For a long time, Supra was the only spot in town serving Georgian food (the country, not the state). It was one of just two places you could score the famous Georgian khachapuri (the second being Compass Rose, which serves international street snacks). Now, thanks to Supra owners Jonathan and Laura Nelms, Supra has a new little sister, Tabla, where you can expand your experiences in Georgian gastronomy. Tabla is located on Georgia Avenue, close to Columbia Heights and Howard University, closer to the Maryland suburbs and northeast D.C. than Supra, which is in downtown D.C.
Like all little sisters, Tabla has some things in common with its older sibling, but in others ways is quite different. Still serving Georgian food, Tabla of course features the original famous Georgian imeruli khachapuri, round bread oozing with a melted cheese and butter filling, like Supra. Tabla, however, takes the khachapuri game to a new level with nearly a dozen exciting Georgian-fusion flavors – there is a Mexican street corn khachapuri, with roasted corn and a lime crema topping; a spinach and artichoke dip khachapuri, and a breakfast khachapuri with cheese and hard boiled egg. (My favorite is still the original imeruli; all I need is bread and melted cheese and I am a happy camper, but all of their khachapuris are worth a try.)
In addition to the assortment of khachapuris, I am a big fan of the baghidan, or “from the garden” section of the menu. Pickled cabbage is tart and crunchy, the tomato salad is fresh and nutty with a walnut dressing, and eggplant masonit, where discs of eggplant are fried and served with a creamy yogurt sauce, is elegant and delicious. Particular highlights include a refreshing cucumber yogurt dip, and the carrot pkhali, in which carrot is minced and blended with walnuts, coriander, and garlic and then spread over earthy flatbread. It super satisfying in both flavor and texture.
The rest of the menu at Tabla is also less traditional than Supra’s Georgian fare, with sections featuring grilled dishes, a Georgian version of a po’ boy, Georgian soup dumplings and fun items like Georgian spiced fries and grilled avocado served with ajika, a sweet and spicy roasted red pepper sauce. I highly recommend sampling several of the available sauces; they come in a little jars and are great for spreading over any of their dishes. The green ajika, made with parsley, cilantro and blue fenugreek, is fresh and citrusy and fragrant, and is one of the best.
There’s nothing not to like about Tabla, with its charming patio, whimsical kachapuri options, and assortment of more classic and more modern Georgian dishes. The eclectic wine menu is also worth exploring and cocktails are also available.
Check out Tabla and Supra owners Jonathan and Laura Nelms’ SUMMER RULES!
Tabla is located at 3227 Georgia Avenue NW
Thur, Fri, Sat – 10:00 AM – 11:00 PM
Sun, Tue, Wed – 10:00 AM – 10:00 PM
Closed on Mondays