Last year, Lure
and the Optimist
opened within two months and two miles of each other. Both were intent on bringing a fresh perspective to Atlanta's seafood - not as stodgy as the Oceanaire, not as touristy as Legal Sea Foods, and not as old-school as Atlanta Fish Market. Comparing the two is inevitable. Both restaurants emphasize fresh ingredients and sustainable sourcing; give equal attention to the drinks that go so well with seafood; and are helmed by ambitious chefs. They are also important cogs in the wheels of vibrant restaurant groups - Lure with Fifth Group Restaurants (Ecco, Alma Cocina, La Tavola, South City Kitchen) and the Optimist with Rocket Farm Restaurants, Ford Fry's emerging empire (JCT, No. 246, the upcoming King + Duke). But only one of the two grabbed the attention of Esquire
magazine and was named the best new restaurant in the country
. It wasn't Lure.
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