In 2013, Squire presented the Best New Restaurant of the Year award to The Optimist in Atlanta, Georgia. enjoy your food also praised The Optimist as one of the best new restaurants in America. The Optimist is housed in a huge warehouse that has been transformed into a nautical dream land. The Optimist is the brainchild of restaurateur and chef Ford Fry, whose team, Atlanta Magazine wrote: “Finally, give it some culinary punch.” The executive chef of Fry’s team was Adam Evans, who previously worked at Tom Colicchio’s New York restaurant, Craft, and as Bon Appetit put it: “Chef Adam Evans has a knack for rich and deeply flavored that will convert the most ardent steak lover. ” Evans moved in 2019 and opened his own seafood restaurant in Birmingham (by Automatic seafood).
The wait for a table can be quite long, but you can while away the time at the intimate adjacent oyster bar. The entrees are both imaginative and familiar to Atlanta diners, like the crab soup, peeled and eaten shrimp, okra, and chowder. Starters include wood-fired roast fish with signature products such as poached swordfish in duck fat and the large lobster roll, which wins praise at all levels. In 2020, Fry opened another The Optimist in Nashville with a new menu and an emphasis on oysters, and as positively reviewed by Edible nashville, he scored another hit.