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Evo Bistro, Old Chain Bridge Road in McLean - Wine Bar Split off From the Corner Bistro Group - Closed

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I talked to a friend of mine who's familiar (although not financially involved) with one side of the story behind the Corner-Bistro / Evo-Bistro split (it's important to remember that this is one-sided information, regardless of how accurate it is). He wrote me, and allowed me to cut-and-paste his words verbatim:

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Here is the situation with the Bistro.

Sydney was the operating manager of the "Corner Bistro" when it was in the small place. He was a partner (not majority) with Joseph, who owned and operated the Mistral restaurant. And who constantly put in his 2+ cents in the running of the Bistro...

They realized that the Bistro needed to grow, and eventually decided to do a double move: The Mistral would move to a location down the street (where the Chinese place was) - and it did, and the Corner Bistro would move to the old Mistral location - and it did too. They still had an active lease for the small place, and options were discussed as to what to do with that location....

Some time during the renovation of the old Mistral location in preparation for the new Corner Bistro, Sydney and Joseph had a business disagreement, more than likely as to either the concept of the new Corner Bistro, or the staffing, or Joseph's day-to-day involvement (i.e. lack of autonomy for Sydney), or a combination of everything. Net result: Sydney, the Bistro chef (Driz), the sous-chef ("Mami"), and the main waitress (Marina) all quit the Bistro!!!

The New Bistro opened with all new staff. It's concept changed from a little wine bar to a more full fledge restaurant. From a business view point, it is doing very well, but it is a different set up now...

The solution for the location of the old bistro was still is question. Eventually, to try and at least cover the lease, Joseph decided to turn it into a Burger joint ("Joe's Burgers"). Not sure how well it is doing, probably just limping along until a permanent solution is implemented.

Meantime, Sydney looked for (and found) a location in McLean to open a new Bistro with the same concept as the old Corner Bistro: A wine bar with tapas. The result is his new place called "Evo Bistro" (Evo = Evolution). It is a little more upscale than the old Corner Bistro. All the individuals who quit the Corner Bistro are there! And a few more 'choice' individuals, specifically 2 people who also know wines! He is in partnership with 2 other people, but the responsibilities are clearly defined among them. Driz revamped the menu, and has many new dishes that look fabulous (can't wait to try them!). And Sydney has introduced a wine tasting section with automated wine dispenser, like the one at "Proof", except here the customer uses the machine with a pre-paid "Bistro card".

Whew... That is the story...

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I went with 5 friends last Friday night and the placed was packed. The space is rather small but still there were lots of people there. Evidently, it's been open only one week. It's kind of like 3 places in one...restaurant, bar, and wine bar (Enomatic) which makes it quite interesting. The tapas was very good as well as the paella and lamb shanks. Everything was very consistent and the timing with food delivery was spot on. I like the idea of getting up during dinner and self-serving another glass of wine if you so choose. You can also order wine at the table.

Overall, we all loved it and will definitely be back soon.

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Wow! Sounds tres chic for McLean!

Having grown up there with the only "fine" dining options being Charley's Place and the Italian Oven (now Pulcinella), this is exciting news.

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Just got back from dinner at Evo Bistro. Unfortunately I was not a fan of the restaurant. Nothing was bad, the food was decent overall but there certainly was not any dish that stood out or made you stop your conversation and say "this is so good". I think a good tapas restaurant should have that wow factor. The food seem to disappear in the background. It is a very loud restaurant. They have an automated wine bar, which is a bit overwhelming at first. To be honest it loses its appeal after a few minutes when you realize that you are just paying a lot more to pour wine for yourself. You have to buy a card for $25 and then can only re-up in $10 increments, so you end up paying a lot for 2 glasses of wine and then you have a dollar or two left on your card and you can't do anything with it since it is below the cost of the cheapest pour. The service was pretty mediocre overall.

This review is probably more negative than it needs to be. The meal was fine. Nothing we had was bad, it just didn't wow me. I felt this place feel into the common trap of tapas restaurants where you spend a lot of money and you leave hungry and sober. :lol:

Our share of the meal was about $95 w/ tax and tip (that doesn't include the $35 spent at the bar before dinner). I think there are a ton of restaurants where you can spend $100 for a couple and get a much more memorable meal. We had great company with us, so we still had a good time at dinner, but I don't think we will go back.

