What I Got: Beets in Plum Sauce, Eggplant Quartet, Oda Special Zhulien Khinkali, Borscht, Adjaruli, Chvishtari, Ideali (Honey Walnut Cake)
Beets in Plum Sauce – The Beets in Plum sauce includes baked beets with plum sauce and herbs, served with Georgian bread. The beets are cooked so that they are tender with a slight crunch. The sauce is sweet and savory and mixes with the juices from the sweet, earthy beets. The herbs compliment the savory flavors in the dish. The fresh bread soaks up the sauce and tastes great when topped with the juicy beets. This is a great light and refreshing appetizer.
Eggplant Quartet – The Eggplant Quartet includes baked eggplant with 4 different fillings: one with ground walnuts, herbs, and spices, one with garlic and cilantro sauce, one with grilled red bell peppers, onions, herbs, and spices, and one with tomato, onion, and fresh herbs. The eggplant is served cold and surrounds each of the different fillings. It is perfectly tender and juicy. Each filling is flavorful and compliments the eggplant perfectly. The eggplant with ground walnuts is more hearty with a creamy, nutty, well seasoned filling. The eggplant with garlic and cilantro sauce is savory and light. The eggplant with bell peppers has juicy, subtly sweet peppers that contrast from the savory onion. The eggplant with the tomato is bright and refreshing. The filling inside had a similar flavor to a tabouli. Each eggplant is delicious and unique. This is a great, cold appetizer to share.
Oda Special Zhulien Khinkali – The Zhulien Khinkali are oversized hand-rolled dumplings filled with seasoned mushrooms, sour cream, and cheese. It comes with three large dumplings. The dumpling wrapper is tender but slightly on the thicker side so that it has a nice satisfying chew. The seasoned mushrooms, sour cream, and cheese inside are warm, rich, and creamy. The filling reminded me of a hearty beef stroganoff without the meat. The dumplings come with sour cream on the side. The sour cream contrasts with the warm dumplings with its coolness and complements the rich creamy filling. These dumplings are the perfect comforting appetizer or meal for a cold or rainy day. They are rich, satisfying, and flavorful.
Borscht – The borscht is a hot beet, cabbage, carrot, and fresh herb soup served with sour cream and Georgian bread. Borscht often gets a bad reputation, but it is really delicious and worth a try, especially since it is served hot (not cold) at Oda House. The broth is light with delicious sweet, earthy beet flavor, fresh dill flavor, and the perfect amount of saltiness. The beets, cabbage, and carrots in the soup are tender. The sour cream can be mixed in to add extra flavor and some heartiness. The borscht is warm and comforting without being too heavy. I love beets, so of course I love it, but the dill and vegetables add flavor beyond the flavor of beets. I highly recommend trying it no matter what you may have heard about borscht (as long as you don’t absolutely hate beets).
Adjaruli – The Adjaruli includes homemade sulguni and imeruli cheeses baked in yeast dough served with a poached organic egg. You may have heard of a Georgian cheese boat; this is it. They are as delicious as they look. The cheese is melty and perfectly salty with the fluffy dough surrounding it. The cheese has a beautiful brown to it that makes it crisp on the outside and gooey on the inside. The poached egg is gorgeously yolky and rich. If you like egg, cheese, and bread, go get it right now.
Chvishtari – The chvishtari is a pan roasted corn bread stuffed with homemade sulguni and imeruli cheeses served with Georgian walnut sauce. The corn bread is soft and moist on the inside and covered with crisp cheese on the outside. The corn bread is subtly sweet which complements the salty, melty cheese inside. The walnut sauce is creamy and flavored with delicious spices. It balances out the salty bread with its nutty, spiced flavor. The chvishtari is another delicious cheesy bread. I love the sweet, savory corn flavor! It has a similar flavor profile to an arepa, but it is extra crispy on the outside because it is coated in crisp, pan fried cheese.
Ideali (Honey Walnut Cake) – The Ideali is a honey cake iced with whipped condensed milk and garnished with walnuts. The cake is light and sweet with a delicious nutty, earthy honey flavor. The condensed milk icing is sweet and gooey with a toffee-like flavor. The walnuts add a great crunch, and the nutty flavor compliments the cake. This is an amazing cake! The mix of the more rich condensed milk icing with the light cake creates a perfectly balanced dessert.