Review of Woodnotes Grille at Emerson Resort and Spa
by Waverly W., 10 years old, and Mom, 49 years old! 🙂
The Mom here! We thought our recent stay at the stunning Emerson Resort and Spa couldn’t get any better…until we went to dinner at Woodnotes Grille.
Of course, we checked it out online beforehand, so we knew it was going to be good, but until we experienced it for ourselves, we did not know yet how the setting, the decor, the service, the atmosphere, the presentation, all the little details – and (of course) the FOOD – would all combine together into one wonderful dining experience that made us all say…WOW.
Waverly here! The first thing I noticed when walking into the restaurant was the beautiful twinkly lights on the ceiling.   They were so pretty! Also there were big windows looking out onto nature and it felt really good to be going to dinner there. My mom told me to write down the words, “calm, pleasant, relaxed” onto my notes and she said that even though there were lots of people there having dinner and music playing, everything was at the perfect level. So it was perfect even before we ate anything! We noticed that there were all kinds of people eating there – babies, kids like me, people that looked like they were on dates, and right next to us, a couple who was celebrating their 35th wedding anniversary.  As we sat down and looked at the menu, mom was a little worried that her boyfriend Mark would not be able to find anything, because he is a vegan…but as you will see, there was nothing to worry about at all! We started with some appetizers – a bread plate, green beans with walnuts and goat cheese on the side for you-know-who, and grilled asparagus on garlic toast. 

Everything was delicious and we could taste the “woodnotes” in the asparagus which my mom said was “lightly smoky, lightly lemony, and perfectly cheesy.”  As for me? I just said, “Yum.” Also that my mom’s asparagus never tasted like this!  She laughed and actually agreed with me!
For our main courses, I decided to try the Ricotta Ravioli with Sun-dried Tomato and Walnut Pesto, Mom ordered the Spring Pea Risotto Croquettes with Carrot Marinara, and Mark told our amazing waitress Jazmin that he was vegan and at first just ordered Penne Pasta with some kind of plain sauce like he always does, but then she came back and said she spoke to the chef and they suggested that he have the pasta with “Asparagus Shitake Hash” which usually is served on the side of a chicken dish they have on the menu.  He was very happy about that and said it sounded perfect. See? I told you Jazmin is amazing! Mark never gets to have any fun at restaurants but this time we all were excited!

The Amazing Jazmin – and the amazing Ravioli!

The ravioli was soooooooo gooooooood…..they were like perfect pillows of pasta and ricotta with the perfect, not too soft, not too hard texture! Another thing that doesn’t taste like when my mom makes it! And check out my mom’s Risotto Croquettes, aren’t they beautiful?Back to Mom! None of it tasted like anything I ever cook, and that’s just fine! I’m a City Mom….this dish was so fresh and inventive and of course, delicious, that towards the end of it I kept telling myself that this was truly, definitely the last bite I was going to take. Then I would push the plate away…and then pull it back and the cycle continued until there were no more bites to take.  This was one of those dishes that I won’t forget anytime soon, and I will have to plan a whole trip around just to order it again.
Just as happy – or maybe even MORE happy – was Mark, who is used to choosing between a few flavorless and personality-less vegan options such as pasta with olive oil.  He took one bite of his custom-made penne dish and I saw his eyes sort of glaze over.  He said one word, “Incredible,” and then quietly and blissfully had his awesome dining experience.


However, once he was finished, he had this to say: “Their commitment to using locally grown produce and ingredients shines through in the taste, freshness, and quality of their food.” That is a direct quote! And he’s right – we were trying to figure out just what made everything taste so noticeably amazing and it must be the combination of expertly crafted recipes together with high quality, local ingredients.
Back to Wave! Time for dessert! The dessert menu came on these cool wooden boards and guess what? One of the choices is Vegan Ice Cream! It was definitely an Ice Cream kind of night – I got the hot fudge brownie sundae, Mom got the Sour Cream Cherry Ice Cream Sundae, and of course Mark got his vegan ice cream and was happy that he could join the ice cream fun! Everything came in these big home-y bowls and we were all in heaven.  Mom made me wait to eat it so she could take a picture and you could see for yourself how perfect that sundae was! Even better than seeing it for yourself, though, is tasting it for yourself so you need to tell your mom to stop cooking that ravioli because you know a better place – Woodnotes Grille!
Say hi to Jazmin for us when you get there!
Back to Mom, one last time – I would love to stop cooking and just eat at Woodnotes Grille every day, believe me!  Even their mugs were perfect, I swear.  It just made me happy to hold that blue mug and sip that nice hot coffee while eating a huge ice cream sundae.  I mean, who wouldn’t be happy, I know, but there was something about that mug, I swear! I don’t usually go around taking pictures of coffee but maybe you will see what I mean!The three of us unanimously agree that we have to go back to Emerson Resort and Spa (Read our review here) and eat at Woodnotes Grille again in the very near future, and we will for sure!  I have one more thing to say – the next day we had lunch there and Waverly and her friend Peri sat at a separate table away from us boring old people.  Wave ordered the Ceasar Salad and when I was almost done with my Avocado Toast, I went to her table, thinking I would go back to mine with half a Caesar salad to have from her leftovers, and here is what I saw:This is a 10 year old girl, and this is a salad we’re talking about, people! That must have been some delicious salad for my kid to eat the entire thing – and no, she wasn’t starving! I have never witnessed my daughter finishing an entire salad like that. All I could say was….WOW. And we think you will say that, too.
You don’t have to stay at Emerson Resort and Spa  to eat at  Woodnotes Grille ... but you’ll want to! See you there….

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