Monday, August 18, 2008

Woodfire Grill, Michael Touhy's Farewell Dinner

I've been meaning to go to Woodfire Grill forever. So, when I heard that Woodfire Grill's Owner and Chef, Michael Touhy, was selling Woodfire Grill to move back to his home state of California, I felt sad and stupid. Why had I put it off for so long? Ugh.

I figured it would be fitting somehow to make my first dinner at Woodfire Grill Touhy's last dinner there. I, of course, invited my foodie friends B. and ETK.

Each table had the option of ordering a 3 course meal for $58 or a 5 course meal for $95. We chose the 3 course meal since we knew we had to leave room in our budgets for wine.

For the first course, I had trouble deciding between the Insalata Caprese or the Smoked Heirloom Tomato Gazpacho. I chose the gazpacho and was not disappointed. Wow, it was incredible - smoky and delicious.

Smoked Heirloom Tomato Gazpacho

The rest of my fellow diners chose the baby arugula salad. C-Dub let me have a bite and it was great.

Dinner took a bit to arrive. As you can imagine, it was flurry of action in the dining room. There was a photographer from the AJC following Michael Touhy around, the table next to us was celebrating a birthday, and chefs from other Atlanta restaurants were on hand to help with the food. I might have eaten my weight in bread, if it was constantly available.

Basket of breads

For my entrée, I chose to have the plate of local vegetables. It included succotash, green beans, and an eggplant tapenade (of sorts). It was good - especially the succotash. The only thing that struck me as odd was that the eggplant was cold while the rest of the dish was warm. I probably would have enjoyed the eggplant more, had it also been warm.

Veggie plate

Sturgeon in the back, polenta in the front - what, what!

Overhead shot of the pork

C-Dub had the sturgeon, which came with a little side polenta that I tried to gobble up. B. had the pork loin, which I did not try.

For dessert, we had the option of ordering peach crepes, chocolate cake, and butterscotch pudding. I was hoping that the pudding was going to be of the bread variety but, sadly for me, it was not. I decided to go with the peach crepe, as did B. C-dub chose the butterscotch pudding and ETK ordered the chocolate. We all enjoyed our desserts.

Peach crepe!

Super chocolate dessert

Those cookies on the side of the pudding literally melted in the mouth.

It was a fun night - even at three hours long. It would have been nice if I had gone sooner so that I would know what it was like to eat without the frenetic pace of activity surrounding out table.

I wish Michael Touhy the best of luck in his future west coast endeavors.
If you'd like to keep up with his culinary adventures, you can read them on his blog, Frontburner. As for Woodfire Grill, the new owners promise to continue the high quality food that Woodfire Grill diners have come to expect The kitchen staff will be led by Executive Chef Kevin Gillespie. (Gillespie had been Michael Touhy's chef de cuisine at Woodfire.) For more information on the new owners, check out the announcement on Omnivore.

Woodfire Grill
1782 Cheshire Bridge Road
Atlanta, GA 30324

Completely unnecessary picture of me and Michael Touhy

By the way, I have a backlog of restaurants to post about. So, expect more to come very soon!

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