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Marani -- Kosher Georgian Restaurant in Rego Park

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Just got back from this restaurant and had a wonderful dinner. The food was excellent , the service friendly, and the prices couldn't be beat. We were a large group and didn't drink much, but had almost everything on the menu in multiples and it came out to about $35 per person, which is pretty unheard of for a fleishig restaurant. Almost all of the appetizers were outstanding -- the selections of phkali, the pureed salads of beet greens, beets, spinach green beans, etc with walnut dressings; the adzhanapali, a sort of herbal Caucasian ratatouille; the red beans with walnuts; the pickle platters (I especially loved the whole pickled cherry tomatoes which bursted in your mouth); a funky dish of pickled caper plants, pickled garlic and pepperoncini; and the chicken satsivi, which was more liquid than I expected, and in an unusually spiced walnut sauce that I wanted to bathe in. We had a bean pie and a meat pie and much preferred the bean pie -- the filling was tastier and the crust superior. I found the filling of the meat pie to be less interesting and the crust heavier and greasier. The main dishes that I tasted included some excellent chicken kebabs, and outstanding chicken tabaka (pressed pan fried cornish hen with plenty of garlic, with crisp fries with plenty more garlic) and that lamb chakhapuli (?) in a wine broth strongly scented with tarragon. The only dish that really disappointed us was the khixali (?) the meat dumplings -- he skins were very thick and the filling similar to the meat pie. It didn't keep me from finishing mine, though I wouldn't necessarily order it again. However, I can't wait to go back for the rest of the food, and to try the few dishes that we missed. They have been open for about 3 months and were not that crowded. Go before it is discovered!

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