After Tom Sietsema’s visit to La Vie, original co-owner Naeem Mohd assumed full control of the restaurant and hired a new team. Mohd brought on Executive Chef Juan Rivera who spent nine years working at José Andrés’ critically acclaimed Zaytinya and a new pastry chef Deth Khaiaphone who previously served as Executive Chef at Policy and Chef de Cuisine at Doi Moi. The bar also got a facelift with new Cocktail Director Chad Cotner who has breathed consistency, quality, and a sophisticated feel to the beverage program that feels right for a chic setting like La Vie which overlooks the beautiful Wharf waterfront.
The Riviera Highball is made up of vodka, st. germain, huckleberry, citrus, and soda. It was light and refreshing and the perfect compliment to a sunny day on the water. I also tried the sangria, albeit skeptically as sangria usually evokes a sugary headache in my mind. However, La Vie’s sangria (which will be appear on the menu for Spring) is an orange color (not that sugary red you’d expect) and is made up of a delicious dry rose and citrus. It’s not sweet and something I could sip on for a long, long time.
The burrata sports nicely seasoned cheese, heirloom tomatoes, zaatar oil, and a crispy crostini. One of the best parts of the dish were the tomatoes which I would gladly eat on their own in a salad format. They were extremely fresh and juicy.
The seafood misto delivers fried shrimp and calamari with banana peppers and lemon aioli. The arancini were a stand out as each fried bite had a delicious ratatouille inside.
The branzino served with eggplant caponata and citrus beurre blanc was light and tasty – perfect for the warmer weather. The brussel sprouts were fantastic. Crispy and sauteed with a delicious finishing sauce. I could eat the entire plate myself.
Here is a PSA: do not skip dessert at La Vie. The Paris Brest consisting of a pistachio praline and crème mousseline, pate choux, grated pistachio, and tuile was creamy without being too rich and wasn’t overly sweet – it was airy and frankly hard to stop nibbling on despite being full.
The Cotton-Candy basked Alaska is a crowd favorite at La Vie with several tables ordering it during my dining experience. It is served as pictured and then lit on fire as diners watch the cotton candy disappear to reveal inside a chocolate gâteau with chocolate ice cream and sauce. Chocolate lovers – this one is for you!