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Tbilisi

Bourdain’s Field Notes

It’s likely and unfortunate that you are probably only dimly aware of Georgia—the country, not the state. It’s tucked away beneath Russia, next to Turkey, a contentious, strategic piece of real estate under constant pressure.

You should know Georgia because it’s nice. Because the food is excellent. The country is beautiful—some of the most beautiful scenery on Earth. It’s a place you should absolutely visit if given the chance.

But you should know it as well because it’s important. Because it emerged from years of Soviet rule into a chaotic, awful, lawless period, yet managed to turn itself around into a functioning democracy in a few short years.

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Travel like Bourdain

“Tbilisi is one thing—an increasingly modern city. Smart cafes, boutique hotels, shops, galleries, the inevitable spoor of hipsters. But outside the city, it’s not so different than it always was—agrarian, traditional, things done the way they’ve always been done.”

Know Before You Go

Don’t expect dinner to be a quick affair. Loaves of khachapuri. A formal toast. A table so covered in small plates of eggplant with walnut, pureed spinach, chicken in nut sauce, and fried trout that you can’t see the supra, or tablecloth. Welcome to the supra feast: Named for the tablecloth that’s obscured by dishes and food, it’s a traditional banquet–meets–dinner party that might celebrate a wedding, a death, a visit, or nothing in particular.

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