Georgian Cuisine (Republic of, not State of) Coming to Montague?

The sign appears in the doorway of 121 Montague Street, the former home of Le Pain Quotidien. If and when Chama Mama gets there (there is still a big Retail for Lease sign in the window; maybe the real estate agent took a while to remove it), it will be the third location in a small chain, with restaurants already open in Chelsea and the Upper West Side. It offers the cuisine of the Republic of Georgia, which borders Armenia, Azerbaijan, Russia and Turkey.

The dinner menu looks enticing. Appetizers are mostly in the $20-$30 range, but are billed as “shared plates”; which I assume means the portions are small and a party of two might want to share three or four, plus choices of starters, soups, salads, breads and desserts. There’s a $70 meat platter clearly made for sharing.

The drink menu includes many familiar cocktails, usually featuring Georgian ingredients, such as Chama, the source of half the venue’s name, billed as “Georgian grappa.” Beneath the cocktails is the wine list, which consists entirely of Georgian 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.

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