Sometimes Simple Pleasures are Best, Such as Bread and Cheese–or even better, the Georgian Khachapuri, of which there are many kinds. My favorite is the Adjaruli Khachapuri, which usually is in a boat shape, with an egg on top that you mix into the hot cheese, to cook it. A perfect place to try this in St. Petersburg, Russia, is Cat Cafe.
Cat Cafe St. Petersburg Location
Cat Cafe is located at Stemyannaya ulitsa 22, a street south of Nevsky Prospect, and just a 3 minute walk from Mayakovskaya Metro Station.
Cat Cafe St. Petersburg Setting
Cat Cafe is small, with just 6 tables, so I highly recommend calling ahead to reserve, especially for popular evening dining times and weekends. The interior reflects its name, with a variety of cat statues and artwork, as well as plenty of plants. It's a little dark inside, but cozy.
Cat Cafe St. Petersburg Menu and Food
Cat Cafe's menu is actually quite extensive, with a number of Georgian main dishes, but I highly recommend focusing on the khachapuri and building a meal around that.
On both of our visits we started with borscht, which is Russian/Ukrainian and not Georgian, but which Cat Cafe prepares very well, with plenty of julienned beet root and beef, a flavorful broth, and of course sour cream and fresh dill to stir into it. It's hard to get really good borscht even in international Manhattan, so I try to get my fill while in Russia.
We also almost always order spinach pkhali. Georgian pkhali is vegetable pate, and there are different varieties, but they always feature finely ground walnuts and are decorated with fresh pomegranate seeds.
If you aren't up for a super cheesy khachapuri, you can enjoy freshly baked lavosh bread. We enjoyed this one evening with dolma, the stuffed grape leaves dish that is common to so many Middle Eastern cuisines and is also found in Georgia. It was excellent, but I neglected to take a photo, so here's one of the lavosh:
Still, the piece de resistance is really the khachapuri. As is typical, the filling comes with both an egg and a pat of butter, but given the richness of the egg and cheeses (including Georgian sulguni cheese) I remove the butter, it's not really needed.
We'd been to Cat Cafe back in 2015, and I'm happy to report it's just as good, and prices aren't much higher. You can have an excellent meal for $20 for two, excluding drinks. Service is friendly, and it's a great place for both those new to Georgian cuisine and aficionados looking to satisfy a khachapuri craving.
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