Breakout Brands

Breakout Brands 2018: Zaytinya

New concept from chef José Andrés a well-oiled Mediterranean machine

Nation’s Restaurant News’ Breakout Brands report, now in its sixth year, showcases emerging restaurant chains ready to go to the next level. Meet all of this year’s brands >>

Zaytinya is Turkish for olive oil, and ThinkFoodGroup’s growing upscale-casual brand earlier this year opened an appropriately slick restaurant in Frisco, Texas.

Olive oil plays a key role in a menu featuring contemporary takes on classic Greek, Turkish and Lebanese dishes in a refined environment.

ThinkFoodGroup chef and owner José Andrés, co-founder and partner Rob Wilder, and company partners developed Zaytinya.

The second location opened as part of a multiuse complex developed by the Dallas Cowboys near the football team’s new headquarters. The original opened in Washington, D.C., in 2002.

Chef Michael Costa’s menu features hot and cold mezze “little dishes” priced from $6 to $14, and dinner entrées like spit-roasted lamb shoulder served family style, priced at $75.

A number of mezze and side dishes are pegged to plant-forward tastes, such as roasted cauliflower with sultanas, caper berries and pine nut purée, and crispy roasted Brussels sprouts with coriander seed, barberries and garlic yogurt. Light, airy housemade pita bread pops up throughout the meal.

The wine list is a sommelier’s dream of Greek, Turkish and Lebanese wines.

The design features Greek-inspired blue and white décor and an open kitchen with a flame grill.

Given the growing popularity of the food and music of the region, Zaytinya is flexing its influence and inspiring other fast-casual concepts.

Contact Ron Ruggless at [email protected]

Follow him on Twitter: @RonRuggless

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