Sheepshead Bay. That's where Georgian food has been all my life. Aside from Georgia.
Thanks to James, I now have a reason to visit Sheepshead Bay: to eat at Pirosmani (named after Georgian artist Niko Pirosmani, whose full-wall murals of Georgian life you'll be staring into as you eat), home of thickly crusted breads radiating with fresh oven warmth; soft flatbreads stuffed and/or topped with pools of cheese and butter; heaps of fried potato slices and oyster mushrooms, crispy and tender in all the right places; and...blahdeblahblahblah, more delicious things full of carbs and fats.
I recommend reading James' post about the meal since it has more details than my post will ever have, and it features the same photos. So why even read my post? Because...instead of trying to describe these dishes in an eloquent way (not that I usually do), as I've decided that'd be pointless, I'm going to channel my brain's thoughts during the dinner on November 3 in all its "OH MY GOD"-filled commentary. It'll be just like sitting in my brainmeats, listening to my malformed thoughts. To separate brainfart-from-the-past from current notes, I'll italicize the thoughts and leave the rest un-slanty.
(Apologies to anyone who knows Georgian if I spell things wrong. Please correct me!)
Nigvziani badrijani: Stuffed eggplant rolls...I don't really know what's in this aside from the eggplant, but I'm hungry as hell so it tastes good. [Note: The subway was acting sluggish, resulting in my late arrival to the restaurant and level of hunger on par of that of a snake at the end of a fast. On further Googling, the filling is walnut paste.]
Muzhuzhi (pickled pigs' feet): Piggies! Yaaay, I love pork! [takes a bite] ...Okay, whatever I'm eating has turned into jelly. And it's quite vinegary. And cold. And I know that's what a pickled thing should be like, but mah belly want something warm. [ignores pig's foot]
Pirosmani's house bread: This bread sure looks funny. [tears off a chunk] OH DEAR GOD IT'S STILL WARM, fresh from the oven's fiery womb [bites off a chunk], and my god, it's amazing. This crust is cracker-crisp. And thick. And underneath is fluffy salty chewy goodness. Why the hell don't more places make bread like this? This would make an awesome sandwich. Now I want a sandwich.
Khachapuri Megruli: Oh sweet jesus, what is this. It's covered in cheese. It's gotta be good. [gets a slice] It's like white pizza on a fluffy flatbread crust. I want to eat gobs of this.
Khachapuri Acharuli: OH MY GOD what is this? Is that a stick of butter on top? With the cheese? And the egg? YES, YES IT IS. AND IT IS BEAUTIFUL. This is my new favorite thing. I love this place forever. Why the hell don't more places make bread boats stuffed with cheese, egg, and butter? BEST BREAKFAST DISH EVER. OR DINNER. OR ANY MEAL. Seriously, other restaurants, get in on this breakfast bread boat thing.
Khachapuri Imeruli: Looks rather plain, but nicely spotted with crispy bits...[gets a slice]...
AHAHA IT HAS A BELLY FULL OF CHEESE GOO. Of course. I love you, Georgia.
What in the what! Fried potato and mushrooms? A heaping mountain of em? There is so much golden crispiness on this plate. I expect awesomeness. [Waits as the plate gets passed around the table. In the meantime, drools heavily inside mouth. Gets some spoonfuls onto plate. Eats a few pieces...or a lot..whatever.] AarghhffddsI want to swim in this. And hang my mouth open so all the crispy chewy salty garlicky bits go into my mouth.
Chanakhi (lamb stew with vegetables): Nice bread hat. And lamb chunks. Seems like a perfect winter stew, but it's a bit too hard to share around a table of 11. Will have to come back and try this again.
Ukmeruli (fried chicken in garlic sauce): Holy motherfugnut. Is that chicken bathing in a pool of butter? Garlic butter? AHHHHH. [Waits for it to be cut into 11 pieces. Drools some more. Eats piece.] Oh god, this is some juicy, tender chicken, and with just a hint of crispy. Bathing in garlic butter does wonders. Chicken is rarely this good. Must eat this again. Yes.
Lamb shashlik (kebab): Skewered lamb chunks, you are okay. ...Actually I don't really remember you. Sorry.
And here's the bill for 11 people. I'll let you do the math. (...I really don't feel like doing math.) Basically, we all got stuffed with excellent bready cheesy fatty delights for not a lot of money. I would've been just as happy paying twice as much. Although I do appreciate a bit of fine dining (hello Per Se), places like Pirosmani are the ones I really treasure. Cosy, friendly, casual places where you can eat memorably well—with ten friends, if you so desire.
Thanks so much to James for getting us to trek out to Sheepshead Bay. I LOOK FORWARD TO THE NEXT FOOD ADVENTURE.
2222 Avenue U, NY 11229 (map)