What Insiders Are Saying
Another Jose Andres spot with solid tapas. Head to Zaytinya for a power lunch that doesn’t feel like a power lunch.
Was here for a conference and wanted a nice meal on my last day. I booked a place for one, and was seated at a table looking out at the huge wall made of glass. The dining area was so airy, with high ceilings and the glass wall. The staff was extremely attentive, and noticed the light from the setting sun was in the eyes of some diners and immediately the blinds were lowered. The staff was excellent, constantly checking on me and seeing if everything was to my taste. The bread served was a light pita that was accompanied with olive oil and balsamic vinegar, which was light and tasty. I chose the chef’s experience and it was amazing! The meal started with 3 dips (htipiti, tzatziki and hummus), which were light and delicious. Then came the cured and crudo (Turkish styles pastirma, kibbeh Nayeh, which was hand cut veal tartare and grape leaf domades), which were fantastic. The third round consisted of falafel, traditional beef and pine nut kibbeh, sea scallops. There was a single portion of falafel and kibbeh, but two huge sea scallops, seared to perfection. The crispy Brussels afelia (brussel sprouts) and hünkãr begendi (traditional Turkish-braised lamb shank with eggplant-kefalograviera purée) were so good, but at this point, I was not able to finish these last two dishes, especially with the lamb being a full sized portion! Dessert was a amazing experience as well. Greek yogurt and apricots (sounds simple but it is divine! And Turkish delight, which was walnut ice cream with yogurt, honey and orange caramel sauce (my description doesn’t do it justice). The lovely ladies dining beside me informed me of the humanitarian work that José Andrés does and the type of personality he is, and I appreciated my meal and experience so much more! I wished I had known he had other restaurants around DC, because I would have tried to dine at each one! A great dining experience. Definitely try to make a reservation if you are in DC.
Let me start with the servers and service which was certainty top drawer. The ambiance is very nice and we had a window table celebrating a birthday.
The server made some recommendations about how best to enjoy a mixture of dishes and about how many to order and he was "spot on" with his recommendations.
The food was pretty good but to be honest I would not rave about all of it. We had decided to try another of Jose Adres' restaurants even though my Peruvian lady friend did not particular like the Peruvian dishes and one of his other locations.
The Spanakopita was average at best but perhaps that it is the first time I have ever had it served in whatever they call their non-traditional way. I am used to light phyllo layered where if this was phyllo it was wrapped and quite frankly disappointing with too much dough as prepared.
The falafel was OK not great. The chicken dish, the chicken kabob as well as the lamb kabob dish were all good.
All in all it is a nice restaurant but hit or miss on some of the dishes.
Lastly I do have to say it is very reasonably prices and again the servers are wonderful and brought a dessert since it was my girlfriend's birthday.
Not trying to be overly critical but the food generally did not live up the expectations
This is my favorite restaurant. The scallops are so good I've had dreams about them. I have nothing bad to say about this place at all
Excellent as usual. We make one to two trips a year to DC and Zaytinya is a must to have dinner when in the area. Great food, great value.
The mushroom couscous did not have much flavor. Tea for $5 is high, I think.
We were seated in an upstairs are next to a non-working fireplace. The food portions were very small whilst the prices were extremely high for the quantity and the taste offered. The bread was not hot. The food was not at all tasty and the lamb was somewhat tough. Because of too much hype, the management and chefs have forgotten that the essence of any restaurant is in the taste of its food and its service.
The food was wonderful, very flavorful and good portion size. However, we weren't acknowledged at our table for about 15 minutes - no water, no "be right with you". Then we got a bowl of dipping oil and waited longer. Seemed odd. It would have been nice to get the bread along with the oil, and some water. But once we got passed that obstacle and our order was taken, then we were quite satisfied with the food.
This place is very special to us. Love the food and wine so much!
The Hunkar Begendi which is lamb shank with eggplant was deliciously savory. We also loved loved the mushroom saganaki, the beef and lamb meatballs, brussel sprout, and the seared halloumi cheese!
We were in DC and decided to try it. We love Mediterranean food. There’s a Zaytinya that opened close to our house in Texas but have not yet been to it so thought we’d give it a try in DC first. The food was good but portion sizes were very small for what you paid for. 2 small lamb chops was over 20$. I know it’s supposed to be like a tapas style. We’ve had tapas and eat Dim Sum regularly, so fully aware of the small dishes. However, there’s not much on the plate when compared to tapas or Dim Sum. It was good, but just be aware that there’s just not a lot on each plate for the amount you pay. I can’t compare to the one in Texas. Will be curious to see if it’s the same.
I have dined at Zaytinya several times before today’s dinner. Ahead of time I alerted the restaurant we were going for a birthday. We arrived in time but didn’t get seated for twenty minutes and then didn’t see food for thirty minutes. The service was poor and we infrequently saw the wait staff. Half of the tapas we ate were sub par. At around 9:30, staff opened the door and it was very cold out to take all the chairs and tables around us outside. The area cleared out and we were left dining alone in a room. I asked for the manager who comped desserts which were not tasty. I will not go back here I feel Zaytinya has gone down hill.
The food and service were fantastic. We had a lovely evening.
