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mnebergall

Woodfire Grill (ATL)

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I happened to be visiting the Atlanta area on a business trip (stayed at a hotel in Buckhead). I doing some quick research on nearby restaurants, I settled on the Woodfire Grill on Cheshire Bridge Road. With 6 business associates, none from the Atlanta area, we proceeded to have an absolutely excellent dinner. Chef Michael Tuohy is a very talented chef.

We started off with a couple of bottles of wine (excellent wine list): a Goldwater New Dog Sauvignon Blanc and an Arcadian Pinor Noir (CA). Both excellent. For appetizers, we all shared a woodfired pizza, a bowl of olives, the salmon and halibut tartar, the fritto misto, the fava beans, and I can't remember what else. I was especially fond of the tartar, the salmon and halibut were at the peak of freshness, and the flavors of the two different fish blended nicely.

Most eveyone had the fresh salmon cooked on a plank of wood. I, on the other hand, ordered the duck breast/venison mixed grill with the sunchokes. Wow, beautiful duck and venison, cooked with rosy centers and a nice crust. At first, I thought the sunchokes were some kind of sauteed mushrooms, but then I remembered that the menu said sunchokes and I never remembered the things tasting so good. I guess the main reason I chose this entree is that the chef appears to spend a great deal of time sourcing his ingredients in order to ensure that he has the season's freshed and that they come from small local farms. DAMN, was it good.

The fellow next me had the diver scallops with grits (he is from Memphis). He commented on how good his entree was and even though my mixed grill was stupendous, I was sort of jealous of the scallops it is one of my favorites.

I'm sure the planked salmon was good, eveyone that ordered it seemed to enjoy it. One guy had the rib eye steak. He commented that it did not seem to have that "woodfire" taste. I commented that if he really wanted the woodfire flavor, he should have ordered the chicken because I suspect it would absorb more of the flavor of the fire.

A couple of folks had the tiramissou (sp) for dessert. They commented that it was something special. I opted for the cheese course. The cheese course was unlike any I have ever had. I got three cheeses and it came with about three different kinds of fruit, a date, some sort of dried apricot thing, and one other that I can't now remember, a couple of different kinds of bread and some maracana almonds. It blew me away.

You folks in the Atlanta area are lucky to have someone like Chef Tuohy in your midst. The next time I am in the area, I plan to go back.

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I could not agree with you more, mnebergall, on the good fortune we Atlantans have had in finding Michael Tuohy in our midst! He has brought the taste of California to the southeast and we have enjoyed his contributions enormously! I personally have enjoyed many an excellent meal and marveled at his cheese offerings as well. For more from Bill Addison of Creative Loafing Atlanta, click here ...... and here.


Melissa Goodman aka "Gifted Gourmet"

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I concur with you both. I've eaten at Woodfire Grill a few times. (And how was he able to get that web address? I would have thought that it would have been picked up quite a while ago.) Although, I haven't been in over a year. I think I need to make some dinner reservations soon.

-Greg

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I concur with you both.  I've eaten at Woodfire Grill a few times.  (And how was he able to get that web address?  I would have thought that it would have been picked up quite a while ago.)  Although, I haven't been in over a year.  I think I need to make some dinner reservations soon.

-Greg

Sounds like the makings of a possible eGullet dinner at Woodfire Grill. Er, are we still allowed to do that?

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Sounds like the makings of a possible eGullet dinner at Woodfire Grill. Er, are we still allowed to do that?

Off-line, via PM. If the occasion is less than 7 days away you can post to the ISO thread pinned at the top of each location's forum, or you can bury a query in a thread, but all of the subsequent details, etc. have to be via PM or email or whatever.

My blog a couple of weeks ago featured a recent dinner at Woodfire (including a rather fetching picture of Michael and the wine director, Greg Koetting). Clearly one of our favorite restaurants in town, though it's hardly alone in offering great food.

I don't see the food as being particularly Californian, despite it's typically being described that way. Just good food, well-prepared.


Can you pee in the ocean?

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How funny, I'm in Atlanta on my regular monthly visit and I have reservations at Woodfire for tomorrow night. Good timing for this topic! I'm especially excited for the cheese course.

Question: I am dining solo, but I asked for a table as I often have terrible dining experiences at the bar here in Atlanta due to smokers. But I heard there is a nice communal table at Woodfire. Would you recommend keeping my table (I don't mind dining alone) or should I eat at the communal table?

And, BTW, I would be interested in an eGullet dinner if one is organized for the ATL crew....

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going there tonight because of this thread.

will let you know how it goes.


Andrew Baber

True I got more fans than the average man but not enough loot to last me

to the end of the week, I live by the beat like you live check to check

If you don't move yo' feet then I don't eat, so we like neck to neck

A-T-L, Georgia, what we do for ya?

The Gentleman Gourmand

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How funny, I'm in Atlanta on my regular monthly visit and I have reservations at Woodfire for tomorrow night.  Good timing for this topic!  I'm especially excited for the cheese course. 

Question:  I am dining solo, but I asked for a table as I often have terrible dining experiences at the bar here in Atlanta due to smokers.  But I heard there is a nice communal table at Woodfire.  Would you recommend keeping my table (I don't mind dining alone) or should I eat at the communal table?

And, BTW, I would be interested in an eGullet dinner if one is organized for the ATL crew....

You can certainly sit at the communal table, but you could also just sit right at the bar, as Woodfire's bar is entirely smoke free. In fact, they don't even call it a bar, but the "front room". Bag the solo table and dine in the front room.

The cheese spa (or cooler or whatever) is located in the hallway between the front room and the back room, adjacent to the grill area. Try not to get saliva all over the front of it, okay?


Can you pee in the ocean?

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Well, very enjoyable meal last night. I decided to sit at a table in the dining room, even though I was by myself, as the Front Room was completely empty and if I was dining alone regardless I might as well sit in a comfortable seat!

I started with the bowl of olives and then had the Kumomoto oysters as my small plate. This was my second helping of these this month, and they are heaven. Woodfire's presentation was wonderful, served on a bed of sea salt with a Meyer lemon and a champagne mignonet. Delicioso :biggrin:

For my main plate I went with the cedar plank Alaska salmon - the scallops recommended above were now served with Yukon Gold potatoes instead of grits, and I'd had some on a mixed grill the previous night - and the venison/duck plate was tempting, but I was so enjoying my glass of Quincy that the salmon seemed like the best bet. It was great as the fish is recently in season and therefore fresh and "bright", and it really picked up the flavor from the cedar and the woodfire oven.

I went with a 3 selection cheese course and a glass of porto; the standout was a pecorino, firm and rich that blended perfectly with the porto.

The real standout for me was the service. I was lucky enough to have the Wine Director (Greg Koetting) as my waiter, and he made some fantastic recommendations in the beverage department and also patiently answered all my questions - even those I had him ask the chef for me (I'm VERY inquisitive). Most importantly, he made what is often an awkward experience, eating alone, into an enjoyable evening.

Woodfire Grill is a great bet if you are in town for business in Atlanta, or to visit multiple times as the months change and new food comes into season.

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The real standout for me was the service.  I was lucky enough to have the Wine Director (Greg Koetting) as my waiter, and he made some fantastic recommendations in the beverage department and also patiently answered all my questions - even those I had him ask the chef for me (I'm VERY inquisitive).  Most importantly, he made what is often an awkward experience, eating alone, into an enjoyable evening. 

Greg's a very cool guy, and a great server (and manager---he was the manager at Blais back in the day).

Glad you enjoyed your meal. Next time you're in town maybe we can get some eGulleteers together and show you some more of the local talent.


Can you pee in the ocean?

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California Dreamin' article: Creative Loafing Atlanta

"People make all kinds of arguments for cooking with local, seasonal food, but it really comes down to taste. The difference is phenomenal."

Tuohy, whose own squash blossoms stuffed with goat cheese I await to come into season, gained his affection for local seasonal food ... "There's no question that food consciousness in Atlanta has evolved in the last 10 to 15 years," he said. "When I opened Chefs' Cafe, we had a seasonal menu. I changed it four times a year. That was considered radical then. Now I change it daily. We have such improved access to fresh foods that it's not unusual for me to be making menu changes as late as 5:15.

Tuohy goes on to explain some of his ideas on seasonal cooking which he employs at Woodfire Grill, many types of asparagus dinners, and his primordial wood grill ... this is a fine insight into an equally fine chef ...


Melissa Goodman aka "Gifted Gourmet"

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This sounds like a great place, and I admire Chef Tuohy's philosophy. We'll be in Atlanta in June, visiting cousins, and if I can nudge them away from their safe and comfortable and boring eating habits I'd love to take them to Woodfire Grill. I checked out their web site but didn't see any prices or even estimates thereof. Can someone clue me on the approximate range for apps and entrees, and whether the wine list is fairly priced?


