Category Archives: What’s Up at MAR

PRESS: Eater DC “The 38 Essential Washington Restaurants”

Humbled that our tiny little 9 table restaurant has made Eater DC’s “Eater 38”.  This list is known as the list that Washingtonian’s consider essential restaurants in our area. Thank you all for the love!


It’s time to update the Eater 38, your answer and ours to any question that begins, “Can you recommend a restaurant?” This highly elite group covers the entire city and surrounding areas, spans myriad cuisines and budgets, and collectively satisfies all of your restaurant needs, except for those occasions when you absolutely must spend half a paycheck. Every couple of months, we’ll be adding pertinent restaurants that were omitted, have newly become eligible (restaurants must be open at least six months), or have stepped up their game.

This time around, Eater is adding some new blood to the list. Restaurants Birch & Barley, Brasserie Beck, Vidalia, Fishnet, Liberty Tavern and Graffiato are gone for now — not because they’re not great, but in order allow room for some interesting newcomers. In their place: Ruan Thai, Rose’s Luxury, Maple Ave., Pizzeria Orso, Kapnos and DGS Delicatessen. All of these changes are reflected in totally random order here.

From the folks at Eater DC:

Rising star chef Tim Ma puts out big flavors in a tiny space in Vienna (similar dishes can also be found in his newer venture, Water & Wall). Many dishes have an Asian twist, but the restaurant can also put out an impressive brunch and killer wings.

PRESS: Washingtonian “100 Very Best Restaurants 2014”


Beyond speechless to find out we made it on Washingtonian’s “100 Very Best Restaurants 2014” feature for the second time.  Thank you all for all the continued love and support you show all of us!

A $250-per-person modernist joy ride with José Andrés at the wheel. A $12.50 takeout box of the crispiest fried chicken we’ve ever tasted. Those are two ends of the wild and colorful spectrum of our critics’ favorite places to eat this year. In between, there are some terrific newcomers (a couple of which landed in our ranked list of the top 25 restaurants), fabulous splurges and affordable gems, and plenty of other reasons to get excited about going out to dinner.

Todd Kliman’s Review for this feature:

So many restaurants are so cripplingly self-aware that from the moment you step inside them, you sense the holding of a collective breath. Not here. The glass-enclosed space all but shouts whimsy, and then you take a peek at chef Tim Ma’s menu. Ma isn’t the biggest name on the restaurant scene, but we daresay nobody is having more fun. His cuisine is eclectic in the extreme, with shrimp ’n’ grits and mussels in saffron-coconut broth sharing space with a braised beef-cheek sandwich and beer-battered fries. But what unifies these disparate tastes and traditions is the exuberance of their preparation and the happy, festive air they call forth. Look around the room and you’ll see laughter, sharing, a conversation that never flags. Come dessert—a lineup as serious as it is playful, including chocolate purses and yuzu-lime tart—you’re certain to be smiling, too.

Open: Monday through Friday for lunch and dinner, Saturday and Sunday for brunch and dinner.

Don’t Miss: Crème fraîche chicken wings; chicken-liver pâté; seared scallops with coconut risotto; Moroccan chicken; mochi.

Press: Mother Home Buzz

may 20, 2013


Vienna is known for many good things, but until a few years ago, it was never known for being any sort of hip culinary destination.  Joey Hernandez and Tim Ma changed that when they took over the old Anita’s building on 123 (the original Anita’s in fact), and rolled out their creative New American vision at Maple Ave Restaurant. Earlier this year, Maple Ave made Washingtonian’s “The 100 Very Best Restaurants,” making it mandatory that you reserve your table in advance in this small, intimate and critically acclaimed restaurant.

Located at 147 Maple Ave W, this innovative restaurant is a foodie’s delight and the food is fresh, local and made entirely from scratch. (You have to read Tim and Joey’s inspirational story about their path to opening their first restaurant. They are such a talented duo).

Joey Hernandez is the charismatic General Manager of the restaurant and she was so wonderful to answer some questions about the restaurant for our blog. Thank you, Joey, and thank you to Amelia Johnson Photography for the stunning professional photographs of the many delights offered at Maple Ave.


Q: Why did you guys choose Vienna as the location for your restaurant?

Joey: We looked at various different locations and this seemed to be the one that had the most appeal. It is an “antique” building but it was just the right size and with the help of family and friends we took the Old Anita’s building and made it our own. One of the big draws to choosing this location was the small town feel yet it’s so close to the one of the busiest cities in the world.

Q: What would be your picks from the menu right now?

Joey: Tim [chef and owner] has had a love affair with charcuterie, pickles and anything fermented. So he would definitely partake in our brunch for 2-6 course tasting menu which has a charcuterie course. I would sign up for one of our Tasting Table Dinner series. We have those biweekly in the back dining room for six people only. It is a 4-6 course menu and each month we have a different theme and it allows for our chefs to be as creative as they want. Last tasting we had elk, partridge, black forest cakes… yummy! So, I would just come to that, sit and enjoy the feast.

Q: Do you have any plans for expansion?

Joey: We are working on our second restaurant in Arlington. No set date to open yet. Water & Wall is the name of our new project. The name comes from our apartment in NYC where the dream of opening a restaurant came to fruition.

Q: What do you love about Vienna?

Joey: There are things that I love about Vienna now that I didn’t even notice prior to having our two babies Charlotte and Chase. Our amazing parks, all the kid-friendly activities and parades, and of course, our awesome Farmers’ Markets. I love the small business feel to this town… Caffe Amouri, Maple Ave Market, Pear Tree Cottage, etc.

