My wife, a friend, and I ate at Vida a nuevo Mexican restauant (1120 20th St NW between Dupont Circle and Foggy Bottom)Friday night. I must say we were very disappointed. We started at the bar with drinks, these were well made and reasonably priced for DC. The bartender was a great hostess. With the drinks came the best part of the meal, the chips and salsa. The chips were the light white corn Rio Grand Cafe/Cactus Cantina kind and the salsa was similar to those establishments but with a stronger kick. Very good.
The problems began when we asked to be seated in the patio outside. We waited for fifteen minutes before we got up and fetched a waitperson to take our order, luckily we had more chips and salsas and were relaxed from the drinks. The menus was a mix of seeminly nuevo Mexican dishes and Tex/Mex standards. My wife and I split the pasilla pepper appetizer, a roasted pepper filled with picadillo (spiced ground meat) and topped with a fried plantain and crema (sour cream). It tasted fine, but the ingredients did not blend together, and being of Cuban descent, when of my pet peeves is undercooked plantains. Our friend had a mixed green salad, which was mostly iceberg and red cabbage! At least he said the dressing was good.
Our entrees came quickly, too quickly. Our friend's salmon pibil was raw. Not just a hint of pink, but barely cooked at the edges. The staff should have asked how he wanted his fish, but were able to cook it to a more done stage. My wife's cod was the best entree, a nice large piece of fish, dusted with spices, accompanied by green beans and rice. I, not feeling that adventuresome at new restaurant, had the fajitas. They had a nice smokeiness, but were lacking flavor. They need to be marinaded longer.
In sum, we'll go back for drinks and may try the food again if we hear things have improved with it and the service. The restaurant has potential, but is not yet reaching.
P.S. This is my first post to the mid-Atlantic board, but have been reading this group for quite while.
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