The Evening Star Cafe: A Gem in Del Ray

This review is belated, but better late than never, right? Located in the heart of Del Ray, Chef Jonathan Kehau is making waves at The Evening Star.  To be honest, I don’t really go to Alexandria as much as I should because it’s a long drive – I live in MD suburbs – and traffic sucks. I’d fight through it to dine here again though, and that’s saying a lot considering my road rage, ha.

If you live in DC proper, it’s only about a 20-30 minute drive so you guys have it easy.  Make a note to go because it’s worth it, especially since they have a crazy deal going on – 3 courses for $35.  Your first course is a dish of your choice from snacks, salads or starters, your second is one from plates, and you have a choice between tres leches or 2 scoops for dessert.

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With that said, it’s hard to pick because everything looks so good on the menu, but that’s what I’m here for.  My favorite starters are Chef’s wild mushroom bruschetta and his chicken fried oysters.  Bruschetta’s honestly never tasted better, and this mushroom toast is one of the best things I’ve eaten all year.  It’s grilled rustic peasant bread topped with kehau’s mushrooms – named after him because he forages for ’em – and krieder farm cream.  It’s rich, it’s creamy, it’s everything good in life on bread.  Don’t just take my word for it though, this is a serious must try.

evening star mushroom toast

The oysters are amazing as well, and they taste as delicious as they look.  You get two per order, and they’re topped with comeback sauce, barrel aged hot sauce and a beautiful watermelon radish slaw.  The crispiness of the breading, the crunchiness of the radish, and the heat from the sauce all come together to make the perfect bite.

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evening star oysters

In terms of entrees, my favorite dish is Chef Kehau’s sweet chili glazed duck.  The meat melts in your mouth, and the sauce is so good.  If you love this protein as much as I do, definitely make sure you order it when you go.

evening star duck

I actually didn’t get the course menu when I went, but I ordered dessert anyway because they had sticky toffee pudding listed.  I’m a sucker for warm cake and ice cream so I couldn’t resist!  A moist date cake topped with toffee sauce and a scoop of vanilla ice cream?  That’s the definition of nomtastic to me, and it was the perfect end to a fabulous meal.

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After dinner, I walked over to the Front Porch, their outdoor patio space, and enjoyed a frosé with friends.  Take advantage of the gorgeous weather and dine al fresco next to a cozy table-side fire pit.  It’s a great way to unwind after work, and it’s open daily at 5PM on weekdays and 4PM on weekends.  You can order food there as well so that’s always an option if you prefer something a bit more casual.

the front porch

So, what did you guys think of The Evening Star?  Would you check it out?  What looked yummiest to you?  Let me know by leaving a comment below, and check back Thursday for fresh new content that will feed your feed.  For more VA foodporn, browse this tab.  Until next time – stay full, friends!

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