I had been thinking about writing a post titled "Is there good food in downtown Atlanta?" and answering no, but that's because I didn't know about Ray's in the City. I reviewed Ray's in the Water earlier and I was similarly impressed by the city version, which is across the street from the Hyatt Regency. I do have one minor complaint, however. Although the salmon itself was wonderful, the blackening was desultory at best. A blackened piece of meat is supposed to have a thin but distinct crust made from burned spices. The coating on this fish was more like what you'd get from a quick pass with an airbrush. I missed both the spicy taste and the texture. But as I say, the salmon itself was very well prepared. My Ray's salad was also excellent. It had a great combination of cheese, nuts, and fruits in addition to the lettuce.
Trev, Jan, and Karem took me to a wonderful evening at West End Grill located, appropriately enough, in the West End. The restaurant still has its old tin ceiling festooned with stained glass chandeliers. I was too hungry to take a picture of our appetizers: crab cakes and bleu cheese tarts. The crab cakes had just a bit of heat to them, something you don't always find in a crab cake but which worked very well. The bleu cheese tarts lived up to their intriguing premise, rich and tangy. This is my caprese salad. The mozzarella, tomato, and basil were all outstanding. The balsamic vinegar had been very well aged, giving it a thick consistency. My main course was tuna, perfectly prepared to a medium well. The tuna left just enough room for a chocolate lava cake paired with decaf coffee. The cake was rich and moist. I kept scraping my plate to be sure I retrieved all of the chocolate.