A few weeks back, we got to celebrate my mom's birthday at one of the more impressive restaurants in Atlanta, The Optimist. They're the place in Atlanta for fabulous, regional seafood. We had an exceptionally tasty meal, so it was worth sharing here. If this post doesn't make you hungry, I don't know what will!
We started things off with some warm, salty yeast buns. Crispy exterior, soft interior. Mmm.
Since we went for dinner here a few weeks ago, their current menu doesn't have this cocktail on it, but once I find my copy of the menu from that night, I'll fill in the description of this delightful concoction.
Now I've always been an appetizer kind of person, so much so that I'd much rather order a selection of starters that bother with those silly things called entrees. This particular dish is precisely why.
Fried gulf oysters, smoked tomato sauce, shaved horseradish. I've always been a fan of fried oysters and anything that has horseradish in the mix, and this dish did not disappoint. In fact, I could have easily ate an entire plate [or two!] of these, singlehandedly. They were unbelievably light and crisp and flavorful and downright perfect. I'm getting hungry just writing this!
Duck fat poached swordfish, pork belly, muscadine, butternut squash, sherry jus.
Georges bank scallops, charred corn, radish, brown butter chicken jus.
Corn and pea succotash, pancetta vinaigrette.
Bok choy, ginger, pickled peppers.
Not pictured is the delightful chocolate creme brûlée we ended our meal with [along with some espresso for good measure]. We had an embarrassment of culinary riches that night!
Overall, this was a fantastic, satisfying spread of food that I would happily go back for any day of the week. Okay, so I probably won't get to The Optimist for a multi course dinner on a weekly basis, but I certainly plan to come back for some starters and cocktails as soon as possible. Like right now.