New Georgian restaurant in Milan serves up bold design and great food
Gheama is a new Georgian restaurant in Milan with interiors designed by celebrated Tbilisi-based design practice Rooms Studio
Gheama is a new Georgian restaurant in Milan fostering good conversation in the company of great design. The space is the first restaurant design by Nata Janberidze and Keti Toloraia, the duo behind Rooms Studio.
The space is a study in compelling contrasts, with hefty, nouveau-medieval furniture, such as blocky black wood chairs and steel chandeliers, alongside whimsical, monochromatic touches like a torch-holding hand popping out from the wall. The result is a restaurant that feels like the stage set for Bram Stoker’s Dracula, if it were designed by a French modernist.
Triangle-shaped hanging lights and pedestal lamps by British designer Elliot Barnes sits alongside collectible pieces from Room Studio’s own ‘Wild Minimalism’ collection, which includes an oversized wooden chess table, steel chandliers, roomy black wood chairs carved with geometric patterns, and monochromatic tapestries that look like textile interpretations of Matisse’s cut-outs.
From Janberidze and Toloraia’s perspective, the restaurant is an aesthetic articulation of their experience growing up in Tbilisi, Georgia. ‘The idea was to create a meditative atmosphere,’ say the pair, ’and a feeling of wholeness and oneness by using repeating motifs with Georgian aesthetics, simple shapes and raw natural materials.’
‘Gheama’ means ‘good for you’ in Georgian, and every aspect of the space – from its interiors to its food and regional wine – has been designed to create a warm, nourishing, and creative atmosphere.
‘As international as many variations of cuisine have become, this small nation’s abundant traditions in the kitchen have been left untouched,’ says Gheama’s founder Irina Shengelidze. ‘Through Gheama, our guests will have a unique chance to get to know Georgia more closely. This will be a space for artists, photographers, designers.’
The restaurant opening was one of the highlights of Milan Design Week 2022. Say Janberidze and Toloraia: ‘We wanted visitors to feel part of a communal, social feast – Gheama is a Georgian supra with a Milanese twist.’ §