I have been going to Maple Avenue Restaurant (located on, you guessed it, Maple Ave) for lunch pretty regularly the past couple of months. I am so sad that I didn't discover this place sooner, because it is awesome! It is super tiny (like 20 seats max) and not much to look at, but the food is super fresh and seasonal and local and just great all around. I don't know much about the chef, I haven't been to one of their "meet the farmers" events, and I haven't even been for dinner, but I just love this place. They have a super awesome lunch deal of 2 courses for $20 which, considering a main is like $22 usually, is a pretty good bargain. The menu changes all the time, so it's likely that dishes I post about here won't be on the menu any more, but they can give you an idea of what you can expect.
The baked mac and cheese - this is one of their most popular small plates, and for good reason! Really good pasta, cooked to the perfect al dente, with gruyere and cheddar, topped with an herbed panko crust.
Fried green tomatoes with a super crunchy panko crust and chili aoili.
Panko Chicken Sandwich - I have ordered this multiple times, so good! Moist chicken breast, fried super crunchy, topped with cheddar cheese, lettuce, pickles, and a killer truffle mayo. The herby fries are crunchy and fresh, too. I actually eat my fries with mayo (a habit I picked up in Ireland), but they don't keep regular mayo around. So when I ask for some to dip my fries in, they bring me a side of the truffle mayo - awesome.
Another of their most popular items - perfectly seared scallops on a bed of coconut scallion risotto with basil ice cream. The combination of flavors and the cold ice cream melting into the hot risotto - out of this world.
Pork belly with sweet and sour onions and spiced apples. This was the dish I have been most disappointed with. It was good, but it didn't blow me away.
Another slight letdown was brunch. We went because they have bottomless mimosas and a brunch tasting menu, which sounded awesome. But when we got there the server told us that the chef was away and they only had a la carte items. I was super disappointed because the tasting menu was the whole reason we went (and it is really hard to get Jasper to go to brunch with me). I feel like they should have sent an email to all the people with reservations saying that it wouldn't be an option that weekend. Anyway, I ordered the truffled eggs with bacon and home fries. It was good, but I wouldn't make a trip based on this dish.
Yuzu lime pie with marshmallow topping - this was different and good, but I got tired of the flavor halfway through.
Chocolate dumplings - basically fried empanadas filled with chocolate and served with ice cream - very tasty.
Baguette bread pudding with bittersweet chocolate - definitely my favorite dessert so far.
I will continue to stop in for lunch once a week to try out new dishes and savor old favorites. Be warned - parking here is a nightmare. There is a tiny driveway that both directions of traffic have to navigate through. I suggest parking across the street at Magruder's and walking over.