We all know the official harbingers of DC spring: cherry blossoms, hordes of eighth graders, and delectable seasonal lamb dishes popping up on restaurant menus all over town. If you’re a dyed-in-the-wool lamb-lover, you’ll want to set up camp next month at Zaytinya, the popular José Andrés outpost that, according to the restaurant’s publicist, is the largest purchaser of lamb on the restaurant DC scene.
Last night, Zaytinya held a reception (which I attended on behalf of Flavor Magazine) to unveil a lamb-centric menu available during its annual two-week celebration of Greek Easter, featuring a variety of dishes that play a significant role in Greek Easter traditions, many of which are only enjoyed this time of year.
The Easter menu will be available April 8-22, and diners will be able to enjoy its offerings in a variety of ways. All of the special dishes will be available as part of a ten-course tasting menu ($99 for two people), and individual dishes will be offered as specials on the restaurant’s regular a la carte menu.
In addition, Zaytinya will reprise two popular items from past Easter celebrations: a lamb sandwich cart featuring spit-roasted lamb on fresh pita with tzatziki and pickled onions (the cart will be located on the restaurant’s outdoor patio, where guests can enjoy the sandwiches picnic-style or purchase them to go); and an assortment of Greek Easter cookies available as a dessert or in a take-home bag. The restaurant is also offering a pair of specialty gin-based cocktails during the festival.
See below for pictures of select dishes from last night’s reception. Learn more about Zaytinya Greek Easter festival (full menu coming soon) here.
Zaytinya Greek Easter menu
Anastasis (specialty cocktail #1): Beefeater gin, Cocchi Americano, kumquat liqueur, lemon juice, sour cherry sphere
Glossa: thinly sliced lamb’s tongue, potato skordaila, green olives, pickled red chilis, celery, candied pistachios
Spanakorizo: 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
Greek Easter lamb kleftico: spit-roasted lamb, kefalograviera cheese, English pea skordalia, feta cheese, dill
Attica (specialty cocktail #2): rose-infused Plymouth gin, lemon juice, house-made grenadine
Loukaniko Me Patates: traditional house-made lamb sausage scented with orange and cumin, potato, garlic
Tsoureki bread pudding: macerated strawberries, candied almonds, orange flower ice cream
Assortment of Greek Easter cookies