914 Howell Mill Rd.
Atlanta, GA 30318Neighborhood:
SeafoodPrice: $31 to $50
- Dining Style: Casual Elegant
- Website: http://www.theoptimistrestaurant.com/
- Phone: (404) 477-6260
- Hours of Operation:
Lunch: Monday - Friday: 11:30am - 2:30pm; Dinner: Sunday - Thursday: 5:00pm - 10:00pm, Friday - Saturday: 5:00pm - 11:00pm
- Payment Options: AMEX,Discover,MasterCard,Visa
- Cuisine: Seafood
- Executive Chef: Adam Evans
- Dress Code: Casual Dress
- Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
- Additional Details: Banquet/Private Rooms, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Farm to Table, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Personal wines welcome, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies), Private Room, Wine
- Private Party Facilities: The Optimist has a variety of event spaces that include bar events, restaurant buy outs and semi-private dining for up to 50 guests.
- Private Party Contact: Miranda Hudson 4043555311x12
- Special Events: Please contact Miranda Hudson at email@example.com for special event information.
A word from The Optimist
The Optimist and Oyster Bar at The Optimist is simply "The Hamptons meets The South." We are passionate about sourcing sustainable seafood and preparing it in classic ways. We're not reinventing the wheel -- just perfectly roasting "farm," fish and shellfish over Georgia hickory. Menu items range from the most authentic seafood gumbo with "pot luck" garlic bread to Maine lobster rolls, Gulf grouper with smoky spring Vidalias, and an ever changing selection of super fresh East and West coast oysters. The cool irony is that we have adapted a historic country ham aging "house" into an amazing space of comfort and escape through inspirations of coastal surf culture.Continued
Oh... and if you are not a seafood person, we LOVE meat too! No worries, be optimistic! :) ...Ford and Adam
Oh... and if you are not a seafood person, we LOVE meat too! No worries, be optimistic! :) ...Ford and Adam
Foodspotting photosSee all photos
Awards voted by OpenTable diners
- Diners' Choice WinnerHot Spot
- Diners' Choice WinnerSeafood
- Diners' Choice WinnerMost Booked
The Optimist - Best Restaurants in West Midtown ›
The Optimist reviews from OpenTable diners
510 reviews since July 29, 2014
- Ambiance4.4Noise LevelEnergetic
fit for foodies (388)special occasion (258)hot spot (258)good for groups (175)neighborhood gem (174)vibrant bar scene (146)romantic (124)notable wine list (105)great for lunch (74)great for outdoor dining (43)late-night find (31)great for brunch (16)kid-friendly (10)scenic view (8)Show More
- Great Food and Ask for Rebeka30312eaterVIPDined on 11/22/2014Food was delicious and they have a great wine list and many by the class. It is a interesting take of seafood, fresh and light. Highly recommend it and the octopus. Best octopus I have had and I have tried a lot.Special Features:
- Impeccable service!OpenTable Diner Since 2014Dined on 11/21/2014My husband and I went to the Optimist for a date and were so impressed by the service! Beginning with the bar, they made us feel like we were important even with no open seats and the staff being very busy. The food was pricey but worth it. Everything we tried was great! Especially the clam roll :) We will definitely be back.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Fishy fish, mushy oysters, commercial desertsBoomerDined on 11/21/2014All three of us were disappointed in our food, from appetizers through deserts. It was particularly offensive to pay this amount of money for poor food (mushy oysters, fishy fish that had obviously been frozen/poorly defrosted, even the potatoes were poorly cooked/burned). The deserts seemed like commercial off-the-shelf items to which the restaurant added a dollop of flavored ice cream or cream. Due to surrounding construction it is difficult to find the place, although we won't be back. Only a true optimist would return!Special Features:
- Solid spot for a nice meal!BobbyCDined on 11/18/2014The Optimist was great for a meal out with a buddy. Started with some oysters, shared two sides, and each had a main dish and two drinks. The place is not cheap. $150 for the two of us, when i feel like it should have been more like $100. Overall though great place to go. I guess you pay a bit for the atmosphere and setting.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- the optimist loves itselfFoodieMDined on 11/18/2014but we didn't love the optimist. Food was ok. Not fantastic. Service was a bit pushy but friendly. The noise level was high and the tables were physically too large and not intimate (bench style seating for two tops with a large table between us and couples flanking closely on either side). Would be a good place to meet for happy hour and have some oysters.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Not badOpenTable Diner Since 2009VIPDined on 11/18/2014Heard a lot of good things, so I took some folks to celebrate a birthday. Service was reasonable. Food selections were a bit heavy. Was expecting somewhat lighter fare. The desserts were fantastic. The room is very noisy and you can hear other table's conversations easily. Overall, I would go back. But it was a bit of a disappointment the first time.I would recommend this to a friend.
