DineAroundTown @ Maya (dinner) (longish)
I first want to say hi - I have moved back to the Bay Area after 5.5 years and am slowly reacquainting myself to the food in the area. This is my first post - inspired by Limster's post of lunch at Maya.
The Dine Around Town for dinner is a good deal - you get to choose an appetizer & entree from the main menu (only 1 appetizer & 2 entrees were excluded). The bummer is that you don't get a dessert choice.
We started out with the chile relleno w/seafood & the corn soup w/huitlacoche. The chile relleno wasn't battered & deep fried (the person at the next table did have a deep fried one - maybe it was the vegetarian version?) But it still was a nice balance of flavors - the sharpness of the chile with the mellowness of the seafood. The corn soup was rich and velvetly - had a great full mouth feel that got a little heavy near the end. It was drizzled with a huitlaoche cream and had a huitlacoche dumpling. Just one though. Being a big fan of huitlacoche, I was a little disappointed that the huitlacoche was almost entirely liquified inside the dumpling (huitlacoche tends to fall apart quickly on cooking) so it wasn't very flavorful. And the dumpling skin was a little too think and chewy. But, all in all, a good soup.
Our entrees were seafood (calamari, shrimp, and scallops) w/salad and pan-fried snapper w/cabbage (think upscale cole-slaw) drizzled w/a sweet chipotle sauce. Both were good - well-balanced flavors and tasty. Fairly large portions too.
Dessert was a chocolate cake & cinnamon ice cream - a spin off the "cake soaked in milk" perhaps?. Quite good. I was half contemplating ordering a separate dessert - I think someone was having cajeta crepes but was way too full.
THe flavors weren't as complex as I had expected, but maybe I should have tried the mole. I'll definitely be back to try their ceviche.
Its corn smut, and it is delicous. When we can find it, we use it in a soup and also make quesadillas with it. I get it at Monetery Market in Berkeley when I can.
It was a very delicate flavor, a bit mushroomy. If you happen to have any Diana Kennady (sp) Mexican cookbooks
she has a couple of recipes that call for it.