Y’all, I was positively beside myself to spend Wednesday evening dining at The Optimist, Midtown West’s chicest new eatery, with the marvelous gals behind calliespondence and Buncolator. I swear, befriending Callie, Catherine and Lindsay is one of the best things to come from this little blog! Coming on the heels of JCT Kitchen – only my favorite restaurant of all time – and No. 246, I’ve been intently awaiting the opening of The Optimist for months now! As the third brain-child of duo Chef Ford Fry and decorator Smith Haynes, I had no doubt that it would be anything less than a feast for the senses. In the main dining room, the menu focuses on sustainable seafood prepared in a wood-burning oven. The impressively expansive space is fresh, sea-chic and all together gorgeous. I created a veggie plate by pairing three scrumptious sides – assorted mushrooms with shallot confit, potato gnocchi and corn with lobster butter, and basmati “fried rice” with smoked fish, curry, crushed peanuts and egg. For dessert, we sampled the buttermilk donuts with sweet corn ice cream and hot pepper jam. And let me just say that there wasn’t a scrap left on my plate! Next door, the Oyster Bar at The Optimist is a more casual “fish camp” styled space that does not require reservations. It’s equally as chic with a sampling of divine sounding small plates and a stylish raw bar. Much to my delight, Ford Fry doesn’t let grass grow under his feet…it’s been rumored that he’s considering the idea of helping the proprietor of Sugar Coated Radical open another pastry shoppe right next door to The Optimist. *wipes drool from chin* Hope that happens sooner rather than later… With that, it’s high time to get the weekend started! We’ll kick ours off in our standard summer manner – wings, cocktails, music, swimming and friends at the club. xoxo PS. Hope on over to calliespondence and Buncolator and show those gals some love. Callie designed the splendidly stylish invites for my 30th birthday soiree and Lindsay and Catherine are the brains behind the must-have Buncolator app. PPS. A few of the pics above were snagged from The Optimist tumblr feed.