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Suliko na Patriarshykh, Moscow

7 Yermolayevsky Pereulok
Tel: 7 495 650 4189's insider take:

For all the fondness Muscovites and expats have for Georgian food (Russians do love the cuisine, geopolitics notwithstanding), Georgian restaurants in Moscow tend to make excessive efforts at rustic kitsch and serve huge, greasy portions of regional specialties such as walnuts, beans, and suluguni cheese. But Suliko na Patriarshykh is, essentially, a tapas restaurant that happens to be Georgian rather than Spanish. The brick walls, pastel trim, and soft jazz in the background lend it a wine bar feel, and the rustic touches are limited to folk scenes hanging on the walls. Georgian wines are still banned in Russia, but there's a long list of French and Italian bottles as well as house wine by the jug billed innocuously as "southern Caucasian." There's an equally lengthy selection of khachpuri (Georgian cheese bread) in addition to other Georgian favorites such as satsivi (chicken in walnut sauce) and lobio (a bean dish). Portions, which may appear small, turn out to be just right for such substantial food. The best seat in the house is a table by the picture window overlooking Patriarch's Pond, one of Moscow's urban oases.

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