Evening Star Cafe

4.2
1345 Reviews
$30 and under
Contemporary American
We are currently open for outdoor and indoor dining - thank you for your support!

The Evening Star Cafe is a rollicking neighborhood gem located in the heart of Del Ray. Opened in 1997, Evening Star is well known for its friendly vibe and convivial setting and continues to shine with a fiercely loyal crowd. Led by Executive Chef Derek Colglazier and General Manager Eloise Clapp, Evening Star combines friendly, gracious service with a seasonal, American menu featuring produce grown on our rooftop garden and by local farmers throughout the region.

The Evening Star also offers a stunning array of nearly 1,500 wines, all of which are available next door at Planet Wine Shop. Our bars, The Majestic Lounge and the No. 9 Lounge (opening September 2021!), each offer a total of 20 craft draft and cask beers, plus plenty of room to gather with friends.

Please note that we are CLOSED Monday & Tuesday

Experiences

  • Indoor Dining at Evening Star Cafe

    Multiple dates available

    Join us in our jewel box of a dining room at experience the classic spirit of one of Del Ray's longest-tenured restaurants! With distanced, limited seating available nightly and during brunch, join us for an intimate dining experience for parties of 2 to 8 maximum.
  • Front Porch Beer Garden

    Multiple dates available

    Join us and dine in our turf lined, true al fresco area in our front porch and back yard areas! This section includes two tops viewing the street (great for people watching!) and our more secluded turf-lined back yard beer garden. These tables are in the center of our outdoor area and are truly outdoors - we have limited umbrellas for this area but we cannot guarantee weather-proof seating. **Please note that this reservation does not include Private Cabana Dining.**
  • Private Cabana Dining at the Front Porch

    Multiple dates available

    These gorgeous distanced cabanas are perfect for parties of 2-7 guests. Covered on four sides with billowing canvas, these are the ultimate private dining seats - with a view of the entire beer garden, enough space to view the projector on movie night, and spacious room to spread out or grab a high chair for the kids. These seats are weather resistant, but not truly waterproof - so dress for the forecast!
  • New Years Eve Prix Fixe at the Star

    $65.00 per personPrepaid

    Dec 31, 2021 only

    Join us for one of three seatings on New Years Eve! Parties of 1 to 4 are welcome to book online; for larger bookings, please reach out to asandoval@eveningstarcafe.net. 1st Course She Crab Soup Black Eyed Pea Cakes Oysters on the Half Shell Kale Salad 2nd Course Prosciutto-Wrapped Pork Loin Charred Arrowhead Cabbage Pan Roasted Halibut Smoked Short Rib 3rd Course Lemon Meringue Tart Dark Chocolate Cremeux PB&J Cake *Items may change due to availability

Safety precautions

Cleaning & Sanitizing
  • Surfaces sanitized between seatings
  • Common areas deep cleaned daily
  • Digital, disposable or sanitized menu provided
  • Contactless payment available
Screening
  • Sick staff prohibited in the workplace
What 1345 people are saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.2based on recent ratings
4.2
food
4.0
service
4.3
ambience
4.0
value
Noise · Moderate
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TK
TariK
1 review
Dined 2 days ago
Overall4food5service4ambience5

Great food but very small portions
Also small amounts of wine for price charged!

JM
JennM
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Lovely spot, attentive staff. Food was delicious

OT
OpenTable Diner
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on November 20, 2021
Overall5food5service4ambience4

Service was a little slow. New waiter was still learning the ropes. Food was amazing. Lighting was a little dark. But overall great experience. Looking forward to going back.

