The Little Fruit That Changed The World: Zaytinya’s Grape Festival Is A Smash!

I had the chance to check out Zaytinya’s upcoming Grape Festival last night and upon entering the fabulous Mediterranean hot spot located in Penn Quarter, I was immediately surprised and delighted to see Chef & Owner Jose Andres there for the event!  Chef Jose, whose company ThinkFoodGroup also owns popular DC restaurants Oyamel, Jaleo, MiniBar, and America Eats Tavern, has been hard at work opening wildly successful eateries in LA and Las Vegas, so you can imagine my excitement when I had the chance to talk to one of my all time favorite chefs here in DC!

With the amazing Chef Jose Andres. Photo by Farhang Alem

Anyway, before I go into far too much detail about my conversation with Chef Jose (who by the way, is sick and tired of people not giving DC the culinary credit its due – he wants you to “Root for DC” people!), I’ll tell you about Zaytiniya’s Grape Festival – an amazing menu that definitely should not be missed.

Beginning November 14th and continuing through the 27th, Zaytinya will be paying homage to the “little fruit that changed the world” with a collection of special dishes, cocktails, and wines.  And if that doesn’t get you in the door, the unbelievable Lamb Chops Agourides will.  I’d like to think being of Persian decent has given me some credibility in judging lamb so I don’t say this lightly– this may have been the best lamb chop I’ve ever eaten.  If you eat nothing else, you have to try this amazing concoction of grilled lamb rack chops, white wine reduction sauce, roasted grapes, and honey cap mushrooms. I can explain it as nothing but amazing.

Lamb Chops Agourides. Photo by Farhang Alem.

Okay, enough about the lamb chops – just go try them.  Another amazing menu item was the Gardis Me Ouzo: shrimp flamed in Ouzo with roasted grapes, green olives, and dill.  And while I’m not a fan of Ouzo – I was a huge fan of this dish.

Gardies Me Ouzo. Photo by Farhang Alem.

And when you head over to this delightful festival, make sure you order the signature cocktail, Bacchanalia – Balcones Rumble, lemon juice, house-made grape syrup, and a dash of Peychaud’s Bitters.

Bacchanalia Cocktail. Photo by Farhang Alem.

You can check out more delicious menu items like the Butternut Squash Dolmades and pictures on the Chocolate & Stilettos Facebook Page! Enjoy! xo -KC


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