Maya is one of the restaurants in Charlottesville that I feel like everyone has heard about and should make it to. Instead of being one of the many restaurants focused just on "eat local," it is a "eat local and southern" restaurant.
Just like every good Southern meal, the sides here are really key. So amazing in fact that you can easily do a "sides only" plate and leave full and happy (a great option for vegetarians!). Though I wasn't too impressed with the whipped potatoes (they seemed too prepared, and therefore gluten-y), the collards, butternut squash and biscuits were all amazing. The entree choices are great of course. On the night we went I decided to try the Ragged Mountain trout which came with skin on and was very lightly prepared. My husband had the pork tenderloin with bbq slaw that was so tender and delicious.
I have to say my complaint about our experience at Maya definitely wasn't the food, but it was the service. I am happy that Maya is one of the few places in town that will take reservations. We were sat promptly at 7:30 which was great. However, for some reason our waitress decided we weren't special because we weren't one of the many UVA parent-child-child's friends tables and therefore wouldn't give the money. Too bad for her. Anyways, when I asked if we could have a side of 4 rather than 3 biscuits I was told "Tonight is not the night to bother the kitchen." I was not too happy. In fact I think that she couldn't be bothered. She also mistakenly gave me the wrong side (whipped potatoes vice macaroni and cheese) and was slow to bring our water, wine and take our order. Sadly for Maya I think they need to replace this waitress, because everything that involved other staff was excellent.
In short, I will definitely make a return trip, but I think I will make sure I don't have the same server. For that reason, I'll give it a 3+ star (out of 5), hoping they can take it to a 4 after next time.