Adirondack chairs, a chalkboard paint wall for the kids and sangria slushies for the adults, Front Porch ranks as one of the hardest places to get into in Del Ray. Backed by the same kitchen as Evening Star, the seasonal, weather-permitting outdoor area sees tables with the more casual, and very meaty, pork croquettes and the spicy, crispy Korean barbecue-sauced fried cauliflower, plus tacos and burgers, and the more refined fair of the upscale cafe is also available. Parisian gnocchi (flour, not potato) is cushy and light and then barely browned, and mingling with beech mushrooms, fava beans and a cream sauce. It’s decadent and big enough to eat solo as a main, but then there wouldn’t be an opportunity for duck confit, creamy beans and kicky smoked sausage, a dish that’s as well executed as it is comforting.
Evening Star + Front Porch
Modern American | $$$ / $
2000 Mt. Vernon Ave., Alexandria