Woodfire Grill

It’s official. I need to move to Atlanta so I can eat at Woodfire Grill for every special occasion in my life. Such an amazing restaurant!

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Ryan and I decided to visit Woodfire Grill after reading amazing reviews online and receiving multiple recommendations from you guys, telling me it was a “must try” restaurant in Atlanta.

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The restaurant had everything… phenomenal food, a warm and romantic ambiance and friendly, knowledgeable wait staff.

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Anyone recognize this stud?

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Kevin Gillespe!

Kevin placed in the top three on the sixth season of Top Chef and was voted “fan favorite” by viewers of the show. And I can see why! Ryan and I had the pleasure of chatting with Kevin after our meal and he was so kind and gracious. He knew patrons by name and took the time to tell us more about our meal and talk about his passion for Woodfire Grill.

After reading more about him when I got home, I learned that Kevin also worked as sous chef at Two Urban Licks, the restaurant we visited on Friday night!

When we arrived at Woodfire Grill we were led to a corner open-booth table that felt extra cozy thanks to some free-standing plush pillows that we were both decorative and comfortable.

Upon seating, our waitress, Cate, took our drink orders. I opted for a glass of Riesling while Ryan ordered a Bitter End, a specialty cocktail containing Goslings rum, Aperol, Cocchi Americano, maple syrup, ginger, lemon and Peychaud’s Bitters.

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My wine was perfect and Ryan’s drink was so, so good. I kept sneaking sips! Though we laughed because the glass of Ryan’s cocktail tested his masculinity a bit, the drink itself was fantastic. The kick from the ginger added so much flavor.

While we sipped on our drinks we also enjoyed house made bread with herbed butter.

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I ate multiple pieces of the bread with butter over the course of the evening because it was perfectly doughy and incredibly fresh.

After discussing our entrée options with our waitress, Cate advised us to take advantage of the five course tasting menu and we were sold.

Though the tasting menu was technically five courses, our meal also included an amuse bouche and another “taste” course, so we felt like we actually had seven courses!

Ryan and I were both very impressed with the amuse bouche and the flavors of cucumber, parsley and red onion were fresh and vibrant.

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Ryan ordered the chef’s five course tasting menu while I opted for the pescatarian tasting menu so we could sample a little bit of everything. Our meals were the same except for two courses.

For our first course, we were served American bluefin toro (fatty belly of a tuna) with crisp tuna rice and a lime-soy emulsion, sriracha mayonnaise, young vegetables and herbs.

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Ryan and I are both big-time tuna lovers, so we were in heaven with this course. The lime-soy emulsion was a fantastic addition and I did my best to make sure every vegetable soaked up the goodness!

Course number two included… catfish.

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As you may know, catfish is the one food that totally creeps me out. I ate everything around the catfish while Ryan “mmmmed” over his catfish. He told me that if I was ever going to try catfish, I had to try this catfish because it really was that good. I put on a brave face and dug in.

And you know what? It was fantastic. I’m not saying I’m a catfish convert, but at Woodfire Grill, apparently I’m a catfish lover.

In between our courses, we refreshed our drinks a couple of times. I ordered another glass of wine while Ryan opted for the “Bartender’s Choice” cocktail.

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It ended up being a drink our waitress called a “gin fizz” and let me just tell you it went down smooth. Ryan and I went into our date night at Woodfire Grill expecting good food, but we had no idea the cocktails would be so impressive.

We also shared a Tom Collins (pictured above) toward the end of the evening that was delicious.

Next up, Ryan and I were served different dishes. I enjoyed crispy fried local green beans with Austrian crescent potatoes, marinated padron peppers and salsa brava.

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I think I could’ve easily eaten a whole plateful of the fried green beans.

Ryan’s course included wood grilled honey lacquered local quail with bacon gremolata, pole beans and cheddar rice casserole.

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The quail was right up my alley. It tasted like gourmet home cookin’ that a (very talented) grandmother would pour her heart into in the kitchen all day. It was tender enough to cut with a fork and Ryan and I both loved it.

