The Optimist

4.8
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5611 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.

Specials

New Year's Eve Special Menus & Offers

Spend this New Year’s Eve “coast- side” with a three-course, prix fixe menu from executive chef Eddie Barrett. $85 per person, with wine pairings available for an additional $30.

Tuesday, December 31, 2019

What 5611 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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DG
Atlanta
2 reviews
Dined 7 hours ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We had a great time! Our server, Sarah was amazing!

OT
Atlanta
1 review
Dined 8 hours ago
Overall3food2service4ambience4

The She Crab soup had one piece of crab in it. Fried oysters were only thick cornmeal could not taste the oyster. So so disappointed as opposed to my last 3 visits about 2 years ago. Shocking.

C
Atlanta
7 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall5food5service4ambience4

Had a truly enjoyable business lunch at The Optimist recently. My guest and I had terrific food, attentive service and an atmosphere that was conducive to a productive conversation. Highly recommend The Optimist for those who love seafood!

SJ
Atlanta
6 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Excellent food and service

OT
Atlanta
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall4food5service5ambience4

The wine they recommended was awful. Everything else was fantastic.

SB
Dallas
6 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall5food5service4ambience5

This is simply my favorite Seafood spot in all of Atlanta. The oyster bar is detailed and lovely & the entrees are fantastic. GO!!!

D
Atlanta
5 reviews
Dined on November 27, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Continues to set the standard for food and service in Atlanta. Comfortable but not stuffy, great place to take out of town guests. Every dish has unique and interesting flavors and textures. Thank you Optimist!!

F
Atlanta
12 reviews
Dined on November 24, 2019
Overall5food4service5ambience5

Server provided excellent service, ask for Daniel. Surprisingly my favorites were the dinner rolls, Skinny Dipper Oysters and my husband said the scallops were cooked perfectly.

B
Naples
107 reviews
Dined on November 24, 2019
Overall4food4service5ambience4

This was our second visit to Optimist. The oyster selection was outstanding. All of our dishes were very good although my grilled Mahi entree was a little over done on one end. Service was very good.

KW
1 review
Dined on November 23, 2019
Overall2food4service4ambience1

Do you like seafood and LOUD INDUSTRIAL PUNK MUSIC? Do you like not being able to hear any conversation? If so, then this is the place for you! Great seafood. Terrible ambiance. Management needs to fix the music issue or this place won't be in business much longer. I was very disappointed.

The Optimist
Responded on November 25, 2019

Hi Kelly, Thank you for your review. We strive to create a vibrant atmosphere for all of our guests but certainly don't want the noise level to be overbearing for anyone. Our private dining space behind the main bar provides a more quiet, intimate atmosphere and might be a consideration for your next visit. I hope that you'll consider visiting us again and we look forward to the opportunity to serve you! Mark Cioccia Manager

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SM
1 review
Dined on November 23, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The Optimist - was amazing. Had anniversary dinner there and from the moment we walked in Hostess, Bartender, and wait staff were great - the food was so good we ordered the same appetizer twice. If you are looking for exceptional customer service and food the Optimist is the Place!

z
Atlanta
2 reviews
Dined on November 23, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Delicious sea food and good service

D
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on November 23, 2019
Overall5food5service4ambience5

Fabulous oyster selection. Mahi entre was perfect.

JB
1 review
Dined on November 23, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Absolutely delicious! This was some of the best seasfood I've ever had!

RB
Atlanta
20 reviews
Dined on November 23, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Excellent service! Our waitress was super and I can’t recall her name which is a shame. She was super!

PS
Washington DC
7 reviews
Dined on November 22, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great food, service, experience!

t
Atlanta
1 review
Dined on November 22, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

I ordered a glass of wine and was disappointed in the quantity of the pour - certainly seemed less than 6 oz.

OT
Los Angeles
2 reviews
Dined on November 22, 2019
Overall5food5service4ambience5

INSANELY DELICIOUS FOOD!!!!

d
Las Vegas
42 reviews
Dined on November 21, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Ate here three times over a week spent in Atlanta. Fantastic fresh fish, seafood and oysters. Service with Alex was outstanding. A must visit when in Atlanta.

JC
Atlanta
7 reviews
Dined on November 21, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great service with our waitress Gina. Ask for her section should you go!

LB
New York Area
1 review
Dined on November 20, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Beautiful space that immediately feels special upon arrival. The front of house even took the time to write happy birthday on my husbands menu because of the note that I had written in my open table reservation. Service was wonderful - I told our server I was interested in the non-alcoholic drink options and she had the bartender whip up a special mocktails for me based on what I liked, which made me feel really considered. Food was incredible, decadent, but accessible. Definitely look forward to our return.

OT
Las Vegas
1 review
Dined on November 19, 2019
Overall4food4service5ambience5

Birthday dinner, first time visit. Seafood is what I would recommend. Taste was good for my dish, others in my party said it was good but not the best in ATL.

