Sunday, June 23, 2013

The Optimist - Atlanta, GA

We are unwinding from a fun couple of days in Atlanta. My husband had to go for work and we decided to make a mini-vacation out of it.  We made reservations to The Optimist probably a month or so in advance through Open Table, after reading good reviews online.  At the time we did not know that the likes of Conan O'Brian and Will Ferrell both ate here recently, and we now know why! The Optimist was also named Esquire's Best New Restaurant of 2012 and recently one of the best new restaurants in the world by Conde' Nast.  Pretty cool! Our experience at the seafood restaurant and oyster bar was about as perfect as a dining experience can get. We were seated immediately, requested a booth, and ended up in more private and roomy location than some of the other more standard tables.  We splurged and ordered an appetizer each as well as a dozen oysters (1/2 doz. east coast and 1/2 doz. west coast).

Frothy She-crab soup with shrimp toast with a Dozen oysters
Charred Spanish octopus, spiced greek yogurt, dill pickled carrots and cucumbers
 The starters were amazing!  The shrimp toast that came with the she-crab soup was even better when dipped in the soup.  The topping on the toast was very flavorful, and reminded me of chorizo. And the octopus! Melted in our mouths, charred to perfection. Both of these I would want to eat again right now.


Georges Bank scallops, short rib bacon, green onion, brown butter chicken jus
duckfat poach swordfish, grilled Georgia peach, basil, garlic chili relish
Assorted mushrooms with shallot confit

corn milk hush puppies, "beignet style", cane sugar butter
 We both would order all of these dishes again.  I absolutely love scallops and have a hard time not ordering them when I see them on a menu.  The chicken jus and short rib bacon added a lot of depth to the dish, and the scallops were cooked perfectly. My husband enjoyed the duck fat poached swordfish, the poaching resulting in a very moist fish. We have promised to try and replicate the mushroom dish at home with those little assorted gourmet mushroom packs at the grocery store. They were SO good.  And the hush puppies hit the spot, especially with the butter! The cane sugar gave the butter a hint of caramel flavor.

No dessert for us at The Optimist, although the menu was quite tempting. Overall we had a perfect evening at The Optimist!