Monday, February 22, 2010

Evo Bistro

1313 Old Chain Bridge Rd
McLean, VA 22101
(703) 288-4422

Visited: February 22, 2010

How do you fight the Monday "blahs"? You go out to lunch with your coworkers and you eat for F-R-A-H. Oh lunch courtesy of our very generous team lead. The idea of a team lunch at Evo Bistro came from a need to eat somewhere nice while staying relatively close to the McLean/Tysons Corner area.

After searching through my restaurant index a.k.a. Yelp, I sent a list of suggested lunchtime joints to the entire team. The resulting lunch venue for today's was Evo Bistro. I admit that after reading many of the reviews I was quite excited to try out this new restaurant literally in my own neighborhood.

We arrived at Evo around 11:45am and the restaurant was already booming with some very cool Arabic music. The young hostess greeted us with a friendly smile and showed us to our table. Once the rest of the team arrived and we began picking a few tapas from the appetizer menu to begin our lunchtime meal. We ordered the following Tapas from the appetizer menu: Tortilla Espanola (potato, egg and onion Spanish omelet), Merguez (lamb sausage), stuffed Piquillo peppers, Butternut Squash filled ravioli and Empanadas.

The lunch entrees seemed promising as the Evo Salad and the Moroccan Tuna Salad caught my eye. I settled on the Moroccan Tuna salad as I wanted something light and the idea of a lightly seared tuna sounded great for lunch.

My other teammates ordered the Evo Salad with Chicken, the Seafood Crepe, the Kefta Crepe and two other teammates (including my manager) also ordered the Moroccan Tuna salad. The hostess (who was also our server) took our appetizer and lunch orders as we passed the time talking about work and upcoming projects.

A few minutes later the hostess brought out some bread and what appeared to be a homemade hummus. Right after the bread the appetizers came out and we all began sharing the tapas. Everyone had a chance to try all the tapas and my only complaint (being a HUGE tapas fan) was that the tortilla Espanola was cold and tasted as if I was prepared a few hours ago. Other than that the rest of the tapas were tasty and a good start for lunch.

The lunch entrees soon made their way out and all of us Moroccan Tuna salad freaks somehow were seated together. As I was about to dive into my salad, a strong fishy smell caught my nose as my teammates' plate of Seafood crepes was placed before him. Ewwww...I don't think fresh seafood should have such a strong overpowering fishy smell.

I tried not to be a big snob and concentrated on my Moroccan Tuna salad as I was eager to try out the flavors in this salad. First problem, the tuna fillet was not seared but was cooked to almost a medium well consistency. The flavor of the tuna spice crust was tasty, but i was a bit disappointed that the tuna was overcooked.

The green and ingredients of the salad were not impressive and truly left me wanting something...more. Not more as far as portion size, but more as far as flavors that knocked me off my chair. I was left with a "meh" feeling and was not wowed by my salad. Some of the greens in my salad had brown tips which further disappointed me. My teammate to the left seemed happy with his seafood crepe despite the still strong fishy smell.

I must also mention something small but it made an impression on the person paying the bill; the big boss man. The lime slices brought out for my manager appeared to have pieces of mint or cilantro stuck to them. It appeared as if someone hadn't cleaned the knife used to cut the limes after chopping up some cilantro. Where's the attention to detail?!?!

A few of us ordered some desserts to share, but funny enough three people ordered the apple crumb while I was the only person to order the Chocolate Triangle (a dark chocolate triangle filled with chocolate cake, chocolate mousse and a hazelnut ganache). The apple crumb was very tasty and seemed to come straight out of the oven. On the other hand the chocolate triangle (despite its impressive name) seemed to be store brought with the cake layer being dry almost as if it had been frozen or kept in the fridge for too long.

The bright side to the lunch was the service as the hostess/server was very attentive and cheerful. Other members of the staff helped serve us and did a great job of constantly keeping our soda and water glasses full.

Overall I can only give Evo Bistro 3-stars for this first encounter. I just wasn't impressed and was left with that "meh" feeling. Based on the reviews and the cool looking wine dispensing machine (wish someone had a similar self-serve beer machine) and the food, I was somewhat let down as I had come in with high expectations.

Will I return? Maybe. The next time I return it will be for dinner as I'm hoping the food at the dinner service is much better than what I saw and tasted at lunch. I'm also hoping that if I get a salad or greens that they'll take a little more time to "weed" out the pieces with brown tips or make sure we get cilantro free limes. :-)

Evo Bistro on Urbanspoon

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