Next up I tried – and fell in love with – something brand new! Morel mushrooms.

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Oh baby! The morel mushrooms were sautéed and served with fork-tender butter baked Alaskan sablefish with a brown butter emulsion and garlic and lemon. I definitely used my bread to soak up every last drop of the sauce on this dish!

Ryan’s main dish included wood smoked Berkshire pork loin and slow roasted pork belly with skilled roasted cabbage, Vidalia onions and sweet and sour tomatoes.

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In reading reviews from past Woodfire Grill patrons, everyone seemed to rave about the pork belly… and with good reason. Ryan and I “mmm-ed” our way through that dish! Kevin told us that they took it off the menu once and got cussed out for removing it! Apparently it is very loved!

And then it was time for dessert.

My dessert was a key lime pie frozen mousse with toasted ginger meringue (incredible!), rose-raspberry anglaise and gingersnap cookie.

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It was paired with a delicious dessert wine (2008 Quady Black Muscat, California).

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Loved that wine!

Ryan’s dessert was off the charts.

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woodfire grill atlanta 028Chocolate mousse, with almond bavarian, cherry chanilly, almond tuile and almond cherry puree.

The chocolate lover in both of us just about jumped for joy over this dessert. It was rich without being overly decadent. We practically licked our plates clean!

Our entire experience at Woodfire Grill was absolutely wonderful. A perfect date night.

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(Yes, we thoroughly enjoyed our drinks. Winking smile)

If you’re ever in Atlanta, I highly recommend visiting Woodfire Grill for the innovative and delicious food and the romantic, welcoming atmosphere.

And Kevin’s totally cool about taking pictures with visitors, too. Smile

P.S. The Fashion page was updated!


  1. Niki (Life's a Payne) says

    Wow it looks like you had a fabulous night. What does catfish taste like? Their faces creep me out!


  2. says

    I saw a lot of tasting menus while we were in San Francisco – but everything seemed to expensive for me… like 150$ per person.. something I wasn’t looking on spending.
    Everything you guys had looks delicious, though!


  3. says

    Wow! That restaurant sounds soo great! Next time im in Atlanta im taking my parents to check it out with me =D Every dish looks great!

    Glad you had a great date night! =)


  4. says

    Now that looks like my kind of meal. I love restaurants that combine great service and presentation and great tasting food too! It looks like you’re enjoying yourself.


  5. says

    OMG!! We LOVE Kevin in our house. We totally think he should have won Top Chef. I can only imagine hoe good the pork belly was – pig is his thing 🙂 I have to add Woodfire Grill to my list of must-eat restaurants for whenever we travel to Atlanta. With Kevin there, I bet I could get my husband on a plane tonight 😉


  6. says

    Ahhh isn’t the best thing when the Top Chefs take pictures?! I had dinner cooked by Chef Ludo from Top Chef Masters a while back and, even though he wasn’t my FAVORITE contestant, I still felt ritzy trying his foods!!

    Sometimes, the best thing to do is let the chef’s menu speak for itself, and it looks like yours did! Every bite looks phenom!


  7. says

    I live in Atlanta and I absolutely love Chef Kevin and Woodfire Grill! I am glad you guys chose that as your date night restaurant. Now i am absolutely starving 🙂


  8. Elizabeth says

    Awesome!! I’m so glad you finally tried catfish!!! It is a staple around here–the South!! We love it–now you must try cooking it! My hubs likes fried. I prefer grilled or blackened. It reminds me of tilapia only with kicked up flavor! Hugs–e


  9. Yolie @ Practising Wellness says

    WOW! That was a dinner and a half, it looked amazing and intricate and beautifully prepared 🙂 Loved seeing such special unique dishes…and that’s amazing that you got to hang with a real live celebrity as well…sweet-as! The pescetarian menu sounded out of the charts delicious, especially the baked alaskan sablefish….Mmmm… So glad you had such a lovely night – one to remember, for sure! 🙂 xyx


  10. says

    That looks like an amazing dinner! I laughed at Ryan’s first drink b/c my husband hates beer and wine. He literally only drinks “girly” drinks and every time we’re out they always place his in front of me assuming I ordered that he ordered the beer.


