City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
City & State or ZIP
City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
City & State or ZIP

The Optimist by Chef Ford Fry opens tomorrow

Photos by Andrew Thomas Lee, courtesy of Melissa Libby & Associates

Photos by Andrew Thomas Lee, courtesy of Melissa Libby & Associates

Beginning tomorrow evening, The Optimist and Oyster Bar at The Optimist will join JCT. Kitchen and No. 246 in Chef Ford Fry’s lineup of restaurants.

Both The Optimist and its more casual neighbor, Oyster Bar at The Optimist, will serve sustainable seafood prepared under the direction of Chef Adam Evans, most recently of JCT. Kitchen.

The Optimist, named by Fry’s father for a child’s small sailing vessel, will serve lunch and dinner from wood-burning oven and grills. Options include crispy day-boat flounder with ricotta gnocchi, field peas and grilled lemon and duck fat poached swordfish with pickled sweet peppers and crispy pancetta. These can be paired with wines from coastal regions or beers from American port cities.

The adjacent Oyster Bar will feature a raw bar and serve items such as Maine lobster rolls and smoked haddock chowder. The bar will offer “oyster backs,” cocktails created to pair with raw bar specials, and a daily punch-by-the-pitcher special.

The interior design of both spaces echo the theme with a coastal design by Smith Hanes. According to a press release, Oyster Bar is intended to evoke “the free psyche feel of 1970’s Venice Beach” with booths covered in wetsuit fabric and a surfboard-shaped oyster bar.

The Optimist accepts reservations and walk-in seating is available at The Oyster Bar. Valet parking is available Thursdays-Saturdays.

914 Howell Mill Road, Atlanta.Oyster Bar at Optimist

The Optimist: 5-10 p.m. Sundays, 11:30 – 2:30 and 5-10 p.m. Mondays-Thursdays, 11:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. and 5-11 p.m. Fridays, 5-11 p.m. Saturdays.

Oyster Bar: 5-10 pm.+ Mondays-Thursdays, 5-11 p.m.+ Fridays, 3-11 p.m.+ Saturdays, 3-10 p.m.+ Sundays.

–by Jenny Turknett, Food and More blog

4 comments Add your comment

Bob from Accounttemps

May 21st, 2012
3:32 pm

Nice to see some variety in the new openings list. Can’t wait to try this interesting twist on seafood – away from the corporate settings of Oceanair, Atlanta Fish Market and others. Given the availability of fresh seafood in Atlanta (thanks to Hartsfield-Jackson), I’ve been disappointed at the few more approachable offerings for seafood. Coast is certainly a good start. Joe’s Crab Shack and Red Lobster don’t count.


May 22nd, 2012
10:44 am

My niece is a server there and my husband and I were invited to eat there on Sunday, as a sort of practice for the staff and restaurant. While there were slight timing issues, the food really was great. The seafood choices were excellent. My husband had the lobster roll and I had the fish n’ chips, which were the best I’ve had, and I have eaten that in the UK several times. I always think that excellence in preparation and cooking is most evident from a simple meal, and the same was true here.

Fish n’ chips seems like a downmarket choice, but trust me, it was excellent. We also enjoyed the doughnut with pepper jelly and creamed corn ice cream. I will go again, and try one of the more most diverse plates on the menu, such as the day boat flounder. The side of spinach was also great, as was the she-crab soup.

I will definitely visit The Optimist again.


May 22nd, 2012
12:08 pm

The day-boat flounder sounds like comfort food to me. I’m looking forward to giving it a try.

Me Too

May 23rd, 2012
7:23 pm

I’m not sure I would compare anything to food in the UK.