Chef Mimmo Alboumeh radiates passion just like any true Spaniard. The chef and restaurateur’s latest restaurant (he also owns Red Pepper Taqueria and Coldbrews Oyster Bar & Grill) is MAYA Steaks and Seafood. Named after his daughter Maya, Mimmo has instilled his native Spanish influences into a modern steakhouse. MAYA just began lunch service yesterday, and Chef Mimmo gave us a rundown of the menu.
Here we present Chef Mimmo’s take…
On lunch service.
The menu is similar to the dinner menu. For instance, we are serving the same appetizers and portion sizes as dinner, but we just took a little hit on the cost for appetizers to make them lunch-priced. We’re hoping people will order a glass of wine- we knocked $3 off the same wines we serve for dinner.
On favorite lunch dishes.
“Pan Tumaca” is what I think of as the Spanish chips and salsa. It’s the popular upscale appetizer in Barcelona. I create an olive oil, sherry and garlic spread and scrub it on the bread, then char it. To serve, I shave Manchego cheese on top.
“Caesar salad” uses less traditional ingredients. Grana padano is similar in taste to a Pecorino Romano. It’s the black anchovies from Ortiz that really make the difference in this salad though. A 3.5-ounce jar of these is like $15 a piece, but the taste is incredible.
“The Spaniard” is basically a charcuterie plate inside bread. I think of it like a Spanish BLT with meats and cheeses, then I top it with a calabrese and piquillo pepper mayo.
On things that will ‘blow your mind.’
The Carpaccio. A prime beef cut pounded thin and served with truffle oil, Manchego and capers.
Roasted grapes. Spinach salads are so overdone, so I wanted MAYA’s salad to be different. Instead of doing cranberries, I seasoned grapes with olive oil, salt and some smoke paprika and roasted them for 20 minutes. The grapes taste firm but they’re juicy inside.