A few months ago Lance and I were asked to go to an event in Atlanta for a weekend in January. We decided that we should use the trip as an opportunity to try out a cool restaurant in town. What restaurant could be cooler than one with Kevin Gillespie (Top Chef Season 6) as its executive chef? Not many, that’s for sure! I made reservations for the Woodfire Grill and hoped that they’d be late enough in the day for us to have finished working. Then we waited.
Finally our trip came and we were able to keep our reservation. Oh happy day! We actually got finished with our work a bit early, called the restaurant, and they were able to seat us about a half hour early. In the reservation I had requested a table with good lighting for photography and this was commented on by our hostess who told us that we had the table with the best lighting in the house.
I didn’t take a picture of the outside of the restaurant but it looks like a small, unassuming place with solid, unadorned, wood doors. It looks tiny, like it couldn’t possibly have more than ten tables. However, when you walk in, it’s quickly apparent that the place is quite large. The restaurant opens up to a large dining area with high ceilings. The dining room was warm and cozy feeling, we were seated at a banquette that had lots of throw pillows to adjust for comfort.
The premise of the restaurant is local, seasonal dining, something that is right up our alley. The menu changes frequently with the season and has a wide range of a la carte options. However, I suggested that we just go whole hog and splurge with the 7-course tasting menu. Much to my surprise, Lance was happy to get on board with my suggestion! How awesome is that? Tasting menus are something I’d like to do more often when we dine, but sometimes it can be difficult when they require full table participation.
It’s worth noting that we did not know what the menu would be when we ordered it. We were told it would be a leap of faith. We did ask about shellfish, because neither of us care much for shellfish. Our waitress, Tiffany, let us know that scallops were the only shellfish and we decided that this would be acceptable. I got the impression that we could have gotten something instead of that course if we had been opposed to scallops.
Cauliflower aranbeet. Saffron-parsnip puree. Espelette pepper.
Our meal started with a bite size Amuse served in a spoon. The cauliflower was crunchy and the puree tasted almost like there was a creamy tomato component. Lots of flavor in a small bite – I licked every bit of my spoon clean. This was a recurring trend throughout the meal.