Spicy and tart, the snapper ceviche is a great introduction to EVO Bakery's nightly menu. Stephanie Barna/Staff

While EVO Bakery is not the first local bakery to transform itself into a casual cafe at night — the now defunct Butter Cupcakes holds that honor — the Park Circle retail outlet is nightly providing a restaurant experience for both its chefs and its patrons. 

Each week, a different chef from next door's EVO Pizza gets to create a menu of small plates and cook it up for a week at the bakery. 

"They get to go crazy and do what they want and be creative," says server Adeline Mazyck. 

They started offering a nightly menu last April, when the pastry operations moved out to a bread baking center in Hanahan. The relocation provided room for a cook to put out a small menu. Last month, they started rotating among the chefs at the pizza place. 

For his second week at bat, sous chef Zach Turner is making a little bowl of spaghetti and meatballs, called Chef Boy-R-Dee ($10). The noodles are made from scratch, and the tiny meatballs from fresh Keegan-Filion pork.


Spaghetti and meatballs at EVO Bakery. Stephanie Barna/Staff

The tart snapper ceviche comes packaged like a taco, with citrusy vermillion snapper and slivers of jalapeno nestled inside broad watermelon radish slices ($8). Turner's twist on beef tartare is served like a burrito, with chanterelles wrapped up in shaved slices of cold beef and served in a puddle of golden yellow yolk from a fresh Ambrose Farm egg ($9).

Turner and executive chef Matt Connelly both recently became certified mushroom foragers, so he felt like he had to add chanterelles to the dish. "I have to give a quick tutorial because it's so different," says Turner, who instructs me to stab a beef roll with my fork and give it a twist to get at the raw yolk. Weird. But good.  


Zach Turner is just one of the chefs who gets to be creative with small plates at EVO Bakery. Stephanie Barna/Staff

The vegetable plate featured a grilled squash spear alongside a pile of wilted kale, arugula and fresh corn with roasted red pepper and lemon vinaigrette ($7).   


The veggie plate at EVO Bakery is simple and flavorful. Stephanie Barna/Staff

"Small, simple shareable plates is the idea," says Turner, who started at EVO washing dishes and has worked his way up to sous chef. For his menus, Turner includes a taco, a pasta and whatever the season suggests. The taco this time around is a lengua or beef tongue taco ($8). He's also serving hummus with vegetables ($8).  

Mazyck says word is still spreading about the evening offerings, and they're slowly growing in popularity. As I was finishing up my dinner, a regular customer of the bakery dropped in to find the new menu. "It's like a chef's table in the kitchen," she said, as she ordered and sat down at the community table located just a few steps from where Turner was working. 

Next week executive chef Connelly gets a turn at the bakery. Stay tuned to its Instagram to see the weekly menu. EVO Bakery is located at 1075 E. Montague and serves small plates from 5-10 p.m. nightly.   

Follow Stephanie Barna on Twitter @stefbarna.