I recently went on a spur of the moment trip to Washington, D.C. where I was treated to an overnight stay. I asked the front desk if there were any good Mediterranean restaurants near the Courtyard Marriott where I stayed, within walking distance of the Smithsonian and Ford's Theatre. Everybody agreed that Zaytinya was an excellent option. I looked it up. The chef Jose Andres was named "Outstanding Chef" by the James Beard Foundation. That's usually indicative of a pretty good restaurant. (By some standards...)
This is the cover of the menu. I love his ambition!
My server explained the concept. It's recommended to order 2 or 3 small dishes. The menu was divided into multiple sections. Among them were spreads, soup and salad, seafood and other meats. Zaytinya serves Turkish, Greek, and Lebanese cuisine. I started with the sea scallops with a yogurt - dill sauce. I love restaurants with bright sunlight shining in - they help my photos look pretty decent!
I had to ask what kind of bread this was. I've never seen pita like this before. It was accompanied by a pomegranate molasses olive oil dipping mixture. So delicious! I tried to take the photos pretty quickly, then stowed my camera away. Do people think I'm weird for taking pictures of my food?
Next, I had the Lamb Kleftico. It's spit - roasted lamb wrapped in house - made phyllo, feta, and dill yogurt. Delish!! And the presentation was gorgeous!
I almost always order Escargot when I see it on the menu at French restaurants, so when I saw Snail Kibbeh on the Zaytinya menu, I took them up on their offer. They're crispy potato crusted snails served with herbed ladolemono heirloom lettuces. And that was enough to fill me up!
I loved the restaurant. It was big and open with huge windows that let you watch the people outside living the good urban life. I'm ready to go back!