La Vela’s Replacement: Chama Mama

  Last modified on September 1st, 2020

A restaurant called Chama Mama has signed a lease at 373 Amsterdam Avenue, between 77th and 78th Streets (formerly the home of La Vela Ristorante). This was brought to our attention by our tipster, ‘Upper West Sider,’ who saw it noted in The Real Deal.

Chama Mama serves “Classic Georgian cuisine with a modern spin,” the restaurant website states. They currently have a location at 149 West 14th Street.

Some of Chama Mama’s specialties include fresh baked bread in a clay oven, “cheeseboats” and natural Georgian wines.


The menu starts out with a number of doughs filled with meats and cheeses, plus cold vegetable plates with components including eggplant, walnuts and beets.

penovani khachapuri

via Chama Mama on Facebook

Shared plates include a grilled kornish hen, kababs and skewers, and other meat dishes.

via Chama Mama on Facebook

And the dessert menu lists a Napoleon, honey cake, and a “pelamushi,” a traditional Georgian sweet grape pudding.

chama mama upper west side

via Chama Mama on Facebook

Chama Mama has gotten quite a bit of press, including praiseworthy write-ups by The NY Times and The Infatuation.

Reviews from diners are also strong; the restaurant has a score of 4.5 stars on Yelp, 4.7 stars on Google, and 4.9 stars on their Facebook page.

Chama Mama tells us they plan to open before the end of the year, and they’ll be announcing an official opening date soon.

Learn more at

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