100 Best Restaurants 2012: Zaytinya

Tried and True: 10 Restaurants that Have Consistently Offered Very Good Dining


“So many mezze, so little time” is our lament when dining at restaurateur José Andrés’s ode to Greek, Turkish, and Lebanese cuisine. Chef de cuisine Michael Costa’s menu is constantly evolving. One thing worth looking for: aromatic haunches of lamb roasting on an open spit several days a week.

Soaring ceilings and hits of Aegean blue against a white backdrop give a Euro-chic feel to the space, which can get loud. A mezzanine dining area puts you above the crowds, but sometimes it’s more fun to mix it up below, particularly at the long communal table.

What to get: Silky taramasalata; caramelized okra with crispy chickpeas; hunkar begendi, braised lamb shank with eggplant-kefalograviera purée; snail kibbeh; walnut ice cream with orange-caramel sauce; Greek-yogurt cream with Muscat-soaked apricots and pistachio powder.

Open Monday through Friday for lunch and dinner, Saturday and Sunday for brunch and dinner. Moderate.

Ann Limpert
Executive Food Editor/Critic

Ann Limpert joined Washingtonian in late 2003. She was previously an editorial assistant at Entertainment Weekly and a cook in New York restaurant kitchens, and she is a graduate of the Institute of Culinary Education. She lives in Petworth.