The sign appears in the door of 121 Montague Street, former home of Le Pain Quotidien. If and when Chama Mama arrives (there is still a large Retail for Lease sign in the window; perhaps the realtor has been slow to remove it), it will be the third location of a small chain, with restaurants already open in Chelsea and on the Upper West Side. It features the cuisine of the Republic of Georgia, which borders Armenia, Azerbaijan, Russia, and Turkey.
The dinner menu looks tempting. Entrees are mostly in the $20-$30 range, but are billed as “shared plates”; meaning, I presume, that the portions are small and that a party of two might want to share three or four of them, along with choices among appetizers, soups, salads, bread, and desserts. There is a $70 meat platter clearly made for sharing.
The drinks menu includes many familiar cocktails, usually including some Georgian ingredient, such as Chama, source of half the place’s name, billed as “Georgian grappa”. Below the cocktails is the wine list, consisting entirely of Georgian made wines, with one exception. There’s a Dr. Konstantin Frank Rkatsiteli, made from grapes that originated in Georgia but are now grown in New York’s Finger Lakes region.