Took some business colleagues and the tapas mentality is such a good way to be social with clients. Still one of my favorite restaurants and will always look to coming back.
Took a client here and he was thankful to not have another “steak dinner”! Unique experience and delicious food! Service was fabulous!
It is a little noisy at full capacity and the tables are close together (upstairs). But we enjoyed it!!
I thought it was great although our table was kind of midstream so waitstaff and customers kept edging around us. Maybe a few too many tables for the space? Otherwise the staff was well informed about gluten free and pleasantly casual but observant.
Love this restaurant. Every time I am in the DC area I try to dine at Zaytinya. It never disappoints .
Our favorite meal in DC during our week of dining out. Fresh, bright, vibrant food. Loved sharing from the small plates, and the service was wonderful. Relaxing environment with delicious food (favorites were the roasted red pepper spread, falafel and branzino). And very well priced. Wonderful!
Enjoyed a wonderful late lunch - selected the mezze lunch menu; 4 small plates (vegetarian and fish) for $25 which I consider excellent value given the quality of the food - fresh, unusually and beautifully seasoned, and delightfully presented.
Zaytinya was way too loud. The food quality has deteriorated and thus is no longer a good food value. The zucchini fritters were saturated with oil, indicating an improper frying temperature. It’s sad to see a once-venerable establishment go so far downhill. Service was spotty. It seemed like the server was there, abruptly interrupting flow of conversation, whenever we didn’t need anything, but when we did need something, we had to seek him out. It was the opposite of good service.
As always, Zaytinya was great. The wine list is especially good, with many Greek and Lebanese wines that are difficult to find elsewhere.
We had a wonderful dinner on a Sunday evening. It was spring like so we sat outside, which was lovely, under a heat lamp. The food is fabulous, waiter was helpful. Only complaint was the music on a loudspeaker which was too loud. We asked for it to be turned down but that didn’t happen - made it hard to have good conversation, which we had hoped for .
Food was great as always.
In making reservation we requested one of the quieter areas and we were, in fact, seated in one of the quietest corners.
Absolutely fabulous! We started at the bar, then moved to a lovely intimate corner booth. While we fell in love with each other, we fell madly deeply for the amazing selection. We were full, but wanted them to just keep pulling surprises from the kitchen. We will most certainly be back soon and will recommend to any of our traveling friends. Thanks
Made a reservation & got there early but had to wait—went to bar and told hostess that we were going to wait at the bar. They forgot about us 15mins after our reservation time. Had to go back and tell them we were still there 🙄. Food was good but disappointed about sizes—in particular the octopus—$18 for what looked like one tentacle. Truly awful. $9 for 4 small meatballs. I don’t mind paying more for a good meal but those were only ok at a premium price. I do LOVE the fresh homemade pita bread and the service aside from the hostess, was pretty good. The table we had near the window was nice too. Not sure if that was enough to warrant another visit in the future or a recommendation.
Service was slow and impersonal. Dishes were brought to the table and not delivered to individuals. Often we had to ask three times to hear what a dish was. We would have ordered more drinks if asked, but did not get the opportunity. Two of us ordered chefs experience which came with dessert but no one else was asked if they wanted dessert when the time came. Extra spoons were provided but one of us had a cold so sharing was not really an option.
Amazing food! Interesting wine list! So many delicious flavors! I highly recommend for any occasion or none at all!
Alas, Zatinya has lost its culinary zing. Although crowded and lively, the food was meh. Lamb chops were a perfect medium rare; however grilled octopus was overcooked. Of the trio--hummus, eggplant, and taramasalata , eggplant was the clear winner. Chosen for its proximity to the theater, Zatinya is no longer a foodie destination. There are far better restaurants serving Mediterranean cuisine in the District and its environs. Despite its limitations, the restaurant was packed with diners, including many large groups celebrating birthday's etc. Service was acceptable and ambience pleasant.
We were super excited about this restaurant, but unfortunately left disappointed. The lamb chops were very tough, extremely over cooked. The kibbeh was also over cooked. Our server also seemed a bit inexperienced, which may have led to the missteps. Rather than letting us taste the wine we selected first, she immediately poured the entire bottle into a decanter. The wine was not at all what we were expecting, but we were stuck with the whole bottle at that point. On a positive note, everyone loved the crispy Brussels and spanakopita. However, for the money, we should have loved a lot more.
The food is good but the service is a bit slow, which changes the whole experience. But, I would definitely come back and give it another shot.
Great food. Portions: value ratio is pretty low but enjoyable if you’re down to spend a lot of money. Try everything- truly nothing is bad here.
Always good -- great pre-game! Good service, love the food and the olive oil, balsamic and pita are the best.
Prompt service, delicious food, good value.
Every dish was solid if not amazing. A nice experience.
Had the Chef’s Experience. Amazing!!
Family trip. Recommended by friend. Service was great and good choices were excellent including new wines
One night in DC and chose here off a friends recommendation. Great choice, great food. But make a reservation and wait a lot less.
Every dish was amazing! This is a MUST if in the DC area.
My wife and I travel quite a bit, so we get to sample eateries all over America. The food at Zaytinya is .Fantastic! Drinks were yummy as well. Top Quality all Around.