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Here I am, one of the first people to walk into a new restaurant concept in Mar Mikahel. Welcome to DIVVY, Samer Chehlawi's new venture. “Who’s Samer Chehlawi?” I hear some of you asking… the name may ring a bell to a few of you as Chehlaoui was once upon a time a co-owner at Roadster's Diner and is today the owner of a whole new food experience in our country.
It's not a diner and it's not like anything you have previously experienced in town before. Welcome to Divvy, where sharing, as the word means, is the name of the game. As they well put it…"the Chinese call it Dim Sum, the Spanish call it Tapas, the Lebanese call it Mezze, we call it Divvy."
So please come to this place expecting to try something new… keep any preconceptions or any expectations you may have back home and come and enjoy the true meaning of sharing plates from all four corners of the world.
Open up your eyes to understand the concept; It's nothing close to Roadster!
Welcomed by Hanane, a smiling waitress, we were given a piece of paper with her name written on it as well as the name of her favorite dish.
The decor details:
- Access the place facing the bar
- A rugged space with dark yet soothing colors. A fine piece of architecture that will take your breath away
- Check out the bear decorating the left wall of white blocks of stone. A large bear created out of metal and construction left overs
- Three metallic doors take you outside with a sign (outdoor)
- Dark wooden tables fill in the space. A nice kind of wood making you feel at home
- Two long sofas: A grey one at entrance positoned to the left, and another long leather one to the right under the different lid windows
- The floor is covered with glazed concrete, following the outside green and white tiles which start before the doors limit
- Four fans add this industrial feel to the space while their backlight make the space look like a New York loft
- Four fake windows eliminate all possibilities of feeling claustrophobic
- Four long neon lights add light to the entrance, three yellow lanterns light the side tables and the neon fans take care of the general ambiance
- A soft musical background plays around
- Waiters wear long aprons with the Divvy’s logo on each
- A New York American architectural spirit that blends perfectly well in the spirit of Mar Mikhael
On the menu you can read:
- Divvy: Verb: the act of gastronomical sharing in a cozy urban setting. Leads to glider bonds. Noun: A person who has mastered the art of sharing mouthwatering dishes. Friendship, laughing, memories, relationships, first dates.
- Veggie and cheese
The first impression was great. A stainless cup filled with forks and knives lands on our table alongside a pile of porcelain plates. Sharing it is.
Before starting, I just wanted to make a point here. Divvy is still in its preopening phase – so any mishaps or imperfections from the kitchen will be treated in the days to come.
We ordered all the specialties of the menu:
- Brie n' Blueberry LBP18,500: Served in a metallic fryer, five balls of breaded brie cheese are fried. A crunchy envelope around a melting heart of cheese. Dip each bite into their signature blueberry sauce and enjoy. An upscale diner style starter. The sauce is exceptional.
- Goat Cheese Salad LBP21,000: A generous portion of salad served in a bowl shaped plate filled with a mix of different lettuce, cherry tomatoes cut in half, raisins and a load of goat cheese balls covered with sesame seeds. Strong lemony mustard dressing blended with balsamic vinegar adds certain finesse to this plate. My favorite is the pine nuts. I would personally remove the tomatoes, which are surely added for their color, but these can easily be replaced with some cranberries adding color and a certain enjoyable sweetness.
- The Divvy Salad LBP33,000: This is a fine dining creation. Crunchy and fresh green spinach leaves, chewy fried leeks with grilled shrimps and Parmesan cheese on top and the best part is the signature dressing that contains truffle oil... Lovely to say the least.
- Wild Shiitake Mushrooms LBP22,000: Tender mushrooms bathing in creamy sauce and mixed with smoky slices of bacon, served all together in a copper casserole. Served warm, the textures of this plate are excellent. I loved it!
- Spinach n' Mushroom Dip LBP14,000: A small portion of spinach, mushroom cubes and a basket of bread. Nothing to write home about.
- Buffalo Chicken Tortilla LBP14,000: Six pieces of crispy tortilla served on a wooden platter next to each other. Each one is topped with cheddar cheese, a chunk of chicken and buffalo sauce. This is what I call a revisited tortilla - the Divvy way. With every bite, enjoyment is guaranteed. Remember, you're not at Chili's. PS: Each bite costs LBP2,500 enjoyed slowly and calmly.
- Countryside Steak Sandwich LBP27,000: Just imagine a large pain de campagne slightly toasted and filled with tender slices of meat, with lollo verde lettuce and some old style mustard with mayonnaise sauce. I loved the bread, I loved the meat and loved the sauce... All together it was a triple love affair.
- The Divvy Crostini LBP20,000: A thick piece of bread topped with tartar sauce, scrambled eggs, a thin sliced tomato with crunchy bacon.
- The Divvy Braised Chicken LBP24,000: Braised chicken served in a bed of ricotta cheese, spinach and mashed potatoes. I couldn't try it to be honest as it contains garlic; but my friends liked it.
- Asian Baked Salmon LBP29,000: A perfectly cooked piece of salmon melts in your mouth like butter, soft mushrooms... Until you bite into the hard crunchy leeks. The salmon and its sauce are good. I would have enjoyed it better without the leeks.
Food at Divvy is good, preparedf with love and dedication and containing the finest of ingredieints. At least, everything around here is new and inovative. But my question: What is it about leeks and Divvy?
- Twix Ice Cream Cake LBP13,000: A slice of ice cream cake topped with dark chocolate couli. Interesting!
- Lemon Meringue Tart LBP13,000: Crunchy border, cold lemon cream and meringue on top. Many professional pastry shops miss this dessert. Divvy gets it right.
- The sharing concept
- The sharing red coasters
- The ashtrays without cigarette support
- The ingredients used are the finest around
- The service is perfect
Didn't enjoy much:
- It's a bit pricey
- I expected better desserts
Over all, the place is a must visit…. A unique experience indeed… That's what Divvy is all about.
Divvy will be opening very soon. Stay tuned.