I had such a nice lunch yesterday with my girlfriend, Jennifer.
We met at a new oyster bar called “The Optimist”. Design lovers and food lovers can both rejoice. This place is delicious & inspiring.
What’s crazy, too, is my girlfriend owns a post production company here in Atlanta. Her partner will actually be doing the editing on our reel this week. The shoot was a day we will never forget! (here is a snap of us in our “before” kitchen below–I didn’t wear any of the outfits I posted about. The director preferred the black shirt, leopard scarf & blue earrings. Go figure.) We did our best–that is all we can do, right? It is in God’s hands now….just like it always has been. Boy, we would love to have a show!! Fingers crossed. You know I will let you know when I hear anything.
Back to The Optimist…..
It was designed & branded by the brilliant (and cute) Smith Hanes. Some of my girlfriends heard him speak the other night. They told me we would have loved him, and I am sure that is true. His aesthetic is our aesthetic—so I know it would have been a lovefest on our end.
The restaurant does give the diner a feeling of being on the sea, without the queasiness. There are ship lights, weathered boards and nautical stripes abounding.
The painted lower portion of the wall reminds me of the painted bottoms of a ship’s exterior. What a nice collage, too! (all local art & photography…as well as much local produce & dairy they can get)
I couldn’t even wait until I was back home to start texting Anisa pictures. Country/ industrial/ nautical/ white heaven up in here.
The test of any restaurant’s design is their bathrooms. Smith pulled it out here, too.
Individual rooms with classic penny tiles & siding for the walls. Love it!
I didn’t touch the fabric, but I bet you $20 that it is what they use to fashion life vests.
It is smart that he does the branding as well. He should.
Itty-bitty life vest as decor.
Super fat tiles, nautical lighting….
Oh, and did I mention the stripes???!!!! Stripes for days!! On the barstools, the huge panels,…
This vintage blue piece of furniture and the amazing photo really took my breath away when I walked up to the hostess. Beautiful.
And the food was good, too. We shared the peel & eat shrimp (huge and the spices & homemade sauces were yummy) and I had the lobster cobb salad which was worth every bit of the $17 (even though lunch was her treat).
Speaking of food—I haven’t emailed y’all the Greek Orzo recipe yet. Here it is:
Greek Orzo Salad (serves 4) from H & H May 2012
Packed with veggies, chickpeas & cheese, this is a great main for meatless Mondays.
1 cup dried orzo pasta
1 clove garlic, minced with a pinch of sea salt
juice of 1 small lemon
1/4 cup plus 1 Tbsp EVOO
1 5oz clamshell of baby spinach (not sure what they mean by clamshell)
1/4 cup pinenuts
1 small handful fresh mint, chopped
1/2 English cucumber, chopped
1/4 cup kalamata olives, pitted & chopped
1 19 oz can chickpeas, drained & rinsed
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
1. Bring a medium pot of water to boil. Salt generously and cook orzo following package directions (about 8-10 minutes). Drain and rinse under cold water. Transfer to serving bowl.
2. In the meantime, to make dressing, whisk together the garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, and more salt (if needed). Add dressing to orzo and gently toss.
3. Rinse out the orzo cooking pot and add spinach, 1 Tbsp olive oil and 2 Tbsp cold water. Puree with a hand blender in the pot, until spinach is smooth. Add to orzo bowl.
4. Lightly toast pine nuts in a small, dry skillet over medium heat (watch them closely–they burn easily). Add toasted pine nuts and remaining ingredients to orzo and gently toss. Taste for seasoning and adjust if needed. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Bye for today,