D ISH OF THE WEEK: Wood oven roasted trout at Cakes & Ale
By Amanda Coyne
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 wood-fired 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 complimented 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, http://www.cakesandalerestaurant.com/