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

Optimist, Watershed among magazine’s “world’s best new restaurants”


The Optimist: Soft shell crab cioppino, garlicky tomato broth, torn potato, clams, corn. (BECKY STEIN/special)

Recently, Conde Nast Traveler asked food critics across the country to name some of the best restaurants worth the trip to their city.

Among the contributors was  The Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s very own John Kessler, whose nominations for The Optimist and Watershed on Peachtree were included in the magazine’s guide Hot Tables 2013: The 70 Best New Restaurants in the World.

The complete list will be  featured in the July issue of Conde Nast Traveler.

17 comments Add your comment


June 20th, 2013
4:24 pm

So much for Conde Nast’s judgment; Optimist is highly over-rated.


June 20th, 2013
5:03 pm

In a town full of restaurants they pick Watershed?


June 20th, 2013
6:10 pm

I used to love the Optimist- until I took a girl there for our first date and both wound up with diarrhea, taking awful turns in my only 1 bathroom in my apt. Needless to say we never spoke again.


June 20th, 2013
9:12 pm

Jim, did you really feel the need to share your gastrointestinal issues with everyone. So classy you are…..


June 20th, 2013
9:29 pm

Allison, stop surfing the blogs to voice an opinion. Nothing wrong with Jim telling about some high priced joint that makes you sick.


June 20th, 2013
9:49 pm

Watershed is one of the best restaurants in Atlanta? That’s almost as much as a joke as

[...] Optimist, Watershed among magazine’s “world’s best new restaurants” [...]

George P Burdell

June 21st, 2013
5:56 am gave Optimist a 14 and Watershed on Peachtree a 13 out of 20. There are 86 other restaurants in Georgia rated a 14. Hardly world-class. Show me a Michelin star and then we can talk world class.


June 21st, 2013
6:57 am

I’ve been to the Watershed… Once of Atlanta area’s best… but World Famous? not in my book


June 21st, 2013
7:45 am

Someone please feed John Kessler a bowl of unbuttered instant grits.


June 21st, 2013
7:52 am

Never tried Optimist but Watershed is ‘C’ for average!


June 21st, 2013
8:13 am

It’s not “best”, it’s “best new”… In addition to the two restaurants in ATL, John does short reviews on a handful of other restaurants throughout the South. The funny thing is, and I’m loathe to say it after all the grumblings, but… the whole article, in fact the whole on-line magazine is FREE. I can’t help but laugh at the irony.


June 21st, 2013
8:51 am

Both of these spots are close to where we live and we wouldn’t venture back to either of them. There are MUCH better places to eat in ATL and I am surprised to see that these two made the list, with all we have to pick from. Oh well, to each his own. But you won’t catch us at Watershed or The Optimist ever. (My two cents: Watershed was much better when it was in Decatur.)


June 21st, 2013
12:17 pm

I also live close to Watershed and have not had a bad experience there. Service and food have been exceptional every time I’ve been, with a nicely creative menu along with some old favorites.


June 22nd, 2013
9:50 am

I’ve been to both. Service at The Optimist was terrible and the food over-salted. Watershed was OK but America’s best? I don’t think so.

Ned Ludd

June 23rd, 2013
6:45 pm

Watershed is not a new restaurant. It is a new location.