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Woodfire Grill

Woodfire Grill is one of the best restaurants in the country. I've driven past it dozens of times on Cheshire Bridge Road but it never caught my attention. The building is low-key but bigger than it looks on the outside. The decor is California craftsman.

My friends and I decided to try the prix fixe menu. The first course had a delicate shrimp and okra that was described as lightly fried. It was indeed---it was just warm enough to fit in with the dish but not obviously cooked. Firm okra is a very different sensation than the mushy okra that is infamous in the South. It was a great complement to the shrimp.

Catherine had the vegetarian option, which included heirloom tomatoes.

The second course was octopus, also lightly cooked, and black rice cooked in squid ink. The result was very delicate and a definite taste of the sea.

The third course was bob white quail and pork belly. The quail had a wonderful glaze on it. The pork belly was very porky. In addition to the sauce, it included a bit of egg yolk that had been cooked sous vide.

I forgot to take a picture of my favorite course, the duck. It was cooked sous vide and finished on the grill. The result was very tender and flavorful with just the right touch of smoke on the outside. This meal was my first real taste of sous vide and I must say it was good.

The dessert course was cake with rasperry ice cream and a white chocolate ganache. The white chocolate was the star of the plate---it had the consistency of soft butter.

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