The Optimist and Oyster Bar at The Optimist is now open in West Midtown.
According to the press materials, the restaurant’s name "was suggested by owner Ford Fry’s father and refers to a small, single-handed sailing dinghy intended for use by children up to the age of 15. The understated quality of the name along with the forthright meaning of the word appeals to Fry, who also appreciates the reference to being an optimist about the 'day’s catch' and 'catching the next big fish.'"
On a recent visit, the oyster menu offered up East Coast ($2.50 each) and West Coast ($3 each) oysters on ice with fresh horseradish and mignonette. Dean opted to try one of each, which I dubbed as the bicoastal bivalve plating. He preferred the larger East Coast oyster though admitted the comparison was fun and wished he'd have ordered more of both. (As frequent readers know, I do not eat raw meats, including seafood.)
Oyster Bar at The Optimist is adjacent to The Optimist and is a more casual “fish camp” style venue featuring a raw bar and an outdoor patio with a two-hole putt-putt golf course.
Bottom Line: The combination of the beachy vibe of the decor, the Westside location, the fact that it's recently open and owned by one of the city's favorite chefs, the fresh food menu and the creative cocktail menu ensure this place will be a hit especially among young professionals.