As the crown sitting atop the magnificent 3o-story tower of Hilton Atlanta, Nikolai’s Roof offers unprecedented views of Atlanta, delectable dishes of palatable perfection, and an ambiance so cozy that losing track of time is inevitable. I recently discovered all of this amazingness when I was invited to a dinner hosted by the AAA, Four Diamond Award-winning restaurant. With credentials like that, who could say no? Plus, I’ve heard incredible things about this fine-dining establishment that has delighted guests since 1976, so it has been on my list of places to try for a while.
I brought along a friend to join me for dinner, and as we arrived, our hostess led us to one of the best seats in the house, a center table, directly in front of the floor to ceiling window, facing East, with Stone Mountain protruding in the distance. As if the views weren’t amazing enough, a beautiful rainbow painted the sky just to add a little more magic to the experience.
Stan, our waiter, kindly greeted us and provided us with the wine and cocktail menu, and gave us a moment to decide. We skimmed our menus, while trying to place Stan’s accent. Russia, perhaps? No. I knew that wasn’t it, but Eastern Europe for sure.
Bulgaria, he told us.
I knew it was close! I liked Stan already. A couple of winters ago I’d spent a couple of weeks in Eastern Europe, and absolutely loved it! So, as far as I was concerned, Stan and I had a connection; in a kind of sort of, but not really, way.
Back to the menu. I opted for the Silver Peach cocktail, which was absolutely delicious and just the way I like my cocktails, sweet, with not a strong taste, but will sneak up on you, if you’re not careful.
After our drink selections, Stan presented us with the dinner menu. Nikolai’s Roof offers French and Russian inspired cuisine, so you’ll find items such as Braised Beef Piroshki catering to the Russian influences, and Burgundy Escargot Tart tailored towards the French. I was pleasantly surprised by the large menu selection. If you like the element of surprise, you can elect the chef’s choice, where Chef Stephanie Alderete will curate a multi-course meal for you. Because I’m a finicky foodie, I stuck with making my own selections from the Chef’s Seasonal Menu, as did my friend. There is a three, four, or six-course dinner option.
For starters, we had the Jumbo Lump Crab Cake and Diver Scallops. I wasn’t completely sold on the crab cake at first bite. There was a lot going on with it; a lot of contrasting flavors and textures. However, with each bite, those were the very things I loved about it; the hint of blueberry and poblano, the delicious flavor of meaty crab, and the absence of a bunch of unnecessary breading that I so often find in crab cakes.
No fluff, just the good stuff. The phrase that went off like a light bulb in my head, that I excitedly exclaimed, as if it were the next million-dollar idea. I’m pretty sure the over excitement was the cocktail talking, but I digress.
The Diver Scallops were just as divine. They had incredible flavor and were cooked to perfection.
Because I initially couldn’t decide between the Crab Cake and Seared Foie Gras, Stan suggested I try both. I’d actually never had the French delicacy, but since we were at a French-inspired restaurant, it felt fitting to try a new French dish. The foie gras was served on a brioche toast with mixed berries and berry marscarpone cheese. It was a mix of sweet and savory. The toast I quite enjoyed; the foie gras itself was tasty, but as someone who has texture aversions, it’s a dish that I, personally, only need to try once.
After our appetizers Demetri, a Russian native, served us a refreshing raspberry sorbet and a shot of lime-infused and peach-infused vodka to cleanse our palates, with a side of history. Nikolai’s Roof has been had the long-standing tradition of serving the in-house made, infused vodka and palate cleanser since 1976. The lime shot was incredibly tart, but my friend said the peach was quite tasty.
For our entrees, he ordered the Beef Tenderloin, and I had the Herb Crusted Lamb Chops. The Beef Tenderloin, served on a bed of mashed potatoes, was incredibly tender and full of flavor. The lamb chops were cooked and seasoned to perfection. They were not overly gamey, and the bed of corn complimented it well. You honestly cannot go wrong with either entree choices.
As day began to fade to night, the light and airy restaurant that we’d initially walked into, transitioned into a more intimate and cozy setting. Candle lights flickering, dimmed lights, the city illuminating below, it sets the ambiance for the perfect date night restaurant in Atlanta.
Though we were bursting at the seams, we had to top off this incredible dining experience with a little dessert. He opted for the Peach Galette, a delicious pastry stuffed with peaches and topped with a brown butter sweet potato ice cream. I, on the other hand, opted for the White Chocolate Crème Brûlée, which had the most incredible top crust of caramelized sugar topped with fresh berries.
All in all, I give Nikolai’s Roof five stars. Chef Stephanie won me over with her incredible dishes, full of flavor and heartiness. The service was impeccable; Stan was amazing and honest, which is always much appreciated. Even the manager, Daniel, was gracious enough to come over to say hi and to make sure all was well. And, of course, the ambiance is the icing on the cake. On the other side of the restaurant, you’ll find a chic lounge area, perfect for having a night cap and taking in the Atlanta skyline.
Nikolai’s Roof is perfect, not only for a date night, but any special occasion, or no occasion at all. I will definitely be returning, and you should definitely add them to the top of your list as well!
Address: Top floor of Hilton Atlanta
255 Courtland Street NE | Atlanta, GA 30303
Parking: Complimentary valet parking is available to all restaurant guests.
Bring your valet ticket to be validated.