First Look: Ray’s on the Creek, Alpharetta

Ahi Tacos- crispy taco shell, fresh tuna, crunchy vegetables and spicy avocado aioli.

Combined ShapeCaption
Ahi Tacos- crispy taco shell, fresh tuna, crunchy vegetables and spicy avocado aioli.


Dining Out

Ray’s on the Creek, Alpharetta

11 a.m.- 10 p.m. Mondays-Thursdays; 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Fridays-Saturdays; 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Sundays.

Starters, salads and small plates, $5-$17; entrees, $17-$35; sharable sides, $6; lunch, $7-$17.

1700 Mansell Road, 770-649-0064, www.raysrestaurants.com

In early 2013, the restaurant formerly known as Ray’s at Killer Creek got a new name, Ray’s on the Creek, a new look and another round of menu tweaks from executive chef Tracey Bloom and other chefs of the Ray’s Restaurants group. The result is a more modern-casual atmosphere, more dishes under $30 at dinner, more sharable plates and a new lunch menu.

The look: From the parking lot, the addition of a big new Ray’s logo and a new coat of paint covering the stone columns are most prominent. Inside, the design scheme is brighter and more open with coastal-inspired touches, and a redesigned bar and lounge area. In the dining room, rows of booths with rustic wood tabletops are illuminated by dangling glass lamps.

The scene: While the changes indicate a more comfortable, less fussy dining experience, the Ray’s website and an entrance sign still state: “Business Casual Dress Code Required.” At lunch one recent afternoon, blue jeans were evident at the bar, while well dressed couples occupied tables in the dining room, and a birthday party with kids and balloons was in full swing in the back room.

The menu: While dinner offerings still tend toward steak and seafood, fresh starters and small plates include the likes of ahi tuna tacos in crispy shells with veggies and spicy avocado aioli ($12), and barbecue shrimp, served po-boy-style on a garlic baguette ($10). Fresh seafood, such as George’s Bank scallops ($27) and Block Island swordfish ($25), can be ordered grilled, blackened, pan-seared, or wood oven-roasted. On the meaty side of the menu, find a Eden Farms pork chop with rosemary and honey fingerling potatoes and green beans ($24), and a Creekside Farms strip steak with spatzle, mushrooms and spinach ($32).

The drinks: There’s a steak house-style, big book wine list with bottles from $30 to over $300, and several vertical vintage selections. Cocktails include the Maytag Martini with blue cheese-stuffed olives, and the Russell’s Rye Manhattan with sweet vermouth and Angostura bitters. New Belgium Fat Tire and Red Hare Long Day Lager were on the recent draft beer list.

The extras: At lunch, look for fish and chips with breaded flounder and hand cut fries ($12), a ground chuck burger with Vermont cheddar ($10), and shrimp and grits with bacon, tomatoes, peppers, asiago cheese and white wine butter sauce ($15).