March 6, 2010 at 9:44 am , by Serina Patrick
(Sensitive readers beware, this post will be full of cursewords and italics!)
This was my first visit to the restaurant since the interior re-do. We didn’t like it. A place called Woodfire Grill should be warm and cozy.
Our evening got off to a frenetic start as B and I were running late to our already late reservation. Who cares, I looked fabulous in my outfit, entirely from Target! Earrings, necklace, scarf, and dress (OK, it was Anna Sui for Target).
It was my birthday dinner and I wanted a drink! Our server greeted us and explained the menu options available….3 course, 5 course, chef’s choice, vegetarian, pescitarian, with or without wine pairings, or a la carte. TMI. S was allergic to him. He recommended a half bottle of Veuve then ran off. When he finally returned we ordered the champagne to toast my birthday.
Did I mention it was my birthday? Yes, I am the bitch that made a special request for my birthday. I wanted foie gras, damn it! They often have it on the menu at Woodfire, just never when I’m there, so it wasn’t an insane request. It wasn’t like I was asking for filet mignon at McDonald’s.
Also, I was excited to meet Kevin Gillespie. His performance on last season’s Top Chef won him many fans and (I believe) saved the restaurant’s life. I had confirmed with the staff that he would be there, although I knew he was possibly flying out for a special event. He was not there.
But B did confirm they would have foie gras! Fabulous. I didn’t think it was necessary to explain that it should have a sweet accompaniment, like fig and pear compote. Or mascerated berries. Or candied kumquats. Everyone knows that. Everyone! Unfortunately, it was served simply on top of the standard (and might I say inexplicable) grease soaked toast. I’ve never understood why a rich meat like foie gras would be served with greasy toast but it happens more often than not. I would have loved some watercress or frissee, maybe a drizzle of balsamic reduction and a sweet component. I usually toss aside the toast but had nothing else to eat with the foie gras this time (the flavorless smudge of something on the plate was dried so it doesn’t count). On the bright side, it was seared perfectly (although MS prefers his cool in the center).
Quail or duck? I asked our server which had the cripier skin. Neither, they were skinless. What the f*ck, why skin a d*ck? Or grill a quail without skin? Maybe he was trying to deter me from ordering either as it was late and they could have just run out. He recommended the sturgeon to B rather than the quail. I ordered the pork tenderloin. The menu description said it came with roasted root vegetables, Coca-Cola glazed country ham, and sweet potato sauce. This was all true, but the veggies and ham were microscopic. Why mention a dish is served with something if one has to search for it on the plate? The meat was dry dry dry.
B liked her fish. I tried it. No complaints. MS ordered the Maine peekytoe crab salad appetizer as his main. S had it as a starter and it too was microscopic. Big plate, small food. S ordered the black trumpet mushroom risotto as his second course, a really tasty dish. His beef strip loin, however, was the best dish of the trio of entrees at our table. Again, I didn’t see anything on the plate except the meat.
Thankfully, B ordered the brussels sprouts as a side. Roasted with sweet herbs and tossed with a smoked onion vinaigrette. They were amazing! The best in town.
B and I followed our champagne with a glass of red. The boys were having margaritas. We talked about art, we talked about Rio. MS entertained us with his riveting tale of working out on the beach at Ipanema, stumbling upon a tarp that concealed a dead body!
Ah, mortality. Birthday cake. Or, rather, birthday chocolate bread pudding. It should have been orgasmic, like the pork and the foie gras should have been, but again, just didn’t wow me. The best part was the chocolate chip cherry ice cream on top, the scoop no bigger than a walnut. I blew out my candle and made a wish (for more f*cking ice cream!)
I know Kevin Gillespie is kickass. So why am I always disappointed with Woodfire Grill?
1782 Cheshire Bridge Road 404-347-9055
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