J
New Orleans
39 reviews
Dined on November 19, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Recommended to us by a local friend. The restaurant was packed for a Tuesday evening. The door staff and service staff were engaging and friendly. Our server was spectacular. She led us through the menu with great suggestions and “don’t miss” items. We had the raw oysters, tuna crudo and She Crab soup to start. Entrees were the dirty rice, halibut and a beautiful salad. The roasted butternut squash was delicious. The cauliflower was unique. We all loved the hush puppies and the bread served.

Great experience. Would recommend The Optimist highly.

JZ
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on November 19, 2019
Overall5food4service5ambience5

We had a family birthday lunch here on a Tuesday. Food was very good: for a seafood focused restaurant, the menu felt balanced. The Optimist’s lunch menu imo was better than its peers’ dinner menu in depth and value. The steak, scallops, and side cauliflower hit the spot. Took a star away because the sauce on the red fish, kale salad, and octopus had a hint of overlapping each other. Also, this could be a total personal preference, but the fish was served with the fat under the skin and octopus suction was left ‘wet’. One last thing, the fried rice was a miss, but I admire the infusion of Szechuan pepper.

The ambiance and service: top notch, everything you want in an in-laws family outing with a baby (stroller/high chair) and a person in a wheelchair. Our waitress Kyla was a superstar, she was attentive, yet didn’t go overboard. She handled the steps of a meal (seating, drinks orders, food orders, dessert, check..etc) without us feeling wait time nor feeling rushed. The industrial, airy, high ceiling space was comforting. it might be bit skewed since it was Tuesday lunch, but the noise level was just right, especially when my kid coo’ed and gah’ed few times munching on her bread.

Highly recommended and we will be back for sure.

LM
2 reviews
Dined on November 16, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

It was wonderful, the food was fresh and amazing! Oysters were outstanding. Ray the manager and Brittney our server was also wonderful! They made our Anniversary so special.

AF
Atlanta
31 reviews
Dined on November 15, 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Consistently good. Oysters are among the best in the city. Energetic almost loud ambience. After dinner bar service was disappointing. She was clearly ready to go home.

OT
Atlanta
1 review
Dined on November 15, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

excellent....we sat at the bar & thoroughly enjoyed our evening!

MM
Dallas
2 reviews
Dined on November 15, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We were in Atlanta for a wedding so decided to celebrate our 1 year wedding anniversary while we were here. I was told to look up the chef and we decided on this place since we love seafood and it did not disappoint! If we lived here it would be one our spots. Daniel was the best server and everything he recommended was phenomenal! Everything about this place is great! We cannot stop talking about it.

P
Atlanta
2 reviews
Dined on November 14, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great birthday celebration

l
Atlanta
10 reviews
Dined on November 14, 2019
Overall3food3service4ambience4

The menu is limited and overpriced for the entree. I got the chicken that had maybe 4 bites to it. Soup is delicious and the rolls are out of this world but the entrees are “strange” and not tasty. Much prefer Blue Ridge Grill or King and Duke.

D
Minneapolis
32 reviews
Dined on November 13, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Wow -everything was fabulous-would not hesitate to return!

DW
Atlanta
1 review
Dined on November 13, 2019
Overall2food1service3ambience2

We ordered the calamari which was very salty. We ordered the hush puppies which were not fully cooked and was returned to the kitchen. The gumbo was hearty but did not contain rice, like a traditional serving of gumbo. The drinks were great but we will not return to the Optimist!

OT
Atlanta
3 reviews
Dined on November 12, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Service was fantastic, food was delicious, and value for money was fantastic. We will definitely be back.

RL
Atlanta
8 reviews
Dined on November 12, 2019
Overall4food5service3ambience4

We were celebrating my cousin’s birthday as she was visiting from Toronto. I told restaurant when I made reservations. They made big deal when they welcomed us and with “birthday menu”. (It was nothing) we spent over $350 before tip with 5 drinks and then they charged us $9 for candle on a dessert. Tacky!!!! Service turned bad at the end when it took over 20 minutes th get that one dessert!!! Loved the food and we come often. Tacky about dessert.

OT
Atlanta
1 review
Dined on November 11, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Has always been my favorite restaurant and is absolutely amazing with outstanding dishes and wonderful staff!

OT
Birmingham
3 reviews
Dined on November 11, 2019
Overall3food3service5ambience3

Overall good experience for work lunch. The shrimp po boy was fried extremely hard though. Service was amazing.

OT
Montreal
8 reviews
Dined on November 10, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience3

8 of us enjoyed a lovely meal with attentive service. Only limitation was noise level which made it difficult to follow the conversation at times at our table.

L
London
1 review
Dined on November 10, 2019
Overall2food2service3ambience3

Food was underwhelming for the price. Seafood chowder hardly had any fish and was all broth. Swordfish was just ok. Bread was good!

GT
Cincinnati
2 reviews
Dined on November 10, 2019
Overall2food3service2ambience3

Just very average. Service was slow and not very good.

OT
Atlanta
12 reviews
Dined on November 9, 2019
Overall4food5service5ambience4

Service and food were EXCELLENT!
Outstanding in fact