The Optimist

4.8
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5423 Reviews
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$31 to $50
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Seafood
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.

Oh... and if you are not a seafood person, we LOVE meat too! No worries, be optimistic! :) ...Ford Fry
What 5423 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.8based on recent ratings
4.8
food
4.7
service
4.7
ambience
4.3
value
Noise · Moderate
94% of people would recommend it to a friend
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OT
Atlanta
2 reviews
Dined a day ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

My wife says it may be her new favorite!

MW
Chicago
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Veteran diners bringing novices to the best oyster bar in Atlanta. Fabulous as always!

PM
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent! Already looking forward to coming back.

OT
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The server was VERY informative. I love when the server knows about everything on the menu. Everything was wonderful. Will be back.

VS
Atlanta
2 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Celebrated a friend’s 50th Birthday at the Optimist. Everything was just as expected from previous visits... amazing! Our group was more than happy with the entire experience.

OT
Atlanta
3 reviews
Dined on September 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Probably one of the best in Atlanta and the entire east coast.

NS
Las Vegas
5 reviews
Dined on September 7, 2019
Overall 3food 1service 4ambience 3

Unfortunately one meal was really swimming in grease and put us off eating anything else. This was the first time we have been let down. The manager did though apologize and try to address the problem.

KM
Atlanta
1 review
Dined on September 7, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The Optimist never disappoints. Our service was, as always, outstanding. The server made great recommendations and checked on us frequently. They are a bit pricey but otherwise fantastic.

MF
Atlanta
5 reviews
Dined on September 7, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

My favorite seafood restaurant in Atlanta! The staff was VERY attentive!

F
1 review
Dined on September 7, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

A great night. Nice patio to get a drink, with great advice on cocktail, with nice live band music. Then headed in for a delicious seafood platter, the starving one with fitted perfectly for the 4 of us. Service was awesome. A bit too noisy.

S
Charlotte
3 reviews
Dined on September 7, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Loved our experience and will be back. Food and service was great.

P
New York Area
84 reviews
Dined on September 7, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This was our first visit to The Optimist and I promise we will come back every trip to Atl in our future!! I think that everything we had was perfection. We dined on Mahi, Branzino and the Redfish. Potatoes and hush puppies rounded out the dinner. Every flavor popped and left us full but looking forward to our next visit!!

d
Atlanta
53 reviews
Dined on September 7, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Probably our favorite seafood in the larger Atlanta area. The food is excellent, well prepared and beautifully presented.

Consistently some of the best service available; they just don't miss the target.

If you like great food, great service in a noisy energetic but nicely appointed atmosphere you won't be disappointed in fact you will be thrilled.

JD
Detroit
4 reviews
Dined on September 7, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 3

Loved the food. Very fresh seafood, fantastic selection of oysters and everything was super tasty. Our server was Sean and he was spectacular. The kitchen is extremely well run- food arrived steaming hot and perfectly prepared. Only complaint was seating- my wife and were looking forward to date night away from our four kids. We were seated at a 2-top in the middle of a long row of 2-tops and wee were so close to the tables next to us that our shoulders were nearly touching the people on either side. Zero privacy whatsoever and impossible to have any kind of conversation. Otherwise a great restaurant- just know it is not going to be an intimate date-night spot.

GO
Atlanta
5 reviews
Dined on September 7, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Excellent Seafood....

s
1 review
Dined on September 6, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 2ambience 5

Food was amazing, but the server was rude. No introduction, just wanted our orders and made us feel rushed.

MS
Atlanta
3 reviews
Dined on September 6, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 3

Did not make our special occasion special at all

EG
Detroit
9 reviews
Dined on September 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Superb on every level!

ND
San Francisco
8 reviews
Dined on September 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Wonderful experience! Everything was incredibly fresh, from the oysters, to the soup and swordfish. All around great experience. Definitely will go again.

CM
1 review
Dined on September 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Phenomenal food and wonderful atmosphere - the perfect spot for my wife and I to celebrate our anniversary. The waitresses' dinner recommendations were perfect, and we left full and happy!

JL
1 review
Dined on September 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We had such a great time. The food was delicious, drinks were good and our host, Mica, was AMAZING!!
We'll definitely be back.

