100 Very Best Restaurants: #80 – Zaytinya

Ímam Bayildi, stuffed eggplant, at Zaytinya. Photograph courtesy of Katherine Hurd.

Every spring, José Andrés’s Mediterranean restaurant hosts a pop-up marketplace, though on any given night, the place has the feeling of a bustling bazaar. Crowds pack the Aegean-toned eatery, accented with olive-oil vessels and meats turning on spits in the open kitchen. A multi-page menu means not every bite is a home run, but there are tasty options for all: dips and spreads served with warm pita; adventurous plates of lemony snail kibbeh and lamb-tongue souvlaki; and abundant vegetarian options. The bar pours lesser-known coastal spirits and does a tasty spin on a whiskey sour with Greek tsipouro brandy. Moderate.
Also Great: Oysters saganaki; grilled lamb chops with smoked yogurt; seared haloumi with pomegranate; stuffed eggplant.

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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.

Anna Spiegel
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.