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.
The restaurant had everything… phenomenal food, a warm and romantic ambiance and friendly, knowledgeable wait staff.
Anyone recognize this stud?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
It was paired with a delicious dessert wine (2008 Quady Black Muscat, California).
Loved that wine!
Ryan’s dessert was off the charts.
Chocolate 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.
(Yes, we thoroughly enjoyed our drinks. )
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.
P.S. The Fashion page was updated!
Shari @ Chicago Cuisine Critique says
I’m a die hard Top Chef fan. That is so awesome you actually got to meet him and he was just as wonderful in person as he was on tv. The food looks amazing! 🙂
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
What a fun night! So many of those dishes looked wonderful and you two are just so cute.
Jackie @ That Deep Breath says
Everything looks amazing! I’ve never had pork belly, but the name sort of freaks me out. If I try it anywhere it will have to be there since it sounds so popular! Ryan’s desert looks AMAZING.
Oh my goodness so much yummmy food! I love your restaurant reviews. Americans next top chef should hire you as a taste tester haha 🙂
Cait's Plate says
Oh my gosh – that place looks SO good! That dessert just looks heavenly!
Ali @ Ali Runs says
You guys are the cutest couple ever! Glad you enjoyed date night 🙂
um that meal looks amazingggggggg! so so jealous:)
ps i love you and ryan. perioddddd
Katelyn @ Chef Katelyn says
You two are adddddorable, and I love the presentation of the food!!!
Jessica @ FitTalker says
Love Kevin too!
Natalie @ southern fit foodie 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?
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!
Allison @ Happy Tales says
Wow, everything about your datenight dinner sounds incredible!
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!
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
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!! (: