Before last week, my only visit to Dish Dive was after hours. Chef Shane Devereux was in the kitchen and a plate of his pillowy soft gnocchi hit the spot after several cocktails with friends in Decatur. Partners Jeff Myers and chef Travis Carroll present an eclectic menu of small plates that packs the tiny, minimal dining room most evenings.
My friend BA suggested we dine there last week and I was excited to see Myers (Top Flr, Sound Table, The Lawrence) and crew in action. He grabbed a smooth bottle of cab (yes, it’s BYOB!) and we headed to the restaurant’s somewhat off-the-beaten-path location in Decatur…or is it Kirkwood? Had we come a day earlier we would have been treated to chef Devereux’ Monday night guest chef specials, mostly Vietnamese inspired dishes.
Myers himself runs the front of the house, opening our bottle of wine and taking our order. We decided to sample a few dishes including two that happened to be vegetarian, which we countered with the fattiest of meats, braised pork belly.
Currently enjoying a surge in popularity, cauliflower started us off. I loved the char on the pan roasted florets, presented on a plate coated with lime tahini, garnished with an array of textures and flavors; sesame, roasted nuts, basil and golden raisins.
Our second meat-free dish was the house made sage pappardelle tossed with radish, mushroom, watercress, and garlic confit, then finished with sage olive oil and shaved manchego. The toothsome pasta was packed with flavor and paired well with our wine. As we polished it off, the braised pork belly arrived.
I was initially confused by the three brown chunks on the plate but upon further inspection, I determined that two of the chunks were thick slices of French toast. Blurring the line between dinner and breakfast, the fork-tender pork and French toast were drizzled with maple-sorghum jus and served on wild leek and jalapeno grits.
In fact, my last bite of French toast with syrup and strawberries was as good as any dessert. Nonetheless, we ordered the only real dessert available, a simple slice of better-than-average cheesecake.
Dish Dive doesn’t boast a million dollar renovation or cocktails made with bitters, but its relaxed service and anything-goes menu deliver enough coolness to make up for it.
2233 College Avenue NE 404-957-7918