The Optimist

4.8
6621 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.

Support The Optimist during COVID-19

Safety precautions

Cleaning & Sanitizing
  • Surfaces sanitized between seatings
  • Common areas deep cleaned daily
  • Digital, disposable or sanitized menu provided
  • Sanitizer or wipes provided for customers
  • Sealed or wrapped utensils used
Physical Distancing
  • Limited number of seated diners
  • Distancing maintained in common areas
  • Extra space between tables
Protective Equipment
  • Waitstaff wear masks
  • Diners must wear masks unless eating or drinking
Screening
  • Sick staff prohibited in the workplace
What 6621 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
4.8
service
4.8
ambience
4.5
value
Noise · Moderate
94% of people would recommend it to a friend
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EM
EricM
1 review
Dined 21 hours ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Wonderful delicious, awesome service and great atmosphere 💪

RR
RonR
Atlanta
3 reviews
Dined 21 hours ago
Overall3food4service3ambience5

I had reservations, and came into the restaurant and ordered a drink while waiting for a friend. The lady at the bar took my order and was very kind and polite. However, while waiting on my drink, a short hair bar tender who was not serving me, looked at me and said, " could you move away from where the servers are picking up drinks and squeeze in between people that were jam packed at the bar. Mind you the lady that took my order did not say anything and was kind, the short haired lady who was not serving me wanted me to move, and I informed her and later the manager that I could not go anywhere and order my drink due to the bar being overcrowded. The manager claimed he would talk to her and advise her not to take her frustrations out on me and he agreed that I could not go anywhere else to order. This encounter really spoiled my whole mood.

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Philadelphia
5 reviews
Dined 21 hours ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

One of the best restaurants in Atlanta. If you’re big into seas food I promise this place will not disappoint.

EA
EA12
Atlanta
1 review
Dined a day ago
Overall5food5service5ambience3

The food and drinks were delicious! It was a little loud, which made it hard to hear our server. I ordered the lobster, which was very good and felt reasonably priced. We loved everything we ordered.

Z
Zeus
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined a day ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Graduation

Report
GH
GeneH
Atlanta
1 review
Dined 2 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great experience. Food was very good and service by Jean was impeccable.

MM
MollyM
1 review
Dined 2 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Food is amazing. Good cocktails. Fun place, would definitely go back

TD
TiffanyD
Orlando
4 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Phenomenal!!!

Report
JW
JoannW
Birmingham
3 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Fantastic food & service.

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Atlanta
13 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall4food5service4ambience4

If you hear howling tonight in Atlanta, its me! The “Howl at the Moon” cocktail is by far the best drink in the city. I had two! The oysters were scrumptious and the whole roasted lobster, perfecto! We had reservations but choose to dine at the bar which added to a fun evening!

MC
MikaelaC
Atlanta
4 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Alissa was wonderful and great food! Wonderful date night experience

BB
BarbaraB
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great food. raphael was a fabulous waiter. Atmosphere very charming with excellent seafood

RF
RonF
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall4food5service5ambience5

Food and service impeccable. Had one of us order vegan and they didn’t flinch and took care of it very well. Pickled squash was outstanding.

Price? Wow. I get the whole covid thing but prices were really jacked up. $67 strip with zero accompaniments. Least expensive wine bottle was $67. Was encouraged to purchase $200 bottle without even first being asked what price point interested in.

Anyway. Memorable food and perfect service but tainted by cost of everything. Just saying

JH
JacksonHall
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

My server, Alexis T, was so welcoming and helpful and went above and beyond to make sure my first experience there was perfect. She had other staff help me with questions I had about Atlanta and introduced me to a fellow Michigander on staff. She even helped charge my phone. Food was out of this world and I can’t wait to go back. 10/10

DG
DavidG
New York Area
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Food was really good and our waitress Jean was really good.

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Western NC
14 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Had some really good dishes - we shared many small plates - a few were outstanding and some were just okay. The large shrimp dish, basmati fried rice and Bronzino we’re really good. The hamachi crudo and broccolini were just okay. Had a few others that were good. Fun place overall.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Atlanta
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Awesome experience. Staff made an extra effort to acknowledge our birthday celebration. Can’t wait to go back.

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined 7 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We had a great night. The octopus dish was the star of the night. The burger was great and should be on a best if ATL list of it isn’t already. And the buns were great. The wait staff was very helpful.

G
vipGourmand111
Atlanta
37 reviews
Dined on June 5, 2021
Overall4food4service4ambience3

This is my 3rd time eating here. Creative menu that is well executed. Menu hasn’t changed significantly in 2 years, but I guess the owners figure if it works, why change it. Some changes would be refreshing. Service as always is attentive and seamless. Two complaints: Get rid of the uncomfortable seats. They become unbearable after an hour. Two, turn the music down a bit. The high volume punk rock was a little much on top of the already loud crowd.

p
vipperfectexecution
Atlanta
30 reviews
Dined on June 5, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Best oyster selection in Atlanta. Fish chowder mouth watering. Lauren an excellent server. Ford Fry Group always does a fantastic job. Great comfortable table. A 9-10.

PK
PeggyK
Los Angeles
2 reviews
Dined on June 5, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Spectacular. Our waitress was amazing. Paced out our meal perfectly! Really guided me in selecting our wine. Very knowledgeable of the menu. Lobster, s’messy’ shrimp appetizer, beet salad...amazing. Wonderful flavor profiles!
Thank you and The Optimist is an ATL must!