Thanks for a wonderful experience!
J

c
Atlanta
48 reviews
Dined on September 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

This is the best place for lunch. Although I always get the lobster roll, I had the chocolate chess pie for
dessert for the first time and it was heavenly. The fried shishito peppers are the perfect snack. Highly recommend!

OT
Hawaii
1 review
Dined on September 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent all around. Great food and service.

AM
1 review
Dined on September 4, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Everything was delicious! Our favorite were the scallops and the PEI oysters. I would love to return to try more dishes.

OT
Atlanta
1 review
Dined on September 4, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

My first time at The Optimist and I was there for a birthday celebration. Parking was easy and we reserved a table for 8pm and had to wait 15 mins after our time for them to set up but other than that overall we all had a great time. The food was amazing and our server took care of all our questions and needs. I would recommend anyone to try this place and I will be coming back.

S
Denver
1 review
Dined on September 4, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

The Optimist had great food and a great feel. Thanks for serving us!

s
Philadelphia
4 reviews
Dined on September 4, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

Superb food. The best seafood in Atlanta

DD
1 review
Dined on September 3, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great place. Food was excellent and the sides were different and very tasty.

Service very good, team was very attentive.

JR
Atlanta
1 review
Dined on September 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Fantastic. Branzino dish was amazing. Manager came to our table for a while. One of the best high-end restaurants in the city!

OT
1 review
Dined on September 1, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 2ambience 3

Disappointing. We’d been here before and had a great meal but there must have been a replacement chef there that night as so much of the food was over-seasoned — the shrimp was over Bay-ed, the chips were over barbecue salted (3 people tried and none could eat them), the octopus was overly sweet-sauced, the salad was SALTED. The service was slow and the food delivery was poorly timed. (My sons’ dinner came to the table before the others’ and as is polite, he waited for the others’ dinners to arrive. Five minutes later they took it away. Ours didn’t come for another 15 minutes, when they brought his back. At dessert, one coffee came before dessert arrived; the other 2 came after desserts were finished.) perhaps this was just one very bad night but it will be my last.

TG
Atlanta
8 reviews
Dined on September 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The food and ambiance were wonderful! The portion sizes could have been better especially for the prices we paid.

R
1 review
Dined on September 1, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 4

hi. i will be honest with you, we did not like sitting so close to other couples, you could hear their conversation, and they could hear yours. the service was fair at best. it appears our waitress had way too many tables to handle. as a small biz ,owner, this is only constructive criticism. we would just go to the bar next time. practically the same as dining for two, but you expect it at a bar, not for a romantic dinner.

SS
Charleston
16 reviews
Dined on September 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

First time at The Optimist and everything was beautiful! I would add that their food is more on the saltier side. Great service, great ambiance and good kids menu :)

KP
1 review
Dined on August 31, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I had oysters which was fresh amd tasty along with the swordfish which was juicy and mouth watering. I would recommend people who havent tried The Optimist to atleast dine once.

OT
Atlanta
5 reviews
Dined on August 31, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 3

Very quaint venue, BUT seating is not comfortable in some sections. I had hard bottom chairs VERY UNCOMFORTABLE..if this was more comfortable, I think my experience overall would have been better..And the Valet was horrible! As I was leaving the attendant did not properly place my car in Park as he was getting out.
My car made screeching noise from the motor, due to the car abruptly being halted. So these 2 items was not COMFORTABLE. But the server was PHENOMENAL!

OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on August 31, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Home run! Just may be the best seafood/restaurant in the Atlanta area!

G
Atlanta
15 reviews
Dined on August 31, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Birthday celebration

HR
Atlanta
11 reviews
Dined on August 31, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We have always enjoyed the optimist, we have been coming here for years and years - either for friends get together or just grab lunch for no special reason and even customers from out of town! The service is great, food quality is consistent and decor/ambience is trendy. We for sure will continue to come.

OT
Atlanta
1 review
Dined on August 31, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I wish my date was as good as the food! Not joking!

OT
Nashville
1 review
Dined on August 30, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The Optimist is always a wonderful dining experience. With reservations, they is very little wait time, the service is impeccable, and the food is unparalleled! It’s our go-to spot for fine seafood dining.

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