Middle Eastern Small Plates

  • 91
  • 2015 Best Mediterranean/Middle Eastern
  • 2016 Best Mediterranean/Middle Eastern

This Penn Quarter mainstay from celebrity chef José Andrés offers an innovative menu of mezze – middle eastern small plates – in a lively, modern setting.

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What the Food Critics are Saying

“No matter your pleasure, this kitchen aims to meet it, with dozens of dishes that ferry you to Greece, Lebanon and Turkey without your having to leave Penn Quarter.[…] On the light side are iced oysters tarted up with yogurt, dill and wrinkly-red, sweet-tart barberries. More robust: morsels of lemony lamb tongue wreathed in crisp green beans strewn with pickled red chilies and sweetened with sultanas. But it would be just as easy to make an indoor picnic of the many vegetable attractions, among them a dip of roasted red peppers, feta cheese and thyme — a great companion to the warm, house-baked pita — and giant white beans with juicy tomatoes, verdant kale and a haze of garlic.” – Washington Post

“Fritters made with snails, each morsel perched on a coin of crisp potato and cumin-tinged yogurt, are like no other kibbeh you've ever had: a revelation. The more I eat, the more lust I feel for the luscious combinations of Greek, Lebanese and Turkish flavors that leave the kitchen...Not to be missed: phyllo filled with shredded lamb if you dig meat, ovals of red lentils in lettuce wraps if you don't, or any of the refreshing sorbets.” – Washington Post Magazine

“It’s hard to imagine a meal here that doesn’t begin with swiping puffy pita bread through velvety baba ghanoush topped with pomegranate seeds, or tzatziki that’s fragrant with dill. But the beauty of this expansive menu—inspired by Greece, Turkey, and Lebanon—is that experimentation is nearly always rewarded. From a hunk of seared haloumi cheese with oranges and dates to pearls of couscous blanketed in earthy mushrooms, this is a small-plates menu that justifies the genre.” – Washingtonian

From the Chef

“Food is about making an interaction with ingredients. If you talk to them, they will always tell a story.” – Chef José Andrés


The two-story space is light and airy – with white walls, a mix of glass and stone – and lights dangling from soaring ceilings. Downstairs is the main dining room and bar; upstairs, there’s additional seating by the fireplace. Everywhere, the space hums with the din of happy diners.

On the Side

Zaytinya takes its name from the Turkish word for olive oil.


  • Michelin Bib Gourmand 2016
  • Number 55: 100 Very Best Restaurants 2016 - Washingtonian
  • DC: Top 5 Middle Eastern Restaurants 2016 - Table8
  • 100 Very Best Restaurants, 2015 – Washingtonian
  • Three stars from the Washington Post, 2014
  • Wine Spectator's Award of Excellence, 2014-2015
  • 25 Best Restaurants in DC – Zagat
  • Zagat rating of 4.7 out of 5

701 9th Street Northwest
Washington, DC 20001

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  • Price Range: $$
    Atmosphere: Lively, Modern, Refined, Trendy/Scene, Upscale
  • Dress Code: Smart Casual
    Good For: Foodies, Groups, Hot Spot, Late Night
  • Noise Level: Average
  • Wine Spirits: Full Bar
    Phone: (202) 638-0800
  • Private Dining Room: Yes