Zaytinya, Washington, D.C.


Zaytinya is another of my favorites in DC. The problem I have here is trying to decide what to order – it is all so incredibly good! This restaurant is best when you can go with a few others so that you can order a large selection of small plates to share. However, if going by yourself, the small plate concept allows you to try a few plates. Even the desserts come in half size which is perfect to wrap up the meal along with a Turkish Coffee!

Like the food, the wine features the Eastern Mediterranean – Greece, Lebanon, Turkey, Israel. Stay away from the Retsina and you’ll be fine. The staff is always willing to offer sample tastings. My favorite by far is the Xinomavro. The wine list itself offers great reading material, especially if you are going solo and sitting at the bar. Along with the list of available wines, there is also a description of each grape and a few of the producers. Since the grapes in the region are not those more commonly known, the wine list serves as an introduction as to what one can expect from each varietal.

I love the executive chef’s quote “Every time I open a bottle of wine it’s an amazing trip somewhere.” ~ José Andrés

Vegetarian Options:

  • Hummus – puree of chickpeas, garlic, tahini
  • Labneh – Lebanese strained yogurt with za’atar
  • Baba Ghannouge – fire-roasted eggplant, tahini, lemon, garlic
  • House-Made Lavish Chips
  • Htipiti – marinated roasted peppers, feta, thyme
  • Tzatziki – greek yogurt with diced cucumbers and dill (a fav of mine)
  • Fattoush – tomato, cucumber, red onion, green pepper, radish, pita chips, pomegranate vinegar dressing
  • Maroulosalata – heirloom lettuces, dill, miztihra cheese, red wine vinegar dressing, nasturtium flower petals
  • Horta Salata – kale salad, smoked olives, fava Santorini, pistachios
  • Cretan Tomato Soup – Greek yogurt, barley rusks, feta, mint
  • Beet Salata – crimson and yellow beets, shaved fennel, upland cress, spiced walnuts
  • Tabbouleh – parsley, bulgur wheat, dices tomatoes, onions, mint, lemon dressing
  • Portakal Salatasi – orange salad, baby arugula, kalamata olives, pine nuts, feta, orange flower dressing
  • Peynirli Pide – Flatbread with Turkish tomato sauce with cinnamon and oregano, covered in halloumi cheese.
  • Ímam Bayildi – Ottoman-style roasted eggplant stuffed with onions, tomatoes, walnuts
  • Crispy Brussels Afelia – brussel sprouts, coriander seed, barberries, garlic yogurt
  • Roasted Asparagus
  • Kolokithokeftedes – zucchini and cheese patios, caper-yogurt sauce
  • Bantijan Bil Laban – crispy eggplant, roasted garlic-yogurt sauce
  • Cauliflower Tiganites
  • Mercimek Köftesi – traditional seared red lentil patties, preserved lemon yogurt, pomegranate, lettuce leaves
  • Elies Tis Elladas – Greek olives marinated in oregano and olive oil
  • Seared Halloumi Cheese – Medjool dates, orange, pistachios, mint
  • Mushroom Couscous
  • Grape-Leaves Dolmades
  • Spanakopita
  • Falafel
  • Seasonal Mushrooms
  • Piyaz – imported warm giant beans, kale, oven-roasted tomato, garlic
  • Ottoman Pilaf – saffron basmati rice, dates, pistachios
  • Batata Maquliya – Lebanese fries, za’tar, garlic yogurt
  • Broccoli Saganaki – broccoli, tomato, kefalograviera cheese, ouzo, feta
  • Bamya – caramelized okra, fresh and crispy chickpeas, cardamom tomato stew
  • Assorted cheeses

Pescatarian Options:

  • Mussels Macedonia – mussels, tomato, green onions, ouzo, feta
  • Salmon Bil Zanzabir – seard Skuna Bay salmon, cilantro, pine nuts
  • Grilled Mahi Mahi – black hommus, barberries, mint (Divine!)
  • Octopus Tzatziki – cucumber, yogurt, barberries
  • Trout Skordalia – ouzo-battered trout, traditional potato garlic spread, lemon, almond
  • Garides Me Anitho – sautéed shrimp, dill, shallots, mustard, lemon juice
  • Sea Scallops – dill yogurt, sugar snap peas, radish
  • Avgotaraho – traditional Greek-pressed caviar of cured grey mullet roe
  • Fried Squid
  • Midyes – fried mussels with walnut tarator sauce

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