Finally Trying The Optimist

My birthday is not until Sunday, but Jason and I are attending a good friend’s wedding on Saturday (when we’d normally do something), so we decided to celebrate last weekend instead. Celebrating my birthday before I actually turn the next age, works for me!

I’ve been dying to try The Optimist for a really long time. It’s been opened probably close to a year now and still impossible to get reservations for. I looked on Open Table like a month ahead of time and the only times available for Saturday night were 5:45 or 9:45. Being that we were celebrating my turning old anyway, we opted for 5:45.

Lee jason optimist

I don’t know why I can’t look into the iphone camera ever!

The restaurant had a 3-hole mini golf course in front and a little patio attached to a semi-outdoor bar with some tables that were totally outside. We sat at the bar for about ten minutes while waiting for our friends Jamie and Dave.

Jason optimist

Patio optimist

The restaurant was open and airy and even though it was only 5:45, there were a lot of people inside. The Optimist specializes in seafood, good seafood, which can be hard to come by in land-locked Atlanta.

Interior optimist

We thought about getting a starter, but neither Jason nor I were that hungry, so we just ordered main dishes.

I got the cobia which was served with a garlicky ginger sauce and charred peppers.

Cobia optimsit

Jason got the swordfish which was poached in duck fat and served with celery root puree and garlic chile relish.

Swordfish optimist

And both Jamie and Dave got the tuna which was seared and served with charred octopus, crispy potato salad and harissa.

Tuna optimist

As a side, Jason and I got bok choy and mushrooms to share, while Jamie and Dave got hush puppies and fried rice.

Everything was outstanding. Really, really good. Even Jason, who is not a huge fish lover, couldn’t stop raving about his meal. (Side note: even though his was cooked in duck fat, I had a little taste. Take my pescatarian card away if you must.)

Afterward, we obviously had to try our hand at mini-golf. As predicted, I sucked. I’m much better at eating. I’ll stick to that.

Optimist golf

And though it looks like my entire dinner went straight to my butt in that picture, I think (and hope!) it’s the wind blowing my dress funny.

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12 Responses to Finally Trying The Optimist

  1. I friggin’ LOVE that place! The dinner rolls alone are worth a trip. :)

    Your dress is really, really cute!

  2. Happy Birthday, and all I thought when I saw that picture was how cute you looked. Love the dress and the shoes & necklace you wore with it!

  3. I’m so jealous of all the awesome restaurant options you have in Atlanta.

    Sigh. At least we have Disney?

    Your dress IS super cute!

  4. Cute dress! That color is gorgeous on you. Glad to hear you had a great birthday dinner. I’ll have to try that place out when the hype calms down a bit.

  5. Happy early birthday! That place looks great, I love that they have mini golf. I’m terrible at it too, but it’s usually fun.

  6. Happy early birthday, Lee!! That’s a great pic of you playing mini-golf! And you can totally tell it’s the wind, not your butt. :)
    A couple of my co-workers went to The Optimist about a month ago and saw Jake Gyllenhaal. He was supposedly spotted there a couple other times too.

  7. Happy (Early) Birthday!

    I’m a (mostly) vegan (sort of) and even I would have eaten some of the duck fat fried fish…and any of the other dishes as well. [I think this is why my vegan conviction is waning lately. Too many tempting delicacies from the sea!]

    Looks incredible.

    And putt-putt is totally a game of luck. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

  8. Happy early Birthday! I have been wanting to try The Optimist! It definitely looks like a restaurant you’d find on the beach, I love how open everything is. And your dinner looks amazing! Moving it to the top of my list 😉

  9. Well now I need a trip to Atlanta so that I can try the Optimist – this looks fantastic!

  10. You look soooo cute!!! Love that dress on you. Happy early birthday!! Now I want to try the Optimist too!

  11. It was the duck fat! It went straight to your arse! Bahaha!

    But seriously, swordfish is by far one of my favorite seafood picks…I swear on it’s own it tastes like straight up butter! I can only imagine how it tasted after being poached in the duck fat! Wow!

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