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The Optimist, Atlanta, GA

The Optimist

4.8
4.8
8670 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

7:00 PM


Booked 93 times today

Order delivery or takeout

Additional information

  • Dining style
    Casual Elegant
  • Price
    $31 to $50
  • Cuisines
    Seafood
  • Hours of operation
    Dinner Mon–Thu, Sun 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
    Brandon Hughes
  • 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

What 8,670 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
  • 4.7Ambience
  • 4.3Value

NoiseModerate

Loved For

  • Atlanta Metro

    Seafood

  • Atlanta Metro

    Most Booked

  • Atlanta

    Seafood

  • Atlanta

    Most Booked

8,670 Reviews
  1. AnthonyD

    New York City

    5 reviews

    5.0

    5 reviews

    Dined 2 days ago

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Always a wonderful experience at The Optimist. Great service, drinks and food.

    Is this helpful?

  2. MarioG

    Washington DC

    3 reviews

    5.0

    3 reviews

    Dined 3 days ago

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Solid and delicious every time. One of my go-tos when visitors come.

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  3. HeatherB

    Atlanta Metro

    3 reviews

    5.0

    3 reviews

    Dined 3 days ago

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    We had an amazing evening at The Optimist. The food was delicious, portions just right, and everything was presented beautifully. The star of our night was the service, though. Our server was friendly and personable, and attended to our every need without being intrusive at all. He offered menu suggestions and was extremely knowledgeable. The attention to detail in the service, the food, and the atmosphere was absolutely on point. We'll be adding The Optimist to our list of favorites, for sure.

    Is this helpful?

  4. DavidM

    Atlanta Metro

    20 reviews

    5.0

    20 reviews

    Dined 3 days ago

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    It had been many years since my wife and I had visited the Optimist, but the return trip did not disappoint. Everything we had was delicious. The redfish was one of the better fish dishes I've ever had and my wife loved her scallops. The apple pudding cake dessert was a perfect ending and honestly the starter dinner rolls may have been as good as any part of the meal. While the food was fantastic, the service was even better. Andy was very attentive without being bothersome and all of the other staff assisting were enjoyable to talk to while taking great care of our evening.

    Is this helpful?

  5. OpenTable Diner

    Miami

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined 4 days ago

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Great menu, food, and atmosphere. Our server, Tristen, was personable, engaged, and passionate. We closed the restaurant with him and he sent us off on a high.

    Is this helpful?

  6. JamesC

    Atlanta Metro

    8 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    8 reviews

    Dined 5 days ago

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    One of most favorite restaurants in the ATL. I wish they would leave All the Shells of the shrimp ON! The shells is what gives it the Most flavor. The rest of the world can ask for a pair of gloves like I did and enjoy if they’re afraid of getting their hands dirty!!! We’re there again next Sunday with yet another birthday celebration!!

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  7. MichelleF

    Atlanta Metro

    2 reviews

    5.0

    2 reviews

    Dined 5 days ago

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Lovely bartenders and an excellent waiter, service was wonderful. We had scallops cooked to perfection and tasted wonderful. The hush puppies are so good, the maple butter really enhanced the flavor. We also ordered the Optimist tower which is always a hit. Kale salad was very good as well. All in all a great dinner experience.

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  8. claudiac

    Atlanta Metro

    3 reviews

    5.0

    3 reviews

    Dined 5 days ago

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    The Optimist has been our favorite restaurant since it opened.

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  9. OpenTable Diner

    Atlanta Metro

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined 5 days ago

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    The food and atmosphere here is great. Our server was amazing and everything from the oysters to the dessert.

    Is this helpful?

  10. RickD

    Atlanta Metro

    64 reviews

    vip
    4.0

    64 reviews

    Dined 6 days ago

    1. Overall 4
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 3
    4. Ambience 4
    The food was outstanding, but very expensive! At some point the value equation turns negative. But, judging from the crowd, most people don’t care. It’s not a restaurant for a quiet dinner.

    Is this helpful?

  11. Kb01998

    Atlanta Metro

    69 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    69 reviews

    Dined 6 days ago

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    I ate here with my husband for my birthday. He enjoyed the sword fish and I had the chicken. John, our server, was attentive and made great drink suggestions. We enjoyed two rounds of drinks before indulging on the greens, hush puppies and sweet potatoes. The house baked bread was so good, we had more for dessert. John kindly brought sorbet to celebrate my birthday. He was great! We’ll certainly return to see him and indulge in more food!

