Passed by this place many times: Zaytinya.

It’s located near the Convention Center and across the street from the 9th Street NW exit of the Gallery Place Metro Station…so it’s easy to get to. The outside is quite modern with a very large piece of sculpture near the front entrance so there’s no way to miss this place.

The offerings are Mediterranean small plates or mezze, which makes it a great place for a group to dine…and sample all it has to offer.

So…..since this wasn’t a group effort, my selections were a bit more focused. Started with the hommus which was quite typical and paired well with the very light pita. I followed this with the octopus Santorini…..grilled to perfection and delivered on a bed of yellow split pea purée….excellent….if you like octopus.

Finished with the mezze of Turkish coffee chocolate cake served with mastiha (from an evergreen tree found in Greece) ice cream topped with pistachio.

Wines are almost entirely from the Mediterranean…..Turkey, Lebanon, Israel and Greece. My choices were a very nice tart dry rosé (red fruits) from the Bekaa Valley and for dessert, a light vinsanto from Greece. Unlike the Italian example, this was lighter with more hints of raisins instead of walnuts.

Service was acceptable but a bit slow. The tables and seating are in need of a bit of an update otherwise the space is open and lovely. In the summer, al fresco dining is offered on an adjacent patio.

Visit website