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This is kind of a slam on Joe's Burgers - more expensive than Ray's by far and not anywhere near as good so we didn't go there. Instead, we went to Evo. If anything, they err on the side of overseasoned and overcooked. We had 6 items: Alemejas (clams), bronzini, charcuterie, empanadas, kefta, and chicken kebab. The clams and the kefta balls were both really overseasoned. The excellent dishes were the fish and the empanadas - crispy but moist fish and flavorful yet perfectly cooked empanadas. I idn't try the chicken kebab and the charcuterie is pretty average. This place is loud as eatdrinkmore notes. The baby couldn't handle the din and knocked herself out.

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We went to EVO last night and was pleasantly surprised. The place was hoping at 5:30 and had a great vibe. Didnt hurt that wines by the bottle were half priced and we grabbed a Cote De Rone for 24 which was very good. The bartended was very friendly and many at the bar seemed like regulars. We shared 5 tapas each were $5 and the mussels and lamb sliders were very good. Yes it was loud but this is a wine bar, we were able to speak to each other using normal voices.

This is not a place to take a child or youngster-Its a wine bar. That said I was glad to see an older crowd, i suspect everyone was about 50(my age) and dressed from work. I'd recommend this place over a larger bar in Tysons or Arlington. Had plenty of parking and great wine.

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We had a good meal here last night. They start with a basket of sliced bread served with a hummus (in lieu of butter), that I believe is mixed with saffron (it was yellow, and I didn’t get a curry taste from it). First out was the Tomato Salad, which included square-shaped chunks of heirloom tomatoes and a sliced midsection of burrata cheese, dressed with olive oil and pepper. It was a simple and tasty offering. The Calamari Frito was excellent: a large portion, all rings, and I thought the breading was really good, not overly heavy, and fried to a nice golden brown. It also came with a trio of aioli sauces, one that was tomato based, one that was spicy, and one that I don’t remember, though I liked all three. Moroccan Tuna was 5 slices of seared ahi tuna steak dressed in a harissa vinaigrette, and served atop a scoop of guacamole (scoop not listed on the menu). The dish was quite good, and the guac was a nice addition. Not so nice were these straw-like pieces of I-don’t-know-what that topped the dish, and were seemingly added for presentation-related reasons only. Empanadas came 5 to a serving, with a red pepper sauce. They were supposed to be filled with ground beef, but I’m confident these were filled with ground lamb (and mint, both of which have a pretty distinct flavor), which to us was unfortunate, as it’s not what we thought we were ordering and we’re not the biggest fans of lamb. Finally the Petit Filet Mignon, with sliced fingerling potatoes, spinach, and red pepper sauce (same as the Empanadas). We asked for it medium rare and it came out medium, still it was a nice piece of meat, and the potatoes, spinach, and sauce all helped the dish and weren’t done as an afterthought. Good service, and nice pace. It was 6:30 on a Tuesday, with a mostly empty restaurant, so there were no noise issues noted above.

My quibbles: They were out of the two items (of 5) I wanted to try the most, Baccalao and Croquetas, meaning they were out of 40% of the things I hoped to order. The décor is kind of rundown (the chairs are in particularly bad shape). They serve tapas, but seem surprised and ill equipped to handle the sharing of dishes (examples include serving the salad and calamari, but not giving diners any additional empty plates, looking confused when additional plates were requested, and then only bringing out 1 plate; putting only one steak knife on the table when we’ve been sharing the entire meal).

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My wife went today for lunch.  Closed.  For lease signs on window.

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13 hours ago, MarkS said:

My wife went today for lunch.  Closed.  For lease signs on window.

I noticed this last week as well while going to Esaan for lunch (derp for getting to post it here).  I know at one point this place was the "hot" thing in downtown McLean and would be packed on weekend nights.  Definitely seems like it's tough for places to survive in that general location even with quality food - seems like a lack of available diners to overcome McLean's high rent.

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Bizarre thing is all the tables and chairs are still there as if they may open again - something odd going on here, and the story has not broken yet, but heard there was law enforcement involved.

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23 minutes ago, MarkS said:

Any update?  Evo used to be a great place.

OpenTable says it is permanently closed and no longer on their reservation network.  I drive by once or twice a week and that seems consistent with my observations.

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Bummer.  I need a place like EVO for the 2 nights I spend weekly in Tysons.  Happy hour at Chef Geoffs and BJs were good for the CAPS run but I need a tamer place with an older crowd.

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9 minutes ago, MarkS said:

Bummer.  I need a place like EVO for the 2 nights I spend weekly in Tysons.  Happy hour at Chef Geoffs and BJs were good for the CAPS run but I need a tamer place with an older crowd.

Clarity is the ticket for happy hour at the bar near Tysons.

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