The Ambassadori Hotel is something of a legend in Tbilisi.
Located on the edge of the Old Town, close to the river and Baratashvili Bridge, it launched way back in 2004 – first as a restaurant, then expanding to include accommodations a decade later.
In other words, the hotel grew up around the kitchen – which helps to explain why the in-house restaurant is such an institution.
Ambassadori is a luxury hotel brand that is leading the new Ambassadori Batumi Island project, a Dubai-like artificial island development on Georgia’s Black Sea Coast. This brand is all about luxury experiences – and Ambassadori is known for providing excellent service and fantastic food at all its locations.
I was recently invited to stay at Ambassadori Tbilisi and give the restaurant, A.T. Kitchen, a try. A big thank-you to the Ambassadori team for hosting me!
About A.T. Kitchen
A.T. Kitchen is located on the ground floor of the hotel and is Ambassadori’s flagship restaurant (one of several eateries, bars and lounges inside the Tbilisi complex). The team here specialises in Italian-European cuisine.
A.T. has two spaces, including a beautiful Parisian-style cafe with Art Nouveau flourishes and lots of greenery. This area was recently redesigned and ties in beautifully with the small park outside. I just wish it wasn’t a smoking area! If you do want to dine here, I recommend visiting in the mid-morning before it gets too busy.
The second space is a big dining room that doubles as the breakfast area for hotel guests. It has lots of natural light and some lovely local ceramics and canvases on display.
The menu at A.T. is designed by brand chef Alexander Tohirov, originally from Uzbekistan. He also commandeers the kitchen at Restaurant Ambassadori in Batumi.
When he joined the Tbilisi team, one of his first tasks was to change the restaurant’s layout to an open kitchen so that guests could watch the chefs at work. Since the dining room is so big, it definitely makes the space feel more cosy to have the sounds and smells of the kitchen on display.
The team also added a second entrance to the restaurant from Shavteli Street, the busy pedestrian street where the Rezo Gabriadze Theatre and clocktower square are located.
A.T. Kitchen looks right out onto another Tbilisi icon – the Berikaoba statue. Crafted by Avtandil Monaselidze in 1981, this monument depicts a Pre-Christian tradition that is still practised in Kakheti today. Berikaoba welcomes the changing of the seasons with a colourful parade and several curious rituals.
A similar philosophy rules the kitchen at A.T.: The menu shifts with the seasons, celebrating whatever nature’s bounty offers up.
With this in mind, I had to embrace the spring menu and order the stracciatella salad with new tomatoes and balsamic as my first lunch.
Stracciatella cheese is definitely trending in Tbilisi at the moment, and of the couple I have tried, this is easily one of the best in the city. I was very pleased to find strawberries in my salad, which paired perfectly with the tart dressing and creamy cheese.
I also tried A.T.’s filet mignon with demi-glace and pepper, and the truffle risotto with oyster mushrooms. A good steak and a good risotto are both tricky to come by in Tbilisi, and I was very happy with my choices.
Another thing Ambassadori is known for is the dessert menu, which includes Basque cheesecake and a blancmange with feijoa and coconut ice cream. I opted for the brownie with cherry sauce.
A.T. is also known for its thin-crust pizzas, which I will have to try next time.
Staying at the Ambassadori Hotel
Ambassadori has three properties in Georgia – in Tbilisi, in Kachreti in Kakheti Wine Region, and at Goderdzi, a Georgian ski resort in Upper Adjara. The Tbilisi hotel is their flagship, with 121 rooms, several more restaurants and bars, and other amenities.
Guest quarters are located across two buildings. Rooms inside the Historical Building have a more classic design, while modern suites are located in the newer part of the property. I stayed in one of the new suites.
Rooms are spacious and luxe, with generous bathrooms. On the fourth floor there is an indoor swimming pool and a day spa.
The location is terrific, close to Orbeliani Square, the Dry Bridge Market, and just a short walk from Freedom Square and the Old Town. When you step outside, you are right at the entrance to Baratashvili Bridge for easy access to Rike Park and the Avlabari neighbourhood on the opposite side of the river.
Shortly before my stay was scheduled, there was an incident at the Ambassadori that resulted in part of the property being tragically destroyed (thankfully no one was hurt). Seeing how people rallied behind the hotel and staff is a testament to how beloved this place is in Tbilisi.
The damaged sections have already been rebuilt, and the hotel and A.T. Kitchen have remained open for business throughout this period.
A.T. Kitchen is located inside the Ambassadori Tbilisi Hotel at 17 Ioane Shavteli Street. It is open for lunch and dinner every day from 12 midday.
Reservations for the Ambassadori Tbilisi Hotel can be made direct or via Booking.com.