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!

~ L

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.

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.

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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