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The 19th century was an era of female empowerment, a time of courage
and an age of discovery. Even though women often had to exist behind
the scenes, they managed to leave an inimitable trace in literature, and
to influence the life and society of their motherland. This is our Barbare –
Barbare Eristavi-Jorjadze – a 19th century writer, poet and feminist who
was inquisitive to the last; a woman who lived life in perpetual motion,
and the author of The Complete Cuisine, which set a new course for
gaonomy in Georgia. The family behind the Barbarestan restaurant have
revived her cuisine by basing their menu on her cookbook. The 19th
century atmosphere is easily felt throughout both the interior and exterior. On Agmashenebeli Avenue, which in its time represented part of a
German colony and which is now one of the most multi-ethnic streets in
Tbilisi, Barbarestan boasts tables laid with traditional tablecloths, taper
candles, and gorgeous ceramics with grandmotherly motifs and modern
shapes. Antique mirrors hang in clusters on walls of exposed brick. In
a dining nook, a portrait of Jorjadze presides over a small shrine to the
lady: candelabra, reading glasses, a red ink pen. To get a real sense of
her magic, though, you’ll have to visit Barbarestan yourself: you’ll enjoy
the brilliant service and hospitality provided by its staff, not to mention
the exquisite cuisine.
Vinotel’s restaurant is a joy for the culinary heart, offering a great menu with Georgian raw material in a European style. Don’t go anywhere else if you’re into fine dining or want a romantic date. Wine-curious visitors can order a special wine tasting – the certified sommelier will give you a tour of their in-house red-brick wine cellar and a solid introduction to the Georgian wine culture.
Pass a row of old houses in a historic diict of Tbilisi and find yourself on a street replete with urban legends. There, you will also find Azarpesha, proof that Georgian cookery stands at the crossroad of west and oriental tastes, and equally carries both traits – exotic, diverse and at the same time mild and light. In cooking, traditional and new technologies are combined. Dishes cooked in clay pots represent an ancient Georgian cookery tradition which suits even 21st century Tbilisi. The space is small and narrow but comfortable, the menu accented on seasonal dishes: taste the chestnut soup in autumn, and meat stewed with cherry plums in early spring.
For global travelers with a cultured palate and a love of wine and Georgian food, Sirajkhana is a destination restaurant with a must-taste fusion philosophy. It makes a great space for small and large gatherings with a menu celebrating the art of sharing and mixing the cultural differences of Georgian and Persian flavors. After reviewing numerous publications, newspapers, released in the 19-20th centuries, as well as talking to historians and Georgians masters of wine – the owners gathered the Sirajkhana concept into one, adding some modern touches, a unique collection of wine and developing an original menu.