In Tbilisi, many restaurants cater to the Georgians’ love for this rich cheese pie. On Tbilisi’s main thoroughfare there is a café that can be reached only by descending a steep flight of stairs into a subterranean room. In spite of its windowless location, the cafe shimmers with an abundance of gilded mirrors and polished marble walls and floors. The khachapuri there are served hot from the oven, and they’re a good 8 inches in diameter—more than enough for even the heartiest eater. The pies may be ordered plain or with an egg baked on top.
Khachapuri is a versatile pie. Serve it with salad for supper or wrap it hot in layers of newspaper and foil to take along on a picnic. And if you should have the patience, shape the khachapuri into bite-sized pieces and serve them as a striking hors d’oeuvre.