Saturday, October 6th, 2012
Can you believe I still haven’t been to this place? Local chef goes national, news from Suong at Melissa Libby:
ESQUIRE MAGAZINE NAMES THE OPTIMIST RESTAURANT OF THE YEAR 2012
Ford Fry’s “Fish Camp” and Oyster Bar Tops John Mariani’s List of Nation’s Best New Restaurants
The Optimist, a restaurant committed to serving sustainable seafood located in Atlanta’s West Midtown neighborhood, has been selected as Restaurant of the Year by Esquire magazine. The last time an Atlanta restaurant received the prestigious accolade was in 1998 when Seeger’s received the honor.
Esquire Food and Travel Correspondent John Mariani, who has eaten his way across the country for nearly three decades, selected the 20 best new restaurants in America including “Restaurant of the Year.” Mariani described the restaurant as a “soaring, convivial spot” with “seafood cooked with old-school expertise.” He also noted that “far more than a resounding local success; it is an overnight totem of all that is wonderful about American food today.” The complete list of restaurants, including The Macintosh located in Charleston, S.C., State Bird Provisions in San Francisco and Underbelly in Houston, will be in the magazine’s November issue on newsstands Tuesday, October 16.
Chef and owner Ford Fry opened The Optimist and Oyster Bar at The Optimist in May 2012, intent on bringing a classic seafood experience to landlocked Atlantans. The Oyster Bar at The Optimist is adjacent to The Optimist dining room and is a more casual, relaxed “fish camp” style space, featuring an outdoor patio and a custom created oyster bar complete with a fiery, open hearth oven for roasting numerous varieties of fish and shellfish.
“We are humbled to be included on this list with so many other outstanding restaurants,” said Fry. “Our team has shown great passion and has worked extremely hard to prepare our nearby seafood respectfully to create the best dishes with the highest quality ingredients. To have received this recognition means a lot.”
Executive Chef Adam Evans’ style is simple yet far from simplistic. Evans’ fresh seafood dishes are highlighted when making use of the restaurant’s wood-burning oven. The menu is inspired by Evans’ boyhood fish camp days with a touch of modern flare to match today’s palates. The beverage program, which Mariani referred to as “first-rate,” features light herbaceous and savory cocktails. The wine list at The Optimist draws from coastal regions around the world to complement the menu of sustainable seafood.
914 Howell Mill Road 404-477-6260
(photos courtesy of The Optimist’s website)