Friday, September 27, 2013

A Little "Viilage" Called Genatsvale

Near the end of one of Moscow's most touristy streets after the Starbucks and the Dunkin Donuts and the Cinnabon (not to mention the TGI Fridays and Pain Quotidian and Wendy's) is a curious ethnic restaurant part Disneyland and part refuge for homesick Georgians. Genatsvale's decor is an entire rustic village complete with ponds, dangerously uneven cobblestone floors, ramshackle fences and waiters armed with guitar and accordion singing folksongs that touched the heart of my Georgian companion.
Georgia and the Ukraine boast more moderate climates than the other nations that once made up the Soviet Union and have long supplied fruit and vegetables across the region. Specialties rely on fresh ingredients and a variety of flavorful sauces (served with meat and fish) of tomato, plum, pomegranate and more. These thin slices of eggplant were rolled around a tasty creamy walnut paste. One of many typical combinations of nut meats and vegetables.
Several regions have their version of Khatchapuri, a tasty cheese filled bread. But this was my first time tasting the Georgian version, Adjarian Khatachapuri. Tender dough holds a lake of melted cheese (and probably oil) with a raw egg in the center. As instructed by my friend I rubbed the supplied pat of butter over the dough and then tossed the remainder in with the egg and gave the center ingredients a good stir with my fork. Then you dip torn pieces of the surrounding dough into the creamy sauce created in the middle. A new benchmark for world bread and cheese cuisine and the start of my Moscow ethnic eating tour.

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