All hail the khachapuri, Georgia's cheesy, yeasty gift to the world. Its four-ingredient dough is shaped into numerous forms and stuffed to remarkable effect with cheese, eggs, and butter. Since 1997 Toné Café (originally known as Georgian Bread) has produced incomparable versions of this gut-bomb: one a flattened, pie-shaped concoction; the other molded into the shape of a boat and filled with bubbling farmer cheese gratin. For years the vase-shape toné oven was cared for and tended to by a grizzled man named Badri, whose elongated loaves of shoti flatbread were as crusty as the best French baguettes. He has since retired, and the new owners have entrusted Lasha Chikhladze to carry the flour-covered torch. The breads form the basis of enthralling Georgian meals featuring sumptuous kebabs grilled over charcoal, or khinkali, fat dumplings filled with a mixture of beef and pork. With everything made to order, expect to wait. You will be rewarded with Georgian home cooking and the best Georgian bread in Brooklyn. The dairy and meat onslaught notwithstanding, vegans can dig into pkhali: minced vegetable salads stirred with ground walnuts, cilantro, and pomegranate seeds (the spinach version is a standout). Mashed beans get a similar spice mixture for lobio, which the kitchen serves on its own as a side dish or stuffed inside khachapuri.
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