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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Khachapuri a la Mode

MTMarjani's dining room is creatively decorated with huge wicker jugs.
Marjani is a Georgian restaurant with a difference. Created by restaurateur Alexander Zaturinsky, one of the men behind such fashionable eateries as Bed Cafe, Bouillabaise and the revamped Simple Pleasures, this latest offering is his first foray into the democratic dining segment. Given that the restaurant is located far from the center, its egalitarian orientation is not surprising, but that doesn't stop it from demonstrating that special Zaturinsky feel.

The innovatively designed interior is certainly not typical for a Georgian restaurant. The color scheme is predominately brown and white, with heavy chocolate-colored drapes separating the main hall into numerous sections. Large windows running across the front of the room allow for lots of natural light. Giant wicker "jugs" add the sole Caucasus touch.

The menu demonstrates a modern approach, with many classic dishes having been reworked to give them a fresh look and feel. The adzhapsandali from the grill (150 rubles) is a contemporary take on the old classic, with the vegetables grilled then finely diced rather than stewed in oil. The chicken satsivi (155 rubles) is made with bone- and gristle-free fillet. The tiger prawns cooked with garlic and herbs on a ketsi pan (380 rubles) is a very Georgian approach to a ingredient not normally found in traditional Georgian cooking. The khachapuri Mengrel-style (180 rubles) is, however, a classic rendition. Naturally, there is a large selection of shashliks and other dishes from the grill. Shashliks start at 220 rubles for beef liver or chicken and reach 750 rubles for sturgeon.

Wine prices are reasonable, starting at 650 rubles for a bottle of white and 870 rubles for red. Draft beer is a very reasonable 90 rubles for Zolotaya Bochka.

One caveat is the "background" music, with its clubby wailing divas and uptempo beats, which may put some diners off their food.

36 Michurinsky Prospekt, 938-4030, noon-6 a.m., M. Universitet.