Sunday, October 14, 2012

DC Spotlight: Turkish Mezze at Ezme and Zaytinya

Most vegetarians know that Mediterranean and Middle Eastern restaurants are a great source for healthy, meat-free meals that are also rich in protein.  Today's post spotlights two of my favorite local restaurants specializing in Turkish mezze (small plates).

Ezme is located in Dupont Circle in a small, intimate, and elegant space.  Its menu clearly identifies vegan items and also includes a vegetarian tasting menu with wine pairings.

Ezme's red lentil soup

Ezme's yesil salad (mixed green salad with sweet basil dressing)

Ezme's hummus, coban salatasi (tomato, cucumber, pepper, and onion salad), 
dolma (grape leaves), mercimek kofte (lentil cakes), and homemade bread

Zaytinya is one of several popular Penn Quarter restaurants owned by local celebrity chef Jose Andres (I previously wrote about his nearby Mexican restaurant, Oyamel, here).  Zaytinya is larger and more upscale than Ezme and usually requires advance reservations.  The menu includes an entire page of vegetable mezze and also offers a number of meat-free salads, spreads, and pides (flat breads).

Zaytinya's htipiti (roasted red pepper and feta spread) and hummus

Zaytinya's tabouleh (parsley salad) and homemade pita bread

Zaytinya's falafel
Both Ezme and Zaytinya are included on the Washington, DC Restaurants page of this website and are equally delicious.

Ezme on Urbanspoon

Zaytinya on Urbanspoon