Count MAYA in Sandy Springs among the new wave of American steakhouses that aim to be less stuffy and more adventurous but still trade on the allure of premium hunks of meat. Chef/restaurateur Mimmo Alboumeh of Red Pepper Taquería and Coldbrews Oyster Bar is known for creating lively dining scenes, and at Maya he does it again with Spanish and fine dining touches.
The look: Located in the Roswell Road space once occupied by Rumi’s Kitchen, and more recently SeaBass Kitchen, the long, narrow dining room still features a small corner bar near the entrance. Beyond, there’s a second, more secluded section tucked into an enclosed porch. Seating is at cushy banquettes and cafe tables with white tablecloths.
The scene: On a recent weeknight, the bar was buzzing, while a well-dressed dinner crowd was scattered throughout the restaurant. At one table, a group of men and women were having a business meeting that alternated between hefty courses of food and drink and the ritual opening and closing of laptops.
MAYA’s cheesecake with vanilla bean and lemon zest, almond and graham cracker crust, topped with berry compote. Contributed by Maya Steaks and Seafood
The food: On the starters menu, find the likes of kings prawns on thin slices of roasted potatoes with herb butter ($11) and prime beef carpaccio flavored with white truffle cream, capers and Manchego cheese ($13). A wedge salad is topped with Valdeón blue cheese dressing and bacon ($9). Aged steaks sourced from Braveheart Black Angus Beef include a 14-ounce New York strip ($42) and a 22-ounce bone-in ribeye ($48). On the seafood side, there’s Scottish salmon with sautéed spinach and lemon butter sauce ($21).
The drinks: At the bar, the signature cocktail is the Maya’s Old Fashioned with bourbon, Cocchi Barolo and Antico Formula ($13). The sizable wine list tends toward California and Spanish selections by the glass ($8-$17) and bottle ($30-$425).
The extras: For dessert, there’s sharable sweets like vanilla bean cheesecake with almond graham cracker crust and berry compote ($8). Beginning April 6, look for a weekday lunch menu.