Review: Le Georgia

Montréal
27 June 2013

I had survived the amazing feast from Joe Beef the night before, and woke up with only a mild (a miracle) hangover. I wanted to maximise my eating opportunity in Montréal as I am only here once a year, so needed to do something for lunch. I’m surprised I had space in my stomach…

I’ve always had a soft spot for Georgian cuisine…no, not Paula Deen and Jimmy Carter Georgia, but Sakartvelo. The wines of Georgia are amongst the most interesting in the world, still utterly underrated for their uniqueness. So I decided to head to Le Georgia.

I caught the Métro to the ironically-named “Snowdon” station, as all the news of the morning had been focused on the Edward Snowden mess. I walked a little, noticing the increase in humidity, and found the restaurant. I was seated in the rather empty place during normal lunch hours…why is it empty on a Thursday? I figured it out pretty soon…

Though it was a Georgian restaurant, with menu and decor to fit, one very post-Soviet relic remained… A large-screen TV in the back of the restaurant (I faced the window just to make sure I avoid it as much as possible) was showing — and blaring — a Russian chat show at high volume. How utterly annoying…

If having techno music at a nice restaurant is symptomatic of 1990s Central/East Europe restaurants, the sad presence of Russian TV is even worse. Last time I remember this was at Armenia (Армения) in Varna, Bulgaria…you can draw a comparison. I walked out last time, this time was very tempting…

I ordered my food and to my rather intense disappointment, I was forced to order a “house” wine — a Spanish plonk. They only sold Georgian wines by the bottle. After last night no way I’m doing that at lunch. But that is utterly ridiculous and I realised this was not a serious Georgian restaurant at all.

Le_Georgia-khachapuri

My first course came quickly, the most stereotypical Georgian dish of all, khachapuri (ხაჭაპური). Though there are many ways to make this simple bread dish, mine was about as boring of a version as it gets. Flavourless cheese over bread. I can’t even discern if the cheese used was right and not some odd substitute… Bad start…

By now my head was pounding from the bad wine, bland food, and the yelling on TV. Oh, did I mention this talk show was the Russian version of The Jeremy Kyle Show? The host was yelling, the audience was yelling, the guests were yelling. And the one server was oblivious…

Le_Georgia-khinkali

My main course was another typical Georgian dish, khinkalli (ხინკალი) — large meat dumplings. These were done pretty well, though the stereotypical kudi was very tender so I ate them too. Not bad, but this is a hard dish to screw up. Tasty and spicy broth was a nice touch.

I avoided any dessert or anything and I was complaining about the TV at this point, and the server just shrugged and did nothing. I was livid. I left before my head exploded and walked back to the Métro shaking my head.

Problem with Georgian restaurants is either you do it nice and have abroad appeal, like Colchis in London’s Notting Hill. Or else you end up ghettoed in the Russian neighbourhoods like it’s happened in NYC (near Brighton Beach) and appeal to only the tracksuit-wearing folks. What Le Georgia done is neither — it appealed to no one, despite the convenient location and strong possibilities.

Oh, how I miss a place like Colchis now… And also now looking so forward to checking out Oda House in Manhattan’s Lower East Side — to see which it is.

Le Georgia
5112 Boulevard Décarie
Montréal, Québec

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One thought on “Review: Le Georgia

  1. Pingback: Review: Oda House | melhuang1972

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