Zaytinya for the Soul

Rare is the occasion to satiate mind, body and spirit all at once. Causality depends on the optimal mix of company, context and comestibles. If you can be New Agey present in such moments, your head and heart will succumb to the essential realization that life is good. And so we return to the places that safeguard fond memories and reassure us that joy is attainable.

For us at Las Recetas de Nini, that place is Zaytinya. We are unapologetic fangirls of José Andrés. We have lived in Spain and we appreciate Andrés' masterful cooking. We have celebrated a wedding, a 50th birthday, a fresh new start in life, a familial détente and much more at Zaytinya. Each visit is intimately therapeutic and meditative.

We dined last week with strangers turned friends. Professionals in the communications industry got an invitation over a listserv and signed up for Restaurant Week lunch. They immediately made conversation and found common ground.

We are not the group pictured at the long table, but we share its spirit. We partook in the savory pleasure of warm, grilled meat, bathing the senses in lusty seasonings, toothsome textures and a pop of colorful acidity. We ended with the sunny sweetness of layered yogurt and apricots, a pillow of creamy comfort to conclude the affair. We thirst for another chance to hydrate the soul and garnish our lives for the better.

Photography: by Leti Kugler

Las Recetas de Nini