Cheap Eats 2008: Evo Bistro

Why go: For the nifty wine dispenser that puts mini-pours from more than two dozen boutique and better-known producers in your glass via a restaurant-supplied debit card. The fun is in mixing and matching tastes with savory Mediterranean small plates.

What to get: Flavorful mussels with shallots; piquillos rellenos, Spanish red peppers stuffed with goat cheese in yellow-pepper coulis; fried calamari with smoked-paprika aïoli; a marvelous toss of clams and spicy bits of chorizo; lump-crab-filled spinach crepe with velvety saffron-vanilla sauce; garlicky sautéed shrimp.

Best for: Lunch with the gang from the office or a tête-à-tête with a friend. Also right for a night out—in the evening, the tiny but stylish space has the feel of a house party.

Insider tip: Desserts are forgettable. Watch the amount on your debit card or you’ll quickly find yourself exceeding the Cheap Eats budget.

See all Cheap Eats 2008 restaurants  

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Ann Limpert
Executive Food Editor/Critic

Ann Limpert joined Washingtonian in late 2003. She was previously an editorial assistant at Entertainment Weekly and a cook in New York restaurant kitchens, and she is a graduate of the Institute of Culinary Education. She lives in Logan Circle.