Though it refers to itself as an “upscale gathering place,” John Metz’s new Woodall restaurant resists being slotted into a single category. Our Sunday night experience took place amid a bustling and diverse crowd, indoors and out. Multigenerational families, cool dude athletes, first-daters, suburbanites and neighbors made for an upbeat vibe on the recently revitalized Upper Westside. Our posh Moores Mill/Peachtree Battle neighborhood is merely a stone’s throw away.
Upon seeing the newly gentrified residential neighborhood on Marietta Blvd., my dining companion noted: “The last time I was over here was for a Jewish funeral at Crestlawn.” The Woodall seats 170 people, more than half in the covered outdoor patio across the lot from Ted’s Montana Grill in the Westside Village center. Named for nearby Woodall Creek, it’s housed in a redecorated old whitewashed brick warehouse, with a glamorously lit and lively bar in the rear. The huge painted wall mural is, well, somewhere between the talons of an eagle, a bulbous floral pink tree, and a spoon. Make no mistake this old-new ‘hood is up and coming. The music was young and vibey. About the food:
Cocktail plates: Poke Crudo — Ahi tuna, avocado, jalapeno, radish, crispy rice, micro greens. Generous portion with artistic layout. ($15)
For the Table: Our fav! Smoked Salmon Dip — house-smoked salmon, horseradish, herbs, capers, extra virgin olive oil crostini. Smooth yet chunky with full “loxy” flavor. ($13)
Woodall Board: Falafel, harissa, pan-fried queso fresco, parslied tomato, and marinated olives. The variety and color piqued our interest. ($12)
Crisp, Cool Lettuces: Far East Salad — hearts of butter lettuce, romaine, baby kale, sesame oil, Caesar-style dressing, wonton. ($9)
Butter Wedge: Caramelized pears, candied pecans, creamy gorgonzola. ($12)
Seasonal Classics: Egg Pappardelle, summer squash, fava beans, wild mushrooms, blistered grape tomato, EVOO, confit onion velouté and Parmigiano Reggiano. Our server explained that the velouté simmers all day. The dish delivered, though a touch heavy on the salt.
Sides: We had well-prepared roasted broccoli, among other side choices: basmati fried rice, eggplant fries, glazed carrots.
The beverage menu is extensive; the offerings under red wine alone consist of: Berries from the Barrel, Earthy Fruity, Rich Smoky Sexy, and Big Bold.
Overall service was thoughtful. When food comes hot, it’s well paced. General Manager Rick Blumberg was a dervish of activity, supporting the staff with hands and eyes on good service. He’s been with Metz for 5 years and also serves as beverage director.
Executive Chef and CEO John C. Metz trained at the Culinary Institute of America and remains on their board. His background includes more than 30 years of restaurant and hospitality experience, some at New York’s finest restaurants, like Tribeca Grill.
In opening The Woodall, Metz said, “We pay attention to the details and strive to create craveable food that guests really want. I love this community, and I want to contribute something fresh, exciting and modern. The Woodall is an upscale gathering place that reflects the unique and energetic character of this neighborhood with a globally inspired take on contemporary favorites. Everything at The Woodall is made from scratch. We believe it’s worth the extra effort to give our guests incredible chef-crafted food using only freshest ingredients available.”
His partner, inside and outside the restaurant, is Roberta Nemo, whose expertise is all things wine. She is a member of the American Society of Wine Educators and previously worked for Aria and Canoe as a sommelier. An Atlanta native, Roberta is the daughter of Carol Breman Nemo and Bob Nemo.
The Woodall is open 7 days a week, beginning at 4 p.m. Weekends, 10:30 to 2:30 p.m., 2360 Marietta Blvd. (404) 343-4424.
Parking is free and easy.
- Marcia Caller Jaffe
- The Woodall
- John Metz
- Rick Blumberg
- Roberta Nemo
- Carol Breman Nemo
- Bob Nemo
- Multigenerational families
- cool dude athletes
- Upper Westside
- Ted’s Montana Grill
- Westside Village center
- Woodall Creek
- Culinary Institute of America
- Tribeca Grill
- American Society of Wine Educators