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James Beard semi-finalist and Cakes & Ale owner chef Billy Allin has a new restaurant in the works. An all-day café with European sensibilities, Bread & Butterfly Café will open in Inman’s Park’s new development, Inman Quarter, in about a year.
Southerners love to entertain outdoors. Chef-owner Billy Allin of Cakes & Ale and his wife, Kristin, have the perfect garden for a soiree, set on two acres in Decatur. For an intimate party, Allin crafted a menu of fresh-picked ingredients. Annett Joseph, stylist and author of Picture Perfect Parties, created a sophisticated but relaxed table, where family and friends clinked glasses and dined in the fading sun.
Chef-owner Billy Allin of Cakes & Ale and his wife, Kristin, have the perfect Decatur garden for a soiree. For an intimate party, Allin crafted a menu of fresh-picked ingredients.
Much like our intrepid political leaders, I spent the better half of Tuesday refusing to accept the reports of meteorologists that a snowstorm was coming to cripple the city. Even when images of overturned vehicles popped up on Facebook, I remained optimistic that I was making my 7 p.m. dinner plans. Obviously, they didn’t happen.
After almost four years of working at Holeman & Finch mostly as a general manager, Jordan Smelt left Buckhead to come to Cakes & Ale in Decatur, where he took over the beverage program last June. Since his arrival, Cakes’ offerings have both expanded and become more focused, giving visitors the option of simple old world wines, craft cocktails, or specialty beers to accompany their meal.
A few bites into the fried okra brimming out of a paper cone, I relaxed; the move to larger, tonier digs on the southeastern edge of Decatur Square had not unhinged Cakes & Ale's personality. Stubby little purple okra pods sheathed in crackly batter popped with the same playfulness I remembered from Septembers past. So did the menu’s only mainstay: arancini, two-bite spheres of fried risotto stuffed with melty sheep’s milk cheese.
Surrounded by the trappings of his trade—cheeses and cured meats, olives and mushrooms, clams and oysters—what is the item that really knocks the socks off Cakes & Ale chef Billy Allin? Chicory, that family of bitter greens including endive, frisee and radiccio.