Zaytinya, like Hansel in Zoolander, is so hot right now. In fact, it’s kind of been that way ever since chef Jose Andres opened up the place back in 2003. Turkish for “olive oil”, Zaytinya has garnered national acclaim for its innovative mezze (small plate) menu inspired by the Eastern Mediterranean region, (specifically Turkey, Greece, and Lebanon) served up in a white and blue tinged environment that evokes the area in which the food comes from. Everything on the menu, from the kibbeh nayeh (Lebanese style beef tartar, ground to order) to the seared sea scallops in yogurt dill sauce, was created by head chef Mike Isabella and his culinary team, who you might remember from his impressive showing on the last season of Top Chef. Originally from New Jersey, Mike grew up cooking Italian food in his mother’s kitchen before eventually graduating from culinary school and working at several Latin American restaurants in the tri-state area. In 2007 he moved down to Atlanta to work with Pano Karatassos at famed Greek seafooder Kyma. While there he was able to travel throughout the Mediterranean in order to further hone his skills. Judging by the food he now slings at Zaytinya, all that traveling and research clearly paid off.
701 9th St. NW
Washington, DC 20001
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