Best Chef/ Tasting Menus in ATL
Coming to ATL for anniversary for and would like to experience a Chef's Menu or Tasting Menu with wine pairings. We have reservations at Woodfire Grill, so any reviews of the tasting menu there or other places we should try would be appreciated. Have seen posting for Joel, but nothing recent. We are staying Midtown (Hotel Palomar) and would prefer nearby or cab friendly places. Thanks in advance.
I thought I would post about our meal at Woodfire Grill. It was fabulous...simple, but fabulous. We had the Chef's Tasting Menu, which was 5 courses with little treats in between. My husband did the wine pairings as well, but I was all about the food. We did see Kevin the fire pit, and another one of the co-owners, both were very gracious and really working.
Black eyed pea & cornmeal fritter w/ homemade tarter and hot sauce-- This was the "amuse bouche." It really was one perfect bite and you could taste each of the ingredients. And it was served in a really cute spoon.
1st Course - Mixed baby carrots on pickled cabbage on carrot soup, topped w/ Cherve. This was our least favorite course, but still amazing. The menu said they got their cheese from Sweet Dairy near Thomasville. If so, we'll have to give it a try. Not to make corny "Top Chef" references, but the carrots were "toothsome." Not really my thing. The rest of the dish was delish.
2nd course- Seared scallop w/ laughing shrimp on beet carpaccio w/ satsuma orange & dill. This was Pat's favorite course. Yes, beets (the red vegetables, not beef). Not sure what laughing shrimp are, but they were really fresh as was the scallop. I'm not a big dill fan, but the oranges w/ the dill and the beets was a strange, but yummy combo.
Kushi oysters w/ minced crunchy items. Okay technically this was not a course and I'm not sure what the oyster was topped with - some kind of minced shallots and peppers- but it was my favorite item. I think this edible extra epitomizes why this restaurant is so good. They took the oyster, (harvested in Victorian Bay in Washington State) shucked it, cleaned the oyster shell so there was no grit whatsoever. Then they put the meat of the oyster back in the shell and served it raw in its own brine. They saved the brine...what attention to detail.
BBQ Florida octopus w/ fried chile scallion on slaw ( Kevin's trademarked Terminus BBQ sauce ) - this was on the menu and when I asked the server about it, she said it wasn't part of the tasting menu, but they could work it in. And did they ever. As with every other ingredient the octopus was really fresh. The slaw with the BBQ sauce reminded me of kimchee (salty, crunchy, sweet with tang). My husband had qualms about eating octopus because they are really intelligent and Atlantic octopi are not as sustainable as Pacific octopi. We left a note on the comment card asking about the sustainability of the octopus, and the server ran out and stopped us as we were walking out the door to explain. She said that Kevin works regularly with some Florida fishermen and that the octopus apparently got caught in crab and lobster tracks. I don't know if I believe it, but it made my husband feel better (although he was feeling pretty good after cocktails and six glasses of wine).
3rd course --Pan fried quail on potato purée w/ black truffle and baby potatoes. The quail was delicious, but difficult to eat daintily. It had this yummy sweet glaze on it and sat on a beautiful pillow of potatoes with the smallest potatoes I ever saw...the size of whoppers.
4th course- Pork three ways- smoked pork loin, grilled pork belly w/ faro risotto w/ pork cracklins and roasted apple sauce. Okay pork belly is probably the most indulgent thing I've ever eaten. The pork loin was pale in comparison, but the faro was great.
5th course -- Chocolate crepe pockets w/ dark chocolate ganache in a chocolate flake cream soup & Vanilla Bread Pudding w/ cooked apples -- Okay, you know on Top Chef how the dessert trips up even the best cheftestant. Well, after this amazing meal the dessert was anti-climatic. Sure, they served two desserts, but the crepe pockets had a weird texture, like a stale fortune cookie. I had to eat the outside though to get to the dark chocolate ganache inside. The cream w/ chocolate flakes was just over the top.
The bread pudding was beautiful and not disappointing. Like every other course it was beautiful to look at. It was really simple and I think that the simpler dishes were the best. They showcased the ingredients, their beauty and their flavors.
1782 Cheshire Bridge Road, Atlanta, GA 30324