posted on July 29, 2015 at 8:39 am
Photo by Erik Meadows
t’s 6:30 p.m. on a Wednesday and all the bright blue tables inside the 16-seat Kirkwood restaurant Dish Dive are taken. A line of people holding bottles of wine and mixed six-packs of beer snakes out onto the patio where people dine al fresco in the summer heat. Electronic dance music plays. The bass vibrates the floor and the wood walls the restaurant shares with next-door hair salon Molasses. The interior of this small house on College Avenue across from the train tracks is alive. The people keep coming.
Dish Dive is co-owned by Jeff Myers and chef Travis Carroll, both formerly of Sound Table and Top Flr. Myers is a fun front-of-the-house man to watch. He doesn’t walk. He struts. With his salt-and-pepper hair pulled back into a ponytail he weaves in and out of the kitchen. Myers, who also DJs, is in charge of the tunes, which play louder here than other restaurants. Dish Dive feels like less of a job and more of a lifestyle for Carroll and Myers. Their independent spirit and “I do what I want” attitude are what I love about this place.
Carroll’s kitchen is so small it only has three tiny refrigerators. No walk-in. Even in such extreme proximity, the cooks seem to work in harmony. Everyone at Dish Dive is a food runner, a cook, and a server. Despite the space constraints and the staff’s all-hands-on-deck attitude, the pace of a meal here feels unhurried. The food is exactly what I picture a chef would want to eat after his shift: a little indulgent, but still refined. The menu is only 10 items long on most days and includes a mix of appetizers and entrées, although there’s no such delineation on paper. Ordering dishes with the intent to share is the best way to sample Dish Dive’s offerings. At first, Carroll changed the menu often. Now a core of diners’ most-requested items is available on a nightly basis. The six-month-old restaurant is still building relationships with farmers. For now, Your DeKalb Farmers Market, which is just down the road, is where Carroll does the bulk of the restaurant’s daily shopping.
Click here to read the rest…