- Not your usual swordfishstaywellDined on 11/17/2014I've been ot the Optimist before. It's very good - but somehow it fell a little short of its original hype. But I'd been hearing about the swordfish cooked in duck fat - yes, that's right - for a long time. I'm just not a big swordfish fan. But this time, my guest and I said - hey, let's give it a try. Truest me folks, this is the best swordfish you're going to find anywhere. Sure, the restaurant could be a little quieter, a touch more refined, but the octopus appetizer and the swordfish in duck fat are the real deal. Maybe that original hype was on target after all!Special Features:
- Best seafood in Atlanta!TheBestDined on 11/15/2014Best seafood in Atlanta meets hot bar atmosphere. Amazing place#Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Loved the food and atmosphereOpenTable Diner Since 2011Dined on 11/14/2014Would have marked more categories above, but we're from out of town, just ate dinner once, so no experience with other categories. The scallops were amazing - perfect flavor balance; arugula salad bright, fresh, loved the shaved turnips in it; would return just for the salted caramel ice cream.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- JanetVIPDined on 11/13/2014Took out of town visitors here for dinner & what a fiasco... Was noisy, overpriced & service not helpful in negotiating the menu. My $27 monkfish entree was delicious, weighed about 4 oz including the fish spine that was included in the cut. When I asked the server about it, she said the chef included it as a specialty item. Come on... Dinner for the 4 of us included one drink each, 2 entrees, 3 starters and cost $60 each.
- Forget the Chains!LarryBondDined on 11/11/2014Want to experience Atlanta's newest seafood restaurant? See you at the Optimist!! Unique and boastful menu, excellent oyster bar, friendly yet romantic ambiance, superb service! My wife and I search for great seafood and we have found the best. This is NOT your chain restaurant. We started with a perfectly made Belvedere martini along with the house bread, and then enjoyed an assortment of ice cold oysters for appetizers. The menu is loaded with original creations. I chose the duck fat encrusted swordfish as the entre. It was the most unique and delicious fish creation I've had in years. The blue potatoes and grille burnt broccoli were a perfect choice for sides. Whatever sauces they used on the vegetables were absolutely perfect. All the while our waiter was attentive without being overbearing. Perfect combination! We have suggested Optimist to several of our friends and all said their experience was comparable to ours, which strongly suggest their efforts for consistancy. We look forward to our next visit to The Optimist.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Outstanding food but spotty servicezmoneyDined on 11/9/2014I've been to the optimist twice now, once sitting at the bar, and once for a date night. Both times the food was outstanding, but the service left something to be desired. The charred octopus is amazing. The oyster selection is phenomenal. Order your food with confidence because you will like it. The first time it took about 35 minutes to get our order of RAW oysters. It was a busy night, but our server made no effort to assure us our food was coming. The second time, it was about 15-20 minutes before the servers noticed we had been seated. This was on a Sunday night, so it was not as busy. The wait staff was friendly when they did get around to us, but I had to track them down to order another beer.Special Features:
- Great ServiceOpenTable Diner Since 2011Dined on 11/9/2014Reserved via Open Table, noted a nut allergy and an anniversary celebration, they acknowledged both and made sure I was comfortable with the nut allergy. Additionally, we showed up 30 minutes early for our reservation and they were more than happy to accommodate us. Great restaurant, friendly staff, excellent food.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Amazing service and hospitalityOpenTable Diner Since 2011Dined on 11/8/2014My husband and I heard many great things about The Optimist and we were so happy to find that our dining experience there was pretty representative of our whole trip to Atlanta. Our server was knowledgable and had many great recommendations and her attentiveness to our table of 2 was warm and welcoming. We loved our experience!Special Features:
- OpenTable Diner Since 2007VIPDined on 11/8/2014Been to Optimist multiple times with good luck. Not this time. The service was awful, seating requests were not honored despite repeated advance requests, the waiter was surly and uninformed, not the least bit helpful, actually detracted from the evening--immensely. Many better options.
