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Photo Gallery | Super NoVA Spotlight: Maple Ave Restaurant in Vienna

Northern Virginia natives Tim Ma and Joey Hernandez, who are now engaged, had the idea to bring a unique, contemporary dining experience to their roots. Ma and Hernandez opened Maple Ave Restaurant, which is located in heart of Vienna, Virginia about two-and-a-half years ago. Ma and Hernandez are this week's Super NoVA for bringing a bold culinary experience to the suburbs of Washington, D.C.

Maple Ave serves up bold, eclectic American cuisine due in part to the different cultures the staff brings to the mold. Chef and owner Tim Ma is Chinese, but trained in French culinary school, General Manager Joey Hernandez is from El Salvador, and Sous Chef Nyi Nyi Myint is from Burma, but trained in England. All of the dishes at Maple Ave are prepared from scratch in house. "We surprise most people," said Ma, referring to the eclectic menu and the small location in the middle of Vienna. Originally Ma and Hernandez were deciding between opening their restaurant in the City of Fairfax, Clarendon, Falls Church or Vienna; they chose Vienna for the size and affordability.

Ma's favorite menu item is the seared scallops served on top of creamy coconut Acquerello risotto with a scoop of basil ice cream in the middle. It sounds rather odd, but I took a bite and it was mouth-watering! Other menu items on the menu include the pulled pork BBQ sandwich, seared chicken meatballs, Moroccan chicken, and the pork belly rice bowl. However, the menu changes frequently, and often times weekly. Some of the sweet plates include carnival funnel cake, which was inspired by the Fairfax Fair, chocolate dumplings, bittersweet baguette bread pudding and yuzi lime pie. The desserts, just like all of the other plates, change weekly as well!

"The amount of regular customers we have is incredible. We have some people that come in more than once a week," said Ma. The Maple Ave Restaurant has been nicknamed "MAR," and its counterpart is "MAX" the "Maple Ave Express," or the Maple Ave food truck. MAX does private parties and events, as well as serves Tysons, Vienna, McLean, and Reston. The current MAX menu includes bulgogi wrap, BBQ pulled pork, veggie wrap, butternut squash soup, truffled chicken salad croissant, and chicken burrito.

MAR is open six days of the week and serves brunch on the weekends. There's a special brunch menu that serves bottomless cocktails from 11:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Make sure you make reservations in advance because the dining room only has nine tables.

Look out for more Super NoVAs every Wednesday going forward. Email escott@wusa9.com if you want to nominate yourself, or someone you know that deserves to be recognized as a Super NoVA!