Taste of Georgetown - 2006
Indian Buffets in Reston

Evening Star Cafe

If there's any reason for me to consider moving to Del Ray, it's Evening Star Café. If you live in Del Ray, then you probably don't consider this news, as you've been there several times, but for those of us that don't, well....we're all secretly hating you.

Evening Star Café is my perfect neighborhood restaurant, and it's not in my neighborhood...yet. Both times we've eaten there, we order a very nice bottle of wine, whatever entrees, appetizers, and desserts we want, and the bill is less than $100. From a value perspective, Evening Star Café can't be beat.

To continue with the value theme, the best thing about Evening Star Café is the inexpensive wine list. With a standard policy of charging $10 over retail and Planet Wine (which is owned by the same restaurant group) next door, you can get a huge wide variety of wines for good prices. For instance, one of my favorite Cabernets is produced by Avalon, which retails at anywhere from $13 to $16 a bottle. At Evening Star Café, it's $23 so the $10 above retail is actually true retail pricing.

Food-wise, we've had good luck with the appetizers we've ordered. The smoked duck spring rolls are to die for. That's all I have to say -- just do yourself a favor and try them. A hearty chicken and andouille sausage gumbo contains just enough heat to sneak up on you. I'd make it spicier myself, but then again, I like my food a bit spicier than most.

Bored of fried calamari with your typical marinara sauce? Then try the fresh fried squid with a spicy chipotle honey sauce, which reminds me of a similar dish I had at Restaurant Eve, but at $7 probably costs half the price.

The roasted duck breast outshines the other entrees on the menu. It's the obvious choice if you're a duck fiend like me. You could serve this with unbuttered mashed potatoes and it'd still be good, but instead it's served with a sour cherry bread pudding and a port reduction sauce. It's not quite what you expect from the corner café. Following a close second to the duck breast as best entree is the brined chicken. Even though it's brined, it's not overly salty and is probably the juiciest chicken I've eaten at a restaurant.

Amy loves the wasabi-pea-crusted salmon so much, she ordered it both times we ate at Evening Star Café. The cooks do fish very well, especially if you let them serve your fish at the recommended medium rare. The salmon is served with a cold buckwheat noodle salad with cucumber relish and has a nice Asian flare.

The one drawback I've noticed is the inconsistent desserts. In my trips there, we've managed to sample all five of the desserts. Two are good and the other three you're better off skipping. Let's start with the good.

The lemon chess pie is heaven and I really enjoyed the tart flavor of the pie combined with the sweet blueberry sauce. As well, the chocolate chip cannoli, with filling that doesn't blow you away with its sweetness, is a fun treat to mix with the Illy coffee.

However, the runny crème brulee was a huge disappointment to Amy, who is a crème brulee addict. The first night we dined at Evening Star Café, our friends ordered the brownies and ice cream which was like eating a chocolate brick with really good ice cream. We finished the ice cream -- left most of the brownie. The same night, I ordered the strawberry shortcake hoping to relive memories of eating fresh picked strawberries with my mother's homemade shortcake, but it fell way short.

Our service has always been consistently friendly. During both of our visits, the restaurant was bustling with people busy. While our waiters were probably loaded with work, they still managed to maintain her composure and clear our plates with speed and efficiency. Our waiter the first night, was very helpful and helped us navigate the menu, making suggestions for what was good, and what he thought was only so-so.

After two trips to Evening Star Café, I'm convinced that this is the start of another beautiful restaurant relationship and I know I'll be returning. The question is...how often? 

Evening Star Café
2000 Mount Vernon Avenue
Alexandria, VA
(703) 549-5051
Web Site

Corkage: Not allowed, but you can purchase wine at Planet Wine and have it sent to your table.
Dress Code: Business casual but jeans are common.
Parking: Street: Street Parking and very limited parking in the restaurant's own lot.
Smoking: Allowed only at the bar/lounge.
Closest Metro: Probably Braddock Rd. It's a hike.
Reservations: Taken. Friday evenings no reservations are taken from 6 to 10 PM and they only accept walk-ins.
Baby friendly rating: 3 Diapers. The atmosphere is loud, which makes for child-friendly dining. Plus there are tons of people there with their children (particularly on the early side), so you wont feel out of place.



I love Evening Star! The bar area has a nice atmosphere, too. They have some board games scattered about if you fancy a round of Scrabble or Chinese Checkers with your drinks. They have a great weekend brunch, too. Worth the trip down to Del Ray, even.

I don't recall if you've done Rustico yet... it's just over Route 1 from Evening Star, owned by the same group, and quite good, despite some service problems natural to a brand new restaurant that is easily twice the size of any other in the group. Check it out.


As a vegetarian and Del Ray resident, I wish Evening Star was a little more hospitable. For a while they offered no vegetarian entrees; now they offer the monochromatic mushroom ravioli with mushroom sauce and mushroom glaze. They could take some tips from Majestic on this end.


Are you going to become NOVA Foodies?


Have to agree with Dave on the lack of vegetarian options at Evening Star. It's a shame, too, because I hear such consistently good things. I wish there were something there I could eat.

At least Delray does have St. Elmo's, the Dreamery (or whatever it's called now), and Poblano.


I third the veggie comments. I am a big foodie and therefore the one usually choosing the restaurant in my group of friends. If there is nothing appealing for me to eat, we aren't going there. Evening Star's weak veggie hummus sandwich does not do it for me.


Has anyone tried their mushroom ravioli? That seems like a vegetarian option...


This place isn't very hospitable. We went there for brunch and I asked for my omellette to be made with egg whites (cholesterol problem). The said they didn't have egg whites and were too busy to separate it from the yolk. We were one of the first tables to be seated when the restaurant opened that morning. Needless to say, I haven't been there since.


I am lucky enough to live in Del Ray. haven't been to Evening Star in a while so we tried it again last night. You have to ask about children's menu options. That being said, after we ordered a hamburger for our 5 year old, he proceeded to chow down on our duck spring rolls! He will have them for his entree next time. Good bread last night and yummy scallops.


I love Evening Star, and frequently make a meal out of just appetizers--the baked brie with apples, duck rolls and the flank steak salad are favorites (as you can see, I'm not so much a vegetarian). While I have had some good entrees as well, there are always too many tempting starters. It's also a great spot for a glass of wine, with live music most nights in one of the two lounges.

Pretty in Pink

LOVE Evening Star though I've only been for lunch and never dinner. They got rid of the best thing on the menu, the Big Red hot dog. No joke, it was delish. The muffaleta, also great. I've never been dissapointed there. Move to del Rey and I'll babysit the wee one while you go out!


Welcome to the neighborhood, Jason! Evening Star has been a dependable night out since I've lived here. Another great reason to eat in Del Ray is Sunday brunch right down the street at Taqueria Poblano. The breakfast tacos with chorizo and potatoes are to die for...not to mention the "cheap eats" factor!


Evening star food was ok. The service terrible, i went for brunch and their french toast was just simply par. the waitressing staff was really rude. lets just say our waitress never really talked to us and only gave us our check. for their prices expected a lot more. i recommened los tios down the street.

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