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Installation (Wordpress Part): Steakhead's Atlanta Eats Blog: The Smell of Fall at Woodfire Grill

Saturday, November 15, 2008

The Smell of Fall at Woodfire Grill

The first thing you notice when walking into Woodfire Grill is the smell. As its name suggests, the wood-burning stove is a prominent feature in the restaurant, and you feel like you may have been teleported to a weekend away in the mountains. But in Blue Ridge you are not. Although it may have a cabin like feel to it, you are actually in the least rustic location in Atlanta...Cheshire Bridge Rd.

The concept of Woodfire Grill is "farm to table", where they partner with local and national organic farmers to produce a meal that was healthy for everyone involved, including the diner, the farmer, the cow and the soil. The menu changes daily based on what ingredients are available, although some staples seem to be available seasonally. There menu is divided into frist courses, second courses and entrees. There are also 3-course and 5-course tasting menus. Our waiter did a great job of promoting the tasting menus, including how they could pair the wine with the courses, so Lady Steakhead and I both went with that.

The first course was a fried pork terrine served with a poached egg and a mustard viniagrette. The fried pork terrine had the consistency of a sausage patty, and I couldn't help think "gourmet breakfast sandwich". It was delicious, don't get me wrong. The second dish was an heirloom fried green tomato with a salsa verde that was the missus favorite dish. In between the courses were several small tastes to complement the meal.

The main course was a small plate of quail (small being the operative word here). Now quail is a pretty small bird, and I don't believe this was the whole bird. So once you worked around the bones, you got what was maybe the equivalent of 3 chicken wings worth of bird. It was good, but not nearly enough. The owner told me the tasting menu plates are smaller than the normal entrees as the focus is on tasting. I understand that, but I was wondering if I was going to need a 2nd dinner at the Thrasher game later that night. Then dessert came.

I don't normally have a sweet tooth, but since it was part of the prix fixe (and I was still really hungry), I wasn't going to turn it down. I ordered the carrot cake and it may have been the best carrot cake I have ever had. And it was a big piece too, so by the time I wolfed it down, my hunger pangs had disappeared!

So my take on Woodfire Grill is a positive one. The setting is wonderful, the food is healthy and delicately prepared, and the service was outstanding. Next time, I'll pass on the tasting menu, and order some menu items that caught my eye - such as Grass-fed beef carpaccio appetizer and the wood-grilled sonoma duck breast. Definitely the carrot cake again. Heck, I'd go back for that smell alone!

PS- I received this email from the restaurant regarding 1/2 price wine on Thursdays during the months of November and December. They appear to take pride in their matching of wines to meals so if you go, you may want to take advantage of it.

"Woodfire Grill offers half priced wine on Thursdays during November and December. This new 50% discount will be taken off every wine, both by the glass and by the bottle, every Thursday. Woodfire Grill’s vast wine list is sourced from 13 distributors and features selections from 11 different countries. The diverse list changes weekly to stay current with the best new releases from all over the world as well as to complement Chef Kevin Gillespie’s ever changing menu. Woodfire Grill is open for dinner Monday through Saturday at 5:30 p.m. and is located at 1782 Cheshire Bridge Road; 404-347-9055."


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