We went to Sugar Rhum a few weeks ago and had a really odd experience. It was a Saturday night and it was practically empty when we arrived but filled up. It’s the old Cafe of Love space so it is definitely nice inside. The server was friendly but things took a strange turn when she brought out our first appetizer and said “this isn’t the way it’s supposed to be, but we’re giving it to you for free.” It was a black bean hummus that the chef accidentally put double the seasoning in. We accepted it but were very confused and in retrospect never should have taken it. Of course it was way too salty and not very good and it set the tone for the rest of the evening. The server knew it was our first time there and we were left scratching our heads with why they’d send this out as a first impression for first-time diners. Why couldn’t they have just added in double the beans and given us a double batch? Or left it in the kitchen for the staff to eat and given us the correct item? It was really odd.
I didn’t love the other appetizers, which were a ceviche and a humita. The ceviche was just blah and the humita had a strange flavor to it. My husband disagreed and liked both. The entree was absolutely delicious- pernil over a corn/chorizo stew, as was the tres leches cake for dessert. I enjoyed my mojito and my husband liked trying some interesting Peruvian (I think) beer. Honestly the bean dip incident turned me off so much that I don’t think I’d go back.
Badageoni Georgian Kitchen
In sharp contrast to Sugar Rhum, we had an absolutely incredible experience at this unique restaurant a few doors down. The restaurant is spacious and sleekly decorated yet still family friendly. It looks like they have live music at times. It was pretty empty on a Friday night but we got there early and didn’t stay very long. We brought our kiddo who was doted on by the waitress as she inhaled everything put in front of her. This is a place where a lot of love is put into the food-- small details shine through, like the fried grapes in the salad and the sturdy Georgian cornbread accompanying the incredibly gorgeous jewel-like pkhali, a trio of vegetable “pate” like spreads (beet, spinach, and carrot). The adjaruli is like an open-face calzone dripping with butter, cheese, and topped with a sunny side up egg. Incredible. We also had the khinkali, which look like soup dumplings and are filled with tender beef and pork. A surprisingly complex dish was the lobio, beans cooked in Georgian spices served with an interesting array of pickled veggies and more of the cornbread. Our little mini-foodie loved the tolma as well, which is grape leaves stuffed with lamb and rice and served with a silky yogurt sauce. I had a dry Georgian wine that was stellar with our meal. We had to leave before mini-foodie got cranky so we took their signature dessert home, the badageoni, which reminded us of panna cotta, in an amazingly fragrant and tart red wine sauce. This meal was fantastic and I can’t wait to go back and take some of our friends and family there!