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The Green Bowl at Vim & Victor. (Image: Rey Lopez)

Restaurant Rumblings: Chaia Expands, Espita does lunch and more

The D.C. food scene is constantly evolving, and it can be hard for even the biggest food fan to keep up. Restaurant Rumblings is here to get you up to speed on the latest bar and restaurant news, from hot openings to exciting new menus.


Vim & Victor
(6805 Industrial Rd, Springfield)

Chef Spike Mendelsohn's health-conscious eatery is now open inside the St. James sports and wellness complex. The all-day restaurant caters to pre- and post-workout meals, brunches, dinners and everything in between. Fuel up on cauliflower nachos and Maryland blue crab arancini or share some whole roasted branzino or braised short ribs. Diners looking to indulge can grab hold of the double-stacked VIC beef burger or enjoy the meatless Beyond Meat burger. There's also a grab-and-go section of juices, smoothies, coffee and more.

(615 I St. NW)

Vegetarian taco shop Chaia has expanded from Georgetown to a second location in Mt. Vernon Square. The satisfying menu includes favorite combinations like hearty creamy kale and potato with pepperjack, poblano crema, salsa verde and pickled onion. Or try earthy mushrooms paired with feta, salsa roja and cilantro. If you're tired of tacos, explore the new selection of bowls or the cauliflower "al pastor." Unwind with a glass of craft beer or wine or one of the draft cocktails like the Milian Park – a blend of bourbon, amaro Montenegro, amargo de chile and bitters.

(800 F St. NW)

Penn Quarter has another destination for Mediterranean-inspired fare, this time from local restaurateur Ashok Bajaj. His new concept replaces the modern American NoPa Kitchen + Bar with a menu and decor inspired by cuisine from countries including Spain, North Africa, Italy and Greece. Chef Matt Kuhn remains in the kitchen with modern riffs on osso buco, dolmades with beef, flatbreads and other traditional plates. The interior features bright whites and blues along with plenty of artwork to spark dinner conversations.

The View
(1201 Wilson Blvd)

Rosslyn's newest happy hour spot comes with quite the view -- 360-degree views from 32 stories up, to be exact! The Observation Deck, which opened last June, opened their new Champagne Bar, the View, on Thursday, January 10, showcasing a sparkling menu and rotating collection of local photography. On the menu are five sparkling wines by the glass (sourced from Italy, Spain, France and California) and five bottles (Italy, Spain and France). Prices range from $9-$18 for a glass and $50-$475 per bottle. Visitors to either The Observation Deck or The View are invited to check out the newly-debuted HoverDC, a flyover simulator with audiovisuals of D.C.

New on the menu:

There's a new brunch to enjoy along Alexandria's historic King Street, and it's perfect for seafood lovers. Grab a table at the Fish Market (105 King St., Alexandria) and indulge in fried oysters Florentine, barbecue shrimp and grits or the Eastern Shore Hangover burger – a beef patty topped with crab dip, Old Bay chips and a fried egg.

Spice up your mid-day meal with Espita Mezcaleria’s (1250 9th St. NW) new afternoon menu of tacos and savory small plates. Pairs of tacos run $9 and are filled with ingredients like adobo pork, crispy fluke or roasted Brussels sprouts. Other dishes include an avocado tostada for $6, fried yuca for $7 and desserts like churros for $7. Orders are placed at the bar and designed to come out quickly for those on a time crunch.

For those of you still going strong with the resolutions, Sweetgreen has rolled out three new grain and salad bowls to make it easier to stay committed to health. Just in time for Super Bowl season, SG has unveiled a Buffalo Chicken Bowl with blackened chicken thighs, tangy pickled carrots and celery, juicy tomatoes, cilantro, local blue cheese and za'atar breadcrumbs all mixed up with Sweetgreen's hot sauce and creamy caesar dressing. Or you can go for a sweet and savory mix with the Winter Maple Squash Salad. Finally the Miso Bowl is back with an upgrade. pairing blackened chicken thighs with seasonal miso-glazed root vegetables, shredded cabbage, basil, toasted almonds, organic wild rice and shredded kale.