Maya Del Sol

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Our annual Day of the Dead costume party is quickly approaching on Friday, October 31st! Join us for a fun evening of live music by Joe Rendon, drink specials and a costume contest with prizes!   
 
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The food. The drinks. The events. The patio. Flair sizzles at Maya del Sol, the Latin fusion restaurant in the old Vivaldi space on Oak Park Avenue.

The food consists of dishes rooted in the Yucatan, Cuba, El Salvador, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Argentina. Maya's chef playfully works such specialty extras as yucca, jicama, plantains and coconut milk into choices on dinner and brunch menus that are meant to be welcoming for everyone.

Meat lovers not game enough for Cuban beef stew atop a Colombian corn cake, yucca fries on the side, have the option of a Kobe beef cheeseburger with french fries and just a hint of Latin flavor in a smoky chipotle mayonnaise dressing. Vegetarians can indulge in the Ecuadorian favorite of Calabaza Rellena: a whole acorn squash open and stuffed with a corn-sauce mix of arborio rice, wild mushrooms, yucca and asparagus along with various gluten free and dairy free items.

Drinks at Maya del Sol rival the food in innovative splashes of Central America and South America. Over-the-top cocktail garnishes can include a pickle, a cube of ham or a shrimp. Rims aren't just sugar or salt; they're cinnamon sugar or chili salt. Along with margaritas named for Mayan gods and mojitos named for Maya barkeeps are such Latin requisites as caipirinha, the Brazilian standard, and Pisco sour, a fave in Peru and Chile.

Lesser-known Latin drinks also stir up spice at Maya's two bars. Mangaso is a tequila, rum and mango-puree translation of the dried chili-seasoned mango strips sold by street vendors throughout Latin America. Friday nights after 5:30 p.m., bartenders share their experiments with drinkers and diners alike. Their wit is above question. This is the team that for Election Day came up with the Red Maverick and the Obama Samba.

Events at Maya reflect a sense of fun and nods to the times. Every Friday afternoon, from 4 to 6 p.m., teachers get a 20 percent break on their tab. On one summer evening last year, you could take a class called How to Make the Perfect Margarita. On tax day this year, the dinner tab was Pay What You Think Is Fair.

On the patio, Maya's biggest channeling of points south, a gas-burning firepit anchors a dining area that has a fully stocked 17-stool bar and table seating for 140. In this part of the restaurant, servers check on you for more than food and drink. If you report so much as a chill, you've got your choice of having your chair moved up to the firepit, being brought a blanket, or both. Specialty dining, indeed.

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michelle deiter from River Forest  

Posted: November 1st, 2012 1:24 PM

In my opinion, Maya del Sol is the finest restaurant from head to toe, owner to bus boy. Chef Rhea is outstanding,his flavors exploded in your mouth, and all at the appropriate time. A smile is worn by every employee, and every customer. The Maya's music is also incredible .. I give this 'place of worship' an eleven out of 10.