Don’t get me wrong, I love Tbilisi and there’s nothing extraordinary or unusual in loving the city where you were born, grew up or lived in for your entire life. Still, sometimes I have the strongest desire to switch off reality, in other words, sometimes, I catch myself wanting to pretend I’m not in this city anymore; I feel a sudden urge to escape, to refill, to indulge in the smells and tastes from elsewhere, and since the best “elsewhere” that always first comes to mind is Paris, I usually go to Entrée, to pick, or better to say, inhale, just a little bit of that Parisian mood.
The closest Entrée to my home is the café-bakery-brasserie on Ateni Street, though it’s such a popular brand, you can easily find branches throughout Tbilisi, on Napareuli Street or on Marjanishvili Square, for example.
Confession number two: I’m absolutely and wholeheartedly sure that even if it’s a cliché, a croissant with confiture plus a freshly brewed coffee in the morning makes you happy; it’s one of the best things in life, one of the most pleasurable human “inventions”, or, not to get too philosophical, at least it makes a beautiful start to your day.
Entrée is famous for its delicious chicken, tuna and cheese sandwiches made with baguette bread, breakfasts, and a great variety of delicious salads and soups. If you’re in a hurry, and don’t have time to sit, there’s a take away service, too. Although the concept of the place is of French Brasserie, their Georgian Khachapuri, Lobiani, mushroom and meat pies are also very in-demand.
Beloved by many for its pastries, Tiramisu, chocolate and apple tarts, Entrée is often said to have the best cakes in town.
Tekuna Gachechiladze is the founding chef at Culinarium, a restaurant located at 1/17 Lermontov Street. Gachechiladze, who studied in New York’s Institute of Culinary Arts, is by far one of the most successful and well-regarded among the new generation of the Georgian chefs today. Ever since she returned to Tbilisi in 2005, almost all the restaurants she has worked in: L’Express, Belle de Jour, Loft, Vong, and Mandari, have become must-go eateries for local foodies and tourists alike.
Culinarium is no exception, as is Culinarium/Khasheria, another she opened not so long ago.
Culinarium is famous for its Sunday Dim Sum’s, Sunday Asian Brunches, with soups, dumplings, fried noodle and rice dishes, cocktails and Plat Du Jour. Or you can spend an evening out with friends there, tasting chestnut soup with truffles or calf cheeks in wine sauce. The place is super cozy and almost always full, so it’s better to make a reservation well in advance.
Culinarium/Khasheria, located at 23 Abano Street, is a place where you can experience the best of Georgian fusion from Gachechiladze, a perfect place for lunches or brunches during the day or on weekends. Khinkali soups, Matsoni (Georgian yoghurt) with pomegranate sauce, Mengrelian kuchmachi on polenta, specially baked bread, and even more deliciousness awaits you there.
By Nino Gugunishvili