La Vie Gets a Fresh Start with Appointment of New Executive Chef Juan Rivera

La Vie is excited to unveil an entirely new menu designed and executed by newly instated executive chef, Juan Rivera, to artfully showcase coastal Mediterranean cuisine.

Chef Rivera is no stranger to Mediterranean cuisine with ample experience leading kitchens such as José Andrés’ award-winning Zaytinya, at which he worked for nine years, as well as Kapnos Taverna and the Eatery at Tysons Galleria.

Seafood is abundant on Chef Rivera’s new menu with grilled Branzino Fillets served with eggplant caponata and citrus beurre blanc, Atlantic Salmon, Alaskan Halibut and Day-Boat Scallops. The Fisherman’s Stew is a hearty meal for two with prawns, scallops, halibut, clams, mussels, lobster broth, saffron potatoes and tomato leaks.

House-made pasta shine in dishes such as Lobster Fra Diavolo prepared with squid ink, roasted tomatoes and chilies; Fennel Sausage Ragù, casarecce pasta with basil and pecorino fonduta; Crab Risotto, jumbo lump Maryland crab, English peas, mint and lemon; and Truffle Gnocchi with roasted wild mushrooms, hazelnut frico, and parmigiano.

Branzino Fillets and Truffle Gnocchi.

Shared dishes embrace the many coastal cultures bordering the Mediterranean. Selections include favorites such as the Grilled Octopus with potatoes, cucumbers, and radish on a bed of pea hummus and drizzled with saffron aiolli; Seafood Misto with shrimp, calamari, banana peppers and lemon aioli; Seared TunaNiçoise prepared with tomato sauce, cucumber, hard-boiled eggs, and mint; Mediterranean Spreads, such as the traditional hummus, baba ganoush and tzatziki; Lamb Pie with feta cheese and phyllo; and Arancini stuffed with ratatouille and burrata.

The beverage menu spans a wide variety of original concoctions starting with light and refreshing, to medium and bold, and finally the strongest drinks. Cocktails like the Autumn in Marseilles with cognac, carpano antica, grenadine, chai tea, lemon and tiki bitters are as beautiful in design and presentation as they are uniquely flavored. La Vie AFis the restaurant’s take on an Old Fashioned with balsamic reduction and herbs de Provence. Vodka, St. Germain and huckleberry make for a herbaceous Riviera Highball.

While the restaurant has sought to improve food and service offerings through adjustments in personnel and training, many have continued to flock to La Vie for the transportive design and incredible waterside views, gorgeous and white in the winter, softly pink and spectacular during the Cherry Blossom season.

The 9,800 square-foot restaurant was designed by David Anthony Chenault (Virtue Feed & Grain, Pamplona, Majestic) and inspired by the Mediterranean. Space is reminiscent of a coastal retreat without stating the obvious. Different themed sections provide diners with choices while a soon-to-be-redesigned terrace features a bar and Potomac River views.

La Vie at the Wharf. 88 District Square SW 5th floor, Washington, DC 20024. (202) 560-5501.

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