Hey ya’ll! So far it has been a great Saturday. It is my day off from being a total health freak, so I had some Phil’s hamburger and have not been obsessing about my fitbit steps (which I totally treat like a competitive game). Anyways so today I’m giving ya’ll a restaurant review today about another amazing meal I ate when I was in Washington. After our day of the zoo and museums, we ended up going to Zaytinya, a Greek restaurant. I haven’t had that much Greek food, so I didn’t really know what to expect. How I was delighted after the experience.
To start out the meal, we had an order of baba ghanoush. It had a little olive oil and some pomegranate seeds in it. This was so delicious. Instead of your typical bread, we ended up getting hot pita served with the meal. Oh how wonderful it was to dip into the spread. My brother chose this one, which I wasn’t expecting because normally being the typical Jews that we are would go for hummus or tzatziki. I was happy with this choice though. It was blended very well because sometimes baba ghanoush can taste a little grainy.
These things are amazing. They were crispy brussels afelia. The dish had brussel sprouts, coriander, barberries, and garlic yogurt. This dish reminded me of the palak chaat from the night before. This time it was brussel sprouts instead of spinach. It was perfectly fried and the yogurt sauce provided a creamy cool texture. All of it mixed very well together. I probably could have eaten about three plates of these for my meals. I will definitely try to recreate these.
Oh how we can’t stay away from fried things. It must be the southerner inside us or it is just that we appreciate good food. These were fried mussels. Yet again another meal with mussels. A different way of preparation though and these were definitely mind blowing. The bread on the outside of the mussel wasn’t too crispy or too soft. Inside the mussel was soft and fresh. Also the batter had a ton of Greek herbs in it, which added a nice flavor to the dish. These were a nice treat to the meal.
This was a special of the night. It was lamb wrapped in phyllo dough. Underneath was a nice yogurt sauce that mixed well with the lamb. It had a little mint in it. This was one of my favorite dishes of the night. The phyllo dough was crispy on the outside and the lamb was so tender on the inside. My brother and I split a half of one. I was so happy that the waiter recommended it. Speaking of the waiter, David, he was so hilarious. He definitely brought a special thing to the meal. I don’t think it would have been as great without him.
These were havuc koftesi. We ended up getting these because when I went to the bathroom there was a review from a top foodie magazine that recommended these as one of the best dishes the restaurant had to offer. While I disagree that this was the best dish, I still thought it was really good. It also was pretty healthy, so I felt good eating it. It had carrots, apricots, and pine nuts inside the little cakes. It was placed on a pistachio sauce. I loved the addition of the nuts not only in the cakes, but in the sauce too. I’m a sucker for pistachio flavored things, so I was really happy.
This was another special of the night: a whole branzino fish. It was so tasty. The fish was incredibly fresh, it had a nice char along the topside of it, and it was incredibly flaky. We let my dad eat most of the fish since he didn’t get to enjoy all of the breaded products, but the few pieces I had were amazing. I was happy that we ended up ordering it. It was also nice that the entire thing was debonned. There is nothing nastier than having a bone in your mouth when you eat a bite of fish.
After we had most of our meal, we decided to get two more dishes because my dad was still hungry. For one of them we got an order of scallops since there was only two on a plate. It was placed on top of a carrot puree and topped with orange and radish. My brother and I split a scallop. It was really delicious. I was a huge fan of their scallops.
The second dish we got was a pork chop. It was on top of a yogurt sauce and had some mint spread rubbed on the top. The lamb was incredibly tender and just melted in your mouth. This was amazing. Pretty much as great as the lamb we had the night before at Rasika. Once again my brother and I split a lamb chop, so that my dad could have an entire one. I was glad we split it because at this point I was getting pretty full.
Then my brother had to go and order five desserts. You thought four was a lot from the night before? Oh no five was a new level for him. Luckily the restaurant had the option of getting just tastings of desserts, so he got four tastings and one that was the real size. This dessert was Turkish delight, which I really enjoyed. It had walnut icecream, yogurt mousse, honey gelee, orange caramel sauce, and caramelized pine nuts. This was just a tasting size. I was shocked. It was huge. I loved the gelee part of this.
This was a full size of a dessert. It was galatopita. It was sort of like an apple pie dessert. Semolina custard espuma, apples, crispy phyllo, almonds, and honey crisp apple sorbet. OMG SO GOOD. Seriously if you love apples and pie, get this. It was like a modern twist on the classic American favorite dish. My brother and I were in heaven eating this.
This is the last dessert I actually took a picture of. Sometimes it is hard taking pictures of food around my brother and dad because as soon as the food comes out they want to dig in with their forks. This was a Turkish coffee cake with sea salt, mastiha ice cream, and pistachios. Yes pistachios again. My true love. This dish was really small. It was just a bite for all of us. The other two desserts were yogurt based parfaits. They were super tiny, but packed with a ton of flavor.
Overall this was an amazing meal. There was no bad dish, the service was amazing, and the atmosphere was nice. I was so happy that we ended up going here. Zaytinya is the place to go for Greek and Mediterranean food in DC. Also try to get David the waiter. He is epic. You will not be disappointed.
What is your favorite Greek dish?
Have you ever had more than one dessert?