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Restaurant review: Woodfire Grill

posted on October 29, 2014 at 10:07 pm
MIA YAKEL

MIA YAKEL

Woodfire Grill owner Nicolas Quinones says he considers his restaurant one of Atlanta’s top four fine dining establishments along with Aria, Restaurant Eugene, and Bacchanalia. He says he believes in the beauty of fine dining as an art form, from the crisp white linens to a server’s posture while approaching a table to the coordinated drops of dishes. He says there is a void in Atlanta for such service. Calling your establishment a fine dining restaurant is very different from it being one, however.

One could argue that Quinones’ brand of fine dining is his personal style, though the actual experience at Woodfire is more casual than Quinones aspires for it to be. The staff tries to employ those old French service techniques, but recurring inconsistencies make the approach feel forced and outdated. Sometimes your table is swept after a course. Other times, it is not. One evening, service was tight and remarkable. Another, my dining companion and I felt borderline embarrassed for our server, who was fumbling to keep up with all of the formalized tasks he was supposed to complete during our meal. At the end of one meal, I received a little package of cookies as a parting gift — many fine dining restaurants often send customers home with some sort of small bite — but the other night we received nothing. Quinones is trying too hard to make Woodfire something it isn’t, instead of focusing on the restaurant’s strengths: the food and booze.

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Woodfire Grill on Urbanspoon

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