Expat life certainly comes with its perks, although occasional nostalgia over family, friends, favorite places and food is inevitable. Thus coming back to Georgia is always filled with anticipation of savoring my mom’s delicious cooking as well as visiting some of my favorite restaurants in town. There is no lack of good restaurants in Tbilisi that serve traditional Georgian meals. However, only a selected few can pass a test of satisfying taste-buds of a local. Located in the oldest part of the capital, next to the iconic sulphur baths, upscale Georgian restaurant Bread House has been serving a wide variety of delectable traditional dishes for years. It also happens to be my all-time favorite as the quality of their food and service has stayed impeccable since they opened their doors to the public (a quality many Georgian restaurants struggle with). Thus I was excited to go back with my mom and granny for a lunch on this trip to Tbilisi.
A two-storied brick building which houses the restaurant boasts with gorgeous view of the Old Town. During summertime guests can sit on a veranda on the second floor to soak in the centuries-old atmosphere while indulging on their delicious meal. There is also a live Georgian folk music in the back room every night except Monday. Stylish decor with exposed brick walls and wooden chairs create a feeling of comfort and coziness. I particularly love the “bread corner” where the pastry chef is baking Georgian bread shotis puri in a deep circular clay oven called a tone (pronounced “ton-ay”). We chose to sit by the window to enjoy the view. The waiter brought a menu which changes seasonally. Local and seasonal ingredients are all sourced from the surrounding villages and the menu features gamut of Georgian cuisine. In the best of Georgian traditions we decided to order a few dishes to share, plus a soup for granny. We were each served a fresh-from-the-oven bread and soon afterwards our plates started rolling out.
For an appetizer we opted for a Georgian staple – pkhali – an assortment of vegetables with spices and minced walnuts. Our platter included cabbage, eggplant and red bell pepper rolls, as well as chopped spinach (green) and beet greens (crimson). Flavorful fresh vegetables were beautifully cooked and seasoned while walnuts gave rich and satisfying taste and added texture to the smooth bite. The spices were also on point enhancing the taste of vegetables instead of overpowering them. This is an absolute must-try on your visit to Georgia and is also an ideal vegetarian meal.
Next, my grandmother was served her cream of mushroom soup. And of course I had to try it for the sake of the blog… :P Perfectly seasoned and rich in flavor from the field mushrooms yet incredibly light and smooth in texture it definitely was a comforting soup without being too heavy. Perfect for a cold winter day.
While granny happily inhaled her creamy soup, mom and I were served a deboned trout in a house-made pomegranate sauce. Fish was perfectly flaky and tender while sauce added a nice sweetness to the savory bite.
Last but not least, I devoured my all-time favorite dish – grilled chicken in blackberry sauce. Our free range perfectly succulent chicken came chopped, marinated and covered in generous sweet and sour sauce. The waiter told us that this is the only sauce they outsource from an old village man who regularly brings the jars with this house-made sauce and keeps his recipe in a secret.
We all thoroughly enjoyed lunch. One thing almost all Georgian restaurants lack is an interesting selection of desserts and unfortunately Bread House is not an exception. However, we were not too disappointed and headed to phenomenal Le Ponchik for some sweet treats instead.
If you are visiting Tbilisi for a short trip and what to get the most out of your Georgian culinary experience, then Bread House will definitely hit the spot.
Disclaimer: this is not a sponsored post and all opinions are unsolicited and my own.