You probably read the headline and thought “Is this man daft? Everyone knows what southern food tastes like.” If you did, think again. Pepela, in Midtown, serves up food from the other Georgia — you know, the one that used to be under Soviet rule?
On Thursday, the restaurant is sponsoring a “get-acquainted” tasting event, featuring their signature dishes. The event will be held between the hours of 5 and 11 p.m. The cost to attend is $25.
As to the food, what distinguishes Georgian food from the cuisines of surrounding regions is more a matter of nomenclature than gastronomy. Which is not to complain. This is soul-warming food — the sort of thing that body and mind crave when the mercury plummets.
Think eggplant in various guises. In Pepela, the vegetable is deployed, among other preparations, as rolls encasing a filling of walnut paste. Walnuts make an appearance again in the mixed appetizer plate, in both the sweet peppers with walnut paste and carrots and the beets with walnuts.
Among the hot appetizers are kubdari, aka savory meat pies. Mains include chakhokhbili chicken, blanketed with a sauce of tomato, onion, cilantro, parsley, and dill, and khinkali, described as traditional Georgian dumplings with juicy meat.
Pepela is located at 104 E. 30th Street, at Park Ave, 212 658-1115.