Roasted Quail with Potatoes
Name: Woodfire Grill
Location: Atlanta, GA
Meal: 5 Course Chef Tasting Menu
Type: Fine Dining
For the record, this is not turning into a fine dining blog; the traditional fare will be returning soon. I have had some amazing opportunities to eat well recently. Finding myself in Atlanta I knew that I had to make my way to Woodfire Grill, home of Top Chef finalist Chef Kevin Gillespie. I have to say that it was a full experience. This was dining on a whole different level and I am quite glad I went along for the ride. Continue reading
Location: Frederick, MD
Meal: Salad, Pork Belly Burger, Fries, and Apple Crisp à la mode
Type: New American
My trip to Volt was only my second trip to the restaurant of a celebrity chef and I must say that my expectations were met yet again. I am actually lucky enough to pass through Frederick, MD at least a few dozen times a year as it lies between my home and that of my parents. Being the big Top Chef fan that I am, I knew that I was going to have to visit Volt as soon as I heard a contestant on the show was coming from Frederick. Much has already been made of the dominance the Voltaggio brothers showed on the show but Brian and Kevin were my early picks so I was glad to see him still in competition when I visited in early November. Continue reading
Fresh made Frontera Salsas
Name: Frontera Grill
Location: Chicago, IL
Meal: Margaritas, Guacamole, Flautas, and Tacos Carbon
Rick Bayless is amazing. I’m pretty sure any of the words I could write up about my experience at Frontera Grill would distract from that key point. From my personal experience I can tell you that everything you’ve seen on Top Chef, in newspaper profiles, or his own show is absolutely true; this man knows how to cook. I will note that you shouldn’t plan a trip to Frontera if you expect to catch a glimpse of Chef Bayless. To me, him not cooking the food is a non- issue; developing such a strong program that it continues to soar without him is a testament to expertise in the restaurant business. The entire meal was great from the subtle heat of the guacamole to the pleasant orange sweetness of the flautas to the smoky beans served with the tacos. The service was impeccable. What Chef Bayless also deserves a lot of credit for is keeping such highly applauded food accessible. As much as Frontera is raved about the prices were maybe $2-$3 more than the chain Mexican restaurant by my apartment in the suburbs. Go, be prepared for a wait, but expect to leave thoroughly impressed with your experience.
Lots more pictures after the jump.