Zaytinya Hosts Annual Greek Easter Celebration

by guestofaguest · April 6, 2012

From April 8th through April 22nd, José Andrés ThinkFoodGroup and the culinary team at Zaytinya invite Washingtonians to celebrate the Greek Easter festival featuring delectable Mediterranean-inspired dishes presented  by Head Chef Michael Costa.  Throughout the two-week festival, guests can enjoy a Chef’s Experience menu featuring a variety of spring lamb dishes, as well as the return of the popular lamb sandwich cart and Easter cookies. Guests can also toast the holiday and the return of spring with two cocktails created especially for the festival.

[Asparagus Salata]

This Greek Easter, Zaytinya will feature a Chef’s Experience menu showcasing an assortment of lamb dishes to celebrate the holiday.  The ten-course meal is priced at $99 (exclusive of gratuity and tax) for two people. 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.  A complete menu is listed below.  The Greek Easter Chef’s Experience menu is available during both lunch and dinner service. A selection of dishes will also be offered for a la carte dining, and are priced from $8 to $14.

[Lamb Kleftico]

Just in time for spring, Zaytinya will roll out the lamb sandwich cart on the restaurant’s expansive outdoor patio.  Available, weather permitting, Monday thru Friday, from 12 p.m. until sandwiches  are sold out, guests can purchase roasted lamb sandwiches to-go, or to enjoy 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.

[Maroulosalata] [Bizeli Me Yiaourti]

Also back by popular demand, Greek Easter cookies will be available to-go or as the perfect dessert option. Priced at $5 for an assortment including 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.

[Attica] In celebration of Greek Easter, 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.

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.