Recipes are written in a language all their own, leading amateur cooks to confuse a pinch for a dash or forget that the chef's word for "water" is "salt." Trust a native speaker with today's Groupon: for $15, you get $30 worth of international cuisine at Bar Divani.
Using sustainable and locally supplied ingredients, the restaurant and wine bar puts a contemporary, global spin on traditional American fare with a menu riddled with shareable small plates and flatbreads. Inside the rabbit ravioli ($9.99–$16.99), braised rabbit nestles into house-made pasta with mushrooms, pearl onions and a red-wine ragout, and braised lamb shank ($19.99) swims in rose-water curry as dates, carrots, and oranges float alongside. The chef prepares scotch eggs ($10.99) by tossing a lamb-sausage caber toward hardboiled quail eggs, remaining careful not to stain the dish’s kilt. Flavor-packed fixings rest atop flatbreads, crafting such bites as the prosciutto flatbread with brie, prosciutto, and arugula ($10.99) or the pesto shrimp topped with sautéed shrimp, roasted red pepper, and arugula pesto ($11.99). Guests can cleanse palates with a choice of 50 wines by the glass, 300 by the bottle, and more than 70 craft beers from around the world and 12 from moon breweries. Bar Divani also boasts more than 350 liquors and an extensive selection of martinis and classic cocktails.
A deep, wood wine cellar showcases bottles through glass windows, while rich brown curtains cascade from the ceiling hiding only the most cunning hide-and-go-seek players. Rich fabrics cover plush chairs and circular booths while elegant, covered light fixtures hover overhead. Exposed brick and shiny, bronzed columns add lavish touches to Bar Divani's romantic setting.
Cherries from Michigan bedeck rainbow trout from a farm in Harrietta. Mrs. Dog’s Disappearing Mustard, from Grand Rapids, drapes across sausage made from lamb raised on a family farm in McBain. Though many of the ingredients at Bar Divani are local, the chefs draw culinary influences from around the world. They dunk Bay of Fundy salmon in walnuts and apple horseradish relish, and combine dollops of aged cheddar-cheese grits with small plates of cajun-spiced black tiger shrimp. The trio of lamb sliders prance through a range of flavors, from sweet cinnamon honey yogurt to pickled carrot and pistachio butter.
The earthy scent of simmering bourbon barbecue sauce suits the warmly hued dining room, where light dances off rich wooden accents. An illuminated wine cellar showcases 40 varieties, allowing patrons to find the ideal pairing for any dish or discretely cheat through the Wine Connoisseur Weekly crossword. Servers cut among bronze columns beneath exposed-brick walls, leaving a wake of aromas that hint at alligator and exotic grains of paradise as they visit curved booths swaddled in ornate fabrics.
15 Ionia Ave. SW
Grand Rapids, Michigan 49503