4 years in, Bevri's quest to spread Georgian cuisine is only beginning | Peninsula Foodist | The Peninsula Foodist | Palo Alto Online |

Local Blogs

Peninsula Foodist

By The Peninsula Foodist

E-mail The Peninsula Foodist

About this blog: Get the latest food news with the biweekly Peninsula Foodist newsletter.
We are constantly on the lookout for new and undiscovered meals, from Michelin-starred restaurants to tac...  (More)

View all posts from The Peninsula Foodist

4 years in, Bevri's quest to spread Georgian cuisine is only beginning

Uploaded: May 11, 2022
By Anthony Shu


A selection of dishes from Bevri including khinkali (bottom left), dumplings filled with beef and pork or lamb, and grilled lamb ribs (center). Photo courtesy Elena Garbuzenko.

In order to preview Peninsula Restaurant Week, which is back for its second year May 13-21, we're speaking to the restaurateurs behind your favorite local eateries.

For more information about Peninsula Restaurant Week, go to peninsularestaurantweek.com.

In 2018, we covered the opening of owner Pavel Sirotin's Bevri in Palo Alto, which claimed to be the Bay Area's only Georgian restaurant at the time (Tamari has opened in San Carlos since then). After a positive review from the San Francisco Chronicle and an appearance on KQED's "Check, Please!," guests are showing up seeking Bevri's signature khachapuri, bread filled with gooey cheese and topped with a runny egg yolk, and juicy khinkali, dumplings holding beef and pork or lamb.

But even with the press, Sirotin says there's still plenty of work to do in spreading Georgian cuisine across the Bay Area, an effort he’s personally undertaking as Bevri plans to open a second location on Los Altos' Main Street soon.

This conversation has been edited for clarity and brevity.

Peninsula Foodist: How did you decide to open Bevri?

Pavel Sirotin: My wife and I like having guests. Both of us worked in a hotel. That's where we met actually. So we were always passionate about hospitality, restaurants and food. We're huge foodies.

When this opportunity came up, we just jumped on it. And the reason we chose Georgian cuisine came from my wife's side. My wife's family had a lot of Georgian friends. So she was very familiar with the culture.

When we moved to California, we noticed that there were no Georgian restaurants. And that was a huge opportunity for us to introduce the culture and cuisine here in the Bay Area.

Peninsula Foodist: So you and your wife are both Russian, not Georgian. It's a big undertaking to open one of the only restaurants serving a cuisine that's not even your own heritage.

Pavel Sirotin: We're familiar with the country and culture. Georgians have this concept of supra, a large table full of food and wine and celebration. So all of that, so we just wanted to bring it here. Actually, the name Bevri means "a lot." As in a lot of food, a lot of friends, a lot of drinks, a lot of songs. Everything is in abundance.

It took a while to educate locals, and it still does. Our team has to explain a lot about what Georgia is. Georgia has the same name as a U.S. state. So we have to explain the difference.

All the dishes are very foreign (to most diners). It's not a burger, you don't need to explain that.

It's a really interesting journey, and it's fulfilling to see how curious people are, especially with the wine. People here like drinking wine, but they’re used to very specific grapes and tastes. It’s interesting to see people learn something new about not only Georgian culture, but also tastes and textures.

Peninsula Foodist: Can you tell me a little bit more about Georgian wine?

Pavel Sirotin: Georgia is the birthplace of wine. UNESCO found that Georgia produced wine 8,000 years ago. They found evidence of the clay pots. They bury the clay pots underground and ferment the wine there for a few months. And the grapes that they grow, they're very unique to that area.

The color and the texture of the wine is so different. They even call (one variety) amber wine because it's very dark and rich. And it's particularly interesting because the country is so small, yet they managed to cultivate many different grapes.

Peninsula Foodist: And I saw you put a fundraiser link for Nova Ukraine at the top of your website – has your business been affected in any way by the war in Ukraine?

Pavel Sirotin: Definitely, we saw our guests were very concerned. When the war started, we were also very concerned because we have friends and family who are affected. We are very sad, so we're doing everything we can to show support. We're friends.

Bevri, 530 Bryant St., Palo Alto; 650-384-6500, Instagram: @bevrifood.

Dig into food news. Follow the Peninsula Foodist on Instagram and subscribe to the newsletter to get insights on the latest openings and closings, learn what the Foodist is excited about eating, read exclusive interviews and keep up on the trends affecting local restaurants.





Community.
What is it worth to you?

Comments

 +  Like this comment
Posted by WilliamR, a resident of another community,
on May 11, 2022 at 6:20 pm

WilliamR is a registered user.

When I see a headline about "Georgian cuisine" my first thought is pecans, peaches and grits. Oops...wrong Georgia.


Follow this blogger.
Sign up to be notified of new posts by this blogger.

Email:

SUBMIT

Post a comment

In order to encourage respectful and thoughtful discussion, commenting on stories is available to those who are registered users. If you are already a registered user and the commenting form is not below, you need to log in. If you are not registered, you can do so here.

Please make sure your comments are truthful, on-topic and do not disrespect another poster. Don't be snarky or belittling. All postings are subject to our TERMS OF USE, and may be deleted if deemed inappropriate by our staff.

See our announcement about requiring registration for commenting.

Stay informed.

Get the day's top headlines from Palo Alto Online sent to your inbox in the Express newsletter.

Palo Alto location of popular Austrian restaurant Naschmarkt opens May 17
By The Peninsula Foodist | 1 comment | 2,666 views

We need stable, climate-forward land use policies
By Sherry Listgarten | 3 comments | 2,466 views

Dehydrating for Backpacking and Camping
By Laura Stec | 2 comments | 1,269 views

Use Your Words!
By Chandrama Anderson | 0 comments | 1,175 views