Disclaimer: I was invited as a guest to this establishment for a complimentary meal. All opinions expressed in this post are my own
Must try: Any mezze, Kabab platter, Lamb special
Zaytinya is José Andres’s masterpiece in Washington DC.
Set in a striking space, Zaytinya offers modern mezze dishes from the cuisines of Greece, Turkey and Lebanon. The small plate fare here is exceptional. Dishes crafted with zesty vegetables, tender meats and a perfect balance of spices really keep both the palate and the soul gleaming.
The service was outstanding. Our dishes were brought in and whisked away with a gracious efficiency and the quickly disappearing basket of warm pita bread and drinks were constantly replenished throughout our meal. Everyone from our waiter to the maitre d’ kept tabs on how our meal was progressing. The head chef Michael Costa even created a special spicy dip just for us when we asked for a side of hot sauce.
My experience at Zaytinya was near flawless. Other than a slightly chewy octopus dish, there wasn’t a bite or a moment that I didn’t relish at Zaytinya.
Here is some of what we ate:
BANTIJAN BIL LABAN
SEASONAL WILD MUSHROOMS
Ambiance: ☆☆ ½
MY RATINGS FOR THIS MEAL
I recommend: Falafel
And the winner of this years Vendy Awards is……….
Farez “Freddy” Zeideia’s – the King of Falafel and Shawarma.
I really do agree with the king of falafel part. Freddy fries up an unbeatable, oblong shaped falafel, which is absolutely delicious. Its crisp on the outside and the filling is perfectly spiced.
The best part is that you get to try a free falafel while you wait for your order to be cooked up.
Freddy’s halal cart serves up quite a variety of shawarma, falafel and chicken rice combinations.
I really liked the basmati rice that comes with their rice platters. It is very nicely flavored and the pickled turnips that they add to their salad really adds great bite.
All the people working at the King of Falafel and Shawarma cart are super friendly and even though it is a food cart, it has a nice homey, community feel to it.
So if you are in and around Astoria, do make sure that you go and pay homage to the king!
Here is some of what we ate:
CHICKEN AND RICE PLATE
Philippe Massoud has a story to tell at Ilili (which means tell me). Ilili is a high end, contemporary Lebanese restaurant, located in the Flatiron district.
Massoud’s culinary tales are woven into the nouveau Lebanese cuisine he’s created that draws on his beginnings in hospitality in Beirut and experiences that followed suit in the United States. Read the rest of this entry
At Naya, traditional Lebanese cuisine meets designer chic!
The sleek, modern space consists of a narrow passageway lined with cool glass and white leather cubicles. It opens up to a bright back room which is suitable for group seating.
The food at Naya is outstanding and so well priced. You could just eat their Mezze and be full! Read the rest of this entry