ML
MartaLynne14
New England
1 review
Dined on November 14, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Eating outdoors at Evening Star was terrific! Their back patio area had heaters - even on a crisp Sunday morning it was a treat with sun and skies and fresh air. And it was much calmer and quieter than the bustling indoor area! Food was delicious as always.

d
vipdakota
Washington DC
11 reviews
Dined on November 6, 2021
Overall4food4service2ambience4

The food at Evening Star is always good. Service on our latest visit, however, was lackadaisical at best. The server didn't know the menu, ie what was served with the trout or what kind of red wines they had by the glass. They had 'help wanted' signs out so I imagine they are short on staff, like most restaurants. But there were really very few tables so seems like they could have handled things better. Kudos to the kitchen, tho. I had the smoked beets with horseradish sauce and squash casserole, both of which were tasty and interesting. Hubby had the cornmeal-crusted trout, which he enjoyed. Wine selection is excellent, with wines coming from Planet Wines next door. We will no doubt be back, because the Evening Star is a neighborhood restaurant and deserves our loyalty. Too bad we are back to outdoor dining with winter coming on -- they have tried their best to make it comfortable with gas fire pits but 45 degrees is still 45 degrees.

L
Lynette
Washington DC
4 reviews
Dined on November 3, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great food! Great service! The banana pudding was out of this world.

S
Samantha
1 review
Dined on October 22, 2021
Overall1food2service1ambience2

It has been a little over 2 years since I last frequented Evening Star and not sure if there has been a shift in management or what but the service was horrible. We ordered our food via the QR code and it never came but our cocktails came which were on the same ticket. Somehow the "app broke" which is French for the kitchen forgot our order. We waited over an hour to get some apps and waited easily another 45 minutes for all of the items to finally come out. We asked for a water refill twice and it was never refilled and the manager had to be sent to our table 3 times to finally make it all right. I won't be going back here unless it is just for a bourbon slush in the summer time. Highly disappointed and quite obvious there is a communication issue in the back of the house.

Evening Star Cafe
Responded on November 4, 2021

Hello Samantha, Thank you for taking the time to review your meal with us this past evening. We were experiencing a partial tech outage that impacted service significantly and I'm truly sorry we did not express that adequately while you were still with us. We pride ourselves on service and I hope we can do-over your experience in the near future; if so, please reach out to me here or via the email address in our private message exchange. Sincerely, Aislin Operations Manager, NRG

Report
FT
vipFrankT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on October 22, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Very nice little spot. Good food and atmosphere. Highly recommended.

b
bert16
Washington DC
73 reviews
Dined on October 20, 2021
Overall5food4service5ambience5

We sat on the large patio behind the restaurant - what a lovely setting they’ve created! Service was very attentive, even as we took forever to order since we hadn’t seen each other since before the pandemic & were catching up instead of focusing on ordering. Overall a really nice experience.

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined on October 16, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great friendly staff and perfect outdoor dining. App ordering makes it easy and efficient.

JD
JetDel
Washington DC
14 reviews
Dined on October 15, 2021
Overall4food5service2ambience3

The food was great, service was poor. My trout was excellent with chow chow, black-eyed peas, rice, and pesto sauce. My partner's cassoulet was disappointing with a small serving of duck and beans and the duck confit went missing. My Moldovan Sauvignon Blanc was excellent and my partner's Malbec from Argentina was good. The disappointing issue of the evening was the disorganized service. I realize we need patience now but it should not take 10 minutes to get our initial glasses of wine. We had to ask and ask to get a second glass of wine and I finally gave up on a second glass of wine. I think there is a bottleneck with getting wine from the wine store next door. I had hoped this would become a new favorite but sadly isn't there now.

KD
KimD
Washington DC
4 reviews
Dined on October 9, 2021
Overall1food2service2ambience2

Not very good. Reserved a cabana for a birthday and we were seated in the worst place, across from the kitchen door. We did not like how the ordering was set up and found it confusing. I would not recommend this place for a special occasion.

MV
MaryV
Baltimore
7 reviews
Dined on October 9, 2021
Overall4food5service3ambience4

Although I love the restaurant, I was not happy with the reservation process. I specifically made reservations to be in the back outdoors. I was told we could not be seated in the back. I figured those seats were reserved. People who came in behind me, without reservations, were in fact seated in the back. The hostess never offered a reason why we could not be seated in a at area. The service was fine otherwise.

l
viplocal22039
Washington DC
8 reviews
Dined on October 6, 2021
Overall2food4service2ambience3

First- the food was good, no quibbles there. But that’s only part of what a restaurant experience should be.