- Once again.OpenTable Diner Since 2014Dined on 11/8/2014The Optimist is consistently wonderful. We had educated, well recommended, wine at the large bar while waiting for our table. And then moved to dinner for another great meal. The "opportunities" rotating crudo menu is spot on, if not a bit overpriced. Nonetheless, I've never had a bad meal here.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- PammyVIPDined on 11/7/2014TERRIBLE, TERRIBLE, TERRIBLE.................. AND I'm TRYING TO BE OPTIMISTIC
- Best restaurant in Atlanta!AtlGuyDined on 11/7/2014I often have to entertain clients for lunch and dinners. I was absolutely blown away by the experience at optimist. I go there as often as possible now. I have yet to find something on the menu that wasn't incredible. Try EVERYTHING!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- amazing!kmanoukiDined on 11/6/2014Loved the food, the cocktails. They tailored it to the fall season with the spices they used. My wife and i really enjoyed it coming from los angelesSpecial Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- dmc3VIPDined on 11/5/2014HAd a reservation for two, but we chose to eat at the bar. Great service to complement the great food.Special Features:
- Great food, off locationDisappointedVIPDined on 11/5/2014The restaurant is located in an industrial commercial area. Parking is valet only due to minimal spaces. Food was delicious. Scallops had a wonderful flavor, Sea Bass was light & flaky. Salted Caramel ice cream is heavenly. Service was good. Ambiance is noisy but friendly.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Still a great choiceAtlantaFoodieDined on 11/4/2014This is my third time dining here. While I thought it wasn't quite as good as previous visits, it is still a great choice. Maybe some of the "new restaurant" mystique has worn off, but I did think the food was not quite as good as before.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Never failsChengoDined on 11/4/2014We came here for a business lunch, and per usual, The Optimist impressed all. Whether for business or for pleasure, we will be back to dine in the future.Special Features:
- Good food, poor pacingJbossDined on 11/3/2014Enjoyed the food. Really well done. The pacing however...needed work. With the exception of dessert, we spent 20+Minutes between courses and that was a bit much. Won't keep me from coming back...but if it was a trend...it may. Again, food was really well done.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- One of the best spots in ATL.AwesomistDined on 11/3/2014If you like seafood, try the rawbar to start The swordfish in duck fat and pork belly.... no need to say more!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Classy seafood restaurantFood4funDined on 11/3/2014If you are looking for a trendy place to dine, then consider The Optimist. Delicious food prepared with beautiful presentations. Excellent service. Lovely atmosphere.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Good not greatVanillaice21Dined on 11/2/2014Staff was very friendly. Food was good but if you don't eat pork the menu is limited.Special Features:
- Perfect for Special OccasionDaveDined on 11/2/2014My wife and I decided to try out The Optimist for our anniversary. We ordered something from each menu from the oyster bar to dessert. When we had a question, our waiter gave great recommendations, so we really enjoyed everything we ordered. It was a great night out and we will definitely recommend this spot to friends. The only possible improvement to the evening would have been a little more space between our table (2-top) and the one next to us... they were a little tight for our taste. All in all, a great find.Special Features:
- Doesn't Match Up to All the HypeVarioSquintDined on 11/1/2014The food is quite underwhelming. The Arugula salad is very nice, but the lettuce is responsible for that. The service was pretty mediocre. Better fish and chips can be had at Captain D's. The atmosphere is nice though if a bit too loud.Special Features:
- Great!mmaxsDined on 11/1/2014We went to the Optimist after reading rave review and magazine articles. The oysters were phenomenal - baked and raw. The mahi mahi that my husband had was delicious. My cobia was cooked to perfection, but after a few bites the salt hit me. It was way over-salted and I told the waitress and she promptly removed it from the bill. The hush puppies on the side were amazing. For dessert we had the creme brûlée and it was absolutely outstanding. We would definitely go back.Special Features:
- Extemely disappointed w/OpportunityKatPerDined on 11/1/2014The Opportunities should be called "a sent" and it is impossible to share 4 razor slices of a scallop as waiter suggests,,,and get a taste. Over priced at $10. Actually insulting to a customer to charge this. We fine dine and are not at all shocked at a price that are worth the experience and foodie experience; we dine weekly at fine restaurants. The Opportunity definitely affected the rating. Main Entrees good and the chocolate creme Brulee was great and not a desert person! The Opportunity definitely affected the rating.Special Features:
- Pretty Good...OpenTable Diner Since 2005Dined on 11/1/2014The food was hit or miss for me. The fish chowder I ordered was bland and "just okay" but the Grouper was SUPERB and perfectly cooked! the Sweet potatoes were better than the fingerling potatoes which were kind of salty but the salted caramel ice cream was DELISH! Overall, I would come again but it wouldnt make my favorite restaurants list.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- OpenTable Diner Since 2014Dined on 11/1/2014Awesome raw bar very fresh oysters and nice variety , with flavor descriptions to assist your selections ,excellent fresh seafood, great service , I will be coming back for sureSpecial Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Great food and cocktailseviecDined on 10/31/2014We went for the Halloween function - unfortunately the weather didn't cooperate, but there were plenty of people in costume and delicious food to be had. A number of people were in costume, including the staff and it helped make the night fun. We split a bunch of appetizers so we got to try a number of different things. I would definitely go back.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- PriceyOpenTable Diner Since 2013Dined on 10/31/2014The food was good, but overpriced for what you getSpecial Features:
- OpenTable Diner Since 2007VIPDined on 10/30/2014parking is a problem dining room too noisy for conversation need some sort of sound deadening - please the noise level discourages our wives from returning
- Best seafood in ATLFoodfinderVIPDined on 10/29/2014Very fresh seafood, beautifully prepared with just the right amount of interesting flavores to bring out the best in the fish, without overpowering. Also enjoyed the kale salad, octopus appetizer and "fried rice" side.Special Features:
- OutstandingatlskaterDined on 10/28/2014Celebrated two birthdays and had a blast. Will definitely go back.Special Features:
- Hidden treasureOpenTable Diner Since 2011Dined on 10/28/2014I really have enjoyed every time I have been to the Optimist. I love the food.Special Features:
- Good, But Not GreatconvoyhelmVIPDined on 10/26/2014Salad and sides were yummy, but my entree, which was a flounder w/ jalapeno butter dish, was just okay and the greens it came perched on were so, so salty they were almost inedible. Also, the cocktail list is mediocre at best.Special Features: