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  5. West Midtown
The Optimist, Atlanta, GA

The Optimist

4.8
4.8
7620 Reviews
$31 to $50
Seafood
The Optimist brings a seaside fish camp experience to landlocked Atlantans. The ever-changing menu features high-quality, sustainable seafood masterfully paired with fresh, local ingredients. From sophisticated, daily-catch dishes to crudos and beachside classics, chef-owner Ford Fry’s the Optimist transports guests to their favorite coastal haunts.

Make a reservation

2 people

9:00 PM


Booked 88 times today
Experiences are available.

Additional information

  • Dining style

    Casual Elegant

  • Cuisines

    Seafood

  • Hours of operation

    Dinner Mon–Thu 5:00 pm–10:00 pm Fri, Sat 5:00 pm–11:00 pm

  • Phone number

    (404) 477-6260

  • Payment options

    AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa

  • Dress code

    Casual Dress

  • Executive chef

    Brian Horn

  • Private party facilities

    The Optimist has a variety of event spaces that include bar events, restaurant buy outs, private dining up to 20 guests, semi-private dining for up to 50 guests.

  • Private party contact

    our Private Event Coordinator : (404) 355-5311 ext. 212

  • Neighborhood

    West Midtown

  • Cross street

    8th Street

  • Parking details

    $5 Valet service is offered through the Brady parking garage, located on property. Additional surface street parking is available throughout the neighborhood, as well as additional lots in the area.

  • Additional

    Banquet, Bar/Lounge, Beer, BYO Wine, Cocktails, Corkage Fee, Delivery, Full Bar, Gluten-free Options, Non-Smoking, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Private Room, Takeout, Wine

Experiences

  • Ring in the New Year with The Optimist!

    $125.00 per person

    Dec 31, 2022 only
    To celebrate the New Year we are excited to offer a special four course menu from Chef Brian Horn, priced at $125 per person. Available wine Pairings from our amazing beverage team are sure to be the perfect accompaniment, only an additional $50.
  • Valentine's Day Prix Fixe at The Optimist!

    $125.00 per person

    Feb 14, 2023 only
    The best way to spend the evening with your special someone is "coast side!" Celebrate Valentine's Day at The Optimist with a four-course prix fixe menu Executive Chef Brian Horn for $115 per person. Enjoy oysters on the half shell, coastal inspired cuisine and much more! We look forward to celebrating with you!

What 7,620 people are saying

Overall ratings and reviews

Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant

4.8
4.8 based on recent ratings
  • 4.8Food
  • 4.8Service
  • 4.8Ambience
  • 4.5Value

NoiseModerate

Loved For

  • Atlanta / Georgia

    Seafood

  • Atlanta / Georgia

    Most Booked

  • Atlanta

    Seafood

  • Atlanta

    Most Booked

Sort by

Filters

  1. CB

    ColletteB

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined 1 day ago

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    great location. food was great and service. great cocktail. We had a couples date night. Really enjoyed it
  2. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Atlanta

    1 review

    vip
    3.0

    1 review

    Dined 1 day ago

    overall3food4service2ambience4
    Optimist is a favorite of ours and last night it was disappointing. Service was subpar at best and the food was just ok.
  3. LM

    LawrenceM

    Atlanta

    24 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    24 reviews

    Dined 2 days ago

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    One of the best restaurants in Atlanta. Always consistent and excellent food and service. Great management team who really care about their patrons. If you want a great fish experience this is my go to restaurant.
  4. KA

    KADBJ

    Atlanta

    37 reviews

    vip
    3.0

    37 reviews

    Dined 2 days ago

    overall3food4service3ambience1
    The food is excellent but the tables for two are placed so close together that it was hard for our waitress to hear us. We were sandwiched between two other tables so that I was actually closer to the people on my left and right than I was to my husband! Service was really slow but I think that’s because the tables made it hard for her to get to us - and deliver food & drinks without interrupting the people on both sides. The tuna and himachi crudo are both outstanding but the table spacing really made it hard to enjoy our evening. I couldn’t even get up from the table without risking knocking over a glass on the adjacent tables (and we are not “big.”) I love the food and it’s always been one of our favorites but we aren’t jumping to get back.
  5. PC

    PaulaC

    Atlanta

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined 2 days ago

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Amazing in every way. Staff was so accommodating and the food was delicious. They made our anniversary perfect :)
  6. OB

