I don’t usually think about a review too much, I just open a new tab and start writing. But, with Divvy, it was hard just placing it in a category to decide how to proceed from there.
Here’s what I ended up with: if you get the concept of mezzah in Lebanese cuisine, and replace the dishes with a slightly larger ones and include dishes from cuisines around the world and a few original concepts, you’ll get Divvy.
Divvy means dividing up and sharing, and that’s what the place is all about (minus the bathroom of course as you can see in the sign above =P). From the moment you sit down, it starts, with the hostess welcoming you to the table and handing you a card with your waiter or waitress’ name, and some info about them. We got Marwan, who’s a huge Game of Thrones fan, so when he did end up coming to our table, I opened up with “Winter is coming!”
After ordering our drinks, we got the coasters attached to each other, and we had to break them off in the spirit of divvying everything, including the coasters!
The second I looked at the menu, one particular item caught my eye: shiitake mushroom casserole with bacon. Now, those two ingredients are perhaps my two of my all-time favorites, albeit they’re never mixed as far as I know. So, having lots of shiitake, in shiitake sauce riddled with chunks of savory bacon, was a definite yes. I guess if I were a chef, and wanted to create an epic dish, it’d be that and I’d add some pasta!
We opened with that divine dish, so I didn’t really expect the rest to live up to that standard. But, they did. We got the twin burgers (so you can share them, duuuh) and they were awesome. The bun and meat were so supple and juicy and the flavors went together perfectly, with no ingredient overpowering the flavor: even the ingredients divvied up the taste.
The last order we got was braised chicken on a bed of ricotta cheese, spinach and mashed potatoes. Now, the spices they put on the extremely tender, juicy chicken was something I fell in love with, and I couldn’t get the Divvy people to tell me what that secret ingredient was, but it was sublime.
The dishes are mostly somewhere between 20,000 LBP and 28,000 LBP, and they’re not enough to make you full, so, the idea is being there with loads of other people and order a bunch of items off the menu. The price is probably gonna be divvied up, so you’ll end up with somewhere between 20 and 25 USD if you’re 2 folks that ordered 3-4 dishes and a drink.
The drinks are also awesome, with a really neat presentation. I’d recommend the Absinthe-based one if you’re into the sour kind of cocktails, and the passion fruit one if you like the bitter-sweet kind of taste (it comes with half a passion fruit and a spoon too!)
The place is very nice too. They’ve built a traditional stone masonry wall in the outdoor section, and the inside is full of cool artwork (the light fixtures and awesome Grizzly bear were my favorite). The music was just the right volume to make you bob your head while enjoying your meal, but allowed for conversation to flow very smoothly. It was nice, chill, sometimes electronic music.
All in all, it’s been quite a while since I enjoyed food that much. It was exciting tasting new, weird dishes, and pleasantly enjoying more traditional ones that tasted unusually good. The staff is very friendly, the venue is pretty cool in the heart of Mar Mikhail, and the food, well, nothing I say will give it justice, so, I’ll let you decide for yourselves so you don’t think I’m being too biased. All in all, they’ve worked hard on the concept and menu, and it shows. It’s nice to see someone do that when the trend recently has been menus with just a handful of items, in a tiny place that specializes in one thing. Don’t get me wrong, that’s awesome and I love that, but sometimes, it’s nice to go for something more.