A couple of years ago I was trying to set up a lunch meeting with someone. When I asked them, they said they really didn't "eat lunch" - for them food was just fuel. I was shocked.

For me, food is an experience. A journey. And a quest. So here are my thoughts. If you eat to live, you may not be interested. If you live to eat, you may find some ideas for places here. I went back to the first of this year, as opposed to diving back multiple years and started there. These are my thoughts on everything except for burgers. They deserve their own page and it is here.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Cakes and Ale, Decatur, GA (September, 2011)

In the continuing pursuit of Atlanta's best restaurants, we went to Cakes and Ale in Decatur, Saturday night before last, #3 from  the August, 2011 Atlanta Magazine article.  Cakes and Ale has recently relocated just down from the Iberian Pig in Decatur.  In fact, when I first tried to make the reservation, they were closed for the move.  So we took the next available Saturday.   6:00 dinner on a Saturday is a great time for us, you get into a restaurant before the crowd and watch it fill up around you.   This place is the antithesis of Sotto Sotto: 
  • similar banquette type seating, but without the extra table or two, allowing for un-cramped seating;
  • light and spacious as opposed to dark and crowded; and
  • comfortable, in addition to being elegant.

We started with a crostini with goat cheese and heirloom tomatoes.  The goat cheese was baked, along with whole tomatoes, ranging in size from golf ball down to marble.   The one thing that was consistent from tomato to tomato was the RIDICULOUS amount of heat they contained.   We both burnt ourselves fairly quickly on these.  Then we laughed at the couple next to us as we watched them do the same thing.  The goat cheese / tomato / crostini / olive oil combo was perfectly executed.

We decided to split an entree - the whole trout for two.  The North Carolina trout was fresh caught in the last couple of days and baked in parchment in the brick oven.   The waiter brought it to the table,

and said, "I'll have to get someone else to come out and filet it for you."    Within minutes a young lady appeared filet knife in hand and said, "I LOVE this part of my job.  It's the most fun that I have all night."  And she wielded the de-boning knife like a samurai.   Within minutes we have two trout filets with a side salad of shelled peas (black-eyed, crowder, field) and corn.
Dinner was exceptional and we devoured every bite.   The waitress took back nothing but empty plates and skin.

Then she asked about dessert.   Hmmm.   Okay, she tempted us and we gave in and had a slice of house-made lemon icebox pie with peach preserves
Outstanding.  Not quite frozen, but close.  The combination of the peach preserves and the lemon icebox was amazing.  

The dinner rivaled Restaurant Eugene for quality and was considerably more relaxed.  Definitely a winner and we'll go back, hopefully with friends in tow. 

Cakes & Ale on Urbanspoon

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