The Optimist

Optimist Prime

Ford Fry’s New Raw-Bar Shrine

Cc6624399b698232dd5dc63d834e066186ef9e755 PhotosThe Optimist
Last night, you had a vision.

It was profound. It was life-changing. It was... totally shaped like an oyster.

Weird. But also, coincidental.

Because we too had a vision. And it too was shaped like an oyster.

Well, a palatial new oyster bar on the Westside, but still...

Meet The Optimist, a Ford Fry fortress of summer-friendly seafood and fully dressed oysters, taking reservations now for a private preview dinner tomorrow and slated to officially open May 21.

Sure, Ford Fry has dabbled with bivalves before. But that was then, and this, well, this is more of a monument to the beautiful briny bastards. Picture: towering ceilings, exposed beams, white subway-tiled walls and metal light fixtures that look like they were torn from a 1960s marina on Amelia Island. In other words, the kind of place that was put on earth for the sole purpose of serving you stiff drinks and oven-roasted, shrimp-buttered, bacon-paired half shells.

So enjoy that. Definitely enjoy that. But also make time to get up from the wraparound raw bar and explore. For example: in the back they’ve got an open kitchen, and in that open kitchen, they’ve got Virginia clams and pork belly. Also there: a massive, stand-alone cocktail bar. Order a gin (the one with tonic and fennel fronds) to go with your Acunto wood-oven-roasted oysters and lobster roll.

Congrats, you’re now ready for summer.

Minus a base tan.

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