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“Worth the sticker shock”
Review of Zaytinya

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Ranked #19 of 3,442 Restaurants in Washington DC
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: US$31 - US$32
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Bar Scene, Business meetings, Groups, Special Occasion Dining
Dining options: After-hours, Dinner, Breakfast, Lunch, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Neighbourhood: 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 3 July 2014

Date and occasion: My daughter and I went to DC for her birthday last weekend, and she wanted mediterranean food, so I asked Bo (DC Insider Tours), and he suggested Zaytinya. I booked an early reservation on Friday evening, June 27th. I'm glad our reservations were early, because by the time we left at around 6 p.m., the place was packed.

Service: Friendly, timely, and with a smile. No issues at all with the staff.

Decor and Atmosphere: Light and airy, lively, festive, fun. Our table was inside (thankful we had a reservation because it was very hot outside) at the window and was very comfortable. With so many plates, the table space was a bit small at times, but the staff was quick to remove empty plates. The bathrooms were spacious and clean.

Food: Culinary ecstasy. It's been a long time since I've enjoyed as many different flavors and combinations as I did at Zaytinya. Everything was delicious, from the "balloon bread" and hommus, to the salads, entrees, and dessert. My favorites were the Crispy Brussels Afelia, Horta Salata, Bronzino, and Keftedes Kapama. We ordered a few other things, and they were all good as well. Also, since it was my daughters birthday, they treated her to an apricot ice cream desert, which was out of this world. With our sweet tooths whetted, we ordered Turkish Delight, and were simply in heaven. I just wish the desert portion was a little bit more generous.

Price: Expensive for your average tourist like me. Our bill was right at $100 for two people. I would never go there with the whole family… It would be easy to rack up a bill north of $300 for our family of seven. The price adds up quickly, so I would suggest going straight to the seafood, meats, and poultry and get a few that you know you will like. Then fill in with salad and more exotic choices.

Bottom line: I would have loved to try more dishes, but my appetite -- and pocketbook -- couldn't handle it. If you love a lot of different flavors and combinations, it's worth the splurge.

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1  Thank AlfieBeisser
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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2,061 - 2,065 of 3,847 reviews

Reviewed 2 July 2014

Best middle eastern food I tasted since thanksgiving at my Lebanese grandmother's house. What a great surprise!!! The lamb was extremely tender and wonderfully seasoned. Definitely deserves the ranking of being in the top 5 restaurants in DC

Thank TravelLife19
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 June 2014

Really good Greek / Mediterrean food is very hard to find. This place is excellent.
Diverse menu- actually need the waiter's help to order but wide selection and food is excellent.
I really like the small plates of different foods, certainly enough to share and taste. I thought it was a little strange regarding the order the foods were delivered to the table but I defer to their expertice and experience.
Very enjoyable dinner , hope to go again soon.

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Thank skinisin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 June 2014 via mobile

We dined there for a pre-show dinner and the food was outstanding. We took our waiter's advice about how and what to order and we were not disappointed. The wait staff was excellent and even though the restaurant is noisy, we were able to make conversation. It is casual yet very chic. We will return on our next trip to DC.

Thank Lnmargel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 June 2014

I thought I'd love this restaurant from the moment I walked in because of its cool, sleek, modern vibe. To my surprise, the food surpassed the atmosphere.

I started off with a cocktail after asking the waitress to recommend one (Turkish Storm). Yum! Not sure it was actually all that alcohol packed, but it really tasted great.

My friend and I split six dishes:

Seared Halloumi cheese
Keftedes Kapama
Octopus Santorina
Soft shelled crab (special).

The meal was kicked off with some complimentary bread which wasn't like any I have had before. It was like a very thin pita that was filled with warm air. Delish!

Each dish was beautifully presented and tasted so fresh. Bright, crisp, clean flavors.

The Tabbouleh was gorgeous. It seems like such a simple dish, but I kept going back for more. No hints of bitterness. Perfectly balanced. Outstanding.

The seared cheese was simple, but tasted amazing with the watermelon garnish.

The octopus was a standout. Perfectly fresh with a nice bite, but not chewy. A light charcoal grill taste added flavor. It was presented in a way that was very pleasant to look at so even those who might think "octopus???" might get their mind around trying it. More of a sushi style prep from a looks standpoint.

It was all just so so good. Six dishes was probably a tad more than we needed. We ate most of it, but I was super full at the end. They really are perfectly sized for two to share, but four could share and just order more dishes as well.

Really just fabulous, and I am actually craving the food as I type. Looking for an excuse to return!!

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Thank apomerantz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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