The Atlanta Journal-Constitution - - DINING - By Amanda C. Coyne Amanda.Coyne@ajc.com

Some­times you need din­ner to make you feel like a bear that has just snatched a fish leap­ing in midair. Sat­isfy your an­i­mal de­sires with whole-roasted trout from Cakes & Ale in De­catur.

The trout, sourced from Sun­burst Farms in North Carolina, is roasted in a wood­fired oven un­til its sil­ver skin turns bronze and crispy. It is pre­sented whole, head and tail still on, be­fore a server fil­lets it ta­ble­side, deftly re­mov­ing the spine and pin bones in seem­ingly sim­ple flicks of the wrist.

Once the pink flesh is ex­posed, the server slathers on a tangy, smoky ba­con aioli and dresses the fish with ten­der let­tuces and disks of pur­ple daikon radish. The del­i­cate fish is well com­ple­mented by the thick, fatty spread, and the veg­eta­bles add fresh­ness and crunch.

The dish is rus­tic yet in­dul­gent; the crispy whole fish sits in front of you as if the re­ward from a long day of fish­ing, though all you re­ally have to do is plunk down $36. The bright fla­vor was enough to con­vince my boyfriend to get a fish­ing li­cense in hopes of repli­cat­ing the trout dish at home. So far, it’s been bet­ter to leave it to the ex­perts at Cakes & Ale.

Cakes & Ale. 155 Sy­camore St., De­catur. 404-377-7994, cake­san­dalerestau­rant.com.


Wood oven roasted trout from Cakes & Ale.

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