Not sure why this restaurant is #34 and the other one is #1 *given that it's run by the same folks and the menu is the same.* Personally, I'm giving the nod to this location -- right next to the Peace Corps/expat hangout Press Cafe, a short walk from the Radisson (c'mon, this is Batumi, a short walk from anywhere) and a warm and welcoming environment with very good Ukrainian chow. While I'm not from that part of the world nor can I call myself a connoisseur of Eastern European cuisine in general, I do know good, and in a place with the limited options of Batumi, these folks will be seeing a lot of me, and here's why.
First, the place is actually nicely decorated - the lovely Ukrainian embroidery sets the theme and the colors of red and black and white are thoughtfully carried out throughout the restaurant. In a country with a marked absence of little or no wall decoration or interior design whatsoever, this cheery venue lifts the spirits merely upon entering. Secondly, the warm hospitality of the staff. Our waitperson yesterday came over immediately, got us menus in record time, brought the beverages quickly, explained the menu options carefully, expressed opinions - in short, all the good things that Georgian restaurants are on the fast track to doing soon but haven't always achieved consistently. Third, the food was simply good, and I mean that in all ways, simple and good. I had the regular borscht (not the Ukrainian borscht with ham which I was warned away from because it is fatty), and it was perfect. I followed it with the stuffed peppers, and again, they were everything I could have hoped. Oddly, the Ukrainian beer was unavailable (I'll have it next time), and I'll plan ahead by fasting for a couple days in order to try a greater variety of dishes.
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