The ancient trade routes and bountiful cultures that surrounded the Mediterranean Sea through history give rise to some of the most inventive and tantalizing cuisines that Europe has to offer. These dishes are still enjoyed around the world today, and you don’t have to venture far to experience the magic that the Mediterranean has to offer. These local restaurants whisk their customers away across the Atlantic, serving the best of Italian, Greek, Turkish, and other international foods.
Defined and directed by the innovative master chef José Andrés, Zaytinya specializes in mezze dishes that go back to the roots of Greek, Turkish, and Lebanese cuisine. The restaurant strives to deliver authentic Mediterranean but with a modern twist, taking each small plate to the next level and creating a one-of-a-kind experience. Customers consistently recommend the grape leaves and Turkish delight as a favorite.
Agora serves Turkish small plates paired with traditional cocktails in an artistic setting complete with mood and lighting. The customer service is consistently pleasant and fast, which combines with the small tapas-style dishes to make Agora the ideal place for a quick bite. As an added touch of authenticity, the establishment carries olive oil bottled fresh on a family farm in Foca, Turkey.
Fig and Olive
Offering Mediterranean Fare in a unique space designed to emulate the feel of the French Riviera, Fig & Olive Washington DC restaurant is known for the tastes it brings to its dishes with the addition of a variety of flavored olive oils. The Matador cocktail and their signature crostini are very popular among their customers.
Fiola Mare strives to capture the flavors of the Mediterranean Sea itself, serving Italian-style seafood dishes from sea scallops to lobster ravioli. Some reviews do point out that the food is a little pricey for the portion sizes, but nearly all customers still recommend the restaurant for its unique and mouthwatering cuisine. The calamari, which is pan-fried next to the table, is a particular favorite.
Chef Mike Isabella founded Kapnos to try to recreate culinary experiences he had while traveling and studying in Greece. The kitchen boasts two wood-fire grills with rotating spits and a stone oven for baking authentic Greek flatbreads. The kitchen staff use these spits to roast whole animals over the course of the day, then serve cuts to customers during the evening for an authentic flame-roasted taste. Wood-grilled octopus is the chef’s signature, and customers highly recommend the spanikopita and the dessert bread pudding as well.
Barcelona Wine Bar and Restaurant
A Spanish tapas-style restaurant geared toward wine aficionados, Barcelona Wine Bar offers plenty of food to go along with its famous drinks. Reviews consistently mention their variety of quality Spanish cheeses, and the desserts, in particular, receive a great deal of attention, especially the creme Catalan and churros. The place is very busy and customers strongly recommend making reservations since it does get quite busy in the evenings. But even if you just drop in, the consensus is that the food is always worth the wait.