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A Feast for the Senses

Cadwalladers Café serves up elevated cuisine in an intimate, elegant atmosphere

On Davis Road quietly sits one of Columbia County’s oldest and best fine dining restaurants - Cadwalladers Café. Established in 1987, the restaurant’s moniker comes from the name connection original owner Colden Waller III has with Cadwallader Colden, an 18th century physician and Governor of New York. Initially Colden and his wife, Mary, opened Cadwalladers as a deli and wine café, but before long transitioned the space into a fine dining restaurant.

“I remember coming here several times a year with my mother to eat lunch back when it was a delicatessen,” wistfully shares John Donner. Years later, in 2015, John joined the Cadwalladers team and eventually became the restaurant’s manager. In 2020 when the Wallers decided to retire, John says he was fortunate to be the one they chose to be the next owner of Cadwalladers Café. “I’m honored to carry on the tradition started by Colden and Mary. Working side by side with them, I learned a lot and am very privileged to be a part of the team of people who have worked to make the restaurant what it is today, a place where the guests and staff feel like family.”

When possible, John continues Colden’s custom of personally greeting each person who walks in the door. “I think it shows how much we care about our guests and truly appreciate their patronage,” he says. “Hopefully, it starts their first (or fiftieth) dining experience with us in as positive a way as possible.” John is not exaggerating when he says some patrons arrive to enjoy their fiftieth experience. Cadwalladers boasts an extremely loyal customer base, many of whom have been celebrating milestones at the restaurant for decades.

In addition to the welcoming and elegant atmosphere, regulars keep returning for the exceptional menu. “From appetizer to dessert, I feel we put out the best food in the CSRA,” says John. “Chef Eric Lindsay has been with us for more than sixteen years and has served as the executive chef since 2018. He and his team go above and beyond to put all their love and effort into the wonderful food they provide.”

Menu items are made from scratch using fresh ingredients. “Like most locally-owned fine dining restaurants, we try to support local farmers,” explains John. “We patron local businesses such as Good Earth and Tisdale Farms in order to provide the highest quality and freshness of our food.”

With an emphasis on using fresh ingredients, menu items often include variations. “Our menu changes, so it will be a little bit different experience every time you dine with us,” he adds. “We usually change sauces or side items to complement our main dishes. So, it's not a completely different experience than the one you may have had a week or two ago, but it's just enough to pique your interest.” Unique menu offerings such as the Bison Ribeye, Veal Porterhouse, Duck Duo, and the Cadwalladers classic Creamy Parmesan Risotto with scallops and shrimp set the restaurant apart from other local fine dining options.

Curious or undecided patrons should consult the restaurant’s official website for up-to-date menu options, although the knowledgeable staff happily helps as well. Additionally, the from-scratch menu items make accommodating dietary restrictions simple. Cadwalladers also offers over one hundred wine and eighty whisky choices to compliment your dining experience and with an experienced Sommelier on staff, making the perfect selection is simple.

Located at 106 Davis Road, Cadwalladers Café is open Wednesday-Saturday evenings for dinner. For reservations, which are encouraged, and to explore current menu options, visit cadwalladerscafe.com, call 706-860-7444, or follow the Facebook page @Cadwalladers. Patrons should also inquire about using the restaurant’s private dining room, which easily holds fifteen to forty guests, and is available for celebrations, business meetings, and other large gatherings.

I’m honored to carry on the tradition started by Colden and Mary... and be part of the team of people who have worked to make the restaurant what it is today.

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