Washington DC-Northwest Washington
May 11, 2018
Loud and beautiful mid-priced Mediterranean restaurant bar inspired by the cuisine of Greece, Lebanon and Turkey – yep, it’s mezze country. Since opening in 2002, this place has become a much loved dining spot, and it’s easy to see why. The food is courtesy of chef José Andrés and his ThinkFoodGroup, with an emphasis on innovative takes on classic cuisine. Small plates of the delicious appetizers are delivered as soon as you sit down, be it at the bar, a family table upstairs, or downstairs – all romantic – by the fireplace. Mezze choices include a tangy lemon and spinach squid and a raw beef with cracked wheat, but it’s the strong drinks served in the open-plan bar that get you in the mood. Thirtysomethings in suits and the odd visitor from the Hill sip on beers, cocktails and Greek and Mediterranean wines, while guests dining at tables nearby look as chilled as if they were on Santorini. There’s a delicious brunch menu (Lebanese style French toast, anyone?) where you can enjoy a selection of organic teas or start the day as you mean to go on with a mimosa. A creative choice of cocktails includes some delightfully original drinks with a distinctly Zaytinya spin: try the Harissa Fizz (Silver tequila, house-made harissa, ginger liqueur, lime juice and lemon soda) or the Beirutopia (that’s vodka, blood orange, lemon juice and vanilla bean syrup) or even the Istanbul, Not Constantinople you’re singing that now, aren’t you?- which includes bourbon and Turkish apricot nectar in its list of ingredients. The venue holds special events throughout the year, especially tied into the Greek holidays, so keep an eye on your calendar.