I sure am glad I don't live in Atlanta. Aside from the appalling humidity, of which I am not a fan, I would spend all my money and evenings at the Woodfire Grill. Hidden behind overarching trees, it sits nestled near the end of a road in a...how do I put this politely...more "adult" area of town.
This is a fairly typical New American style restaurant boasting of fresh/local/organic style food sources. Seriously, there's a laundry list of food sources on the back of the menu and although I was not familiar with them, I firmly believe that telling customers where you get your food adds significant value.
The interior has an excellently styled interior, which can get a bit too loud for my tastes, but the smallish kitchen with the (yup you guessed it) wood-fired grill, is right there for all to see. As a side note, if you wish to use the restrooms, the Woodfire Grill logo upside down is for Men and right side up is for women. You'll get it when you see it. This is important to save the host/hostess the stress of chasing you down to send you to the correct door, which I'm sure happens daily.
We decided on the 7 course grand tasting menu as we had the time and an adventurous palate that evening. Looking back on the trip, it's likely one of the best decisions we made the entire week. Given it was a tasting menu, we were subjected to food at chef Kevin's whim. As it turns out, there are many, many worse ways one could spend an evening out. Our service was always prompt and friendly, and courses came out appropriately sized and at a very nice pace.
I can't say enough good things about the food here. I'm not going to go over each course in detail because it would take too long and it wouldn't help anyone because the menu changes constantly. However, nearly every course was perfectly balanced, in fact, my least favorite courses were the ones I would have normally thought I would have loved the most (i.e. meat).
The meat courses were merely very good, but the real action was that Kevin had me loving things I normally am not a huge fan of: eggplant, cooked carrots, and clams to name a few. The only issue with any of the dishes I could find was I had some beets that seemed to overpower my duo dish of venison and quail. They were simply too sweet for the rest of the dish.
Other than this tiny issue, every dish was exquisitely prepared and tasted incredible. The last time I found myself liking vegetarian dishes more than the carnivore dishes was when I ate at The French Laundry. So, there ya go Kevin, your favorable comparison to Thomas Keller from a semi-periodic food blogger is complete.
Incredible eats here! It would be a huge mistake to miss this place if you are in town.