633 W. Main Street . Charlottesville, VA. (434) 979-6292
Food fusing French and Southern traditions has become Charlottesville’s signature cuisine. While many area restaurants serve it, none does it better than Maya, the two-story Midtown restaurant whose kitchen performs at a level of consistency that few others can match. Chef Christian Kelly once helped Clifton Inn become one of the few restaurants in the country to achieve Relais & Chateaux status. In 2006, restaurateur Peter Castiglione, who was planning a new restaurant, lured Kelly away from the world of fine dining to return to the accessible, ingredient-driven cooking that inspired Kelly as a child on the farm where he was raised. Ever since, Maya, named after Kelly’s deaughter, has been the premier Charlottesville destination for Southern/French food. A team-driven approach focused on retaining both staff and customers makes Maya one of the most reliable restaurant experiences in town. Whether you’re in the mood for unfussy dishes like baby back ribs and fried catfish, or something more sophisticated like Kelly’s daily specials, Maya always satisfies.
What to Order
In his eighth year at the helm of Maya’s kitchen, Kelly has nailed just about everything on the menu, where diners may choose two sides to go with any entree. That said, here are a few standouts we love, picks from Kelly and Castiglione, as well as appearances in Five Finds on Friday, where other chefs and personalities have named a Maya dish as one of the best in town.
- Local Trout with caper brown butter ($19)
- Cornmeal-Crusted Catfish ($15)
- Golden Beets
- Soup of the Day
- New York Strip with red wine sauce ($26)
- Macaroni and Cheese ($4)
- Cornmeal-Crusted Fried Oysters (market) with sides of Collard Greens ($4) and Stone-Ground Grits ($4)
Five Finds on Friday Picks