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Wharf Newcomer Mi Vida Appeals to D.C.’s Guacamole Lovers

“It is upscale and trendy while being completely unpretentious and laid back”

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Mi Vida opened on Friday, February 23.
Rey Lopez/Eater DC
Tierney Plumb is the editor of Eater DC, covering all things food and drink around the nation's capital.

The Wharf’s brand new two-story Mexican restaurant Mi Vida has been open a little over a week now, marking New York City restaurateur Roberto Santibañez’s first splash in D.C.

The latest collaboration from D.C.-based Knead Hospitality + Design (Succotash) includes patio seating on the ground floor (when seasonally appropriate), tables throughout, private dining rooms, as well as spots along the covered balcony facing District Pier.

Dishes from the Mexican-born chef/founder of the Fonda family of restaurants in NYC include corn cakes topped with caviar; assorted tacos (braised pork, grilled steak, and marinated chicken are featured fillings); catch of the day offerings flanked by black beans, tomatillo salsa, and tortillas; and fried churros with chocolate dipping sauce.

Read on to hear what early customers are saying since the restaurant started service in late February:

The Return Customer News: Facebooker Carlos J. Ocasio is “so happy to have you as our neighbors at Vio.” Yelper R.W. “loved the beef brisket enchiladas with mole negro. Best touch is the basket of small handmade tortillas. Definitely will return soon!” And Yelper Caroline K. experienced “killer margaritas and cool vibe — without being ‘uppity.’ Gerald at the bar was great. Definitely coming back.” [Facebook, Yelp]

The Recs News: Yelper Ebony K. says “the food was amazing. Very nice portions and everything was moderately priced,” recommending the “fresh” guacamole to start, “da” salmon as an entree, and “best flan I’ve ever had in my life” for dessert. Yelper Max C. “highly recommends this spot especially if you like Mexican cuisine ... get the guacamole and make sure all the toppings are on there. For another appetizer I would suggest the queso fundido.” Facebooker Francine Speaker says they’re the “most creative churros I’ve ever heard of.” [Yelp, Facebook]

The Good Bang For the Buck News: Yelper Sara R. writes “Mi Vida is my new favorite and go-to neighborhood hangout. It is upscale and trendy while being completely unpretentious and laid back. The house margarita is $10 and it’s one of the best I’ve had in D.C. on the rocks. That is a steal as far as drink prices, esp on the Wharf go.” Yelper Sara G. says “good prices for being at the Wharf. Good job, guys.” Yelper Andrea O. and her husband ordered the $42-per person family style option and says “it was well worth it. We ate guacamole, ceviche, enchiladas, cheese and meat dish, some fish tacos, carne asada tacos AND churros!” [Yelp]

The Gripes News: Google reviewer James Parthemore called the “food excellent, small portions, ceviche little fishy tasting. Had Modelo Especial on tap, enjoyed the beer but when asked for another ... he returned to the table to inform me [there was] no more.” And Josh Franklin says it’s “on the expensive side of the spectrum (c’mon it’s the Wharf), but if your wallet is game your pallet will be delighted. If I had to pick nits, it’s a little loud. No big deal.” Yelper David S. says it “took us about a half hour to see our first bit of food, with no one taking any notice.” [Google, Yelp]

The Interesting Interiors News: Yelper Matt S. was “very impressed with the interior. It’s high tech, modern, artsy, with a Latin America feel but without having you feel like you are in Mexico. They have an enormous, cool looking tree taking up a huge amount of space, setting a cool mood. The bar makes you feel like you are on the set of Sci-Fi movie.” And Young K. says “you are welcomed with very sophisticated lightings and colors ... you can notice that Knead spent a lot of time and efforts on the art and design of the restaurant.” And Google reviewer Mori Jensen calls it “a very fun design and has a unique atmosphere.” [Yelp, Google]


98 District Square Southwest, , DC 20024 (202) 516-4656 Visit Website