Freehand from Chef Tim Ma could open in Shaw as early as November – Check out a Sample Menu

1934 8th Street, NW

From a press release:

“Celebrated Virginia-based Chef and Restaurateur Tim Ma of Tim Ma Restaurant Group – Water & Wall, Gather + Feast, Chase the Submarine (Coming Soon/ Vienna, VA – September 2015), and formerly of Maple Ave Restaurant – has officially announced his plans to open his first restaurant in Washington DC – ‘Freehand’ – as early as November 2015. The upscale casual restaurant featuring a home-like setting will be based in the rapidly evolving neighborhood of Shaw in the new mixed-use commercial and residential space The Shay in addition to numerous other notable retail and hospitality brands.


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.

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.



Ratatouille Terrine

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


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

Duck Breast

Roasted Duck Dashi | Pickled Mushrooms | Satsuma Oranges

Pan-Seared Sweetbreads

Garlic Scape Tartar | Sungold Cherry Tomatoes | Galangal Broth


Pan Seared Softshell Crabs

Vegetable brunoise | Green Tomato Jam | Brown butter

Seared Scallops

Diver scallops | Coconut Risotto | Basil Ice Cream | Spring Onion

Dayboat Snapper

Baby Carrots | Lindera Farms Ramp Vinegar | Sorrel Sauce

Steelhead Trout

Chinese Broccoli | Grilled Scallion | Beurre Monte

Raw Fluke

Pistachio | Pepper Medley | Preserved Lemon | Thai Basil”

5 Comment

  • I think I’ve realized that despite eating out a lot (sometimes at nice restaurants), that I am not a foodie. I don’t find a lot of these types of menus appetizing. And I’m a (older) millenial.

  • pcat

    I agree. i don’t find this menu appealing at all. I’m really not interested in offal. I probably won’t be visiting this place.

  • Worse the place has ghosts!

  • Trawled/dredged scallops. There is very little chance a diver went down and hand harvested those scallops. Divers account for less than 1% of commercial scallops.

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