Maya Modern Mexican Kitchen & Tequilaria
December 29, 2016
126 Riverfront Lane, Westin Riverfront Resort & Spa | Avon
970.790.5500 | richardsandoval.com/mayabc
by Traci J. Macnamara
photos by linda guerrette
Even though Maya is tucked inside The Westin Riverfront Resort & Spa, this modern Mexican kitchen and tequilaria is no normal resort hotel restaurant. It's a destination in itself, known for a buzzing, tequila-fueled bar scene and for cuisine inspired by celebrity chef Richard Sandoval. Come by early in the evening for après-ski cocktails, or cozy up around a table with friends for the night at one of Maya's high-backed circular booths.
For starters, guacamole and tequila cocktails are a must-do at Maya. Served tableside-style, the guac comes in four varieties, and if you're a purist, choose the traditional, but adventurers have some exciting options including the bacon, crab or tuna tartare guacamole. Of these, the tuna tartare is a standout, garnished with piquant fresno peppers, chipotle aioli and crunchy jicama strips.
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With more than 100 varieties of tequila available at Maya, the drink menu reads like a tome, but a specialty margarita list makes it easy to choose from among the best concoctions. The prickly pear margarita proves to be a mellow and balanced choice, with cactus-juice-infused tequila and citrus that come together nicely, neither too sour nor too sweet.
Try a few small plates before moving on to the main course to get more of Maya's flavor. Creative tacos come in threes, stuffed with pork belly or carne asada or grilled mahi mahi, perfect for sharing. The Calamari Azteca also works well as a shared appetizer, and these chile ancho-crusted calamari rings served with mango salsa, ginger lime aioli, and blood orange chipotle go down oh-so-smoothly when interspersed with margarita sips.
Among Maya's entrées, the shrimp and crab enchiladas are a special treat, stuffed with lump crab, shrimp, roasted poblano pepper, corn, creamy mascarpone cheese and topped with a roasted tomatillo sauce. And this is your chance to try the signature slow-roasted pork carnitas, tastefully and colorfully adorned with avocado puree, requesón cheese, blue corn tortilla, black beans and a pickled vegetable citrus salsa.
"The ingredients that go into this style of food are naturally accommodating for people with food allergies or sensitivities," says Kevin Delonay, Maya's food and beverage director and former executive chef. "Nearly all of our menu is gluten free, and we're also vegetarian friendly." In this way, the contemporary adaptations of Mexican classics that you'll find on Maya's menu can appeal to a wide variety of tastes.
Maya's melding of the modern and traditional continues beyond dinner and into dessert. Of course, you'll find Mexican fried ice cream here for an after-dinner indulgence, but the Spanish coffee and caramel crepes provide a decidedly decadent way to end a meal at at Maya. •
Yes, with a fun coloring menu available