    O2Bretired

    Atlanta

    16 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    16 reviews

    Dined 2 days ago

    overall5food5service5ambience4
    Consistently good food. Definitely the best seafood in Atlanta. I varied from my usual she crab soup to start, going with the shrimp and sausage gumbo, which was excellent in a nicely developed and spiced roux. My wife had the shrimp a la plancha, which has changed some from what I remember (some cream in the sauce now; not just butter and garlic). She described it as excellent, and I grabbed a little sauce with the end of my garlic bread that accompanied the gumbo. The dish is rich, causing her to note that next time she might order it as an entree. She had the redfish, which she found very good, but in the only negative point for this review, she felt the bacon vinaigrette (which included bacon lardons) took away from the light taste of the fish. I had the arctic char, which may be my new favorite. To me it tastes like a mild version of salmon, and it had a perfectly crisped skin, presented on the top so that it would not become soggy in the lemon butter herb sauce. The latter was so good that I ate most of the shared plate of basmati fried rice (first time trying that--definitely recommended) in order to sop up the butter sauce. No room for dessert.
  7. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Atlanta

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined 2 days ago

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    anniversary
  8. S

    Sk123

    Washington DC

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined 3 days ago

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Food was great, service was great, ambience was great. Highly recommend!!
  9. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined 3 days ago

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    The best spot!
  10. GK

    GayleK

    Atlanta

    7 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    7 reviews

    Dined 3 days ago

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    We celebrated my sons birthday. Our server was phenomenal and the food was delicious. We will definitely come back so we can explore more of the menu and oysters.
  11. L

    Lexi

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined 4 days ago

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    I dined at The Optimist for my birthday and could not have had a better experience! My waitress was so sweet and helpful with recommendations. The octopus and branzino were delicious, as well as the oysters that were recommended by my waitress. My first experience at The Optimist was incredible and I will be back!
  12. AC

    AdamC

    Baltimore

    8 reviews

    vip
    3.0

    8 reviews

    Dined 5 days ago

    overall3food3service1ambience2
    Food was OK my fish was ever cooked at $40 or $38 for a plate halibut should be Fork flake tender. I asked several times for extra rolls never got them, requested nonalcoholic beer several times finally did get it server did comp one of them. Overall would not go back unfortunately. I know this is rated very highly as one of the best Atlanta seafood restaurants unfortunately that was not our experience.
  13. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Atlanta

    1 review

    3.0

    1 review

    Dined 5 days ago

    overall3food3service4ambience3
    Out of town friend came for a visit.
  14. LL

    LaLa

    E. Tennessee

    4 reviews

    5.0

    4 reviews

    Dined 5 days ago

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Alex gave us fabulous service even opening the door for us as we arrived. We sat outside bc someone in our party had a shellfish allergy and the temperature was great due to the fans going. Excellent beverages and the food was absolutely delicious. Great dining experience.
  15. N

    Nikki

    Atlanta

    2 reviews

    5.0

    2 reviews

    Dined 6 days ago

    overall5food4service5ambience5
    Wait staff was absolutely excellent! Loved the shrimp toast app. Scallops were ok. Was on the pricier end but definitely would go back!
  16. M

    Merrill

    Atlanta

    20 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    20 reviews

    Dined on September 18, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    The Optimist always is enjoyable for the atmosphere, the food, service, etc!! We had an awesome time!! Thanks again!
  17. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Atlanta

    9 reviews

    5.0

    9 reviews

    Dined on September 18, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Great, as usual. Oysters were fresh, plump and flavorful. Sides were delicious. Service impeccable.
  18. t

    theothercollins

    St. Louis

    2 reviews

    5.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on September 17, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Excellent service. Excellent food.
  19. MS

    MSMFoodie

    Atlanta

    25 reviews

    vip
    3.0

    25 reviews

    Dined on September 17, 2022

    overall3food3service4ambience5
    I think the menu selections are really limited. Our friends are not fish and shellfish people and there are 3 items. Starters are ok but “fat”
  20. CN

    CNicoleM

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on September 17, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Our server Winnie was awesome! She made fantastic recommendations. We had a great time!
  21. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Nashville

    5 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    5 reviews

    Dined on September 14, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    The waiter was knowledgeable pleasant, came at the right time food was great
  22. A

    Atlgirl

    Atlanta

    32 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    32 reviews

    Dined on September 14, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    We came here to celebrate our dads 81st Birthday. It was an impeccable celebration. Everything we had from the seafood platter of oysters, shrimp, selective dips and lobster tail. It was as fresh as being on the ocean. Finishing our entrees and special dessert. Let me say we’ve been here a few times over the years and was nice to see so many servers still here, great consistency. We had Brooke who knew her stuff but was like family to us. She made everything special. Thank you to Brooke and all the staff for making this a great celebration. We will be back soon for more.
  23. CL

    CafeLily

    Atlanta

    12 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    12 reviews

    Dined on September 13, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Wonderful food and service! Highly recommend!
  24. D

    Diamond

    Atlanta

    15 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    15 reviews

    Dined on September 13, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Celebrated Husband’s birthday. Ambiance was great, service spot on and the Bronzino was delicious. It’s always a treat to dine at Optimist.
  25. FT

