What does a Russian expat in Silicon Valley miss the most from the motherland? For Pavel Sirotin, it was Georgian food—that is, the hearty, richly spiced cuisine of the country of Georgia, which is beloved throughout the Caucasus. So in February, Sirotin and his partners opened Bevri, an honest-to-God Georgian restaurant, in downtown Palo Alto. The name means “a lot,” and if you order any of the classic dishes that populate the menu, you’ll see Georgian cuisine’s trademark quality of abundance—in the oversize soup dumplings known as khin-kali, or in the tapaka, a garlicky, crisp-skinned whole chicken that’s best shared with a friend.
But no dish embodies this spirit as perfectly as the khachapuri, a kind of hot, cheesy bread that’s sometimes described as Georgian pizza. The adjaruli khachapuri, perhaps the most indulgent version, is shaped like a plump canoe, in the middle of which sits a metric ton of melted cheese, a raw egg yolk, and a knob of butter. Mix well, break off some crusty bread, and dip it into the oozy, stretchy, unspeakably decadent heart. Repeat until you, too, start to feel homesick for Georgia.
Originally published in the May issue of San Francisco