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Atlanta revisit: Woodfire Grill restaurant review

Woodfire Grill's cage-roasted quail (credit: Becky Stein)

Woodfire Grill's cage-roasted quail (credit: Becky Stein)

In tomorrow’s AJC, I have a review of Woodfire Grill, now under the direction of chef Tyler Williams. I gave it four stars.

Woodfire Grill, which opened in 2002, quickly became one of Atlanta’s foremost farm-to-table restaurants, known for use of locally harvested produce and humanely raised meats. It also was known for distinguished service and a value-friendly, approachable wine program. Overall, one of Atlanta’s premier fine-dining restaurants.

Having a “Top Chef” finalist didn’t hurt. When Chef Kevin Gillespie took the helm, he raised the bar and elevated the cuisine at Woodfire. After he departed, chef Tyler Williams put his own stamp on the menu.

“Playful” and “personality” are the two words Williams used to describe his cooking. I’d have to agree. I’d also add analytical and edgy as descriptors for his approach, a play in temperature, flavor and textural contrasts.

Williams said he tries to avoid farm-to-table monotony by applying unusual flavor profiles to ingredients. Yet, he insisted he is “not trying to shock people” and that his dishes “are not weird for the sake of being weird.” On this point, I’m not completely convinced. Williams dances this line, occasionally planting feet on both sides.

Welcome to Woodfire Grill version 3.0.

Subscribers can read the full review on myajc.com.

–by Jenny Turknett, Food and More blog

6 comments Add your comment

Dumpy The Dwarf

September 5th, 2013
3:23 pm

“In tomorrow’s AJC, I have a review of Woodfire Grill, now under the direction of chef Tyler Williams. I gave it four stars.” Where in the hell did you learn to write?

andre the giant

September 5th, 2013
10:29 pm

Dumpy is him/herself in the punchbowl. Go read MLA, Dumpy.

Art

September 6th, 2013
8:07 am

Good review JT! The quail dish sounds and looks really good! I have never been a fan of Woodfire’s “mystery” tasting menus; I like surprises as much as the next person, just not 7 in a row.

Marsh

September 6th, 2013
8:07 am

There is a superfluous comma in there.

What’s most disappointing is the continued slobbering all over the same restaurants again and again. Now, diagram that sentence.

PJ

September 6th, 2013
10:36 am

It has been more than 3 years since I ate at Woodfire Grill (so many awesome restaurants in Atlanta, so little time for date nights!). This review makes me want to go back immediately. I don’t know if this has changed, but we were able to prompt our server to reveal the tasting menu beforehand. I know it takes away some of the excitement, but I wanted to ensure there was enough on there I knew I would eat before taking the plunge. I even loved most of the items about which I was unsure. I am thrilled this place is still going strong.

Baltisraul......

September 7th, 2013
8:26 am

I did not realize that farm to table was monotony for us customers? This is a fine place to dine. I trust it will remain so.