Woodfire Grill. A review.

I was so very excited to finally get my mouth into Chef Kevin Gillespie’s Woodfire Grill.  Bonus, he was there when I was. Score!

It has an elegant farmhouse feel. Also surprisingly quiet so a great option to go with people you actually want to talk to while you enjoy your meal.

The menu is crazy simple and crazy delicious.  Forget seasonal ,this is weekly fresh what’s available.  I am of the opinion when you focus on a very few items they are all done very well and Woodfire Grill proves that to be true.

First up a deceptively simple appearing green salad. Dressed with red onion, white beans and an assortment of greens.  Not to be outdone are castaveltrano olives that give an added dose of vibrant green with creamy fatty but unaggressive presence. Olives can be overwhelming in delicate applications and the chef knows how to temper them perfectly.  One bite of this composed salad and it clearly has been given careful consideration in each component. It sang in the mouth!

 Fried oysters were really quite spectacular. Three very fat oysters dressed in a parsley herb salad.  What stood out about these is the creamy warm inside, not hot so they weren’t cooked hard. The outside crisp and not a trace of grease.  The dressing is exquisite. A kiss of smokey bacon, corn milk and flat leaf parsley/herbs. Delicate restraint again as with the green salad. This dish made me very happy.  I fought my desire to order it again twice. Today I am regretting that decision. I may sneak back very soon to enjoy it again.

Steak with potato butter, caramelized onions and greens. My meat was overcooked but I didn’t send it back. The dish as a whole was another magnificent accomplishment.  The silky potato butter was the seat for the steak. Garnishing it were the sweet onions and greens.  A symphony of flavor and texture that was well beyond satisfying.  My joy continued with each bite.

Halibut was cooked beautifully. A large portion of fish with an excellent  sear. Beautiful beet schmear and tender fennel set off the delicate fish beautifully.

The pastry chef has just been named one of Atlanta’s rising stars and it’s all too evident why when you get some desserts in front of you.  Two staff members cited the sticky toffee pudding as a favorite so that along with the smores plate were ordered. The pudding is as good as any I’ve had. Warm, tender, sweet and gooey. It’s very rich and perhaps best suited to cool weather. The smores platter is spectacular. Graham cracker ice cream, banana slices, icing like chocolate piped (but to my delight it was not overly sweet icing) and shards of chocolate to garnish. Lots of chocolate wafer cookie bits peppered around for texture. A true success on the dessert front.

I am not in the habit of revisiting restaurants but I will make Woodfire Grill a habit.

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