New Georgian restaurant opens in Reading Terminal Market in Philadelphia

Saami Somi serves those Georgian classics -- from oversized soup dumplings to eggplant rolls and their signature item khachapuri.

Alicia Vitarelli Image
Wednesday, October 5, 2022
EMBED <>More Videos

Saami Somi serves those Georgian classics -- from oversized soup dumplings to eggplant rolls and their signature item khachapuri.

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Cuisine from Georgia, the nation on the Black Sea formerly ruled by the Soviet Union, is now front and center as Reading Terminal Market's newest merchant.

They cut the ribbon Tuesday on Saami Somi.

Siblings Michael and Donna Kolodesh are proud to share their culture.

"The cuisine takes influence from the Middle East, from parts of East Asia and parts of South Asia, as well as Eastern Europe and generally Soviet countries. But it also has a rich history of its own dishes," says Michael Kolodesh.

Saami Somi serves those Georgian classics -- from oversized soup dumplings to eggplant rolls and their signature item khachapuri.

"It's called the cheese boat," Kolodesh explains. "It's sourdough bread in the shape of a boat and it's filled in the center with our mix of Bulgarian feta cheese, low-moisture mozzarella and a Georgian cheese and topped with an egg yolk. It emulsifies and gives it a unique flavor."

The Kolodesh family immigrated from Georgia in 1993 and settled in Philadelphia's Bustleton neighborhood, which boasts a large ex-Soviet community.

Saami Somi also sells a variety of grocery items, fresh baked breads, and Georgian drinks.

Saami Somi