    FrankT

    Atlanta

    2 reviews

    5.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on September 12, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Good as always!
  26. KC

    KCRnFam

    Atlanta

    19 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    19 reviews

    Dined on September 12, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Celebrated 35 years of marriage with amazing food and service last night. How do you do it Optimist!? Such a lovely evening and our waiter Justin was darling! He was always there right when we needed something, great service!!
  27. H

    Hoosier

    Los Angeles

    14 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    14 reviews

    Dined on September 12, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Best restaurant in Atlanta
  28. NK

    NKReview

    Atlanta

    5 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    5 reviews

    Dined on September 12, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Amazing food and amazing service. Christopher was great and all his suggestions were very good!
  29. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Denver

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on September 12, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Bday for gorgeous.
  30. J

    Jbm5186

    West Palm Beach

    55 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    55 reviews

    Dined on September 11, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience3
    Food and service was excellent. I would definitely come back if ever in Atlanta again.
  31. LN

    LisaN

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on September 11, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Brett made our daughter’s birthday dinner fantastic and the food was incredible!
  32. SC

    SuzCoastal

    Atlanta

    4 reviews

    5.0

    4 reviews

    Dined on September 11, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    By far my favorite restaurant in Atlanta. Food is farm fresh and service is so welcoming.
  33. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Atlanta

    3 reviews

    3.0

    3 reviews

    Dined on September 10, 2022

    overall3food3service5ambience3
    Expextatations were high , wasn’t as expected. Upon entering desk hospitality wasn’t kindred. Made reservations for dining room but due to a misunderstanding we weren’t able to be accommodated so we settled for sitting at the bar area. Our server was great much better than the food . I would try again and hope for a better experience.
  34. MC

    MeganC

    Atlanta

    14 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    14 reviews

    Dined on September 10, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Outstanding food and service. Our waiter Christopher is excellent.
  35. SB

    SusanB

    Atlanta

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on September 10, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    We had a wonderful meal from the appetizers, to the main course, the sides, and the desserts. The service was great too.
  36. O

    dennisO

    Houston

    35 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    35 reviews

    Dined on September 10, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    What can I say, from the front desk, to the service to the food.............outstanding. You begin with the most wonderful rolls I have ever eaten, followed by oysters, and dinner..............oh, and don't forget a martini !!!!!
  37. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Atlanta

    6 reviews

    5.0

    6 reviews

    Dined on September 10, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Great food and great service
  38. j

    jdmac

    Atlanta

    21 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    21 reviews

    Dined on September 9, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Amazing as always!
  39. BM

    BrianM

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on September 9, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Very nice dinner the food was great will be coming back to eat here again
  40. p

    prlc

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on September 9, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Everything was great from start to finish! Went for my anniversary and they had special menus printed out for us. Food was excellent!! The shrimp pancha appetizer is a must dry. Hush puppies were so good, the perfect combination of sweet and savory, and we loved the banana cream pie dessert. The cherry on top was brittany!! Her service is amazing and she made us feel special. Would definitely go again

Safety precautions

  • Cleaning & sanitizing

    • Surfaces sanitized between seatings
    • Digital, disposable or sanitized menu provided
    • Sealed or wrapped utensils used
    • Common areas deep-cleaned daily
    • Sanitizer or wipes provided for customers
  • Screening

    • Sick staff prohibited in the workplace

FAQs

The Optimist offers takeout which you can order by calling the restaurant at (404) 477-6260.

The Optimist is rated 4.8 stars by 7620 OpenTable diners.

Yes, you can generally book this restaurant by choosing the date, time and party size on OpenTable.

Make a reservation

2 people

9:00 PM


Booked 88 times today
Experiences are available.
Google Map for The Optimist

914 Howell Mill Rd., Atlanta, GA 30318

Additional information

  • Cross street

    8th Street

  • Neighborhood

    West Midtown

  • Hours of operation

    Dinner Mon–Thu 5:00 pm–10:00 pm Fri, Sat 5:00 pm–11:00 pm

  • Cuisines

    Seafood

  • Dining style

    Casual Elegant

  • Dress code

    Casual Dress

  • Parking details

    $5 Valet service is offered through the Brady parking garage, located on property. Additional surface street parking is available throughout the neighborhood, as well as additional lots in the area.

  • Payment options

    AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa

  • Executive chef

    Brian Horn

  • Additional

    Banquet, Bar/Lounge, Beer, BYO Wine, Cocktails, Corkage Fee, Delivery, Full Bar, Gluten-free Options, Non-Smoking, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Private Room, Takeout, Wine

  • Phone number

    (404) 477-6260

  • Private party facilities

    The Optimist has a variety of event spaces that include bar events, restaurant buy outs, private dining up to 20 guests, semi-private dining for up to 50 guests.

  • Private party contact

    our Private Event Coordinator : (404) 355-5311 ext. 212

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