I had a delicious dinner out last night at Zaytinya in Penn Quarter, Washington, DC. Zaytina's a Mediterranean restaurant specializing in mezze, small plates of food, from Greece, Lebanon and Turkey.
As always, it was a lovely experience with many different dishes full of fabulous flavors. Following is a summary of what we had with my comments. In addition, the staff was thorough and kind. They called the day after I made reservations on Open Table to confirm, and even allowed me to change the number. Once there, they were friendly and attentive, without being over bearing. I cannot say how much this contributes to a lovely dining experience. My only complaint is that we were sitting next to a display of glassware filled with different olive oils. One of the larger containers had been uncovered and had accumulated some flies, making it look a bit like an extravagant science experiment. Minor, of course, but still....
So, here is the summary of food with comments. Overall, I've been to Zaytinya a number of times and highly recommend it. It's a fun place to go with friends. And, all in all, it's a great value. So, make a reservation and check it out!
Zaytinya always provides unique and fabulous, fresh and hot pita pillows! The best base for everything they serve, especially the hommus and tzatziki. They also provided a platter of fresh cucumbers for some low-carb eaters in the party. (Note that this is a place where it is possible to manage a low carb diet relatively easily.)
Hommus - Delicious, of course, should just make the portions larger.
Baba Ghannouge - I don't eat this, but the others enjoyed it.
Tzatziki - I love this! It's a creamy base, but with chunkier cucumber in it.
CHEESES and CURES
Three cheeses w/ apple and pear chutney - Delicious!
Falafel - Very good.
Grape-Leaves Dolmades - This was good. Not my favorite, but good quality.
Olive Oil Salmon - This was slightly overdone. We also had a special that had salmon in a filo shell with an interesting sauce. This was much better.
MEAT and POULTRY MEZZE
Arayes ("grilled ground lamb and tahini stuffed pita") - Nice flavor and texture. Delicious!
Rabbit Stifado - This has a French smell to it. I didn't taste the rabbit, but the sauce was fabulous!
Chicken Muhammarah - This is a basic chicken, like from a kabob. Interesting spicing. Nothing special, but good.
Kotopoulo Youvetsi ("chicken, orzo, tomato, kefalograviera cheese") - Lovely and delicate pasta dish. Nice compliment to the rest of the dishes as the orzo gives a different texture.
Finally, I always suggest checking out the specials they offer. We had a delicious special that involved a fall squash, golden raisins and other spices, baked into soft balls. Delicious!
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