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The Gloves are Off at Nikolai’s Roof: Restaurant Unveils Renovations

February 25,2014

A longtime icon of Atlanta’s dining scene, Nikolai’s Roof has attracted scores of devoted followers over the past 38 years. After briefly closing for renovations, the restaurant is ready to unveil a new look and a new menu for a new era. Although the white gloves are off and the silver domes are packed away, diners will recognize the familiar panoramic view from the 30th floor of Hilton Atlanta and impeccable attention to service when the restaurant reopens on Friday, February 28.

“We’ve invested close to $1 million to transform Nikolai’s Roof into a more contemporary space that’s sophisticated and upscale, but still very comfortable and approachable,” says Kevin O’Leary, Hilton Atlanta director of food and beverage. “We’re moving away from being known as only a fine dining, special occasion destination to welcome a more relaxed vibe into our menu, lounge and dining room.”

The new design concept from CMMI, Inc. is inspired by the restaurant’s Russian heritage, with a cool grey and cream color scheme hinting at icy Russian winters. Other additions to the 7,500-square-foot restaurant and bar include warm walnut wood tables, sparkling glass ribbon chandeliers and floor-to-ceiling wine cabinets highlighting an unrivaled wine selection that surround a new dining niche for wine dinners and large groups.

Spearheading the changes to the menu is chef de cuisine Stephanie Alderete. The young, modern chef is creating American dishes that are fresh and of-the-moment, yet timeless in their execution. Her contemporary menu includes a nod to Nikolai’s Roof’s longtime Russian influences and can be enjoyed a la carte or by requesting the three-, four- and six-course options starting at $55.

“We’re still pulling out all the deluxe stops for guests celebrating special occasions with us,” says Alderete. “But along with caviar and foie gras, we’re offering simple, fresh choices like pan-seared beef tenderloin and oven roasted lamb chops. We’ve also lowered our overall prices by 15 percent so more people can stop by for a relaxing weeknight dinner.”

The Lounge at Nikolai’s (formerly Point of View) has also undergone a transformation, adding conversational groupings of seats along the perimeter that afford guests a bird’s-eye view of Downtown Atlanta through floor-to-ceiling windows. The bar menu continues the Russian-inspired theme with popular, infused vodkas and signature drinks like the Russian Coffee and Moscow Mule. For those who want to enjoy a light bite during cocktail hour, starters from the dining room menu are available in the bar and include the restaurant's signature piroshkies.

Since opening in February 1976, Nikolai's Roof has consistently wowed diners and garnered critical acclaim. Awards include Wine Spectator’s 2012 Best of Award Excellence; DiRoNA – 2012 Distinguished Restaurants of North America and Open Table’s 2012 Most Romantic and Best View.

Located on the 30th floor of the Hilton Atlanta at 255 Courtland Street, Nikolai's Roof serves dinner Tuesday through Saturday beginning at 5:30 p.m.  Complimentary valet parking is available at the front of the hotel, and guests ride the glass express elevator from the hotel lobby directly to the restaurant. For more information, visit www.nikolaisroof.com.