It might be something of an exaggeration to say that Georgian food is taking the capital of the United States by storm, the opening of a second Georgian restaurant in Washington DC certainly suggests that Washingtonians are learning to love Georgian treats.
The new restaurant, Tabla, will is set to be opened later this year by the owners of Supra, which became the first Georgian eatery in the US capital when it opened its doors in 2017.
“Supra is the flagship restaurant where you get the full range of Georgian cuisine,” Jonathan Nelms, one of Supra’s co-owners, told the Washington City Paper.
Tabla is expected to be something different.
The new location promises a “more casual” version of Supra, which will specialise in offering two of the best-known Georgian culinary specialities, khinkali, the meat-filled, black pepper-sprinkled dumplings and khachapuri, a cheese-filled crusty bread topped with an egg.
Undoubtedly the most famous Georgian dish, Tabla’s khachapuri will come in different ways, such as its round-shaped version (imeruli) and the better-known, canoe-shaped variant (ajaruli).
“The idea is that the chefs can be a little more inventive,” said Mr Nelms, noting that both traditional and non-traditional fillings will be available for the residents of the US capital.
“There’s a lot of folklore and culture and interesting stuff wrapped around the making of khinkali,” Supra’s owner continued, adding that the new restaurant will also feature a khinkali bar where guests can watch chefs hand-rolling the famous Georgian dumplings.
In addition, a great variety of salads, veggie-heavy starters and mtsvadi (Georgia’s version of a kebab) will be served, surrounded by an all-Georgian wine list, Georgia-inspired cocktails and original Georgian soft drinks. Mr Nelms expects the khachapuri to be popular among those looking for food on-the-go, with local Georgians eating it for breakfast.
However, the new restaurant will not just be about food.
According to the DC Eater, a Tbilisi-based street artist, LAMB, who has become famous for making cartoonish and sometimes sarcastic artworks featuring lambs, has been hired by the owners to add some iconic images.
The name of the new restaurant refers to the large outdoor table (tabla) used for hosting Georgian celebratory feasts, known as supra.
And where will the new restaurant be located? Where else but on Georgia Avenue, in a new apartment building at number 3227.