SHAW: Chef/Restaurateur Tim Ma to Open 1st Washington DC Restaurant - French-Asian Bistro 'Freehand' - at The Shay in Shaw, November 2015
Located at 1934 8th Street NW, Washington DC 20001 in The Shay, a 268-unit apartment building from the JBG Companies, Freehand will open to the public as a French and Asian Bistro with the hopes of serving as an extension of Ma and Hernandez’s home. Seating at Freehand will be limited to 50 with the goal in mind of being able offer guests a more personable and intimate dining experience – with a high focus on service, ambiance, and the creativity of constantly shifting menu items.
With the space designed by award-winning Griz Dwight of GrizForm Design Architects, the 2700 square foot space will debut tones touched with rich smoky blues, warm woods, gold metallic accents, an open kitchen, and a communal table where Chef Ma may entertain revamped Chef’s Table/Tasting Table experiences for up to 8-12 guests at a time, similar to his Gather + Feast experiences. Freehand will feature custom ceramic plateware exclusively created for the DC-based restaurant by talented artists Amber Kendrick and Ernie Niblack of VA-based Cloude Terre.
There will also be a bar component at Freehand, separate from the restaurant that will have its own identity as a boundary pushing bar, but also serve as a unique complement to the restaurant. A simplified menu will be offered at the bar, and the full cocktail, wine and beer program from the bar will be available to the restaurant.
“Northern Virginia has and always will be the heart of my company, which is why I’m humbled and extremely excited to finally have the opportunity to bring and share some of my favorite things about Virginia with Washington DC”, said Chef and Restaurateur Tim Ma of Tim Ma Restaurant Group. “A large number of chefs and restaurateurs in DC continue to shape Northern Virginia’s growing dining scene, but I think it’s time to reverse that trend a bit by bringing some of Virginia to DC. It also means so much to me to be able to bring original team members like my right hand man Chef Nyi Nyi Myint along with me to DC, we love to continually challenge ourselves with new experiences.”Celebrated since 2009 following the opening of Maple Ave Restaurant and along with wife and partner Joey Hernandez, Ma has continued to evolve his hospitality brand by opening additional Northern Virginia-based restaurants and culinary projects including Water & Wall in Arlington, VA, Gather + Feast – an intimate and private Chef’s Table experience hosted by Chef Tim Ma and Fable Hospitality’s Neal Wavra in guests’ homes – and coming soon to Vienna, VA as early as September 2015, Chase the Submarine, a casual and eclectic sandwich shop and butcher shop combination in partnership with Michael Amouri, will specialize in offering guests creative sandwiches, and a complete butcher shop. Freehand will serve as Ma’s first restaurant to open in Washington DC. Ma and Hernandez no longer operate Maple Ave Restaurant.
SAMPLE FREEHAND MENU (SUBJECT TO CHANGE)
IN THE GROUND
Eggplant | Squash | Zucchini | San Marzano Tomatoes | Frantoia
Wax Bean Salad
Yellow Wax Beans | Bing Cherries | Citrus Vinaigrette
Red Curry Garden
Paprika Curry Broth | Braised Garden Vegetables | Basmati Rice
ON THE GROUND
Beef Heart Tartare
Red Chili Aioli | Fingerling Potato Chips | Green Grapefruit Emulsion
“Chicken and Waffles”
Deep Fried Duck Livers | Stroopwafel | Caramel Sauce | Shallot Veloute
5-Spice Polyface Pig Ears
Soy ginger pig ears | Fresno Chiles | Celery | Fish Sauce Vinaigrette
Crème Fraiche Wings
Gochujang | Crème Fraiche | Sudachi | Scallion Threads
Roasted Duck Dashi | Pickled Mushrooms | Satsuma Oranges
Garlic Scape Tartar | Sungold Cherry Tomatoes | Galangal Broth
UNDER THE WATER
Pan Seared Softshell Crabs
Vegetable brunoise | Green Tomato Jam | Brown butter
Diver scallops | Coconut Risotto | Basil Ice Cream | Spring Onion
Baby Carrots | Lindera Farms Ramp Vinegar | Sorrel Sauce
Chinese Broccoli | Grilled Scallion | Beurre Monte
Pistachio | Pepper Medley | Preserved Lemon | Thai Basil
Wow - this is one to watch for the opening