And I’m back – as promised. Though I’m still exhausted from a week of craziness, things are starting to calm down a little bit. And it’s letting me remember an awesome dinner I had a few weeks ago. As previously mentioned, my young adults group at church like to go out for brunch, and during lent we decided that we would attend the evening contemplative Taize service at our church as a change of pace, and then get dinner afterwards. When deciding on a place near the church, we thought immediately of Evo Bistro, which is the neighborhood wine and tapas bar. Our group had gone there for brunch a couple times, and then they stopped doing brunch. So the opportunity to go back for a proper meal was enticing.
We arrived around 6:15, and knowing that we had a large group (8 – wow!) I asked for a table timidly. I shouldn’t have feared though – Evo Bistro has a small private room that seats just that many, and we were offered its use since the restaurant was fairly quiet. Did it stay quiet all night? I’m not sure, because once we got into the swing of things, it was hard to pay attention to the world outside our beautiful little glass-enclosed room.
As is often the case when they appear on the menu, I ordered mussels. These were so good, and unlike some places, there were enough to make it a meal instead of discarding the last shell and feeling hungry still. They came with fries, which were very good as well. The most excellent part, though, was the fact that we had some leftover bread at the table which I used to soak up some of the delicious broth that was leftover. When those pieces rand out, our waiter had come back to the room and I began to say, “Could I get some more…” holding up the bread, and off he went like a flash, bringing me back an entire new basket for broth-soaking glory. Too often restaurants will be stingy with their bread and leave mussel broth unconsumed, so this was delightful.
I don’t have pictures of what my companions ordered, but suffice to say that we got a little bit of everything across the menu – a few people split tapas, others ordered paella, we had some who ordered meat dishes, and others with salads. There’s a long wine list, and so a few people ordered a bottle of wine to share, while others of us had wine by the glass. Basically, there’s lots of choice, and if you like wine bars and a variety of small plates, you’ll find something to your liking.
The most amusing part came at the end of the evening, and contains a lesson for those of you who might consider bringing a large group to Evo Bistro – apparently their register can only split checks 7 ways. Our group of 8 was only just too big. And as mentioned above, we had a few people who shared tapas, others who shared a bottle of wine, and it made things complicated. Fortunately, my friend J and I were there, and we put on our math nerd hats and got to work. We sat down and calculated the exact amount that each person owed based on who had what. It wasn’t super-anal with proportions of dishes calcuated – more like, “who is taking which items or splitting what from our tab?” But at the end we had numbers for our server, along with which credit card to run on each amount. He came back about 5 minutes later and was effusive with praise on how we had calculated it perfectly down to the penny, and we could come back as a large group whenever we wanted…provided that J and I came back to do the math.
It was a fun evening – it’s the perfect place to sit back and relax over a meal with friends. I wish it had not been a Sunday night, which precludes the enjoying of more than one glass of wine on my part. It also doesn’t help my ability to fully enjoy myself with a few glasses of wine because it’s in McLean, and means I’m probably driving home afterwards. But, if you want a relaxed atmosphere with tasty food, and McLean isn’t too far out of your way, Evo Bistro is a place to consider.