When I'm in DC for work, I always try to make my way over to Zaytinya - which means "olive oil" in Turkish - for lunch or dinner at least once. It's an easy walk from the Convention Center if you're there for a conference, or located directly across from the Gallery Place/Chinatown Metro stop on the Red, Green and Yellow lines.
The inside of the restaurant is sleek and modern and it has a great outdoor patio for al fresco dining (weather permitting) However, as much as I love the atmosphere of Zaytinya it's the food that keeps me coming back whenever I'm in town. World-traveling chef Jose Andres and his team have created a menu of fantastic small plates (mezze) inspired by the cuisine of Turkey, Greece and Lebanon (my mouth is watering as I write this just thinking about it!) Smaller portion plates are particularly great if dining alone or fun to share if you're in town with your team or clients.
Head to Zaytinya if you want a break from the steak or seafood restaurants that are plentiful in DC - and have an order of delicious baba ghannouge for me!
Let me know if you go and if so, what's your favorite dish? Or do you have another favorite restaurant near the convention center?
701 9th Street NW
Washington DC 20001
Corner of 9th and G Streets