Edited by Alex (log)

Gene Weingarten, writing in the Washington Post about online news stories and the accompanying readers' comments: "I basically like 'comments,' though they can seem a little jarring: spit-flecked rants that are appended to a product that at least tries for a measure of objectivity and dignity. It's as though when you order a sirloin steak, it comes with a side of maggots."

 

-The mosque is too far from home, so let's do this / Let's make a weeping child laugh.

    Nida Fazli, poet, 1938-2016 (translated, from the Urdu, by Anu Garg, wordsmith.org)

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Can someone clue me on the approximate range for apps and entrees, and whether the wine list is fairly priced?

The prices, and this is just a rough estimate, look pretty much like this: appetizers are between $6-8, main entrees run from $18-22 or so, and desserts $6-8 .. the wine list is extensive but reasonably priced.

Well worth your time to check it out .. do make reservations though!


Melissa Goodman aka "Gifted Gourmet"

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Can someone clue me on the approximate range for apps and entrees, and whether the wine list is fairly priced?

Gifted Gourmet's estimates of prices are about right. These prices are very typical of Atlanta upmarket restaurants that aren't quite in the nosebleed range (which we've also got).

The wine list is excellent (caveat: wine director Greg Koetting is a friend) and well-priced. And on Sunday nights bottles are half price. Yep, half price, which means we go on Sunday nights and order the most expensive bottles on the list.

Woodfire is only one of many restaurants in this area that emphasize use of local products, etc. Tuohy's doing a Slow Food dinner this evening if anybody's looking for a cool way to spend Friday night. Info from the Georgia Organics web site:

Friday, April 29th,7:30pm, Slow Dinner at Woodfire Grill

Join us for an evening to remember! Chef Michael Tuohy is a true Slow Food chef and a pioneering force behind the Slow Food movement in Atlanta. Chef Tuohy will feature regional delights such as spring Vidalia onions, softshell crabs, Georgia white shrimp, Sequatchie Cove Farm spring lamb, Anson Mills Carolina Gold Rice, cheeses from Sweetgrass Dairy, and local organic produce. Four-course dinner includes wine, tax and gratuity. $85 per person for current Slow Food members, $90 for non-members.


Can you pee in the ocean?

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This sounds like a great place, and I admire Chef Tuohy's philosophy. We'll be in Atlanta in June, visiting cousins, and if I can nudge them away from their safe and comfortable and boring eating habits I'd love to take them to Woodfire Grill. I checked out their web site but didn't see any prices or even estimates thereof. Can someone clue me on the approximate range for apps and entrees, and whether the wine list is fairly priced?

Nudging successful -- we'll be there this Saturday.

If it's possible to say so, what would you recommend as the not-to-be-missed apps or entrées for this week?


Gene Weingarten, writing in the Washington Post about online news stories and the accompanying readers' comments: "I basically like 'comments,' though they can seem a little jarring: spit-flecked rants that are appended to a product that at least tries for a measure of objectivity and dignity. It's as though when you order a sirloin steak, it comes with a side of maggots."

 

-The mosque is too far from home, so let's do this / Let's make a weeping child laugh.

    Nida Fazli, poet, 1938-2016 (translated, from the Urdu, by Anu Garg, wordsmith.org)

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Nudging successful -- we'll be there this Saturday.

If it's possible to say so, what would you recommend as the not-to-be-missed apps or entrées for this week?

Pretty much everything's seasonal, so I'd just go with whatever you find appealing food-wise. I particularly like the desserts at Woodfire, but if you're into cheese make sure you check out the cheese keeper that's on your right just as you walk into the main dining room.

Also, note that Woodfire is converting its front bar area to a "small plates" cafe. No reservations for that part of the restaurant, and I think there is going to be a takeout component as well. Service starts sometime this weekend, I think, either Friday or Saturday.


Can you pee in the ocean?

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If it's possible to say so, what would you recommend as the not-to-be-missed apps or entrées for this week?

Damn you, Alex. Since you'd asked for specific recs I went ahead and checked the menu on the web site, and now I'm very hungry indeed.

Things I'd specifically recommend as being seasonal are the roasted vidalia onion soup (this was on the menu a couple of weeks ago---my 11 year old daughter ordered it and ended up having to defend her bowl from the stray spoons of the rest of us), the Georgia white shrimp (I've not had this particular dish, but Georgia shrimp are great), and the vegetable plate (still featuring ramps, not found too frequently in other parts of the world).


