Tonight I ate at Maple Ave in Vienna Virginia, and I pleased to report it is as good as ever. Due to the fact that Chef Tim Ma and his partner Joey Hernandez change the menu regularly, to keep the food both seasonal and local, none of the dishes that I mentioned in last time are on the menu now. However, each time I eat there I find a new favorite. Tonight I had the beer braised beef cheeks served over a sweet potato mash and caramelized onions. In a word-stunning. Everybody should rush out and make a reservation as soon as possible. In speaking with Chef Ma he told me while he is stocked to the gills with the meltingly tender veal cheeks now, he cannot guarantee that they will always be available. Apparently I am not the only one who thinks they are fantastic.
Tonight I got triplely lucky. First a little background, I generally do not like vegetarian fare; most of the time I find it to be insipid and boring. But since I eat at Maple Ave often, occasionally I get to taste a dish or two. Just think of me as the canary in coal mine, culinarily speaking. Tonight before I had the veal cheek, I got to taste the vegan dumpling with a soy scallion dipping sauce. As I said above, I don’t like vegetarian fare and vegan food is even less palatable. But those dumplings were good; I would order them again in a heartbeat. I also tasted a vegetable curry, the brainchild of Chef Ma’s sous chef, a Burmese native. It almost made this dedicated carnivore swear off meat. That good. Spicy, savory and with the perfect amount of heat.
So in conclusion, make a reservation as soon as you can. You won’t be disappointed.