The first time I heard about Zaytinya was the fall of my freshman year when my cousin raved to me about going there with her sister for a bonding night. She bragged about how it has the best food in the world and how you can’t go without a reservation made ahead of time. Naturally, I knew I had to see it for myself. It turns out that my first post for Guest of a Guest last semester was about the best tapas eateries in D.C., so once again I came across Zaytinya.
For my mom’s birthday in May (yes, this post is delayed), I decided to take her to Zaytinya because I really wanted a fun, delicious and different dinner. That’s exactly what we got!
Location: 701 9th St NW
Time: 8pm on a Thursday
Order: Baba ghannouge ($7), Crispy Brussels Afelia ($9), Spanakopita ($8.5), Falafel ($8.5), Mushroom Couscous ($10), Salmon Bil Zanzabir ($10.5), Turkish Delight (Complimentary)
Review: OH. MY. GOODNESS. You know I love a restaurant when those are the only words I can muster. This place is really worth the hype—from the quality of the food to the quality of the service, I couldn’t be happier. I’ll review each item individually. The baba ghannouge was flavorful and definitely unique; personally, I enjoyed it but wasn’t crazy about it. On the other hand, my mom said it was the best she’d ever had. The brussels sprouts were so so tasty and had a nice kick to them. The spanakopita was special in that it came in a log instead of individual triangles; it was served very hot and really packed a lot of spinach in it.
The falafel was tiny but really scrumptious and crunchy. The mushroom couscous was much thicker and bigger than most couscous, but I was obsessed with it. I’m craving some right now… Anyway, the salmon was divine and had the perfect ginger sauce—it just fell apart and melted in my mouth! The waiter brought out a Turkish Delight on the house when I sneakily told him we were celebrating my mom’s birthday. Needless to say, it was delicious and ideally sweet. Long story short, my mom and I adore Zaytinya and can’t wait to go again!