The service was really disappointing. A staff that seemed to be overwhelmed and not able to execute even basic functions in a timely way. And this on an evening that did not appear to be particularly busy, based on the fact that there were more empty tables than occupied tables.

Drinks that took WAY to long to arrive (15-20 minutes minimum), an order of Pate’ for a party of 4 that came with only 3 pieces of bread (???), a server who although they seemed earnest, did not seem to be on top of what was happening and seemed to be way too reliant on others to bring our food and drinks.

Finally, after having finished our meal and provided our credit cards, once again we waited so long that one of our party had to get up from the table to track down our cards so that we could sign and leave.

These days it seems like EVERY business establishment is complaining about lack of staff and asking for “patience and understanding “, and perhaps justifiably so. I get it.
But overall our experience was not a positive one.

EM
vipElizabethM
Washington DC
9 reviews
Dined on October 3, 2021
Overall3food3service3ambience4

A neighborhood favorite. Our first time back in a while.

MM
MelissaM
Washington DC
4 reviews
Dined on October 3, 2021
Overall4food4service2ambience4

While the atmosphere and food were lovely, the new COVID protocols where you do not have a server only work if they actually fulfill requests in a timely manner. I would love to say that they were just very busy on this day and were overwhelmed, but I saw plenty of staff and not THAT many patrons.

Our party of four only had 3 entrees delivered at first, we then had to wait about 10 minutes and finally flagged someone down to go find the 4th (though they very clearly acted like this was a breach of their electronic only request system). We also put in about 3 water refill requests that went unanswered, despite me mentioning it again to staff members. And after 10 minutes of waiting for napkins, I just went searching at the host stand for some myself.

I'm all for keeping people safe and having an electronic request system, but only when requests actually have a response.

I've come before with no problems, so I'd be willing to chalk it up to a bad day, but they should really consider revamping some of their operations.

MS
MarkS
New York Area
9 reviews
Dined on October 3, 2021
Overall5food5service3ambience5

Food was incredibly tasty. Service, while initially very attentive, was not consistent as they mixed up our drink order and it took a while to get the right drink. That being said, I'd go back for the food!!!!!

D
vipDisappointed
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on October 3, 2021
Overall4food5service4ambience2

Morning breakfast music choice was too loud and more appropriate for a Saturday night party than a relaxing start to a Sunday morning

DM
DavidM
1 review
Dined on October 1, 2021
Overall1food1service1ambience1

I Love Evening Star Cafe have been going there for years. But last night’s experience was just not up to there usual standard’s. Nothing interesting or creative about the food, and yes I give them a pass because of the pandemic but when the cheese and crackers are the best tasting thing on the menu. You just got to question the why?

ES
vipESUS
Washington DC
139 reviews
Dined on September 29, 2021
Overall2food5service2ambience1

I havent been to this restaurant in ages. I have such fond memories of its early years. My guests and I sat inside - the restaurant was empty except for one other table. The ambiance inside is so tired. It looked unloved, dusty and a bit sad. Our service was very slow and barely competent - the young man was kind but not skilled. I know it is hard now to get quality servers. Food for part of the table arrived late, simple things like extra plates and steak knives weren't anticipated and slow to come, etc. And then the food arrived and it was really good! Two of us had the salmon which was cooked perfectly. My guest remarked that it was the best she's had in awhile. Steak frites were deemed good as was the duck confit. So, I guess I'd say go for the food and the neighborhood but expectations low for the rest.

KK
KathleenK
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on September 29, 2021
Overall5food5service4ambience5

My tip is make sure
You pace yourself ordering on the app otherwise your starter and main come out together. And try to order for the
Table or you will be getting your food at various times. Food good. Small menu.

BR
vipBRW10
London
50 reviews
Dined on September 29, 2021
Overall3food2service4ambience3

Food mediocre and overpriced. Not intuitive on how to order online if you have any type of exception or something not on menu (like a specific cocktail).

