MAYA Restaurant Opens in Long Branch, NJ

Maya Bar area
Maya is located within Wave Resort.

With a track record of international success, renowned chef Nina Clemente has arrived in Long Branch with MAYA, located within Pier Village’s WAVE Resort.

This brand-new concept is about to be a destination for anyone looking for unique, healthy Italian and Mediterranean options.

Maya food
Arctic char with golden beet citrus salsa and dill tomato bulgur

The Food

Chef Clemente describes the menu as “seasonal, fresh, and clean.” Pairing fresh seafood with the Garden State’s finest produce, she highlights local ingredients to create unique versions of the Southern Italian cooking she grew up with. 

Notable dishes like branzino served with salsa verde, asparagus, and sunflower sprouts exemplify Clemente and the staff’s vision. Other menu standouts include entrees like spiced Romanesco (served with beluga lentils and chimichurri), as well as za’atar lamb chops (served with Israeli salad and herb tahini).

Whether you’re on a date, celebrating a family milestone, or having a friendly get-together, you can expect top-notch appetizers and salads. MAYA’s team has worked hard to accent entrees with salads like the beets and oranges, and appetizers like the bigeye tuna crudo and grilled octopus.

Maya menu
Spiced Romanesco, Arctic Char, local burrata and eggplant caponata, rainbow carrots, and bigeye tuna crudo.

“I want to serve food that makes you feel good,” Clemente said in a release. “Food that you can eat multiple times a week, that leaves you feeling satisfied, and that incorporates the fresh ingredients of the region. Local oysters, Jersey tomatoes, peaches, cherries, fresh corn—you’ll find it all on the menu.” MAYA’s menus also offer a range of vegan and gluten-free options.

Maya dining room
The breezy indoor-outdoor design invites guests to linger along the beachfront throughout the summer.

The Concept

The restaurant includes a 70-seat indoor dining room and an airy, outdoor section. Either way, you’ll never be far from an oceanfront view of the breezy Atlantic. Designed by Kevin O’Shea, chief creative officer for Salt Hotels, MAYA’s modern aesthetic features Mediterranean-inspired deep reds, earthy greens, raw concrete, and hand-glazed tiles.

Maya cocktails
Enjoy a Low-Hanging Fruit cocktail (mezcal, apricot, Strega, lime)

The Bar

The knowledgeable bar staff will kickstart any evening with its custom cocktail menu, local brews, and fine wines. Key options include the Low-Hanging Fruit (a mezcal drink with apricot, Strega, and lime), craft beer (Asbury Park Brewery, Carton Brewing, and more), and chef-selected wines from the Mediterranean coast.

Maya Executive Chef Nina Clemente
Chef Nina Clemente

The Chef

Born in Italy and raised in NYC, Chef Clemente has worked all over the world—from LA, to NYC, back to Italy, in St. Barts, and now New Jersey.

Clemente also noted, “My family has always taught me to see food as the anchor for friends and family to gather around a table, share their stories, and create memories.”

Clemente’s resume includes Osteria Mozza, the Standard, and the High Line. She’s worked with the Smile Group, and has spent time under the tutelage of Enrico Crippa at his three-Michelin-star Piazza Duomo, in Alba, Italy. And her inspiration for MAYA is Maya Gurley’s Restaurant in St. Barts, where she worked under Chef Maya Gurley.

While Clemente has built the restaurant from concept to creation, Executive Chef Dan Schreiber will handle MAYA’s day-to-day kitchen operations.

Maya interior
Decor and color schemes were inspired by the Mediterranean ethos.

The Time and Place (Spoiler Alert: They’re Open Year Round!)

From the bartenders to the kitchen staff and management team—the entire team feels that Long Branch is the perfect place for MAYA due to the coastal community’s bustling seasonal crowd in the summer and the consistent local crowd throughout the year.

The menu is fairly set for now, but options will change and evolve with every season. Variations will depend on the fresh produce and ingredients procured at their individual peaks. MAYA will embrace seasonal changes and celebrate the produce from New Jersey’s farms throughout the year. 

Hours (subject to change):

  • Dinner: Sunday through Thursday, 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 5 p.m. to 11 p.m.
  • Lunch: Monday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
  • Brunch: Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
  • Golden Hour: Daily, 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. for food and drink specials, as well as live music at the Carousel Bar

Reservations at OpenTable:
110 Ocean Ave N
Long Branch, NJ 07740