Well, the crush isn’t really new. I love, love, love Jose Andrés. And I got to meet him at the introduction of his new menu at Zatinya, a DC Mediterranean staple. All of the food is already amazing there, but they decided to celebrate the Grape Festival by introducing a new menu. Their head chef mentioned that grapes are the one ingredient that tie all of his restaurants together: grapes are in wine served at Oyamel, the sangria served at Jaleo, and now in the new plates at Zatinya.

The night started with some amazing grape cocktails:

Then out came grape leaves (stuffed with butternut squash, pine nuts and rice, and an amazing lemon-garlic-yogurt sauce), and the crab salad, which was divine. It had a great citrus drizzle and a little piece of mint on top to really brighten the whole dish.

The fish and the lamb was really good. Definitely something I’ll order again.

The salad bites were really interesting. The sheep’s milk cheese is made in house (a process similar to ricotta). The shrimp had a bit of grape and dill on top. Not my favorite, but still good.

Me and Lisa, from Dining in DC.

Read below for all the details, including a free wine tasting!

José Andrés and his team at award winning mezze restaurant Zaytinya, led by Head Chef Michael Costa, announce a special two-week festival celebrating the grape, an iconic ingredient of Mediterranean cuisine, from November 14-27. The Grape Festival is designed to highlight the fruit with different variations including, raisins, brined grapes, fresh grapes in different forms, grape vine leaves, and dishes that benefit from smoking over grape vine trimmings. Head Chef, Michael Costa will offer special grape inspired dishes during the festival.

Zaytinya will introduce a selection of new and unique Greek wines chosen by ThinkFoodGroup’s new Wine Director Lucas Paya. The special wines, available exclusively at Zaytinya from Sonata Wine, are produced in various wine regions including Thebes, Macedonia, Crete, and Ismaros. Cocktail fans can look forward to the Turkish inspired Bacchanalia created by ThinkfoodGroup’s Lead Bartender, Owen Thompson. This special cocktail combines grape, lemon, rumble and bitters for a modern twist on the traditional Sira, a popular non-alcoholic drink made primarily of fermented grape. “Bacchanalia” were wild and mystic festivals of the Greco-Roman god Bacchus (or Dionysos), the wine god.

To celebrate the new additions to the wine menu, guests are invited to enjoy a complimentary wine tasting with Sonata Wine on Monday, November 14th and Monday, November 21st from 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM.  On November 22nd, Zaytinya will host 5-course wine dinner featuring special dishes and perfectly paired wines for $85 per person (exclusive of tax and gratuity). In addition to enjoying sweet and savory dishes, dinner guests will have the opportunity to learn more about the new wines directly from Sonata Wine. Zaytinya will announce surprise events for the Grape Festival via social media on facebook and twitter.

Zaytinya will feature the following special menu items for the two week festival:

Grape Festival Specials

Butternut Squash Dolmades

Grape leaves stuffed with butternut squash, rice, pine nuts and tarragon

Served with lemon yogurt    $8

Roka Salata

House made sheep’s milk myzithra cheese, arugula, almonds, grapes, radishes, sumac   $8.50

 Garides me Ouzo

Shrimp flamed in Ouzo, roasted grapes, green olives, dill   $12

Kavouras me Agourido

Jumbo lump crab, green apple and grape salad, Greek yogurt, chilled green grape broth   $15

 Barbounia Tilihita se Klimatofila

Grilled, deboned whole red mullet wrapped in grape leaves, sultans, roasted garlic  Market Price

 Lamb Chops Agourides

Grilled lamb rack chops, white wine reduction sauce, roasted grapes, honey cap mushrooms   $18

 Stafylión Granítes

Grape granita, orange blossom yogurt cream, fresh grapes,

candied citrus   Mezze Style $4, Full Portion $8


~ Dana