A Good Reason for a Great Meal: A Visit to Zaytinya

Today was a beautiful, sunny day in Washington, D. C, considering all of the unpredictable snow and cold weather that we have had in previous weeks.  It was a great day to hear the Washington Bach Consort, who I review regularly in an informal capacity.  For me today’s afternoon of music was a diversion from my chaotic world that led right to glorious food!  Just before the holidays, I had been given a several gift cards by Washington Life Magazine, and had not had a chance to use them.   My trek downtown led me through the doors of Zaytinya , a restaurant featuring Greek and Turkish cuisine.  Honestly, it was my first time experimenting out of my normal palette of Asian, American Fare and of course, you guessed it:  Soulfood.  The opportunity was presented itself and I dove in head first!

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The contemporary, sleek look of the building has fascinated me for a while.  I had admired it from afar in my sojourns downtown and now I was beholding it up close.  The lighting and design all made for an ambience that was quite delightful.  My waiter could tell (even though I thought I was being assertive.) I was not sure what to order, so he suggested I try the lunch mini plates-served in three courses for $25.  It sounded like a plan to me!  To start out, this basket of hot, fluffy pita-like bread was placed on the table.  It was divine!  It had the illusion of being light, but had I eaten all of them, I would not have had enough room for my meal.  What a delight found in simple bread!

Course 1:  Please forgive me that I do not have a picture of course one!  The fried eggplant was so tasty, I devoured it before I could even think to take a picture.

Course 2:  Well, you have heard people say that there are a million ways to cook chicken.  I believe that is true.  This was the grilled chicken with grilled blossom tomatoes and onions.  I must admit, I did not care for the yogurt like accompaniment to the meal. But overall, it was a tasty dish and I enjoyed the presentation of the food on the plate as well.

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Course 3-It was a salmon filet cooked medium well.  The seasoning was not over done and you could really taste the freshness of the fish.  It was a perfect partner to the grilled chicken.  For a first timer to Mediterranean fare, I think I struck it rich with Zantinya.  The tasty meal had me prepared for dessert. 

Ah….Dessert!  The end to a lovely experience was Turkish Delight!  You never can go wrong with ice cream with a few embellishments!

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If you are looking for a wonderful new experience, try Zaytinya, and tell them that I sent you!

 

The restaurant is located at 701 9th Street, N.W. 202.638.0800

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A musician living in Washington, D. C., Patrick D. McCoy is the Performing Arts Columnist for Washington Life Magazine and Director of Music at Trinity Church (DC).  Follow his work here.

 

 

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