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“Middle Eastern dishes done small plate style”
Review of Zaytinya

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Ranked #10 of 3,382 Restaurants in Washington DC
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $31 - $32
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Business meetings, Special occasions, Bar scene, Large groups
Dining options: Late Night, Lunch, Dinner, Breakfast, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Neighborhood: Downtown / Chinatown
Cross street: G St.
Transit: Gallery Place/Chinatown station. 9 th & G St exit on the red, green and yellow lines.
Description: Zaytinya offers an innovative mezze menu inspired by Turkish, Greek and Lebanese cuisines, under the direction of renowned chef José Andrés, served up in a sleek and modern setting. Shared small plates, creative cocktails and unique Mediterranean wines make this spot one of DC’s top dining destinations.
Reviewed November 20, 2012

Zaytinya is another of Jose Andres' high end restaurants in the Washington DC area. It serves an interesting blend of Turkish, Greek, and Middle Eastern dishes in small plate style.

The decor is very modern (set in the ground floor of a modern office building). Clearly a hot spot in central DC as it was full when we arrived at 9:45pm on a Saturday. We sat in the upstairs area which was a bit more intimate and not quite as loud as the main floor seemed to be (walls of glass and lots of hard surfaces = fairly loud).

The cocktails were good--I thought mine was perhaps a bit tart and lacking a bit of balance, but it was the best cocktail I had in DC. (Seattle has exceptional craft cocktail bars, so I suppose our bar is fairly high.)

As to the food: I preface this review with saying that my other half is part Arab, and I've had the opportunity to sample many of the dishes served at Zaytinya as prepared in various places in the Middle East. I thought the fatoosh was only okay--no parsley, very little acid (needed more lemon), and could have used more tomato. Mainly chopped Persian cucumbers with some red onion. The Havuc Koftesi--fritters of carrot, apricot, and pine nut--were very nice. Didn't appear fried as you might think by the description, not overly sweet, a nice balance of flavors. The best dish we had, by far, was the kibbeh. This is a dish that often is too dry or too oily, and here it was neither. It was also stuffed with pine nuts, almonds and currants--really well done.

Overall, a good meal. Not the best Middle Eastern food I've had, but an interesting concept and decently executed.

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Thank Nmbrsix
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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2,658 - 2,662 of 3,807 reviews

Reviewed November 18, 2012

We walked into this place on a Sunday evening without a reservation, fully expecting to be turned away or at best given a long wait. We were surprised and delighted to be given a table within 10 minutes, and a good table at that. The ranking of this establishment in trip advisor is high and we therefore had good expectations of a great night.

The food is mizzes style whereby the dishes are small but you pick a few to share between you. We would recommend you go for about 5 to 6, between you but do not order them all at once to ensure they come out regular, hot and fresh. Of the 5 we had 2 were not good, two were good, and one was outstanding. Everyone will have their own tastes and opinions. There is a regular supply of fresh bread given and this is excellent.

Service is best described as patchy. We had to ask on several occasions for per ordered wine to be delivered and also for top ups of water. Having now spent the last month on holiday thought America this was the first time we have had to do this.

Atmosphere is good. There seems to be three areas of this restaurant. One next to the bar, one on an upper level and one in a three row column starting from the window. This section is by far the best so try to get into that area.

A bit pricey for what it was.

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1  Thank JandJ71
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 18, 2012

Zaytinya is a unique dining experience. Prepare for a creative blend of Turkish, Greek and Middle Eastern flavors combined in small servings and delivered to your table just one or two at a time. The complexity of the combinations in each "mezze" (as the dishes are called) literally command the diner's attention so don't be fooled into thinking that everything needs to arrive at the same time. Savoring each of these delights before moving to the next provides a meal that becomes the conversation. Order two or three mezzo for each of the lucky ones at your table and share everything. We will most definitely be back!

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Thank tedwelsh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 18, 2012

Went there during restaurant week. Very interesting choices. Love the puffed bread served hot and steamy, it's fun. Well prepared food. Tried 'Clean Monday' for drink, refreshing.

Thank SenengJalan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 17, 2012

WEnt for dinner, had the butternut squash hummas, a bunch of cheeses, and a bunch of plates/ My sis and i shared everything was great.. the two bottles of wine were great as well, the server was great very helpful!

Thank Gina F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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