As The Skinny Chef and I walked into a private event at Diviera Drive to preview the decor, cuisine, and service, I was taken by the industrial yet rustic design and massive wood burning pizza oven flown in from Naples, Italy. Upon entering this new hotspot, there is a long bar to your right and deli counter to your left that open up to a large dining room with communal tables and oversized metal garage doors that will open to the outdoor dining area throughout the Spring, Summer, and early Fall. Behind the dining area is a large bar, which makes this restaurant the perfect place for dinner, drinks, or all of the above.
After taking our seats, we were greeted by our server who explained the menu and unique way wine is served. Instead of ordering wine by the glass or bottle, at Diviera Drive you order the wine of your choice and the bottle is brought to your table, but here is the best part...you are not obligated to drink or pay for the entire bottle. You simply drink at your leisure, as much or as little as you desire, out of small glass cups that brought The Skinny Chef and I right back to Italy. At the end of your meal, the waiter uses a wooden stick to measure the amount of wine you drank and calculate how much you owe. Since the glasses reminded us of drinking wine in Dario Cecchini's butcher shop, we decided to order a bottle of Chianti, which we enjoyed throughout our meal.
We started our dining experience with meats and cheeses including mortadella, prosciutto, and tallegio with bread that was crisp and flavorful. The meats and cheeses were of the highest quality and the perfect mix of salty, fatty, creamy goodness to wet our appetite.
Next, we savored the Eggplant Parmigian Bites which were an eggplant lovers dream! Pieces of eggplant and parmigian cheese battered, fried, and served in perfect bite-sized pieces; this appetizer was a creative and innovative take on a traditional and typically run-of-the-mill Italian dish.
When The Skinny Chef and I see Octopus on a menu we can't help but order it and hope it is done right. To our delight the octopus was outstanding! Not only was it cooked perfectly, but the dish was well balanced with plump octopus, wood roasted fennel, and pumpkin seed. Every component of this dish worked in harmony with the others resulting in a light, refreshing plate that showcased the talent of the chefs hard at work in the kitchen.
With a wood burning pizza oven flown in from Naples, how could we resist ordering a Margherita Pizza? Fresh out of the oven, this piping hot pizza was brought to our table and we couldn't wait to devour it. The crust, which was thin in the center and thick around the circumference, would have made a true Napolitan proud and the quality of the ingredients, which included mozzarella di bufala and fresh basil, made this foodie beam with delight.
Certain dishes are able to really convey a chefs talent and Spaghetti Carbonara is one of them. When preparing this pasta course it is not only essential to cook the pasta so it is aldente, but it is equally important to craft a carbonara sauce that is light, somewhat creamy, salty, and remains intact for the patron to enjoy. The chefs at Diviera Drive clearly get this because their carbonara was everything a carbonara should be. It was evident that each strand of aldente housemade spaghetti was carefully and lovingly tossed in the flavorful sauce resulting in the perfect marriage of each ingredient used to construct this sublime dish.
When I looked at the sides, the Farinata stood out to me because I didn't know what it was and that was enough to pique my interest and make me decide to order it. Made from chickpea flour and seasoned with rosemary, among other things, the Farinata took on the form of a large pancake, but was a dense and filling side that could easily accompany any dish on the menu.
The Skinny Chef lovingly refers to one of the geniuses in Diviera's kitchen as "The Chicken Whisperer" and after taking my first bite of the Pollo Diavola I now know why. The dish was beautifully plated with pieces of chicken and meaty wood roasted mushrooms resting gently on one another. Before we took our first bite, The Skinny Chef told me to look at the plate and notice the chicken wasn't sitting in a pool of its own juices because it had been roasted and rested with care to ensure its juices stayed right where they should, in the meat. Between the crispy skin and tender, succulent, well seasoned and slightly spicy meat, this was not your average chicken dish. Paired well with hearty mushrooms, this plate raced to the top of my list as one of the best roasted chickens I have eaten at a restaurant.
We completed our meal by sharing an Affogato and left thinking this new restaurant in Williamsburg has the horsepower to speed to the top! I suggest you make your way there before it is impossible to snag a table.