At the tiny, glass-wrapped Maple Ave Restaurant chef/owner Tim Ma—who studied under bad-boy chef David Chang at Momofuku Ko in New York City—has created a locally sourced menu that nods toward Asian, Latin, and French cuisines. Moroccan-spiced chicken leg gets a creamy swoosh of cool saffron, shrimp and grits is made new with blueberry-studded venison sausage, and bitter greens and Vidalia onions crown a sandwich of braised beef cheeks.
Washingtonian – August edition
Maple Ave made the “Best of Vienna/McLean” issue. Thank you all for your continued support and for spreading the word about our tiny restaurant. Best of Vienna – Washingtonian
6 Places to Eat Soft-Shell Crabs This Month
Suppliers say the season will last into September.
This little Vienna spot loves to deep-fry stuff, and soft-shells are no exception. Two crawlers are quartered, fried to a crisp, and served with a tasty yellow curry, crunchy slaw, and a side of jasmine rice. A fine lunch if you can get it.
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What Kliman had to say about Maple Ave:
Maple Avenue, Vienna
“Some diners might be skeptical of splurging for $20 + entrees in a tiny, repurposed diner where the 8 tables are wedged together so closely the room can feel like one big dinner party when the drinks are flowing. Others might be skeptical of the menu, which bends in a dozen different directions, implying a kitchen with a scattered, be-everything-to-everyone vision — which is to say, no vision at all. But this is a surprisingly focused restaurant — and a surprisingly rewarding one, too, a place that feels like a personal statement, backed by an amiable staff that clearly aims to send you away smiling. The chef and owner, Tim Ma, does his part, too. He makes a mean shrimp and grits, and his beef cheek sandwich with beer battered fries is one of the best simple plates around. Don’t miss the bread pudding.” Todd Kliman, April 24 2012
About the Todd Kliman chat:
Where can you get a three-star experience at one-star prices? Which hot new restaurant merits the scorching hype? The answer to all these questions and more can be found Tuesdays at 11 AM on Kliman Online.
From scoping out scruffy holes in the wall to weighing the merits of four-star wanna-bes, from scouring the ‘burbs and exurbs to hitting the city’s streets, Todd Kliman covers a lot of territory. Winner of a James Beard Foundation Award in 2005 for the country’s best newspaper column about food, Kliman is food and wine editor and restaurant critic for The Washingtonian. His work has appeared in The New Yorker, Harper’s, The Oxford American, The Daily Beast and Men’s Health, among others, and he has been selected four times for inclusion in the Best Food Writing anthologies. He is the author of The Wild Vine, a literary exploration of two entwined mysteries: an obscure grape that rose to prominence, only to disappear, and its present-day evangelist, a foul-mouthed transgendered multi-millionaire vintner on an obsessive quest to restore the legend of an antebellum southern doctor.
Click here for full Kliman chat.
Never in a million years did Tim and I expect to be reviewed by The Washington Post. After all, we are a tiny and I mean tiny restaurant in a building that has seen so many restaurants come and go and a building that we believe was built by Christopher Columbus.
But, it was a nice surprise for all of us at Maple Ave. Kind of like when Thomas the Train gets to a destination he never dreamed of….the little engine that could.