The AJC dining critic, John Kessler, has talked a lot about Cakes & Ale lately. But as he notes himself, he hadn’t reviewed it since it’s move to its new, larger digs at Church & Sycamore.
Today’s review of Cakes & Ale and its accompanying bakery is lengthy and in-depth. It is gracious and occasionally critical.
Kessler provides this summation at the start…
So let me cut to the chase: With the move, Cakes & Ale has taken a tremendous step forward and now counts among the handful of top Atlanta dining destinations. The restaurant no longer seems a work in progress. It’s here. More than just about any spot in the metro area, it celebrates local produce. Though far from vegetarian, the menu lets vegetables in season call the shots and determine the flavors in nearly every dish. It’s a Southern restaurant inasmuch as the menu feels deeply tied to place, but Allin’s seasonings and cooking ideas range broadly.
The bakery is a different beast, with a different menu and guiding spirit.
In the end, a relocated, more mature Cakes & Ales garnered four out of five stars from Kessler, while the still evolving bakery received three. A four-star rating places Cakes & Ale in the top echelon of Atlanta restaurants with Bacchanalia , Rathbuns, and other top tier of Atlanta restaurants (which I can’t fully list because the AJC maddeningly doesn’t have an obvious grouped list of restaurant reviews on its website!). Last I had heard, there are currently NO five star restaurants in Atlanta, according to the paper.
Congrats C&A! A huge accomplishment!
Photo courtesy of Cakes & Ale’s website