Can you pee in the ocean?

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I just noticed a job posting of theirs on craigslist and shot an email their way. Since I'm sort of between jobs now I figure it would be pretty damn cool to work there for a while.

Anybody wanna pull some strings for me? :rolleyes:

Ill let you know how it goes, maybe Ill end up serving one of you guys. :raz:

Oh, and the meal I had there was amazing. I ended up doing an impromptu tasting menu and every course was fantastic. It seemed like Chef Tuohy had a great time doing it, too.


Andrew Baber

True I got more fans than the average man but not enough loot to last me

to the end of the week, I live by the beat like you live check to check

If you don't move yo' feet then I don't eat, so we like neck to neck

A-T-L, Georgia, what we do for ya?

The Gentleman Gourmand

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what would you recommend as the not-to-be-missed apps or entrées for this week?

These would be my recommendations (therese is also right on her choices):

Last updated: Monday, June 6th, 2005

wild alaskan king salmon tartare, shallots, herbs, lemon, meyer lemon oil, micro greens or crisp gulf soft-shell crab, arugula-piquillo pepper salad, sweet corn sauce

wood grilled hudson valley quail, arugula & sun dried tomato salad, fig balsamic vinaigrette or wood oven baked georgia white shrimp, garlic, sherry vinegar, pimenton picante, chile oil

wood grilled house dry aged painted hills ribeye, assorted potatoes, assorted mushroom ragout or wood grilled whole carolina mountain rainbow trout, corn-sun dried tomato-chanterelle mushroom ragout


Melissa Goodman aka "Gifted Gourmet"

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Now I'm hungry, too. I want one of everything.

Thanks for the input, therese and Melissa. I'll report back next week.


Gene Weingarten, writing in the Washington Post about online news stories and the accompanying readers' comments: "I basically like 'comments,' though they can seem a little jarring: spit-flecked rants that are appended to a product that at least tries for a measure of objectivity and dignity. It's as though when you order a sirloin steak, it comes with a side of maggots."

 

-The mosque is too far from home, so let's do this / Let's make a weeping child laugh.

    Nida Fazli, poet, 1938-2016 (translated, from the Urdu, by Anu Garg, wordsmith.org)

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Our cousins had to postpone our visit at the last minute, so unfortunately we won't be getting to Woodfire Grill for a while. :angry::angry::sad:

Thanks for the info, though, and I'll post again if and when we get there.


Gene Weingarten, writing in the Washington Post about online news stories and the accompanying readers' comments: "I basically like 'comments,' though they can seem a little jarring: spit-flecked rants that are appended to a product that at least tries for a measure of objectivity and dignity. It's as though when you order a sirloin steak, it comes with a side of maggots."

 

-The mosque is too far from home, so let's do this / Let's make a weeping child laugh.

    Nida Fazli, poet, 1938-2016 (translated, from the Urdu, by Anu Garg, wordsmith.org)

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article here in Atlanta Creative Loafing on the Cafe at Woodfire, just opened apparently ...

The idea is to graze here on lighter, less expensive food than in the main restaurant.  I heard fried squash blossoms filled with goat cheese were being served in the restaurant, I insisted we add those to our sampling of the cafe menu.  We also sampled a pizza made with chorizo, peppers, manchego cheese, cilantro and chile oil. It was flat-out fabulous. The cafe is also serving artisan cheeses and a variety of antipasti, including wood-roasted clams with herb butter, corn soup with pancetta, roasted peppers, spiced chickpea salad and three panini. ... a Basque tuna salad with garlic toast and assorted crostini.
:wink: Now this I will most definitely be anxious to try!

Melissa Goodman aka "Gifted Gourmet"

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Woodfire Grill continues, in my opinion, to be one of the under-appreciated jewels of Atlanta dining. Michael Tuohy not only runs a fine restaurant but continues to keep his cuisine fresh, and his devotion to responsible ingredient sourcing is commendable.

A Saturday night meal with my wife was outstanding. Excellent service, fine atmosphere, great food - what more can you ask? My wife had the Georgia white shrimp and caprese salad and I tried the woodfire-grilled (of course) salmon.

Perhaps the only dig I have is the sparse beer selection. Atlanta has truly discovered craft and Belgian beers. Woodfire would do well to join in.

After our meal, we sat at the bar and enjoyed a scotch (her) and madiera (me). While there, Bruce the sous chef came out, recognized me and promptly delivered a cheese plate, gratis. Nice. :smile:


Edited by geonuc (log)

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