The Optimist

4.8
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5828 Reviews
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$31 to $50
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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. Enjoy $1 Oyster Happy Hour on the patio or in the oyster bar Monday – Friday starting 5 – 6 p.m. and Saturday and Sundays from 3 – 5 p.m.

Need to book at 10:30 AM?

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What 5828 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
4.7
food
4.7
service
4.7
ambience
4.3
value
Noise · Moderate
93% of people would recommend it to a friend
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ZS
Atlanta
2 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The Optimist is always top-notch! Excellent food and service as always!

OT
Houston
2 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Excellent food! Excellent service both at the oyster bar (while waiting for a table), and the server during dinner. I enjoyed it very much and definitely returning.

JR
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall4food4service4ambience5

Excellent restaurant, staff is a bit pretentious, but overall top 5 fave in ATL. Best Lobster Roll in town! Worth the price, just wish they'd honor table requests, but they cater to the rich and famous, so unless you dine there all the time, it's not gonna happen...Still love Ford Fry!!

J
New Orleans
8 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Really a great surprise. Had a drink at the bar first, then to our table — both areas had a really nice atmosphere, casual but very nice. Great menu, food was delicious, wait staff were very nice and on top of things. Definitely give it a try. Make s reservation, it was very busy even on a Sunday evening b

OT
Detroit
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Our server, Daniel L, was awesome! Super helpful with the menu and gave spot-on recommendations. He definitely helped make the meal an enjoyable experience.

h
Atlanta
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall3food2service3ambience3

Very overpriced for the amount of food. Used to have crab on seafood tower/Starving Man entree. Changed a lot in 2 years. Very disappointed!

CD
Atlanta
2 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The oysters are the best in the city. Everything on the Opportunist plate was fantastic

JP
London
9 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Went with a mix of age groups from 12 to 73. Everybody had a great time. Great food. Each starter was excellent and totally consumed. The hushpuppies are great for consuming every bit of all sauces. The mains were perfectly prepared and presented. The wine list is a just right mix with modest and challenging. We enjoyed champagne and eclectic Santorini white. Both were perfect pairings. The staff was superb, offering good advise with quantities and selections.

CG
Atlanta
6 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Our waitress was extremely efficient friendly and helpful. Her service was exceptional!

OT
Atlanta
2 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

First date after baby!

OT
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Most amazing hush puppies ever. With butter to die for!

R
Atlanta
28 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience4

As always, the Optimist does every thing A+. Food, service everything.

M
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Loved our experience at the Optimist!... Bar drinks, amazing. Food, amazing... it was the service that made our date night so great. We were well taken care of and checked on by many members of the staff.. not overly done. Liz added special touches to our dinner experience with her attentiveness and personality.. thank you for a sweet evening full of yummy food and drinks! we will be back...

OT
Atlanta
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Excellent all around. Steak tartare was particularly good, but all food was amazing.

Particularly good service as well — party had several allergies and the server and kitchen team worked very hard to accommodate all restrictions while also giving us the food we were interested in.

T
Atlanta
4 reviews
Dined on February 19, 2020
Overall5food5service4ambience5

Sophisticated and sexy ambience. Celebrated a birthday.

C
Chicago
21 reviews
Dined on February 19, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Service was great and helpful. Food was delicious.

n
Atlanta
18 reviews
Dined on February 18, 2020
Overall4food3service5ambience3

The food was well prepared and delicious. The only disappointment, and it was a disappointment, was the lobster roll, one of the restaurant’s signature dishes. Quite unlike the first time I had it a couple of years ago, this time it was very long on bread and very, very short on lobster. Not at all worth the $32 price. That said, we and our dinner guests enjoyed the meal overall, and our server, Leslie, was absolutely wonderful! We will dine here again, but won’t order the lobster roll.

EO
Atlanta
1 review
Dined on February 17, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Our server Michael was delightful, each dish was interesting and packed with flavor. The cocktail I ordered was AMAZING and also benefitted a local charity

MB
1 review
Dined on February 17, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Our first visit. We had lunch. I like everything about it!

OT
Atlanta
117 reviews
Dined on February 16, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great experience!

W
Atlanta
9 reviews
Dined on February 16, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

I ordered the wrong fish and still loved it.
It's always a pleasure to eat at this place.
Could use more help at the valet.

