100 Very Best Restaurants 2017: Zaytinya


The dining room at Zaytinya restaurant in Washington, DC. Photograph by Chris Campbell.

José Andrés’s 15-year-old dining room is starting to show wear, but the sprawling mezze menu of Greek, Lebanese, and Turkish flavors still feels fresh if you know what to order. Start by pairing complimentary warm fluffs of pita with any of the spreads, particularly taramasalata (creamy carp-roe dip) or hummus topped with ground lamb and pickled vegetables. For a leisurely pace, order in waves—“as they’re ready” plates can quickly crowd the table. Shrimp in a buttery, lemony bath with dill and mustard seeds has long been a highlight. For something a little meatier, try the tender lamb-tongue souvlaki with a salad of celery, olives, and white raisins. Moderate.

Also great: Ouzo-battered blue catfish; grilled lamb-rib chops with smoked tzatziki; zucchini-cheese patties with caper yogurt; Turkish delight.

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 Logan Circle.

Food Editor

Anna Spiegel covers the dining and drinking scene in her native DC. Prior to joining Washingtonian in 2010, she attended the French Culinary Institute and Columbia University’s MFA program in New York, and held various cooking and writing positions in NYC and in St. John, US Virgin Islands.

Jessica Sidman
Food Editor

Jessica Sidman covers the people and trends behind D.C.’s food and drink scene. Before joining Washingtonian in July 2016, she was Food Editor and Young & Hungry columnist at Washington City Paper. She is a Colorado native and University of Pennsylvania grad.

Kristen Hinman
Articles Editor

Kristen Hinman has been editing Washingtonian’s features since 2014. She joined the magazine after editing politics & policy coverage for Bloomberg Businessweek and working as a staff writer for Voice Media Group/Riverfront Times.