100 Best Restaurants 2008: Zaytinya
No. 28: Zaytinya
Reviewed By Todd Kliman, Ann Limpert, Cynthia Hacinli, Dave McIntyre
Comments () | Published January 1, 2008
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Address: 701 Ninth St., NW, Washington, DC 20001
Phone: 202-638-0800
Neighborhood: Penn Quarter/Chinatown, Downtown
Cuisines: Turkish, Spanish/Portuguese, Tapas/Small Plates, Lebanese, Greek/Mediterranean
Opening Hours: Monday through Friday for lunch and dinner, Saturday and Sunday for brunch, lunch, and dinner.
Nearby Metro Stops: Metro Center, Gallery Place-Chinatown
Price Range: Moderate
Noise Level: Chatty
Reservations: Recommended
Best Dishes Htipiti; fried eggplant; taramasalata; zucchini-and-cheese fritters; poached salmon with eggplant; veal cheeks with chanterelle-mushroom purée; prawns with charred-tomato sauce; salmon shawarma sandwich (lunch only)

Cuisine: The earthy flavors of Greece, Lebanon, and Turkey reconceived as dazzling nibbles by chef José Andrés at this stylish Penn Quarter mezzeteria.

Mood: White walls, high ceilings, and flickering votives are the stage set for the lively bar and high-decibel dining room.

Best for: Budget-minded foodies, convivial groups, and anyone in search of a bright bite before or after a game or play.

Best dishes: Imam bayildi, tender eggplant with onions and tomatoes; fried mussels with walnut sauce; cured gray-mullet roe; Turkish pastirma, a garlicky variation on cured, air-dried beef; pork-and-orange-rind sausages; whole grilled fish with capers; beets and green beans with skordalia and toasted almonds; milk-chocolate cream with visne (sour cherry) sorbet; Turkish delight, a kitchen sink of a dessert with walnut ice cream, yogurt mousse, honey gelée, and orange-caramel sauce.

Insider tips: The loft dining area is a wonderful perch away from the crowd, offering a bird’s-eye sweep of the restaurant. Servers tend to overestimate how many small plates will satisfy, so hold back when ordering.

Service: ••

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Posted at 12:00 AM/ET, 01/01/2008 RSS | Print | Permalink | Washingtonian.com Restaurant Reviews