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  12. AdamK

    Yosemite

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined 6 days ago

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Killer place. Delicious, hip and cool. Great service and great food

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  13. BrianC

    Atlanta Metro

    8 reviews

    5.0

    8 reviews

    Dined 6 days ago

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Great food! Please consider opening the claws of the lobster so it is less cumbersome. Thanks

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  14. KenG

    Atlanta Metro

    8 reviews

    3.0

    8 reviews

    Dined 6 days ago

    1. Overall 3
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 4
    4. Ambience 3
    A real hip environment but noise level was so high you could not hear the person across the table. The food was very good but the cost value was poor. I would not return.

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  15. RandyR

    Atlanta Metro

    4 reviews

    5.0

    4 reviews

    Dined 6 days ago

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    I had an amazing experience and we had got the red carpet treatment from Leighton. I look forward to us coming back soon.

    Is this helpful?

  16. BrendanT

    Atlanta Metro

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined 6 days ago

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Our food and service was incredible and made for a very nice date night.

    Is this helpful?

  17. Sarah

    Atlanta Metro

    5 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    5 reviews

    Dined 7 days ago

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    A tried and true favorite in Atlanta! While a little pricey, the food, staff, and environment make it all worth it. Don't even get me started on the rolls....SWOOOON SO GOOD.

    Is this helpful?

  18. cubana

    Atlanta Metro

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined 7 days ago

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    One of the best restaurants I’ve been to in ATL! Artic char was delicious! I also have a peanut/tree nut allergy, and they really took great caution and made me feel very secure.

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  19. OpenTable Diner

    Charleston

    2 reviews

    5.0

    2 reviews

    Dined 7 days ago

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Our server gave the perfect amount of attentiveness and knowledge.

    Is this helpful?

  20. Great

    Atlanta Metro

    9 reviews

    5.0

    9 reviews

    Dined 7 days ago

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    It was our first time going to The Optimist. Excellent seafood and service. We will be back when we are in the area. Valet parking makes parking easy.

    Is this helpful?

  21. jasoid

    New York City

    5 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    5 reviews

    Dined 7 days ago

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Really incredible meal at the The Optimist, the food was amazing. Fresh seafood, well cooked and well seasoned. Our server Hannah was also top notch. Super helpful, knowledgeable. Would definitely be going back.

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  22. Rebecca

    Los Angeles

    3 reviews

    5.0

    3 reviews

    Dined 7 days ago

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Tristan was an outstanding server in the bar. Would have liked more drink specials to go with oysters, but quality of everything was fantastic.

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  23. OpenTable Diner

    Dallas

    1 review

    vip
    3.0

    1 review

    Dined on February 15, 2024

    1. Overall 3
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 4
    4. Ambience 2
    Ambiance was ruined by a table firing up a joint in the middle of the restaurant. The whole restaurant stink like skunk weed. Management did nothing about it.

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  24. Smitty72

    Atlanta Metro

    120 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    120 reviews

    Dined on February 15, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 4
    Another excellent meal at The Optimist! We hadn't been for more than a year, but things are still going strong at The Optimist. The kale salad was great, the lobster and swordfish entrees perfect. Looking forward to our next visit.

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  25. JasonM

    Washington DC

    12 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    12 reviews

    Dined on February 15, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    For it being my 1st visit, on Valentines, it started of rocky due to reservations being delayed, but the General Manager (I think that's her title, she was in charge though) made sure everyone waiting was taken care of with hors d'oeuvres while waited...She went above and beyond for us as well as others waiting...Now to the food...I feel teased, because I went when the menu was limited...LISTEN, the food was AMAZING for what was offered and I wish I couldn't tasted more food the restaurant has to offer...I DEFINITELY will be going back ASAP...AND I CANT forget my waiter, though I forgot his name, BUT he was on point with EVERYTHING, from making sure our glasses were full, to suggestions, to tending to our needs... Food-10 Service-10 Ambiance-10

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  26. DemetreD

    New York City

    10 reviews

    vip
    2.0

    10 reviews

    Dined on February 15, 2024

    1. Overall 2
    2. Food 3
    3. Service 1
    4. Ambience 5
    I love the optimist, but last night was a VERY off night. Prix fixe Valentine’s Day was expensive and not nearly as good as a regular night. We were seated 30 min late, got served the wrong drinks, didn’t get new silverware with courses, and a host of other issues. Reception was very nice and provided us a free beverage to address the long wait time. Will always go back but never on a holiday again.