E
Atlanta
11 reviews
Dined on February 16, 2020
Overall5food5service4ambience4

We had a lovely evening at the Optimist. The food was very good, although we did find the steak tartare to be a little bland so we probably wouldn’t get that again. Service at the table was excellent. Drinks and oysters were a little slow at the oyster bar but the bar was pretty busy.

AC
Atlanta
1 review
Dined on February 15, 2020
Overall4food4service5ambience4

Overall a good place. Paying $32 for a lobster roll is just ridiculous.

OT
Charlotte
3 reviews
Dined on February 15, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

From beginning to end, this place was spectacular. Server (Jamie M) was incredibly friendly and knowledgeable about the menu and made great recommendations. Oysters were fresh and some of the best I’ve had. Try the chowder-it’s amazing. Service didn’t miss a beat and we would 100% come back to Atlanta just to eat here again. Thank you for a perfect night!

OT
Charlotte
1 review
Dined on February 15, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Best seafood restaurant in town. Make a stop every tine I’m in town. Jon D was an excellent server. Super accommodating and knows the menu. He made excellent recommendations for us.

OT
Atlanta
6 reviews
Dined on February 15, 2020
Overall4food4service5ambience4

We had great service with John. The food good as usual.

LI
New York Area
1 review
Dined on February 15, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Beginning to end, the best meal we have had in Atlanta in 10 years! Bravo!! We will be back soon.

AR
Naples
9 reviews
Dined on February 15, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Really cool place. Worth a visit for sure. Wonderful service and atmosphere with really good food.

OT
1 review
Dined on February 14, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

i loved it!!

CM
1 review
Dined on February 14, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The food was extremely delicious and the service was even better. We had 7:30 reservations for Valentine’s Day. We wanted to sit at the bar and the employees working behind the bar we’re very accommodating and making sure we were first in line for a two seats. We will definitely be back to try more yummy items on the menu!

OT
Atlanta
1 review
Dined on February 14, 2020
Overall2food2service5ambience2

had to send back the halibut because it was over cooked. The swapped it for scallops and they were super sandy. Very disappointing night.

RC
Atlanta
1 review
Dined on February 14, 2020
Overall3food2service4ambience3

Was there for Valentines Day Prix Fixe menu. The lobster bisque was very tasty...but I could not find any lobster...crab cakes were tasty also...but more cake than crab...entre dish halibut was more bland than I was expecting...serving sizes were good...had to take the chocalate tart dessert home...and the tart was excellent when I ate later. Service was very good...overall experience did not meet expectations relative to amount of money spent.

A
1 review
Dined on February 14, 2020
Overall2food4service3ambience2

The food and service were great, but I would’ve liked to be informed if some items on the menu were extra rather than be told the set price for Valentine’s Day is $80/person. Misleading.

j
Atlanta
8 reviews
Dined on February 14, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience4

We went on Valentine’s Day so had the Prefix menu. Everything we had was delicious (scallops and steak as main dishes). Our server was attentive without being intrusive and despite it being fully packed, we had a great dinner.

OZ
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined on February 14, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Food was so great, unique flavors. A must try if visit Atlanta.

JP
1 review
Dined on February 14, 2020
Overall5food4service5ambience5

Our reception into the Optimist was so warm and inviting. There was no wait time, they were extremely organized. We were showed to our table by a lovely and friendly hostess, it made my date and I feel so special. The 4 course meal, with excellent wine pairings was delicious, with one minor exception, the halibut was a little dry on the edges, however it was fine. The waiter and owner immediately offered to replace it, they were great!!! Overall the evening was wonderful, we will return many times to enjoy the many exciting items on their menu. Finally the bar is great, next time we will stay at the bar and sample everything!!!

DH
Atlanta
6 reviews
Dined on February 14, 2020
Overall5food4service5ambience5

The Optimist is one of my favorite restaurants and it never disappoints. Excellent food, excellent service.

AF
Atlanta
20 reviews
Dined on February 14, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great food and great service!

OT
Dallas
1 review
Dined on February 14, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Birthday lunch with family. Was perfect. Burger is everything I heard it would be and more! Staff attentive and ambiance lovely. Highly recommend!

OT
Atlanta
7 reviews
Dined on February 13, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Julia took very good care of us and made excellent recommendations, mind you I come at least twice a month. Optimist always has well educated servers that can lead you through your dining experience, it’s impressive how I’ve never had one bad experience!