In recent years Washington, DC has seen a real resurgence of fantastic dining. Different neighborhoods are offering new dining concepts and pushing the boundaries of this once sleepy southern town.

Maketto by Chef Erick Bruner-Yang & Chef Mario serves their version of Cambodian and Taiwanese cuisine at its best. This dining venue in the atlas district of Northeast DC is a combination of retail & dining on the lower level and additional dining on the upper level. The kitchen is separated from the main building by an outdoor seating area. We were pleased to dine in the Kitchen watching Chef Mario create his heavenly dishes. The ambiance of eating in the kitchen area was truly unique. There are only four tables in the kitchen and you are surrounded by Asian cookbooks to one side and the chefs cooking on the other. It’s like being at a friends kitchen and not dining at a restaurant.

The retail is international with en trend footwear, clothing and accessories. Items you might not find anywhere else in the city. They carry Jeremy Scott, local artists and nice selection of sneakers. The idea of mixing retail and dining creates a profound sense of community. One can browse the retail section admiring or purchasing unique finds before or after dinner. I feel in love with a fushia pink Jeremy Scott sweater that had a slogan on it that read, “keep fashion weird” in bold black letters.

The cuisine is amazing with fresh noodles, fish, meats and vegetarian dishes. The whole fried fish has a peanut sauce and fresh basil with other herbs on top, the cauliflower in a vinegar sauce is stunning and the mix of eggplant and hummus is a Asian take on the The Mideast preparation. the food is heavenly and the taste and flavor, sensual. The noodles are my favorite, simple but full of flavor. The shrimp dumplings are beautifully prepared sitting in a hot sauce. The food is light but has all the flavors one would expect from such an innovative dining venue. .

I adore when areas of a city becomes alive. It is so wonderful that Washington DC has embraced these young chefs and they in turn have brought such great cooking, ambiance and hip style to the city. I cant wait to return to try more dishes and check out what is new in the retail.