Fire Kissed

Service and smoke make for something lovely

I’ve been to St. Louis Park’s new Woodfire Grill, the newest restaurant from Taher (Forepaugh’s, Timber Lodge Steak house) a handful of times, and what has stayed with me most memorably is the breakfast with my three-year-old daughter. We were the only table on a particularly cold day, and our server and a manager took the house apart looking for a long, safe, wooden-handled skewer so that my little girl could safely roast a marshmallow over the roaring wood fire. Then the server built a small fort of chairs around said fire so my little girl wouldn’t burn herself. The same server later played peek-a-boo with my daughter while I signed the bill. I go to a lot of restaurants, sometimes five a week, and I rarely receive that kind of service.

When I recall that morning, the service stands out more than the very good silver-dollar pancakes; the chunks of good, salty corned beef in the homemade corned-beef hash; or the fresh mint on the fruit salad. I had lots of other very good things to eat at this wood fire-driven, formerly cursed spot. (Remember Shelly’s Woodroast and the Alaska Eatery? They were here.) On other visits, I loved the grilled naan, made prettily smoky by its time near a real fire, and I liked the lamb burger. I vow to return for the Friday and Saturday prime rib. That said, on a different visit, another server noticed that my coffee had gotten cold and brought me a whole new cup. The food at this new Woodfire Grill is good, but if they can continue to provide the best, friendliest service in the western suburbs, I think they’ll be the restaurant to overcome the hurdle of the location. I know I’ll be back—my three-year-old asks to go every day.

St. Louis Park Woodfire Grill, 6501 Wayzata Blvd., St. Louis Park, 952-345-0505,