M
Msf118
Washington DC
5 reviews
Dined on September 25, 2021
Overall5food5service4ambience5

Great date night on the Front Porch. Our food was wonderful — the salmon was outstanding. And the ambiance was lovely.

RB
vipRestaurantBird
Washington DC
50 reviews
Dined on September 19, 2021
Overall3food3service4ambience3

Have always like Evening Star Cafe for both lunch and dinner, but have not been in about two years. Trying not to be harsh, after all, the pandemic is still happening. But ESC seems like a shell of its former vibrancy. I understand folks want to dine outside, and ESC has provided two spots: Front Porch (in front and next to ESC's Plant Wine) and Beer Garden in back. We opted for indoors as the music outside was SO loud. To get inside ESC, you have to be escorted into a side door, through Planet Wine, and enter from the back of the indoor seating.

At 6:30 on a Sunday there were only two other tables occupied inside. More at the Front Porch. The food was slow to arrive. Our server always seemed available so the hold-up must have been the kitchen. Again, understandable given the pandemic. Not complaining, just warning other patrons what to expect.

Menu choices have been greatly reduced--and we get it. For starters, I selected the chilled cantaloupe soup. Delightfully creamy with feta cheese, specialty Italian olives, and olive oil; sadly, I did not think the flavors played well together. It might be an acquired taste. Hubby had the Caesar salad, which comes with real anchovies mixed in. . .not served on the side.

Of the four entrees, only three were available. How does a restaurant run out of gnocchi? The other entrees were beef, duck, and fish. We went with the salmon which was described as accompanied by "roasted corn, cherry tomatoes, shaved fennel salad." The last two items were a no-show. The fish--with skin on--was served atop a green puree surrounded by the corn. Tasty. . .but what was it? The salmon, though well cooked, was somewhat tasteless. If this was meant to allow the accompaniments to accent the flavor, it did not succeed well, especially for $21. Hubby had dessert: bread pudding which he did like (especially since the portion was generous.

VA
VAresident1
Washington DC
10 reviews
Dined on September 19, 2021
Overall5food5service4ambience5

Great food! Fun atmosphere!

j
vipjoel
Washington DC
42 reviews
Dined on September 18, 2021
Overall4food4service3ambience4

The steak frites and salmon were both very good. Unfortunately I make both of those at home so I was hoping for the duck confit but they were out of that so it was not meant to be. The accompaniment with the salmon and the garlic butter with the steak were both excellent. There were only two or three tables with customers inside where we were but all tables outside were booked. Our waiter explained he was covering some inside and some outside so he would attempt to do his best. His best unfortunately missed out on getting me a 2nd beer and the associated tip that would’ve gone with it. Yet, still overall a good time.

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Cleveland
1 review
Dined on September 11, 2021
Overall3food3service2ambience4

They lean too heavy on the QR code online menu/order thing. Are asked to pay online and include tip when you order. Our food and drink took a while, am glad we opted out of the tip before online option!

DO
DaveO
Baltimore
1 review
Dined on September 10, 2021
Overall5food4service4ambience5

Great job by Evening Star transitioning from indoor-centric to outdoor-centric service. I would definitely go again. Great atmosphere.

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on September 5, 2021
Overall3food3service2ambience3

I don’t like the ordering system for the outside seating.

SC
vipSinanC
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on August 29, 2021
Overall3food2service5ambience5

We have been to this venue many times in the past several years. The garden atmosphere is a genuine treat during and beyond COVID times. The beer selections are the best. The food is eh-OK, but not the best value for the $ spent. They have become a little complacent over time, and dropped their culinary standard. Take the open faced mushroom toast. In our experience of eating out, we have rarely-if ever, sent food back. There is no other way to describe the dish delivered was inedible. The mushrooms were pre-cooked and chewy to the point that you could not break them down. After deliberating what to do, we politely informed our server that this was executed badly and also volunteered not to have anything to replace the item. You also have to bear in mind that the person who gave this feedback is a trained chef with years of culinary experience. The manager/executive chef basically told us that we didn’t get the dish. her point was that it was charred and we would not benefit from re-ordering this dish. Total blunder folks. First off, as my companion, with years of kitchen experience told us-just accept the dish was badly executed. You never know when the person you are addressing is a chef-albeit too humble to push back against the presumption that they don’t understand the dish. Second, please please do not talk down to people, otherwise you will not have a leg to stand on when you have outright rude clientele. Complacency and a cavalier attitude is the demise of many a restaurant. We were offered a refund on the dish, which is fine and accepted, but let’s cut the attitude.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Richmond
1 review
Dined on August 29, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great food and loved sitting outside under the tent!

