Ezo - Just Like Mom Makes!

With my fifth visit to Tbilisi under my belt, I’m inspired and encouraged by the attitude of the new restaurants that have appeared over the past three years. Don’t get me wrong, I love khinkali and khachapuri, the traditional staple of Georgian cuisine, but I hanker for the more homely, everyday food that would be found in the homes of ordinary folk.

On this trip we were staying in an Airbnb apartment. Our host told us of several new places that had opened in recent months and Ezo was one of them, just five minutes’ walk from our front door.

“Are you sure you know where you’re going?” said the concerned husband as we turned into G. Kikodze St. “Of course!” I replied as I wandered through the gates into a courtyard with a small fountain and a few tables and chairs. We had arrived at Ezo and I was pleased to see that the outside space wasn’t filled with parked cars as seems to be the norm.

We stepped inside the curtained terrace and found the place buzzing with the Tbilisi Bo-ho set, locals and foreign visitors alike (the mix of accents was gratifying - French, English, American as well as Georgian). The staff speak excellent English. We were given a table under the red glow of a heat lamp (there are tables inside and they even have a kids’ corner).

Along with the menus, we were give bread and dips; a vibrant green herb, salsa and a creamy one. As we worked our way through the menu and dips, we were offered Adjarian citrus schnapps made by a friend of the owner. We were suitably impressed with the spirit; nowhere near as rough as some chachas, it was warming, potent and delicious!

We made our choices. I settled for the pan-fried meatballs with mash potatoes, the perfect comfort food for a chill February evening, while he went for the veal and potatoes. The dishes arrived swiftly and I was surprised with mine; I was expecting maybe four or five dainty meatballs but what I got were two huge bull’s balls! Oh my, the grin on my face must have said it all. This was a manly plate of food that had a real depth of meaty flavor; I was in serious umami heaven! The husband’s dish was elegant by comparison, but no less tasty, and by Georgian standards the meat was tender. The potatoes were superb. I could wax lyrical about them as I’m a real carb gal.

Both dishes had a gentle heat from a deft hand in charge of the chili seasoning. We overloaded with baked veg with walnuts; layered eggplant, zucchini, carrots, peppers, whole garlic cloves, broccoli and tomatoes. Again, there was a chili kick that punched its way through the interleaved veggies, partly tempered by the walnut sauce.

I love Georgian amber wine while he is partial to the odd glass of Saperavi; both wines complemented our meal.

There is always room for pudding and the sweet side of the meal was more European, with apple pie, chocolate pie and a good execution of carrot cake served with a sublime orange custard, which is what I plumped for. Excellent espresso with a thick, long lasting crema with another glass of the citrus schnapps left us replete.

This isn’t refined cooking- this is simple, mostly organic ingredients that have been sourced as locally as possible and cooked as simply as possible, packed with flavor and exactly what I’d been searching for. We loved Ezo so much that we went back a couple of days later, ordering the Racha ham and potatoes and the seasoned pork entrecote that had been hung properly - it was succulently juicy and extremely tender. Once again, we left with smiles on our faces.


G. Kikodze St. 16,


Telephone: +995 32 299 9876

Tues - Sun 1-10pm Bar until 1am.

Lea Harris

24 March 2016 20:54