Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Preview: Zaytinya's Annual Greek Easter Celebration

During the two weeks of April 8th through April 22nd, José Andrés, ThinkFoodGroup and the culinary team at Zaytinya invite you to celebrate the Greek Easter festival featuring Mediterranean-inspired dishes presented by Head Chef Michael Costa.  In the Greek Orthodox tradition, the church calendar is calculated on the Julian calendar; therefore Greek Easter sometimes falls on a different date from the Protestant or Catholic holiday. Rich in heritage, Greek Easter is a time for families to honor the rebirth of spring.  The holiday is considered one of the most sacred celebrations and is observed through religious ceremonies, and festive gatherings overflowing with traditional dishes.  Easter dishes play a significant role and many are only enjoyed during this special time. Guests can enjoy the Chef's Experience menu (the full menu is listed at the bottom), lamb sandwiches, Easter cookies and cocktails inspired by the festival.  This is a celebration not to be missed!

The Chef’s Experience menu showcasing an assortment of lamb dishes to celebrate the holiday.  The ten-course meal is priced at $99 for two people and is available during both lunch and dinner. It includes items such as Arni me Sparangia, spit-roasted lamb shoulder with asparagus, ladolemono and dill; Mayiritsa, traditional Easter soup with lamb's liver, caramelized onions, short grain rice, egg and lemon broth; and Asparagus Salata, white asparagus tzatziki, pistachios, green asparagus, and lemon zest; Spanakorizo, rice pilaf with wilted spinach and tomatoes, spinach puree, preserved cherry tomatoes and feta.  Additionally, a selection of dishes will also be offered  a la carte ranging from $8 to $14. 

Just in time to take advantage of the beautiful weather we've been having, Zaytinya will also have its popular lamb sandwich cart available on the expansive patio. The sandwiches are available, weather permitting, Monday thru Friday, from 12 p.m. until sandwiches are sold out and guests can take them to-go, enjoy them on the patio picnic-style.  Priced at $11, these savory sandwiches will feature spit-roasted lamb served on oven-fresh pita, with tzatziki and pickled onions.  Limited picnic table seating will be available on the patio.

Make sure to save room for dessert!  Priced at $5, Greek Easter cookies are available to go. The assortment includes:  Paximadakia, a Greek biscotti-type cookie flavored with citrus zest; Pastoules Amygthalotes, traditional almond cookies; Melamokarina, spiced walnut cookie soaked in honey syrup; and Kourabiedes, crescent shaped cookies made with pine nuts and Metaxa.

The cocktails also highlight Greek flavors in honor of the celebration.  José Andrés’ ThinkFoodGroup Lead Bartender Owen Thomson has created two specialty cocktails. Cocktail offerings include the Attica ‘Attikn’ named after the Retsina wine producing island. The cocktail is made from a combination of Plymouth gin infused with rose buds, lemon juice, house-made grenadine and garnished with Retsina air.  Next is the Anastasis created with Beefeater gin, Cocchi Americano, kumquat liqueur and lemon juice.  Both beverages will be served throughout the festival and are priced at $13 each. 

Greek Easter
Chefs Experience Menu
two people, ten courses $99 (excluding tax and gratuity)

traditional lamb avgolemono broth, short grained rice, caramelized onions, lamb’s liver

Asparagus Salata
white asparagus tzatziki, pistachios, green asparagus, lemon zest

Greek Easter Maroulosalata
green and red tango lettuce, caramelized myzithra cheese, ladolemono, flowers

thinly sliced lamb’s tongue, potato skordalia, green olives, pickled red chilis, celery, candied pistachios

rice pilaf with wilted spinach and tomato, spinach puree, feta cheese, preserved cherry tomatoes

Bizeli me Yiaourti
english peas, garlic yogurt, pistachios, micro lemon mint

Arni me Sparangia
lamb shoulder, asparagus, ladolemono, dill

Loukaniko me Patates
traditional house made lamb sausage scented with orange and cumin, potato, garlic

Greek Easter Lamb Kleftico
spit roasted lamb, kefalograviera cheese, english pea skordalia, feta, dill


Tsoureki Bread Pudding
Mascerated strawberries, candied almonds, orange flower ice cream

About Zaytinya
Part of José Andrés ThinkFoodGroup, Zaytinya serves an extensive array of various mezze, “little dishes,” reflecting the rich regional diversity of classical and contemporary Greek, Turkish and Lebanese cuisine.  Open seven days a week, Zaytinya is located at 701 9th St., NW, in the heart of the Penn Quarter. For additional information call (202) 638-0800 or visit www.zaytinya.com.  

No comments: