Washingtonian Article on First Georgian Restaurant in DC

Washington, D.C, will see its first ever Georgian restaurant open, aptly named 'Supra'. The opening of the restaurant led to an article by the Washingtonian, a leading paper in the US capital. 

The article talks about the inspiration behind the restaurant, as well as the fact that Georgian Wine is also become more and more popular in the US. Owner Jonathan Nelms, is not Georgian, but he’s had a lifelong connection to the country. Growing up in central Florida, Nelms befriended a Soviet-Georgian exchange student who came to his high school in 1989. Then in the last year of the Soviet Union, Nelms went to what’s now northern Russia, where he remembers everyone talking about Georgia being their favorite place. “In my mind, it was like this mythical land far away,” the article says.

As the years passed, Nelms ended up living in Moscow, where he frequented Georgian restaurants and fell in love with the food without even stepping foot in the country. Nelms finally managed to visit Georgia and instantly fell in love with the melting-pot type cuisine the country has to offer, with influences from its neighboring countries. When he returned to the U.S., he and his wife Laura found themselves missing the food. Eventually, it inspired them to open their first restaurant.

"Georgian cuisine shares some similarities with Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisines, but the country’s relative mountainous isolation means it’s also quite unique. You’ll find kebabs with sour plum sauce or a chili paste, but also a lot of vegetable dishes. Walnuts and pomegranates play prominently in the food, as do spices and herbs like tarragon, coriander, dried marigold petals, and blue fenugreek" the article reads, "Nelms has brought on Malkhaz Maisashvili, a former chef of the Embassy of Georgia who’s most recently been working in New York, to lead the kitchen. Nelms had unknowingly tried Maisashvili’s food in 2011 in Tbilisi, where he was one of the executive chefs of a well-known restaurant group specializing in Georgian cuisine. In recent years, when word got out that Nelms was looking to open a Georgian restaurant, it seemed everyone he met was pointing him in Maisashvili’s direction" continues the writer.

The article mentions dishes such as Khinkali, describing in detail the etiquette behind the dumplings, and how to eat them the Georgian way. "You hold them by a small nob of dough on top, take a little bite, sip out the hot liquid, then eat the whole thing. Georgians traditionally put the nobs on your plate to count how many they’ve eaten".

Supra is set to open in Washington, D.C, in early fall. Read the full article here

Photo courtesy of The Washingtonian

By Tamzin Whitewood

09 August 2017 21:44