"NY Times"

It is early evening, but the crowd at Oda House is ready for 3 a.m. Young women with undulating hair, dressed in black from shoulder to mid-thigh, are primed for fancier precincts than this subdued corner of Alphabet City. Older women at other tables occasionally lean over to dispense advice. What appears to be one vast family has colonized the seats by the front windows."The floor is tile, the tables scratched, the light fixtures ruffled and crimped. On a speaker rests an overgrown sheepskin papakhi, cousin to the astrakhan hat, with wild woolly dreadlocks. Later there will be folk songs on hand drum and phanduri, a long-necked lute. It is a scene you might expect to find on Avenue U, not Avenue B. Oda House, which opened in May, specializes in Georgian cuisine, a rarity this side of the Brooklyn Bridge Read Full

You have two reasons to thank Maia Acquaviva. The first: She's saving you a trip to Brighton Beach, previously the only place to acquire the Georgian cheese bread khachapuri. Second, and more important, the seven distinct versions she's cooking at the new Oda House in the East Village are your path to cheesy, bready happiness. Our favorite is the adjaruli ($12). It arrives at the table resembling a canoe made from yeasted bread. Added after baking are a rather large lump of butter, a lightly poached egg, and heaps of feta and mozzarella. Swirl them together and a dip emerges. Rip off the gunwales and scoop the makeshift dip. Keep eating until all that's left is the sauce-soaked hull. Capsizing has never been so tempting. If you don't want a meal of bread alone, add on a skillet freighted with oyster and button mushrooms and fried potatoes, fragrant with onions, garlic and dill ($10). Read Full

Oda House offers a peek at a cuisine many New Yorkers, even diehard foodies, may not be familiar with. The restaurant in Alphabet City, which opened about two months ago, showcases dishes traditional to Georgia as in the former Soviet republic, not the state down South. Given Georgia's location at the crossroads of Europe, the Middle East and Central Asia, it makes sense that its cuisine offers a lot of variety and flavor. Nuts, cheeses, garlic and herbs play starring roles in many recipes. Khinkali, oversized and hand-rolled dumplings with seasoned beef, pork, herbs and broth are served at Oda House. Jason Andrew for The Wall Street Journal It's "different from any other food," says co-owner Beka Peradze, though he adds: "We describe it as similar to Mediterranean." Georgians love to feast, according to Oda House staff, and the menu reflects that. Especially if eating with a big group, one could do very well ordering a bunch of hot and cold appetizers to share. ($10). Read Full

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