Category Archives: What’s Up at MAR


DC Dining by Don Rockwell

February 13th 2012

Maple Ave. Restaurant (Vienna) – There are so many things about Maple Ave. Restaurant that I like – it’s a true mom-n-pop, owned by Chef (and pop) Tim Ma, and GM (and mom) Joey Hernandez, a lovely young couple – and relatively new parents – who have taken a decrepit building, and turned it into something charming, not unlike Pupatella has done. Actually, more than any restaurant I can think of, this feels to me like Element in Front Royal (and if you’ve been to both, you know why). Matt and I arrived at 6 PM on a Friday evening. Following the laws of supply and demand, this teeny-tiny restaurant with Tim’s ambitious cooking seems like it’s almost always full – we were lucky to snare a table that needed to be released at 7:15. I wish the wines by the glass here were $1-2 less expensive, but the food is reasonably priced and the money needs to come from somewhere. A glass of 2009 Zaca Mesa Viognier ($9) paired very well with our first two courses: a composed Beet Salad ($8) with thinly sliced, poached beets, spiced walnuts, red wine vinaigrette, a touch of Himalayan salt, and the bond that tied it all together: Laura Chenel chèvre. The star of the meal, and the single best dish I had all week, was the Salsify Soup($8), thoughtfully divided into two small bowls for us to share. I don’t know the recipe for this soup, but I enjoyed this as much as anything I’ve had on my three visits here. A bottle of Terrapin Moo Hoo Milk Stout ($6) accompanied our next two courses which I felt were slightly weaker than the first two: Shrimp and Grits ($9) with jumbo tiger shrimp, venison blueberry sausage (!), red onions, piquillo peppers, and stone ground grits was a little out of balance with the almost chocolatey-tasting sausage (but both the shimp and the grits were good), and Steamed Mussels ($9) were PEI’s, with saffron coconut broth, thai chills, Chinese chorizo, and grilled crostini – worth ordering, but caught me at the wrong moment as I’m getting a bit musseled out (just as I was with scallops a couple of years ago). These were both perfectly fine dishes (and look at the prices), but after that titanic salsify soup, pretty much anything is going to be a letdown. For 24 hours, I had it in my mind that Maple Ave. Restaurant was going to be restaurant of the week, but after letting the joy of the moment fade, I just can’t forget what a solid showing Masala Art made during the Super Bowl – it truly could have gone either way this week, and I can’t imagine anything other than long-cooked Indian food being a candidate for such a thing on a delivery-only basis (it excludes the entire front of the house aspect which is arguably just plain wrong). Enthusiastically recommended as Very Good to Excellent, and Noteworthy for being such a cool, funky little dive mom-and-pop with the audacity to have aspirations of fine dining, as well as for being the number one ranked restaurant in the Vienna-Oakton area. I really like Maple Ave. Restaurant, and if you care about small, family-owned businesses with character and soul, then this is a restaurant that you should be supporting.


For full article please visit DC Dining.

Maple Ave Girl Scout Cookie Truffles

Our Latest Craving: Girl Scout Cookie Truffles

Maple Ave Girl Scout Cookie Truffles

Yes, along with pregnancy come cravings.  The good news is that I know exactly who to run to for these crazy cravings, the bad news is that I have a lot of crazy cravings.  This is the latest craving.  Girl Scout like Truffles made in house.  Somoa, Tagalong and Thin Mint!  Currently on our menu for all that are currently craving these yummy treats!


Updated Valentine’s Day Menu


We have decided to expand the Valentine’s Day menu choices. Choose one each from small plates, main plates, sweet plates – $35/pp. Add a bottle of anciano tempranillo, entwine chardonnay, friexenet cava for $25. Deal runs from Thursday the 9th through Valentine’s Day.

In addition, we’ve added a few dishes to choose from: Salsify Soup returns. zucchini mushroom and gruyere risotto with pita crostinis. mixed berries with creme fraiche and housemade shortbread cookie, girl scout cookie truffles, sweetbreads, duck confit, and maybe a few other surprises.

Goodbye MAX the food truck, Hello new member of MAR family



Well, what can we say?  We had some awesome moments on our food truck, MAX.  It all began in Spring of 2010 when we thought we would just do one more crazy thing and run a food truck.  We had some crazy awesome days on the truck.  We want to thank you for all the love you showed MAX whether it was raining, hot as hell, snowing, etc you all came out to try our bulgogi, pork belly po’boy, veggie wrap, beer battered fries and so on.


We had to make a decision this past winter to say goodbye as we are expanding and need to focus all of our time and energy on this expansion.  We are expecting our second baby in July!  Charlotte, our first born will have to learn how to cook for her baby sister or baby brother very soon!!!


Tasting Table 2 photos

Tasting Table #2 (2.1.12)

Tasting Table 2

Every two weeks Chef Tim Ma prepares a “Tasting Table” for 6 guests.  Today is Tasting Table 2.  Here is the menu.

course 1: foie gras torchon, housemade jam, pickle back

course 2: grilled baby octopus salad, agrodolce sauce

course 3: sweetbreads (still undecided on setup)

course 4: lion stout cake, bailey’s whipped cream, walnut brittle

Next Tasting Table 2.22.12

Brunch for 2 (photos by Angela Wu)

We got an e-mail yesterday from one of our MAR customers and she shared a blog about her brunch for 2 experience.  She was kind enough to let us use her pictures.

Thanks Angela and Ingrid!

Farm Trips 2011

It’s no lie, we love local farms and we love our farmers.  It is truly amazing how much work goes into having a sustainable farm, getting up early in the morning on cold days, rainy days, hot and humid days all to provide good food for those around.  There is a different level of work ethic, different level of love for what you do and dedication.

We have been so lucky to be able to establish great relationships with our farmers.  In 2011 we were even more lucky to be able to tour some of these farms and get a first hand look at all they do.  Here are some pictures of our tours.

Merlot Mondays at MAR (we no longer open on Mondays, sorry friends)

For most MAR friends, Monday = the first day of work after an awesome weekend. At MAR Monday = 1/2 price Merlot and 1/2 price Chardonnay. After all, why should you wait until Thursday/Friday Happy Hour to enjoy a glass of wine?

Well, yesterday not only did MAR friends enjoy 1/2 price wine but they also enjoyed an awesome amuse bouche courtesy of Chef Tim and Nick. Crostini, blue cheese, roasted Tuscorora red radishes, scallions, black truffle oil and Maldon salt.

MAR staff

Maple Ave Mullet

Yes, I refer to Maple Ave as a Mullet… business in the front (front dining room) and party in the back (back bar). As the days get nicer and nicer our MAR guest get more and more into the party mood and opt to sit in the back dining room… where the windows are open and you get a slight breeze. For those of you have have dined in the back, you will agree that it is a much more casual setting – but fun!

Currently, we only open the back dining room on Thursday-Sunday nights and it is on a first come first serve basis. Have you dined in the back room?