Bakeshop

903 Peachtree St., Suite C, Atlanta
ajc.com

There’s an old saying about baking: Go by the directions. In cooking, follow your taste. It’s true that bakers and pastry chefs have to consciously be true to form; throwing a little more yeast, sugar or baking soda into a recipe isn’t the same as adding a little more seasoning to your saute. In fact, baking must be so precise that professional kitchens refer to recipes as formulas, a specific decree of how to make something from what amounts to flour and water most of the time.

Two of the city's most talented pastry chefs have opened their own shops. From doughnuts to dollars, if it's a bakery you're after, Bakeshop and Dutch Monkey Doughnuts (reviewed here ) are well worth the dough.

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Few pastry chefs have made as indelible an impression on the city’s dessert dictionary as Jonathan St. Hilaire. Even from his early days at Woodfire Grill, it was evident that he possessed a rare talent for crafting seasonally inspired desserts that looked as good as they tasted.

At last, he has finally broken from the pastry pack and opened, with Bob Amick and Concentrics Hospitality, Bakeshop — a Manhattan-esque bakery that serves the gamut from his buttery croissants to goodies available for eating in or taking away.

Peeking from happy shelves toward the back of a breezy open space (formerly Star Bakery on Peachtree) are gorgeous loaves of artisan bread, made European style, while high tables beckon the nearby community to sit and sip, or eat — and they do. It’s so obvious when trying not to gobble down a moist, creamy bite of red velvet cake stacked cleverly into a tiny Mason jar that the area was longing for exactly what Bakeshop has to offer, especially at lunch.

It feels downright grownup perched on a high chair, nibbling on goat cheese and watercress over a hefty slice of toasted wheat bread and slurping (well, just a little) creamy, tart, roasted tomato bisque.

Breakfast pastries, such as giant bear claws and croissants, are layered with buttery flavor and just as good for dessert as they are an early morning indulgence. But you may want to splurge on a chocolate caramel tart, where rich caramel melds with ganache in a chocolate sable.

Bakeshop

Overall rating:

ajc.com

Food: Bakery

Price range: $-$$

Credit cards: Visa, Mastercard, American Express.

Hours of operation: Open daily from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Address, telephone: 903 Peachtree St., Suite C, Atlanta, 404-892-9322

Web site: www.bakeshopatl.com

Pricing code: $$$$$ means more than $75; $$$$ means $75 and less; $$$ means $50 and less; $$ means $25 and less; $ means $15 and less. The price code represents a typical full-course meal for one excluding drinks.

Key to AJC ratings

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Outstanding

Sets the standard for fine dining in the region.

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Excellent

One of the best in the Atlanta area.

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Very good

Merits a drive if you're looking for this kind of dining.

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Good

A worthy addition to its neighborhood, but food may be hit and miss.

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Fair

Food is more miss than hit.

Restaurants that do not meet these criteria may be rated Poor.

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