Zaytinya last night
So, my first trip to Zaytinya with a group for my birthday was last night. Only one of the people I went with had been before, but everyone had been to Jaleo.
The food was very, very good - I don't remember everything, but the falafal was very tasty, the warm bread, the carrot apricot fritters, the pide, etc. While I don't eat meat/fish, the other people said the raw beef (kibbe) and the mussles were fantastic. In fact, they ordered a second serving of the beef!
And, dessert. Faaaantastic. I had the chocolate and sour cherry dessert that was absolutely outstanding.
The service was above average, not overbearing and they cleaned the empty plates away quickly.
All in all, it was a great meal. 6 people, about $130 before tip (everyone had dessert, too).
Two thumbs up.
We've always found the falafel to be overfried, the kibbe to be boring and generally the dishes to be either highly over or underseasoned. The only advantage to that place for me is it's somewhere vegetarians can eat that I can usually find one or two mezze that I find to be acceptable.
"We've always found ...generally the dishes to be either highly over or underseasoned."
Well maybe we can get Goldilocks to fix you up with a bowl that is juuuuust right. ;-)
Actually, the only kibbe I've had at Zaytinya was fried in a chickpea shell with a bite of prune stuffed into the ground beef. The inclusion of fruit is a reall Jose Andres signature. Bad for those that don't like cooked fruit, but wonderful for the many of us who do.
I love Zaytinya - one of the most reliable (and reasonable) restaurants in DC - and one of the few that really offers something unique in the Mediterranean "Small Plates" arena.