Full of flavor and heart in Sandy Springs, Georgia.

Full of flavor and heart in Sandy Springs, Georgia.

By Hope S. Philbrick

Sandy Springs is its own, proud Georgia city, but for the average Atlanta-metro-area dweller it’s little more than a stretch of road crowded with restaurants and retail outlets. Several of the restaurants are destinations for which it’s worth driving across town, however, and Maya Steaks & Seafood is one such place.

Maya is located on a corner, so it’s easy to see the entrance but less clear where to park—thankfully, there’s valet parking. Inside the dining room is dark and narrow in a New York City sort of way. Odds are you’ll be greeted immediately, since every staff member from the host to the bartender, server to bus person is friendly and attentive. Expect a high level of service here: Your table will be attended by a server plus someone else tasked with ensuring your water glass remains full, at minimum.

There’s no shortage of upscale steak and seafood restaurants in Atlanta, or the world in general, and a quick glance at the menu will reveal few surprises. When the food arrives to the table, however, distinctions are clear.

This is American fare with Spanish flair. Plate presentations are artful with careful attention to color, texture, aroma and of course taste. Quality ingredients and expert cooking skills combine to create dishes that dance across taste buds. Don’t miss the crab artichoke dip. Steaks are cooked to order and can be adorned with up to 12 sauces and additions like crab or foie gras. On the seafood side of the menu, the lobster tails with linguine in alfredo cream is generous in size, decadent in taste. Save room for crème brûlée.

There is one surprise: The beef is Iowa Premium Black Angus. In this state where locally-sourced “Georgia Grown” is the reigning philosophy, you don’t often see “Iowa” on the menu. (In fact, I can recall no other time I’ve seen that word on a menu outside of Iowa.) But across the top of his menu at Maya Steaks & Seafood, Chef/Owner Mimmo Alboumeh has written, “After visiting Iowa farms, I experienced first-hand the passion farmers have for raising cattle humanely. This dedicated care leads to superior beef—full of rich, savory flavor. I am excited to share this experience with you and confident you too will ‘taste’ the beef difference.”

That reveals the sort of guy Alboumeh is. He cares about animals, people, has enthusiasm for ingredients, and is eager to share what he’s learned. What’s not to like?

Alboumeh, who was born in Lebanon and has lived in Italy and Spain, approaches cooking with a blend of tradition and creativity. In addition to Maya Steaks & Seafood, he owns Red Pepper Taqueria in Buckhead and North Druid Hills.

Alboumeh has a big heart and is eager to support the community. Dine any Wednesday before May 10 and help support Second Helping Atlanta. Learn more HERE.

Getaway for Grownups.

Mimmo Alboumeh

ME Restaurant Group INC, 880 Holcomb Bridge Rd, Roswell, GA, 30076, United States