Wednesday, February 3, 2010

zaytinya

zaytinya
701 9th street NW (at G street), washington, DC 20001
tel: 202) 638-0800
hours: monday 11:30am-10pm, tuesday-thursday 11:30am-11:30pm, friday-saturday 11:30am-12am, sunday 11:30am-10pm
what was consumed: mezzes! crispy brussel afelia (brussel sprouts, coriander seed,barberries, garlic yogurt), piyaz (warm giant beans, kaleoven roasted tomato, garlic), bantijan bil laban (fried eggplant, roasted garlic-yogurt sauce), midyes (fried mussels, walnut tarator sauce), sea scallops (seared scallops, yogurt-dill sauce), kotopoulo youvetsi (chicken, orzo, tomato kefalograviera cheese) ... and mythos beer
do you watch top chef? i do. i love it. i've had top chef show-watching parties. i wanted to have a party just to have carla cater it. i've been to spike's hamburger joint. i can't wait to visit bryan voltaggio and volt (fredrick, md just seems so far. gotta suck it up!). going to zaytinya to visit mike isabella, then, seems pretty natural (i also had a mike isabella sighting - as i was waiting for the bus on my way home via gallery place/chinatown. sooo exciting! hahaha). so, when shar (friend) came in to town for an overnight trip from nyc and suggested zaytinya (a part of josé andrés' family of great restaurants), i was all for it. great suggestion, shar! i was also super excited about spending time with shar. nyc is so close, and yet so far away. excited to have great food and have shar time! yay~~~~
now shar, being the conscientious individual she is, tried to make reservations online to ensure that we would get a seat. unfortunately, the only reservations available were for less convenient times - a sign of popularity, i'm sure. no fear! i suggested that we should go in and see if there are any seats available, sans reservation. it was just the two of us, so it shouldn't be too big of an imposition, i'd imagined. i was also willing to wait. sitting at the bar is also always an option (and i love sitting at the bar!) lucky for us, we were seated right away. hooray!
we sat down and began to quickly look through the menu. zaytinya's menu is filled with mezzes. i.e., tapas. aka, small plates of utter deliciousness. i love tapas because you get bites of a number of dishes. shar and i looked through the menu and we each chose 3 mezzes (one of which (piyaz) was recommended by our server). while we waited for our mezzes, we enjoyed gooood conversation and the warm bread (what is that bread called?) dipped into an oil/sweet vinegar sauce. i will have to admit, though, that the bread was deceivingly filling. while it looked like puffed flatbread, we couldn't get enough of it! and then, dipped in various sauces, it was totally delicious.
we ordered a series of different mezzes. some vegetarian, two seafood, and one chicken. the brussel sprouts were super delicious (and probably my favorite, if i had to choose. but i'm biased - i looove brussel sprouts). the crispy-ness of the roasted brussel sprouts, with just enough garlic, on a delicious bed of yogurt. shar and i even said we could have probably each had a dish to ourselves. yummmmmm. the scallops were also nicely seared with some amazing flavor, not too fish-y. and i'm glad we took our server's recommendation with the piyaz because it was delicious! beans, kale, and other veggies in a broth that was a bit sour, a bit salty, all delicious. i'll have to say that we were not a fan of the chicken orzo dish. there was something ... missing. what was missing? we couldn't really put our finger on it. as a result, the tomato sauce pulling the dish together was far too sweet for our tastes. we were also really full from the other dishes and the bread, so maybe if we had had it first our impressions would be different? no matter. one last comment: there is a lot of dill on everything. dill in the sauce, dill as garnish, dill sprinkled on everything. i enjoy the flavor of dill (though not too much dill) and the combination of flavors that resulted was very very favorable. nonetheless, i thought i'd mention it here for the dill-haters (poo poo on you! haha).
next time i visit zaytinya, i want to try some of their lamb dishes (people have really enjoyed the lamb dishes). and maybe i'll get another mike isabella sighting - ha! can't wait!

1 comment:

sharock said...

aww conscientious. i try.