AV
AnnV
1 review
Dined on June 5, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

My first time to dine at The Optimist but will not be my last. Overall excellence!

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on June 5, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Really enjoyed our dinner at The Optimist. One of my wife’s favorite restaurant, and we were not disappointed after not being able to dine here because of the pandemic. Food was great, and the service was just as good.

Looking forward to our next visit!

TM
TammyM
1 review
Dined on June 5, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Can’t wait to go back. Service was great and the food was excellent!

A
vipAbby
Atlanta
2 reviews
Dined on June 5, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

This was our first time at The Optimist and it was such an incredible experience. Our server, G, was amazing. Gave great recommendations and was attentive without hovering. The food was excellent. A great date night spot.

M
Madam3d
Atlanta
19 reviews
Dined on June 4, 2021
Overall4food5service4ambience5

As an oyster virgin, The Optimist was a great place to cut my shells so to speak and there was enough variety to enjoy. Loved the She Crab soup, cocktails, Group and Main Lobster entrees coupled with broccolini, crispy potatoes and hush puppies (corn bread balls with powered sugar - Yum!!) Bryce was an excellent server and host as we navigated the menu! Be prepared for a $200+ bill but enjoyable.

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Atlanta
5 reviews
Dined on June 4, 2021
Overall5food5service4ambience5

Amazing. I had a really great time and highly recommend. Try a little bit of everything your first time 😉

MC
MichaelC
1 review
Dined on June 3, 2021
Overall2food2service5ambience4

After reading rave reviews for this restaurant I had high expectations. My issues are only with most of the food and not with the service which was very good. We ordered the whole shrimp a la plancha and the fried oysters. The shrimp was good but I dont think that it was good enough to compensate for the mess you create in peeling and eating whole shrimp covered in sauce. The oysters were, however one of the evenings culinary highlights. I wish we had gotten 2 orders of the oysters and moved on to dessert. My wife ordered the swordfish and I ordered the grouper. The swordfish was overcooked and dry. My grouper was cooked properly but the dish was very bland with none of the accompaniments on the plate adding anything to the fish. We sent back the swordfish and ordered the whole branzino. It was listed as being served in a coconut sauce with thai flavorings, mushrooms, cilantro. All we tasted was salt. If the entrees were 18 to 20 and from a restaurant of less repute I could understand the misses. But for almost 40 per plate the overcooked, bland and over salted dishes are inexcusable. The second star of the evening is awarded to the chocolate tarte with homemade chocolate ice cream and chocolate sauce. If anyone asked me whether or not I would recommend the Optimist I would say only if you dont order the entrees. My daughter and her husband love the raw oysters there. I worked in the restaurant business for over 20 years at high end clubs and at Bones restaurant in Atlanta so my expectations at similarly priced locations are higher. I hope and think the Optimist is capable of much better than what we experienced last night.

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on June 3, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Never fails to make me have an enjoyable dining experience

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on June 3, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

This was date night for us. We traveled to the area for other purposes, and decided to hangout for the evening. The staff was pleasant and welcoming. Brett, our waiter was the BEST! He explained the menu thoroughly, provided background information on certain menu items, and offered great suggestions on beverages and chef selections. This was quality time much needed! Well done Optimist!

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on June 1, 2021
Overall2food2service2ambience5

We love this place

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on June 1, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The Optimist is a favorite! Great food and spacious dining. The food is very pricey! Very! Love the bread rolls. I do wonder why it’s always a struggle to get more bread rolls! They have to know people love them so keep them coming, especially because of the price of the food.

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on June 1, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The made our 25th wedding anniversary special! The oyster were amazing as usual, the lobster roll outstanding. The smoked fish dip was delicious.

JW
JoelleW
Atlanta
1 review
Dined on May 30, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

One of our favorite restaurants. The food and service never disappoints. Can't wait to go back.

t
tdot
New York Area
1 review
Dined on May 30, 2021
Overall4food2service5ambience5

Ambience was lovely (we sat outside) and service was good, but the food was a very solid OK — especially for the prices. Portions are small, and I suspect our food had been sitting under a heat lamp for a while before it was served.

I’d go back for drinks and apps — would not bother staying for a full dinner at $100/head.

R
Roni
Seattle
3 reviews
Dined on May 30, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The Optimist is always a great choice. The ambiance is great, the service is top notch and the food is amazing. The buttered rolls set the top for the whole meal: rich, delicious, and delightful. This place is a must try!

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on May 30, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Amazing dinner-perfect service! Amber was excellent!!

DV
DevinV
1 review
Dined on May 29, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Amazing seafood! Great service. Didn’t feel rushed which is exceedingly rare. Will def be back!

EF
ElleF
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on May 29, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Wonderful service. Our server Amanda made our experience perfect. Super knowledgeable about the menu. The food was so good and the restaurant is beautiful.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Atlanta
1 review
Dined on May 29, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Your memo features only rare and expensive bourbons. You have others that should be listed.

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 6621 OpenTable diners.

The Optimist does offer gift cards which you can purchase here https://ccp.mobileappsuite.com/kiosk/purchase_gift_card/b/411.

Yes, you can generally book this restaurant by choosing the date, time and party size on OpenTable. Due to local restrictions, this restaurant may not be accepting reservations at the moment.