Nikolai’s Roof

Downtown’s dinosaur of fine dining, in operation on the thirtieth floor of the Atlanta Hilton since 1976, received a face-lift this winter: The crimson disco-era trappings have been replaced with a sea-foam green color scheme that looks like a beach resort circa 1989. Too bad the kitchen, currently under the direction of chef de cuisine Stephanie Alderete, long ago abandoned its focus on Russian cooking (good luck finding it in metro Atlanta). Instead the menu offers competently prepared New American fanciness at slightly more affordable prices than before (a four-course meal post-renovation costs $71 rather than the previous $84, and most a la carte entrees hover between $28 and $39 instead of $31 and $48). Expense-account travelers may appreciate the twinkly nighttime view and dishes like chilled coconut milk and sweet potato bisque with lump crabmeat, lamb chops over cauliflower and tomato ragout, and a Grand Marnier soufflé for dessert. For locals, though, too many superior restaurants exist on the ground to make this worth the money or the ascent.