Divvy it Out – Small Plates, Big Impression

Richelle and Kevin “Woody” Rider – owners and chefs of Divvy and The Library in Carmel.

Good things come in small packages…and that is the absolute truth at the new, innovative and fun Divvy restaurant in Carmel, where small plates to share and “fun” are their specialty. There are over 100 cute, little scrumptious dishes on the menu to “divvy” out – from seafood, spreads, salty snacks, cheese, all types of meat, vegetarian, sweets and so on (and I can go on, trust me). Even the beer and wine tasters are cute and presented oh just so! One of the unique elements is the offering of gluten free, vegan and lactose free dishes, which is hard to find at most restaurants. Small plates are the “future of dining” according to Kevin “Woody” Rider, owner and chef of Divvy and The Library. For Kevin and his wife Richelle, fellow owner and chef alike, starting this restaurant was an easy choice. “We eat that way anyway,” said Kevin. “It’s a fun way to dine.”

The dishes at Divvy are the culmination of the past four years of Kevin and Richelle’s travels. “We ate at 27 restaurants in Seattle,” explained Kevin. “And you can’t go ten steps in Chicago without finding a great restaurant.” Another favorite dining destination was New York City. “Divvy is a melting pot of all those traveling adventures. We just wanted something different, edgy and fun.”

When you walk in the door you are immediately drawn into the chic and edgy atmosphere. “We wanted a wow factor,” Kevin said. “The bar tops are poured concrete, the floor is made entirely of reclaimed wood, the overhead lights look like floating clouds. You get a good feel when you come in.”

As you are greeted at your table, you are given the choice of sparkling or bottled water (for a nominal fee), plain tap water or their specialty tap water chilled and infused with a cucumber lemon mixture. Very refreshing and a great twist highlighting the things to come. “We wanted an alternative option that was of no cost to our customer,” said Kevin.

Before you even look at the menu, I suggest asking the wait staff to bring out two of their top favorite dishes to start, so you’ll have something to eat while you are reading over all the unique and flavorful options. And let’s face it, it never hurts to order a little extra!

I’ve been to Divvy twice and have a reservation for the third set up and waiting. This is my next order: I’ll start with a drink of course, will then order the warm bacon jam with pretzel breadsticks and horseradish mustard along with the gorgonzola balls. Moving right along to the corn crème brulee (or save this one as a dessert – it’s a nice sweet treat) and the scallop rockafellas. I would tell you what is in each of these, but it would take up too many words, so you’ll just have to go and see for yourself. Then I’ll order the Thanksgiving balls and bacon bites. Finishing my evening with a nightcap and the chocolate mousse (has a peanut butter glaze – OMG). But honestly, you can’t go wrong with any you choose. Just have fun and try something different.

I had the pleasure and privilege of taking behind the scenes (kitchen) photos. Richelle and two other chefs were working at top speeds to provide amazing turnaround times to the patrons. I was impressed. Every dish had a special added touch of art. “There will never be more than two dishes sharing the same flavor (i.e. sauce),” explained Kevin. From my personal experience and just watching several dishes go through the kitchen in about 20 minutes, each dish was unique and I’m certain they were all savored.

I would say it is the little things that count. Literally. Everything is just above and beyond the norm, from the décor, to the specialty water, to everything on the menu, to the little box of goodies you get with your bill – to either save for later or eat before you leave. (This is a very nice way to end your night.)

Reservations are recommended and it is 21 and over, so go ahead and get your date night or GNO (Girls Night Out) planned by calling 706-0000. Divvy is located at the Carmel City Center. You can’t miss it and there is plenty of parking! Enjoy. Or as Divvy says it “sip, share, savor.”

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