12315 Crabapple Road
Alpharetta, GA 30004
I never thought I’d say this, but Alpine Bakery & Trattoria is the kind of restaurant that makes you hope for at least a short wait for your table because it is impossible not to be immediately drawn to the bakery upon entering. You simply cannot ignore the huge selection of sweets that are presented so beautifully in perfectly lit display cases on the right side of the space. It’s the perfect way to kill time and trust me, you will want to get a head start on the dessert decision and find out how much room you should save for sweets. I had to be dragged away when it was time to be seated. Luckily, my dining companion and I were escorted to a plush booth that made leaving the bakery less painful.
We sat down and were immediately greeted by a friendly server who helped guide us toward a glass of sparkling wine to start off our meal. As we sipped our Gruet Blanc de Blanc ($10/glass, $20/half bottle), he guided us through the expansive menu. We decided to split the house antipasto platter ($15) as our appetizer. The plate of meats, cheeses, olives, tomatoes and a white bean spread is great for sharing and is more than enough for two people. And with a bakery adjacent to the restaurant, you can count on good bread.
After finishing our glasses of Gruet, we began perusing the rest of the wine list and I was really impressed with the selections. I noticed so many of my favorites on the list, ranging from pinot noirs to Italian blends to malbecs, that I had a hard time choosing. We settled on the 2008 Belle Glos “Clark & Telephone” Pinot Noir ($60/bottle), which was very smooth with bright red fruit flavors.
For my entrée, I ordered the linguini with clam sauce ($17) and my friend ordered the chicken piccata ($16). The linguini was beautifully presented and chock full of Little Neck clams. Anthony, the restaurant’s manager, later told us that it was one of his favorites and also a very popular dish among patrons. My friend’s moist chicken was topped with capers and a lemon, butter and white wine sauce served with asparagus and a risotto cake on the side. The sauce was light and provided just enough flavor, and I couldn’t stop stealing nibbles of the crunchy risotto cake. It added a nice hearty element to an otherwise lighter dish.
I had plenty of linguini and clams to take home with me for lunch the next day, but after my pre-dinner peek at the bakery, we both managed to find room in our stomachs to sample dessert. Choosing from the massive selection of sweets is no easy task, but we finally decided on a slice of the Million Dollar Cake ($6.95/slice) and the baklava ($4.25 for a jumbo piece). As the name implies, the Million Dollar Cake certainly has enough to go around. It’s comprised of three thick layers – flourless chocolate cake on the bottom, NY cheesecake in the middle and rich chocolate mousse on the top. It is the ideal way to indulge, especially if you have a hard time deciding what will cure your sweet tooth.
The baklava was equally impressive in both size and flavor. The flaky layers balance out the honey and nut filling so it’s not cloyingly sweet, and according to Anthony, it’s the addition of pistachios that makes this one so good. The bakery also makes sfogliatelli, an Italian pastry that I grew up on and have a very hard time finding in Georgia. Alpine is a place where you really feel at home, even if you aren’t Italian.