  11. Rachel says

    Mmmm I have been wanting to go there since I saw him on Top Chef! Any guy that loves pork is a friend of mine. 🙂

    Definitely on my short list the next time we go up to Atlanta.


  12. Aimoree says

    I loved Kevin from Top Chef!! I’ve been to one or two restaurants from former contestants, but have never actually seen them, haha. I bet that pork was indeed unreal, he was the one with a pig tattoo, no?


  13. says

    Oh my gosh! Your whole meal looks to die for. Not only does the food look good, but how cool is it that you got to meet Kevin!!!! 😀 That is awesome!
    The atmosphere looks really nice too.
    What a great way to wrap up your Atlanta trip- sounds like such a fun day you both had- swimming with sharks & then this amazing meal. Such a cool weekend 😀
    Have a safe trip back home!!


  14. Kristine @ Running On Hungry says

    That meal looks AMAZING! I have relatives in Atlanta so definitely a must on my next trip there!

    PS- On my run yesterday I saw a vizsla running with a BRIGHT orange collar and immediately thought of Sadie! Then I was like wow I don’t even know this girl and that’s the first thing that comes to mind! So funny!


  15. says

    wow what a menu! Good choice for the Riesling wine, especially when it’s fresh! All the meals look good, and th portions aren’t too big so that you can have a taste of everything!


  16. Cynthia says

    I absolutely LOVE Woodfire Grill. I am so jealous that you got to meet Kevin. His food is outstanding. Glad you are enjoying your visit to Atlanta. It really is a great city. 🙂


  17. says

    oh my goodness everything looks so unbelievable! The presentation of it is unreal! Haha and I have yet to convince my boyfriend to go for the girly drinks…I know he secretly wants to lol


  18. says

    Wow! I’m so jealous! I’ve been a huge fan of Kevin Gillespie since he was on Top Chef! I’ve been lucky enough to have quite a few Top Chef celebrity sightings and have eaten at some amazing restaurants in Chicago that other Top Chefs own! I guess it’s about time to move Atlanta up on my list so I can go to Woodfire Grill 🙂


  19. Alex says

    Ryan always seems to pick out the best thing on any menu! Props to him. All the food looks totally amazing, though! Totally mouthwatering..


  20. Katie says

    So glad you were able to try out Woodfire Grill. I live in Atlanta and went there last year as part of my birthday celebrations and I can definetly say it was one of the best meals of my life. The drinks were to die for as well. Looks like you had a wonderful time.

    PS I love your blog


  21. Emily@RunningPerspective says

    um that meal looks amazingggggggg! so so jealous:)
    ps i love you and ryan. perioddddd


  22. says

    KEVIN! OMG!!! He was my absolute favorite that season! I am definitely going to have to visit woodfire grill next time I’m in Atlanta. It looks like y’all had an amazing dinner and a great trip overall. How fun!

    You did such a great job reviewing the food! I have always said that my dream job would be a hotel and restaurant critic… ideal, right?


  23. Karen says

    Living in the Atlanta area, we have visited Woodfire a couple of times and ALWAYS love it. We went when the Top Chef season had just started for him and it was really fun to see the chef in person that was also on the show at the same time. Super yummy food!


  24. Cora says

    We love Kevin and WFG. We used to go only on special occasions but now we go at least 4 or 5 times a year.

    We are looking forward to seeing Kevin at the Tomato Festival next weekend.

    Your blog is great!


  25. says

    I live in Atlanta my boyfriend and I just went to Woodfire for the first time recently and it was AMAZING! So glad you got to go here while you were in town. Also funny and random–I just realized we sat at the same table you and Ryan had! haha


  26. Haley @ Fit, Young, and Fabulous says

    I’ve met Kevin too! In highschool, when I took the cooking class, he came to our class and cooked us a meal!! It was so much fun! I will need to try the Woodfire Grill sometime since I live near Atlanta!! (:



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