MM
MsMalemar
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined on August 28, 2021
Overall5food4service5ambience5

We had pork and salmon entrees and both were excellent! The wine was also good and the server’s suggestion of bread pudding was spot on.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Denver
2 reviews
Dined on August 28, 2021
Overall2food2service2ambience5

Waiter was super distracted and inattentive
Waited a long time just to get a drink order
I think the restaurant needed another 1-2 waiters on the floor
The gnocchi was disgusting

MK
vipMaryK
Washington DC
6 reviews
Dined on August 28, 2021
Overall3food4service2ambience4

Several times the wrong food came to our table….

SR
SuzanneR
Washington DC
16 reviews
Dined on August 28, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

It was delightful! More fans would have alleviated some of the humidity but summer is almost over and we clearly survived.

Evening Star Cafe
Responded on August 29, 2021

Suzanne- Thanks for your feedback! i'm glad you enjoyed yourself Eloise Clapp, Manager

Report
f
foodanista
Washington DC
10 reviews
Dined on August 27, 2021
Overall2food2service4ambience1

Very disappointing / food and ambience just blah - always heard about evening star nut disappointing’

GG
vipGeorgeG
Las Vegas
2 reviews
Dined on August 27, 2021
Overall4food3service4ambience3

have not been there in a long time. Used to go when it was really the only standout in DelRay area. Back then it was more of an event, big night out. Not sure what the current idea is. Food is interesting and not overpriced. Staff was nice but a bit thin even with a small crowd. But I found the place confusing. Indoor, outdoor, beer garden, sport bar, wine bar. I guess they are trying to be all things to all people.

AT
vipAmyTH
Washington DC
24 reviews
Dined on August 26, 2021
Overall4food3service4ambience5

Loved the Front Porch seating experience and dog-friendly environment. On a sultry summer night, it was perfect. QR code menu was very complete and I appreciated that you could request services as well as order cocktails and food.
Service was efficient. Staff was very kind with a 15-minute reminder when they were ready to close for the evening. You could give lessons to a lot of other Northern VA restaurants. =)
Food was good. Vegetarian chili tater tots could use a little more seasoning. Bourbon slush would be improved with a float of bourbon (but then again I am usually drinking my bourbon with club soda only).
Looking forward to coming back again with my puppy and friends.

Evening Star Cafe
Responded on August 29, 2021

Hello! Thanks for all your feedback, I'm so glad you enjoyed our outdoor dining. We can't wait to welcome you back and please bring your puppy!!! :) Eloise Clapp, Manager

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B
Bill
1 review
Dined on August 26, 2021
Overall4food4service5ambience5

Went for Restaurant Week. Enjoyed our meal. Was very impressed with the table set-up due to Covid. Very friendly and helpful service.

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Miami
17 reviews
Dined on August 22, 2021
Overall2food1service2ambience4

Food was not good - potatoes way too salty and egg sandwich very basic. Were mostly disappointed by the lackluster service. App was fine and we get the need, but nobody available for refills and had to hunt somebody down. Just a very “meh” dining experience. Lots of great options in the area so we were disappointed to have our last meal in town here.

FAQs

Evening Star Cafe does offer delivery in partnership with Unknown. Evening Star Cafe also offers takeout which you can order by calling the restaurant at (703) 549-5051.

Evening Star Cafe is rated 4.2 stars by 1345 OpenTable diners.

Yes, you can generally book this restaurant by choosing the date, time and party size on OpenTable. Due to local restrictions, this restaurant may not be accepting reservations at the moment.

Tweets by Evening Star Cafe