Just like at grandma’s house, in Porto you can now taste cuisine (and wines) from Georgia and Armenia

The homely atmosphere, the small living room and the proximity to the counter and kitchen recreate the intimate and welcoming atmosphere you want when it comes to eating like at grandma’s house. This is precisely the idea of ​​Nani (which means grandmother) Bistrô, opened in February in the so-called arts quarter of Porto.

With just 20 seats and a short menu, it offers, for the first time in the city, the opportunity to taste the traditional and homemade cuisine of two Caucasian countries with a lot in common: Georgia and Armenia, where being at the table is a party. Traditionally, explains Becruzo Bou, responsible for the space’s communications, these are recipes prepared over time, sometimes by the fireplace, and which combine many ingredients, with special emphasis on the use of herbs, spices and dried fruits in various dishes, and abundant Georgian cheeses.

Nani Bistrô

Immerse yourself in the traditions of Caúcaso
This is the hallmark of one of the most beloved local Georgian dishes, Khachapuri (€15), here served in two versions: one round, similar to a pizza, topped with cheese; another in the shape of a boat, with cheese and egg, which is cut out with your hand around it and dipped in the yolk and cheese.

Following the tradition of both countries, the different dishes ordered fill the table to be shared and alternate flavors. Therefore, also order the Fresh Vegetable Salad and Walnut Dressing (€9), which combines tomato, lettuce and cucumber with a dense dressing made up of more than 15 herbs and spices. Another dish with history is Khinkali (€8), a kind of dumplings which can be stuffed with meat or vegetarian, with cheese and herbs. Traditionally served to workers in the fields or mines, the dough forms a handle that was used to eat the pastry and its filling, discarding that part of the dough afterwards, so as not to touch the food with dirty hands from work. You must follow tradition at Nani’s table.

Nani Bistrô

Make your own kebab
Complete the feast with Khorovats (from €14), which come in either a beef Kebab version, pork Shashlik, or delicate chicken thighs. All are served on a bed of authentic lavash, a thin, light bread, and accompanied by marinated onion rings and Armenian adjika, a mild but spicy sauce that adds an extra layer of flavor. In this case, the ritual consists of removing small pieces of lavash and adding the ingredients of your choice, including sauce, building your little kebab each time.

From Armenia also comes a traditional stew that combines meat and vegetables, Khashlama (€8), a rustic and comforting stew made slowly with lamb, potatoes, eggplant, carrots, tomatoes and peppers and flavored with herbs.

Nani Bistrô

You can also try the Armenian Lóbio (€8), a dish of beans slowly cooked in tomato sauce, herbs and spices, and an option that shows the essence of this country’s cuisine, revealing how simple ingredients can transform into a rich and tasty meal through dedication, time and care in preparation.

Chakhokhbilio (€10), a traditional Georgian dish, results in a robust and aromatic meal. It is made with pieces of chicken cooked slowly with onion, garlic and a mixture of Georgian herbs such as coriander, tarragon and fenugreek, with ripe tomatoes that fall apart, forming a juicy and slightly acidic sauce.

Homemade tomato, pepper and cabbage pickles are worth adding to the table.

Nani Bistrô

Homemade jam to drink
To accompany, toast with the various wines from Georgia, a country considered the cradle of world wine production, with emphasis on the “amber†productions – the local version of Orange wines, or Order whites and reds made according to the ancestral process, in pots that rest for several months underground. In addition to nectars from Georgia and Armenia, homemade jam is served, which in these countries corresponds to a refreshing drink, without added sugar and which results from boiling various fruits in water. It is then strained and cooled, resulting in a refreshing option to accompany the intensity of the cuisine.

To finish the meal, the highlight is the Armenian Pakhlava (€6), prepared in-house according to an old recipe. In this artisanal delight, puff pastry is interspersed with walnuts and finished with a layer of meringue. In homemade preparation, the thin layers of dough are carefully assembled with a filling rich in nuts and spices such as nutmeg and cloves, and then slowly baked until they become crispy and golden.

Nani Bistrô

Nani Bistrô is the “little brother of the restaurant†Alto, located two steps away, although the two concepts are quite different. If not Alto the objective is to take diners to travel through the flavors of the world, at Nani Bistrô the idea is to give back to Porto, a city that welcomed the restaurant team with open arms, the comfort and warmth of grandma’s house food .

With 20 seats, Nani Bistrô (Rua da Torrinha, 86A, Porto. Tel. 934258359) opens from Monday to Thursday from 12pm to 4pm and from 7pm to 11pm. Tuesday and Wednesday are days of rest.

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Francesco Giganti

Journalist, social media, blogger and pop culture obsessive in newshubpro

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