Maple Ave Restaurant
Vienna / Modern European / $$$$*
Romance on the menu? Your first thought is likely one of the spots on this list known for a gorgeous dining room with lots of atmosphere. But you’re more creative than that. You realize that seduction can come in the form of celebrity-worthy service, multiple courses that are ripe for sharing, and, yes, an intimate, but not showy, setting. And that calls for Maple Ave Restaurant.
Since reopening in August, the Vienna restaurant has been focused on four-course tasting menus featuring chef and co-owner Justė Židelytė’s greatest hits. Even if you’ve had some of the dishes before, you’ve never tried them quite like this. The long pandemic closure, during which she hosted private parties and did takeout, allowed Židelytė to further hone her craft. Thank her when you pass by as she tends to the herbs surrounding the restaurant.
They appear in a cast of colorful plates that draw inspiration from Japan to Latin America to Židelytė’s native Lithuania. They’re also inspired by the seasons—the menu changes monthly and uses ingredients like local maple syrup to dress a bowl of crisp, hot apple-cider doughnut holes. To a romantic food-lover, this restaurant’s return deserves a warm welcome.
See this: The petite, no-frills dining room just makes the vibrant plates stand out more.
Eat this: Mushroom-truffle risotto, pork confit steak, bittersweet chocolate mousse
Service: General manager and co-owner Ricardo Teves takes care of everything himself, so service is deeply personal.
When to dine here: You’re ready for a casual date night full of gustatory surprises.