The Allins call the restaurant and wine bar a café-bistro, meaning it will be open from 7 a.m. until 11 p.m. most days, serving espresso, baked goods from Proof, and a menu of savory dishes from executive chef Bryan Stoffelen, who’s been the chef de cuisine at Cakes & Ale. Jordan Smelt, currently the wine and beverage director at Cakes & Ale, is in charge of the drinks menu.
Earlier this week, while workers were still wielding hammers and paint brushes around the indoor-outdoor space, the Allins sat on the porch with Stoffelen and Smelt to discuss the concept and its multiple menus for breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner service.
“It’s a true interpretation of an all-day cafe-bistro with our sensibilities,” Billy Allin said. “On a beautiful day like today, the doors will be open and you can come and sit and sip a cappuccino or have a cocktail or a glass of wine and a nibble. It’s a place to meet and socialize as much as it is a restaurant.”
In those terms, the design and decor, which was created by Kristin Allin with Atlanta’s Square Feet Studio, meshes with food and service. It evokes cozy Euro-style cafés, whether in Paris or Manhattan, with copper ceiling tiles, patterned floor tiles, marble accents and, of course, café tables.
“We wanted it to be place that felt comfortable in the day but nice enough to go out and have dinner at night,” Kristin Allin said. “Just a place where people can go for everything. If someone wants to meet for a business breakfast, or if someone wants to have a date night, it will work.”
As far as the menu, think French country bistro, with the same style of cooking and seasonal ingredients that made Cakes & Ale one of Atlanta’s most lauded restaurants.
“I don’t think it’s going to be too much of a transition from Cakes & Ale,” Stoffelen said. “Clearly we’re in a new space and we’re cooking a little bit different food, but the thought is still there. The whole idea behind the menu here is to ease into it all day long, from breakfast to lunch to midday. Some items will overlap and some will change.”
In the morning, look for farmers cheese with fruit compote, walnuts and toast ($6) and soft scrambled eggs with cold smoked trout ($13). After 11:30 a.m., there’s oysters ($14) and charcuterie ($13), along with tomato soup with puff pastry ($10), an omelette du jour with mixed greens($14), and a Burger Américain with fries ($15).
The dinner menu brings on crispy flounder with spinach, potato puree, beurre blanc and capers ($17), and a roasted half-chicken with crème fraiche and herbs ($18).
Bread & Butterfly expects to have its liquor license early next week. You can look forward to a 60 bottle wine list, with an emphasis on interesting and affordable regional French selections, plus classic cocktails, local and European beer, after dinner drinks and digestifs.
“It’s going to be a lot of fun here,” Smelt said. “The sprits program will be concise with classic things such as Chartreuse, Aperol and Campari. The wine program, which is almost entirely French, will be separated by region. It won’t be expensive Burgundy or Bordeaux. It’s a lot of Loire and Languedoc, because we want those fun, approachable bottles that are good any time of day. I want to see a bottle on every table.”
Here’s a look at some of the dishes you’ll find at find at Bread & Butterfly.
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