For more pictures and full article please click below:

PRESS: RAMMY Nomination Article by DC Dining


Family and Friends,

Excited to share that Tim was nominated for RAMMY under the category Rising CulinaryStar of the Year!  The nominee is an “up and coming” chef who demonstrates exemplary talent, shows leadership and promise for the future. The nominee must have been based in the Metropolitan Washington area for a minimum of two years.  Winner will be announced at the RAMMY Awards Ceremony on June 23rd.

RAMW Announces 2013 RAMMY Award Nominees

Mar 19,2013 – by 1

Hundreds of the Washington, DC metropolitan area’s restaurant industry players gathered tonight at The Hamilton as the Restaurant Association of Metropolitan Washington (RAMW) announced the nominees for its 31st Annual RAMMY Awards, which honors the exceptional ability and accomplishments of the DC area restaurant industry. The nominations party is a highly anticipated yearly event, second only to the restaurant awards gala, The RAMMYS, where winners are announced which will  be held on June 23, 2013 at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel.

We’re pleased to be able to honor the individuals who work hard to provide area residents and visitors with exceptional, world-class hospitality,” said Kathy Hollinger, RAMW’s new President. “Their dedication to the world and work of food and beverage adds an incredible vitality to the entire Washington Metropolitan Area. This year’s theme – ‘Restaurants in Bloom’ – acknowledges their creative contributions to the region’s burgeoning restaurant scene, and credits their talent which has earned DC recognition as a dining destination.”

The RAMMY Awards recognize excellence in 16 categories, including “Casual Dining”, “Chef of the Year”, “New Restaurant of the Year” and “Beverage/ Mixology Program of the Year”. Selecting the RAMMY nominees, and ultimately the winners, involves two separate panels of judges, the voting public and, for just one award – the Joan Hisaoka Associate Member of the Year – the RAMW Executive Committee. Any RAMW member is eligible for nomination as long as they meet the qualifications of any given category. The nominees are then reviewed by the appropriate anonymous panel of judges comprised of food/restaurant writers, educators and HR professionals who ultimately select the five finalists in each of the categories announced tonight.


For complete DC Dining article, click here.


DC Farms to School: Tim cooks at Eaton Elementary School



“Our mission is to improve the health and well-being of schoolchildren in the District of Columbia, and of our local environment and food economy, by increasing access to healthy, local, sustainable foods in all Washington, DC schools; and to connect DC schoolchildren with where their food comes from.”


Maple Ave had the opportunity to partner with DC Farms to School Network to celebrate Growing Healthy Schools Week. We were partnered with Mrs. C’s 4th grade class at John Eaton Elementary School.  We were thrilled to be able to talk and teach about the importance of local sustainable food.  But, we (Tim and I) were the ones that ended up learning so much more from these wonderful group of kids.  We learned that it just takes a bit of time to explain the importance of local resources for the kids to embrace it.

We cooked our butternut squash soup.  We weren’t too sure that they would like it but once we got to the Q&A part, a little girl raised her hand and asked if she could have seconds of the soup and so we asked who else wanted seconds, we saw about 1/2 the room with their arms up in the air.  It was great to see that!

So far we have done chef demos at James Madison High School, McLean High School and John Eaton Elementary. We look forward to more partnerships with school districts in our area.




Global Street Food and Local Beer Tasting Dinner


When you visit a different city, a different country you learn a lot about the culture through the food. Some even say that the soul of the city lies within the food sold on the streets of a city. So our dinner will feature street food with a culinary twist from our chefs from around the globe paired with local beers. Dinner will be on Wednesday, September 26th at 7pm (only 24 seats available).  Six courses, six beers $59pp. Gratuity and sales tax not included.


Course 1: sliced Argentinean sausage, smoked creme fraiche, chimichurri sauce
Course 2: steamed bronzini filet, seasonal Tuscarora vegetables, foil steaming pouch
Course 3: beer braised beef cheek tacos, tomatillo salsa, housemade tortilla
Course 4: seared chicken liver and gizzards, cucumber tamarind salad
Course 5: churros, bittersweet chocolate sauce
Course 6: chef’s choice dessert


DC Brau Citizen
Williamsburg IPA or Port City IPA (tbd)
Victory Prima Pils
Port City Porter
Evolution Jacques Au Lantern
Lost Rhino Maerzen

Due to the nature of this event we are not able to accommodate special requests or make substitutions. Thank you for understanding.

Annual Chef Tour at Polyface Farms

Every year we have the honor and privilege to tour Polyface Farms with Joel and the Salatin family.  These are pictures from this year’s visit.
Photo credit – Juste Zidelyte.




Join CityEats and Eater for an exclusive tasting experience, Monday, June 11th from 6:30-8:30p at Mintwood Place. We’re bringing together some of DC’s most celebrated chefs for a free private tasting, including Mintwood Place’s own Cedric Maupillier, Todd Gray of Equinox and Watershed, Tim Ma of Maple Ave, Ryan Wheeler of Virtue Feed and Grain and Jeremy Kermisch, Granville Moore’s.

Maple Ave 2? Maybe…

Opening a MAR 2 has been a thought in our minds for quite sometime.  While we love our tiny 9 table restaurant we are dreamers and the current dream is to add to the MAR family.  Well, Chase and LivingSocial want to help fuel that dream by awarding up to 12 individual grants of $250,000 to 12 small businesses.  We have applied for this grant and in order to make it to the next round we need to get 250 votes from facebook users.

No need to download an app, or sign up for an account.  All you have to do is follow these easy steps:

 ‎1. Visit


3. Log in 

4. Type “Maple Ave restaurant” under business name

5. Choose state: Virginia

6. Choose city: Vienna

Share with friends please! Thanks for getting us one vote closer to this grant!