We’ve been meaning to try Diviera Drive, the new, slightly confusing restaurant on North 7th and Bedford, for weeks now but have been distracted by all the recent openings in North Brooklyn. Yelp reviews have been mixed and Gothamist just ran a largely adjective-free ‘review.’ Have you been? The space looks appealing. Let us know what you think.
It’s hard to miss the sailboat, out of place as it is blocks away from the water at the corner of Berry Street and North 7th in Williamsburg. It’s the touchstone piece of Diviera Drive, a multifaceted new dining venue that’s been evolving since quietly debuting a few months back. For now, the boat is just an interesting set piece in part of the restaurant’s outdoor patio; but soon, it’ll be gutted and repurposed with a special table, which can be reserved for a unique dinner….
The restaurant is divided into several sections, beginning with a coffee and liquor bar up front familiar to anyone who’s experienced Italy’s many espresso haunts. It’s an intentional nod by owner Oliver Strumm, who looked to recreate a Southern Italian motif and dining experience in the four years it took to bring the spot to fruition. The Vespa parked out front belongs to one of the kitchen staff and the wood-burning oven was flown in from Naples, but much of the decor and food is more local.
In a previous life, the space housed a mechanic shop (rumor has it Ricky Martin even filmed a music video there) and touches can still be seen, like the movable garage doors and a stand advertising different types of chains. Behind the boat, artist Christian Calabro has his studio, where he produces work that can be seen hanging in the bar. The up-front deli does sell imported things like olive oils, meats, dried pastas and the like, but the cheese selection hails from NY and VT and the shop also stocks a seasonal chai tea made nearby.
The menu leans on staples like pasta, pizza and a selection of small plates, turned out from a semi-open kitchen that can also be viewed from a soon-to-be-open takeout window on the outdoor patio. The Salsicce pizza ($16) employs pork sausage for a meaty, salty note, rounded out by a white sauce and some onion zip from leeks. Mains include a Pollo Diavola ($23) with wood roasted mushrooms and pastas like the Ravioli all’Osso Buco ($12/20) stuffed with beef shank.
They’ve been playing around with DJs and live music in the back room, which they’ve dubbed the “El Dorado Yacht Club,” and plan to have a jazz group coming in next month. There’s a second bar back there, where they’ll mix up Spicy Margaritas made with Campari and the Blushing Italian, also with Campari plus gin and grapefruit juice. During the hot months, take the drinks out to one of the lounge chairs or picnic benches outside or retreat to the Greenhouse, a year-round glass-enclosed space decorated with palm-like trees.
131 Berry Street (at North 7th)