Category Archives: Welcome

Cafe Littera by Chef Tekuna Gachechiladze

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Café Littera introduces itself as “Exquisite European cuisine with a touch of Modern Georgian dishes.” Nested in the idyllic inner court of the Writers House in Sololaki district of Tbilisi, it welcomes guests for lunch and dinner. Reservations are highly recommended, as the dozen or so of tables are in high demand.

The Chef Tekuna Gacheladze is known in Georgia and beyond. I felt that her travels abroad inspired her to bring a lightness to the Georgian cuisine otherwise widely known for its generosity in taste and quantities.

We were warmly greeted and seated at our table in a matter of minutes. The tables are reasonably far from each other, current rules obliging. This gave us a sense of an almost private dinner.

The English menu is sufficiently clear, though if this is your first experience with this cuisine, the waiter will kindly explain what is a dolma or Pkhali. For entrée, the menu is generous with 6-7 dishes of dips, appetizers and salads. We went for a smoked eggplant Pkhali with pomegranate and Lavash, spinach dip, dolma with wild greens and yogurt foam and a strawberry and guda cheese salad. The portions are of reasonable size to our taste. I enjoyed the way flavours surprised me in the strawberry and guda salad with a splash of a lightly acid dressing on the roquettes it comes with.

From the main dishes, we tried the mixed mushrooms with artichokes and baked Seabass with lemon Safran sauce on wild greens. The mushrooms gave us a sense of travelling back to our grandmother’s kitchen and filled us with the warmth of a dish made with love. The seabass was good, though less exciting to our taste, perhaps because of the slight bitterness of the wild greens it comes with. We paired the food with a bottle of Tvishi Marani, upon the waiter’s recommendation, which proved a great choice for our mood that evening. We left the otherwise very appealing desserts for next time.

I warmly recommend the place for a moment of indulgence with your loved ones.

This is my first restaurant review based exclusively on our experience and perceptions.

You can see more pictures on Cafe Littera instagram account – these two will give you a flavour of the atmosphere:

“Good night stories for rebel girls” by Elena Favilli and Francesca Cavalo

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I would recommend it as a good night reading by adults for children. Read it aloud to your child, even if he/she can read.

For me this book is an illustration of leading by example. And I do not see it only for girls. We can all learn from examples of tenacity, courage in face of adversity, faith in good, friendship, perspiration, relentlessness, creativity and many other beautiful manifestations of humanity.

“Wow, no thank you.” by Samatha Irby

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Upfront disclaimer: the book is not for puritans. You have to have a certain level of tolerance for f* and b* words, as well as of naked truth about body fluids.

By far, Samantha Irby is the epitome of self-irony, sarcasm and humanity combined. She describes her book “Meaty” as « a gross book about a dumb slut”. How many of us have the guts to be that open?

Some essays will make you laugh loudly, some are a honest truth about the life of a black gay in the States, sitting on the luggage of a disturbed childhood. Samantha’s writing style reflects all that and more. Her stories are not about her past only. I see them as manifestos of future aspirations. There is more than meets the eye, they say, and that’s what I saw in “Wow, no thank you.”

Teleworking week 4: view from home – online safety

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The above is a humorous perspective. Yet, joke aside, we massively moved on-line, we must surf it ever more cautiously. Europol and law enforcement agencies warn us of cybersecurity threats and ill-intended minds.

Ever more, children’s exposure is to be watch with constant care for their well-being. Take a cybersecurity basic course and be equipped. Check permissions on your PC. Close the camera with a sticker. Talk gently to kids about it.

“Pachinko” by Min Jin Lee

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My brain seems to be interested lately in women’s stories from all over the globe. Or maybe it is my heart. The heart of a girl’s mom.

“Pachinko” belongs to the type of the book I look forward to opening at bed time reading. I absorbed the 400 something pages in no time.

The story spans through generations of a family who survived war, hunger, separation, discrimination and exile. The story starts in Korea and then moves to Japan. Above all, it is about soul-search and staying true to what truly matters no matter what.

The characters are authentic and their struggles and aspirations are so real you can feel it on your skin. The author did well her homework research. The book is a tribute to all silent victims of discrimination of those times on that place.

I cannot ignore the attention given to the role of women society expects from them, as described in this book and couple of others I recently read. “Women’s lot is to suffer” is reiterated couple of times in the book. That is saddening, to say the least. In fairness, the author does justice to feminine characters by endowing them with such strength of mind and spirit that it challenges the socially acceptable behavioural model for women.

Inspired by this, I bought for my daughter “Little Leaders: Visionary Women from around the World” by Vashti Harrison (more on the book in my next post).

Thank you 2018

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for teaching me to unlearn,

for the joys and tears of happiness,

for a myriad of new relationships which helped me grow,

for a chance to make a change or two,

for love and kindness, humility and pride,

for new books and new lines,

for amazing skylines and the reminder that the Sun always shines, even when it is not visible to the eye

Truffles

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French chocolatier spoil your senses with the (perhaps) finest chocolate truffles.

It takes a Moldovan to take the best out of their recipe, add a bit of nonconformism and a personal touch, with my appologize to the French touch 🙂

Best Summer truffles recipe:

200 g finest chocolate (your favourite; mine is Valrhona), melted

125 g almonds

200 g pitted dates

2 spoons agave syrup (or a sweetener of your choice)

2 fine apricots (1/2 cup of orange juice in the original recipe)

All rolled through Cacao, nutmeg, cinnamon or other flavours you love.

Enjoy the golden taste!

Happy Easter!

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to all who celebrate it today! Love and harmony, peace and prosperity, to all!

For me, Easter is about my grandmother, Maria, and the family traditions she relentlessly kept in most adversarial times she lived in. She put faith and gratitude in every bread she baked, every pie she spoiled us with.

I bake for Easter and paint eggs, as she did, and I know she is smiling , from a distant bright star that is her home now.

Thank you Tbilisi

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For rainy days transformed into sunny days by the warmth and dedication of my wonderful colleagues and friends.  

Lunch with a beautiful view and in great company. 

Another record of a super efficient steering committee meeting. 

A dream come true: to celebrate a dear colleague’s birthday while on mission. The cake and Khachapuri tasted very special. Thank you, dear!

A rooftop team dinner  and the new fun things we learned about eachother. Plus, that together we have 200 years of life wisdom. No kidding with such a team!

A new discovery – “The Golden Book of Georgian sport”. 

The fun of seeing Georgian customs officials faces when they ask me what’s in the Entree cup. These cookies are my husband’s favourites, so i “smugle” them ocasionally.