Sampling tapas in McLean

With its tasteful décor, Evo Bistro in McLean is apparently always busy on Wednesday evenings.

“This place is bustling on Wednesdays. Wine bottles are half priced …. a pretty good deal for wine lovers like me” said Liz McCarey, a customer visiting from Arlington.

evo1Accompanied by a friend, I visited this restaurant on one such evening to sample it’s Mediterranean style tapas. My friend was eager to try out the restaurant’s automated self-serve wine serving machine that he had read about online. At Evo Bistro, customers can sample any of the wines offered by loading up a wine debit card and using it to run the tab.

We ordered several tapas that were nicely presented, flavored, and cooked well. The tapas were $6 each due to Happy hour; their prices are higher during regular hours.

The first dish that arrived was Grilled Artichokes. Marinated with jalapeño aioli, the baby artichoke halves were quite delicious.

Chicken Kebabs was another dish we ordered, which were served with hummus and tasted better than average. We also had lamb sliders which tasted pretty good.

evo2The highlight of my evening was a dish called Les Moules. It consisted of mussels sautéed in olive oil with tomato, garlic, basil, oregano and feta cheese.  Besides having basil which is one of my favorite herbs, the dish was also topped with a sprinkling of chili flakes. It had just the right amount of kick in it without being too spicy, tasted exceptional and I would definitely recommend it.

My friend tried various wines as they let you try one ounce of a bottle of wine to see if you like it or not, even with bottles that cost above $200. His tab ran high but he was quite happy with the experience.

We also had an opportunity to chat with the executive chef, Ticara Smith, who joined the restaurant in 2011. Her focus is on a seasonally inspired Mediterranean menu and she not only supervises the food preparation but also handles the menu creation and wine pairing.

The service was outstanding from start to finish as well as the restaurant’s ambiance being warm and inviting.

“This is one of our favorite local hang-outs; a go-to location for McLean residents”, remarked a local resident when I asked how often she visited this place.

We thoroughly enjoyed the experienceand will probably be back there for more.