Oda House - Georgian food in Manhattan
Oda House is probably the only restaurant in Manhattan specializing in food from Georgia (the country in the Caucasus, not the US state). I think it must have opened quite recently, although on Friday evening the restaurant was already fairly busy.
My previous experience with Georgian food was limited to takeout bread from Georgian Bread in Brighton Beach, so the menu was new to me. We had:
Pkhali Trio - cold appetizer. Minced eggplant, spinach, and leeks served in mounds, with pomegranate seeds. I liked the eggplant, which tasted somewhat similar to baba ganoush, and the spinach.
Khinkali - Georgian soup dumplings. These are similar in spirit to Chinese xiao long bao, but they are much larger, and their skin is much thicker. I thought the meat filling was a little dry, but they were good. I prefer xiao long bao myself, but it's apples and oranges.
Adjaruli Khachapuri - pictured, the standout dish of the night. Amazing. Imagine a really nice, soft, almost pizza-ish bread shaped into a dish which is then filled with cheese, with an egg cracked over the top and a pat of butter thrown on for good measure. After eating this, the two of us were basically satiated.
Satsivi - the only "main course" we ordered and our least favorite dish of the night. It is chicken served cold, in a walnut sauce. You get a side of grits with cheese on the side, fortunately this was hot. I thought the chicken was dry and basically tasted like eating refrigerated roast chicken meat. I really think they should have mentioned that this is served cold on the menu, where it is described as "boiled and roasted."
Despite the disappointing chicken dish, I'd definitely go back to explore other parts of the menu. The service was friendly and were willing to answer questions about the menu (I do wish they would have pointed out the chicken was cold!). Casual atmosphere, kind of reminded me of Kafana, also in the neighborhood. There was a Georgian music performance for a few minutes. According to their website, the chef is Georgian and used to work at Mari Vanna.
Oda House is at 5th Street and Avenue B.
Thanks for the report. Sounds good, overall. I love the home-made Georgian dips I've tried at a Georgian friend's home, but I haven't had a chance to try other Georgian dishes yet. Look fwd to checking this place out!
Thanks, pravit. Actually there's another Georgian restaurant in town: Pepela, which opened this year on East 30th. I grabbed a card when I passed by but haven't tried it. Looks kind of posh in the Russian style.
There are vegan options, so Bill Clinton could eat there (see pic).