Last night we went to dinner with Margie and Dave, our extended family, our best friends of 35 years, and as always we had a great time. The four of us are "foodies" and have enjoyed going to restaurants in many of our nation's cities; we especially like the various "Restaurant Week" happenings. This is when a city sets aside a whole week and a number of restaurants participate by offering prix fixe menus: usually three or four courses, including dessert, for $20 or $30 dollars. It's a great deal and encourages diners to try new places.
This past August, during DC's Restaurant Week, we tried ZAYTINYA and liked it so much, decided to re-visit it. Before 9/11, we could get into DC in a half an hour. Not so anymore. Lots of streets have been blocked off and traffic is brutal. We were within nine blocks of the restaurant in about 20 minutes from leaving home, but it took us almost 40 minutes to go that nine blocks!
ZAYTINYA is a Middle Eastern tapas restaurant; a combination of Turkish, Armenian, and Greek cuisines served in meze or small plates. Choices are plated to either serve one or be shared by three or four, so when I say we ordered 10 different dishes, what initially sounds gluttonous is perfect in providing a small taste for four. We shared a beet salad, a fatoush (a salad w/tomato, radishes, baby greens in a pomegranate vinaigrette), roasted cauliflower, squash fritters with pistachio sauce, crispy eggplant in garlic yogurt, short ribs done to perfection, spanokopita, sword fish kabobs, and chicken tebeh. All this was topped off with dark, rich, coffee (decaf, but rich nonetheless). Again, it was enough that we each got a small taste and left without feeling full. The food was heavenly and the service exceptional.
In the spirit of the season we decided to drive by the National Christmas Tree which is on the Ellipse (that part of DC that connects the Mall (where the Washington Monument is) to the White House. Having worked in DC in the past, Richard is expert in getting around town (so are Margie and Dave having worked for Treasury and Customs, respectively) and we managed to do so with a minimum of swearing (mostly Richard's). I wanted to take a photo of the tree to share with you, but because of the driving restrictions, we really couldn't get close enough and frankly, it was too damn cold to get out of the car (parking is atrocious) and walk, but it was still pretty. The great news, I think, is that even on a Saturday night, even with the roads being blocked off and horrendous traffic, people were feeling good about being in our Capitol. The place was full of life. (And by the way, they've already begun construction of the viewing stands for the Inauguration.)
- I am a retired English teacher and department head, the mother of three, grand mother of three, and have been married to the same man for 42 years. I subscribe to Dr. PM Forni's concept of Civility. I was born in South Philadelphia and grew up in the 'burbs. I love soft pretzels and cheesesteaks, the Phillies, the Eagles, and San Diego. I love being Mom, Aunt Kathy, Nona Kathy, and Teacher. I spend a lot of time in my gardens in the spring and summer, and in the winter I plan what I'm going to plant. I also am an avid reader and photographer.