Hi all :)
This is just to share a few bits about my dining experience in Tbilisi during the recent trip. Hope some of you might find it interesting.
Must say, quality of food (also wine and brandy) in Georgia is absolutely fantastic! Even the smallest café by the highway can make shashlyk http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shashlik worth dying for. This is why we have rarely specifically picked up a place to eat out, and most often just dropped in what was nearby.
You can find a place to eat out for any budget in Tbilisi. Normally, in the very centre of the city an average dinner in a restaurant cost us about 35 lari (USD 21) per person with drinks and service. There are cheaper and more expensive places.
Of course, home-made wine is a must-try in Georgia. But when only manufactured ones were available, we opted for those by Telliani Valley, Badagoni and Telavi Wine-Cellar producers.
I’m a big fan of Georgian Saperavi dry red (they call it black in Georgia) harsh wine. But if you prefer it sweeter, make sure you don’t miss Kindzmarauli or Khvanchkara, both red. And brandy-lovers, do try any by Sarajishvili.
Georgian cuisine has always been among my favourites, and I could talk about Georgian food for ages, but will only mention few faves of mine. These are Kharcho, Bozbashi and Chikhirtma soups and lobio (bean stew, tastes delicious if mixed with corn bread); shashlyk (any meat will do!) and tabaka (roasted chicken); khachapuri (puffed bread with cheese); fried mushrooms with Suluguni cheese. And of course, khinkali (Georgian dumplings) can’t be missed in Georgia. Oh, and surely cheese – there are so many of them!
Side-dish is rarely served (at the very best, you can come across with French fries), but Georgians cook lots of vegetables, and are pretty good at them. I love the way eggplants (aubergines) are cooked in Georgia, staffed with nuts, and also what they do with spinach.
That said, be aware that Georgians use nuts and nut sauces a lot. So if you are allergic, make sure to ask first.
Bills are always in Georgian. And the receipt is a must in Georgia, everywhere.
You will easily understand that 10% (rarely – 15%) service charge is commonly added to the bill. However, when the service was exceptionally warm, we felt comfortable to tip extra 5-7%.Edited: 4:15 am, January 25, 2012