Disaster Strikes at Sage Woodfire Tavern

It’s not a good dining experience when the highlight of the restaurant is the men’s room. So it went for us at Sage Woodfire Tavern in the Wildwood area of Windy Hill.

We are at one end of Atlanta’s Restaurant Graveyard on Powers Ferry Road. At one time, this area boasted a TGI Fridays, Dave’s Famous BBQ, La Madeleine, Sal Grosso, and Houston’s. All are gone now, and three have been vacant for years. Sage is where Houston’s used to be. If our experience is any indication of the future, Sage will join its brethren in restaurant heaven.

Sage boasts four locations, so somebody must be doing something right. Alas, as you will soon see, nothing goes right for us here. There’s a bar and lots of red neon.

The open kitchen is entertaining. So is the guy playing a live saxophone near the bar. The decor is nice, but the place is dark. That’s probably so you can’t see the food they bring you.

We are joined tonight by the parents, who are Date Night readers and are always good dinner company. They pick up the check too, which makes them even better dinner dates.

The beer list here is pretty good. I get a Founder’s Wee Heavy, which is dark and satisfying on a cold night. At 8.5%, it’s got just enough alcohol to warm you up as you nibble on the bread service.

So far, so good, but things are about to go downhill. The menu is American-style and pretty simple. There are some burgers, salads, and a bunch of entrees. We forgo the appetizers and plunge right into the main courses. The girls order the same thing, the Chophouse Cheeseburger with no bacon or onions.

What they get is the Tavern Cheeseburger, which has fried egg and a mushroom/onion mix on it. It’s not what they ordered and point it out to our server. He offers to bring them the right thing. Not wanting to waste food, they decide to eat it, but ask for some avocado (part of their original order) to put on top. It never comes. Eve’s burger should have been medium, but is rare and bloody. She probably should have sent it back for more cooking, but you reach a certain point where you just want to eat.

I did send back my baby back ribs.

If I ever order ribs again in a place that is not a BBQ joint, just take me out back and throw me in the dumpster, where these ribs, advertised as “fall off the bone tender” belong. The ribs fall off the bone as advertised, but they are so overcooked that they are dry and stringy, despite being covered in a wet, sticky sauce. The baked potato lurking underneath is all dried out as well. Everything tastes like it has been sitting around for hours.

My father likes the meat loaf, so I tell them to bring me exactly what he is having.

My plate arrives with asparagus and green beans and no potatoes. Go figure. The loaf is veal, pork and Angus beef and is pretty good.  There’s enough for lunch the next day.  I bet those potatoes were good too, but I will never know.

For those of you not keeping score at home, we would up ordering five dinners and four of them either had something wrong or were not what was ordered. You can’t hit .200 in the restaurant business and get in the hall of fame. You can, however, get buried in the restaurant graveyard.

Before we go, back to the men’s room. If you actually go eat at Sage, and we are not sure why you would after reading this, make sure you visit the bathrooms. They have excellent tile work, and the sinks are photo-worthy. You will want to play with the faucets just to see how they work.

The bottom line on Sage Woodfire Tavern: A disaster of biblical proportions, although the parents seemed to like it. I’m sure my mom will comment below. Although the food was visually attractive, nothing seemed to go right for us.  At these prices, you expect much better than what we experienced.  Maybe you will enjoy, but at $20-30 per plate, do you really want to take that chance?

2 thoughts on “Disaster Strikes at Sage Woodfire Tavern

  1. Eve must have gotten my burger as hers was too rare and mine too done. Go know. Just something else that was wrong. I wouldn’t hurry back but we loved the company.

  2. The manager or better yet the Corporate office should see this review. Seriously. Nothing worse than spending $$ and having a terrible experience all the way around. I agree, they will be in the Powers Ferry restaurant graveyard

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