Every week, I document another dish that impressed and satiated me during my food adventures around New York City

ODA HOUSE, 76 Avenye B (at East 5th Street), East Village

I am way late to the game on this one. Oda House opened in the East Village back in 2013 introducing Georgian food to Manhattan. There has been a strong Georgian community (complete with bakeries and restaurants) out in Brighton Beach but this is the first time Manhattanites had their very own restaurant dedicated to the cuisine.

And within weeks, the restaurant’s traditional cheese bread became a foodie sensation. I mean, seriously, it’s a baked loaf stuffed with melted cheese, butter, and a slowly cooking raw egg. How could this not be a phenomenon?

The restaurant and its khachapuri has been on my radar for years, but I just finally had the chance to dine in and gorge myself on Georgian food.

I found the other dishes we ordered, like a cornbread appetizer with a cheesy walnut sauce (Chvishtari) and a stewed entrée of lambs with herbs and wine (Chakapuli) quite interesting and tasty. But as expected, the star of the show was the boat-shaped bread bowl.

Adjaruli Khachapuri at ODA HOUSE

Oda House is certainly not the first place to make this special dish, but in New York it somehow gets the credit. I can’t compare it to any other versions of Khachapuri but this one was pretty incredible.

The soft yeasty bread glistened with butter and provided a vessel and a foil to the rich bubbly center. After stirring up the egg and the butter, the tangy salty cheese takes on an even more decadent character. You’d think it might all be a little too much. But it’s absolute perfection.

Most of the New York food world has already moved on to some other new discovery, but I’m just now obsessing over this bread that is both authentically Georgian and now a must-try in New York as well. Price: $16

ODA HOUSE
76 Avenue B (at East 5th Street),
East Village
(212) 353-3838
odahouse.com
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About the Author

Brian Hoffman is a classically trained actor who is now a full-time tour guide, blogger, and food obsessive. He leads food and drink tours around New York City, which not only introduce tour-goers to delicious food, but gives them a historical context. He also writes food articles for Gothamist and Midtown Lunch in addition to overseeing this blog and a few food video series, including Eat This, Locals Know, and Around the World in One City.

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