Price for both: Approx $40
Bucket List Worthy: Arrrhhh matey it be…
Usually in Atlanta a mid to high dollar restaurant is all about ambiance, the appearance of class, and such. But “The Optimist” hit the nail on the head. The higher than usual prices are definitely worth the money. Eating here was definitely an “experience” which is lacking at most other restaurants. My girlfriend asked me to mention the staff in particular. There were more than enough staff members present and they were very attentive. Because I don’t always read for understanding I thought that this was a seafood restaurant and was a little disappointed when I realized they actually specialize in fish. But that one is on me. The building itself was once a meat packing factory. A history that can still be seen on the outside walls if you look hard enough. The temperature inside was absolutely perfect. This is a small detail that other restaurants often miss that when done right make a really big difference in the eating experience. There are many other perfect little details I could mention but on to the food. The She Crab Soup was phenomenal, like nothing I had ever tasted. It was boiling hot and frothy. Seemed like it was produced by a magic spell in a caldron. Every spoonful was heart warming. The taste produced false memories of growing up by the bay skipping rocks and chasing ducks off of a harbor. It came with some kind of golden fried bread stick which was deliciously soft yet firm. It too tasted of crab but in a very faint way. Dipping the bread stick in the She Crab soup…a taste I won’t even disgrace by trying to explain.
The Duck Fat Poached Swordfish sounds pretentious but is indeed decadent. It was perfectly poached. PERFECTLY POACHED. I imagine that there is some old man in the back of the kitchen with his own space and a blow torch. Lighting a fat cigar first, then turning the heat onto the bottom of an old black skillet with the fish in it, making the highly skilled task look like something he does to past time. The duck fat and butter sauce mixed with the caramelized chopped nuts topping made for good sopping with the fish. The texture of the fish put me in the mind of ice cream that has sat out on the counter for the perfect amount time.
I can’t wait to go back here and share this eating experience with more friends. In closing I will say this, if I were on death row and had a choice of my last meal this would probably be it. I’d want that old man with the blow torch to perfectly poach the poison in so that I’d just slip away into the next life after I take my last bite.
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