Zaytinya offers a Mezze menu of Greek, Lebanese and Turkish food. It's huge, with high ceilings and loads of window glass. Because it's packed, on entering it presents a wall of sound. The word 'buzz' must have originated here.
Luckily, we'd booked in advance, but because we had to wait for our table our friendly server brought us a complimentary basket of pitta breads, oils and hummus.
Later she brought a second basket, also free. The pittas were light as air, warm and still puffed up.
We ordered wild blue catfish in an ouzo batter, beef and lamb meatballs in rustic tomato sauce, crispy eggplant fritters with garlic yogurt, barberries and mint cardamon and seared haloumi with dates, mint and pistachio.
All the food was outstanding and choosing a favourite would be hard. If pressed, the rustic tomato sauce was unlike any I've ever tasted and such a blast of rich flavour.
Desserts were Turkish Delight with walnut ice cream, orange caramel sauce and caramelized pine nuts, then Greek yogurt with muscat soaked apricots, vanilla yogurt cream and dustings of crushed pistachios. This one was a contender for a 'Best Dessert I’ve Ever Eaten Award' and so good I didn’t want to come to the end.
We loved the whole experience, for that's what it was - not just dinner.
This must be the best place to eat in DC.
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