Carrington begins her rave this week about the booming present-day Sunset Grill with a hat tip to its socially conscious owner:
For 20 years, Sunset Grill has been a bellwether of the local dining scene, setting the bar for service, introducing food trends and providing the gastronomic anchor for a neighborhood that defines Nashville. For those two decades, Randy Rayburn — owner of Sunset, Midtown Cafe and Cabana — has commanded respect from his industry and loyalty from his diners, with consistent innovation and community involvement. If you like half-price late-night menus, thank Randy. If you like clean-air dining, thank Randy for his part in Smoke-Free Tennessee. Don't like guns in bars? Randy's had a hand in keeping weapons out of watering holes. And here's a challenge: Find a nonprofit organization in town that hasn't benefited from Rayburn's largesse.
As if on cue, this Sunday, May 9, for Mother's Day, restaurateur Rayburn is donating 20 percent of your bill at the Sunset Grill to the Community Foundation's Flood Relief Fund. What's more, Rayburn is tithing 10 percent of his profits for the month of May at his restaurants Cabana and Midtown Café along with Sunset Grill. If you thought Sunset Chef Chris Cunningham was a wizard during the heated Iron Fork competition, wait until you see what he can do with something besides purple sweet potatoes.
Sunset Grill is at 2001 Belcourt Ave., 386-3663.