional manner, its layered and rich flavors are warming to the core, a perfect end to a snowy day.

For the main course, the chicken mole poblano is a multi-tiered taste experience. The chicken is served with a warm cake of cilantro polenta and plantain hash with kale. Sandoval’s mole includes four types of chiles, chocolate and a secret ingredient you won’t believe: See if you can find out what it is from your server.

A visit to Maya wouldn’t be complete without sampling from the selection of over 150 carefully curated tequilas. One to look out for: the exclusive Maya Patrón that the restaurant developed in close collaboration with Patrón. The tequila flights are a popular option, as are the nine margaritas, each paired with its own unique salt rim. For something a little more indulgent, try the Casa Horchata, featuring housemade horchata spiked with Casa Mexico Añejo and topped with whipped cream. Not a tequila drinker? Sommelier Grant Lewis was recently brought on as Dining Room Manager and has developed a thoughtful spirit, wine and beer selection. 

Maya

Price

Starters and small plates: $13-$17

Entrées: $15-$29

Ambiance

Hip, modern and family-friendly Mexican kitchen and tequileria

Signature dish

Carne asada


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