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  27. NickName10

    E. Tennessee

    1 review

    2.0

    1 review

    Dined on February 15, 2024

    1. Overall 2
    2. Food 4
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 4
    Unorganized, had to wait 30-45 min for a reserved spot

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  28. ChuckD

    Atlanta Metro

    45 reviews

    vip
    4.0

    45 reviews

    Dined on February 15, 2024

    1. Overall 4
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 4
    Our first time dining at Optimist with a prix fixe menu this Valentine's Day was excellent. I'm always a little apprehensive with fixed menus but there were vegetarian options for each course. Everything was fresh and very tasty. We had to wait about ten minutes for our table but it was very much worth it. The mini-booth was easily the best table in the house that night. Out of traffic, but great people watching. Despite how busy it was, our server did an excellent job taking care of us. The course pacing was great and we never felt rushed. Highly recommended!

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  29. RalphA

    Seattle

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on February 14, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    The Optimist was fantastic and beyond our expectations. I will definitely return again. The service was great and food was very good.

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  30. AllisonG

    Atlanta Metro

    14 reviews

    5.0

    14 reviews

    Dined on February 14, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Wonderful pre-Valentine dinner! Started with delicious rock shrimp. My husband loved his lobster roll. I combined the fried oyster appetizer with the side of delicious fried rice.

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  31. EmilyH

    Atlanta Metro

    3 reviews

    5.0

    3 reviews

    Dined on February 13, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    My parents came to Atlanta to visit and I wanted to take them somewhere that would be a great experience! They absolutely loved dining here and we had a wonderful time. The service was great, food excellent, and I was reminded why this is my favorite restaurant in Atlanta!

    Is this helpful?

  32. NicholasC

    Atlanta Metro

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on February 13, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 4
    Everything was great. Britney was a great server. She brought us a valentines dessert. We will be back.

    Is this helpful?

  33. OpenTable Diner

    Atlanta Metro

    2 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on February 13, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Always an incredible meal and excellent service. The mussels are the best preparation I’ve ever had.

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  34. OpenTable Diner

    Atlanta Metro

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on February 11, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    We celebrated our 3 year anniversary here, and it couldn’t have been a better experience. Service was very quick and attentive and the food and drinks were delicious. The staff even provided us with some sparkling rose to aid in our anniversary celebration tonight. I would absolutely recommend the optimist to a friend who loves seafood!

    Is this helpful?

  35. OpenTable Diner

    Atlanta Metro

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on February 11, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    The ambiance, service, drinks, and food was wonderful! They have the best bread ever and the apple pudding for desert soo good ! I will definitely be back!

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  36. Margie

    Washington DC

    4 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    4 reviews

    Dined on February 10, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Dinner was excellent. Best place I have been in a long time.

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  37. OpenTable Diner

    Atlanta Metro

    13 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    13 reviews

    Dined on February 9, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Salma was a consummate professional who obviously takes great pride in helping her guest have a great dining experience.

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  38. OpenTable Diner

    Atlanta Metro

    4 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    4 reviews

    Dined on February 8, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    My first time dining at the Optimist and definitely won’t be my last!

    Is this helpful?

  39. AkaJersey

    Orlando

    3 reviews

    5.0

    3 reviews

    Dined on February 7, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    My out-of-town colleagues loved everything about our dining experience at The Optimist!

    Is this helpful?

  40. JimmyN

    Atlanta Metro

    53 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    53 reviews

    Dined on February 6, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    One of the most consistent restaurants in West Midtown. Amazing oysters and drinks. Great staff and special kudos to Leighton who is an incredible server. Thanks to the management team. A well oiled machine!

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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 8670 OpenTable diners.

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

Make a reservation

2 people

7:00 PM


Booked 93 times today

Order delivery or takeout

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, Sun 5:00 pm–10:00 pm Fri, Sat 5:00 pm–11:00 pm
  • Price
    $31 to $50
  • 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
    Brandon Hughes
  • 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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