The Georgian restaurant I’d spotted two days earlier was just as pleasant as it had looked from a quick peek. Shishchina Khigina was one of four locations in a chain. It was set up with a covered patio outside – a sort of beer garden arrangement, with throw rugs like those on our tour boat thoughtfully available for guests who found it chilly – and an inside dining room with such cheerfully rustic flourishes as painted flowerpots in niches. The menu was bilingual, with the names of the dishes in Russian and the ingredients involved in English. Apparently, the dishes are as familiar to St. Petersburg residents as burritos, nachos and lasagna would be to us.
We ordered the business lunch special, which involved khachipuri adjaruli, a delicious circle of fried homemade cheese, and a tasty meat and rice soup with fresh dill, something I’d like to duplicate at home. European Cup soccer played silently on a TV above the bar, with American and English classic rock (Elton John, Jim Morrison, etc.) on the sound system, not too loud. He service was pleasant, the price a mere 1100 roubles, including a beer for me, with tip. I can see why Georgian food is so popular here.
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