The Optimist

4.8
5071 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 5071 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
95% of people would recommend it to a friend
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Minneapolis
14 reviews
Dined 13 hours ago
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Nice food and drinks, was visiting from out of State. Chose The Optimist because of menu, did not disappoint. Good Sea Bass and oysters.

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FC
Atlanta
1 review
Dined 17 hours ago
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Reservation was for 5:15pm but changed to just myself ... arrived early at 5pm and sat at main bar...

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LV
Atlanta
8 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Fantastic as always.

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FM
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Absolutely delicious food, and a great ambience! I’ve already recommended this place to all my friends.

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HR
Atlanta
7 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Noise level was the only distraction of the evening. Difficult to hear whatever my wife said.

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LG
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

My favorite restaurant in Atlanta - gorgeous and delicious!

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

Great place to wine and dine customers.

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AC
Miami
14 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Fabulous food with great salmon crudo, amazing redfish and excellent wine list. Service was excellent and a totally enjoyable meal

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D
Atlanta
4 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 4

Seafood was very fresh and very delicious some of the freshest I think I’ve had in Atlanta! We had the opportunist, and a salmon and a swordfish crudo. The swordfish crudo was fantastic and as my wife described “fun to eat plate w great flavors” We had some good cocktails too!! Would definitely return.

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MC
1 review
Dined 7 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great venue for a business meeting on a Monday afternoon/evening

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OT
Atlanta
1 review
Dined on May 19, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The service was responsive and customer-friendly. The atmosphere allowed for a personal experience.

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s
Atlanta
6 reviews
Dined on May 19, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The Optimist is one of the very best restaurants in Atlanta. I especially love the oysters, crudo, and spicy kale salad. Excellent cocktails.

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b
San Diego
1 review
Dined on May 18, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Fantastic dining experience! Oysters were excellent!

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OT
Charleston
1 review
Dined on May 18, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Teresa was amazing

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NR
Naples
16 reviews
Dined on May 18, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Oysters were amazing! Great for a large group-lots of apps and sides to share! Food was great!

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KS
Las Vegas
1 review
Dined on May 18, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Excellent food, attentive wait staff, and great value.

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MR
Charlotte
1 review
Dined on May 17, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I have been to The Optimist several times and it never disappoints. Delicious seafood and great service for an affordable price. It is a great date night spot, and I would highly recommend to all!

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OT
New York Area
3 reviews
Dined on May 17, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent restaurant!!!

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SS
Atlanta
12 reviews
Dined on May 17, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Leslie was outstanding! Fantastically knowledgeable with great recommendations on menu items and wine selection!

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n
New England
1 review
Dined on May 17, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Craig was the best server and so accommodating to my gluten allergy!

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OT
1 review
Dined on May 16, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great seafood platter

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MM
New York Area
4 reviews
Dined on May 16, 2019
Overall 2food 4service 1ambience 5

Great atmosphere. Good food. Service was awful. Will given them another try.

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KB
Atlanta
7 reviews
Dined on May 16, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

As has come to be expected, the bar provides wonderful cocktails, the kitchen provides consistently spectacular options as well as the unexpected 'new' items, and the icing on the cake is the service. The staff at The Optimist is beyond compare - they're always knowledgeable about the entire menu, gracious, there when you need them - and not there when you simply want to enjoy your meal and the company of your dining companion.

Our server was Adam on this occasion, and he helped make the experience wonderful. Thanks Adam for being y-o-u!

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OT
St. Louis
9 reviews
Dined on May 16, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Service and food were phenomenal!

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DT
1 review
Dined on May 15, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I was out with two work associates and this place was perfect. We ate outside and couldn't have been more pleased. thank you!

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l
Atlanta
28 reviews
Dined on May 15, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Lovely dinner at The Optimist where the food is always delicious. Jonathon was our server and he was excellent. Noise is typically a problem at The Optimist but it was lunch time so it wasn’t very crowded plus we sat behind the bar where it is a little easier to hear.

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LP
Seattle
8 reviews
Dined on May 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The location is beautiful, everything I've ordered has been outstanding, and the service is top notch.

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OT
Houston
13 reviews
Dined on May 13, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 3

Food is always great. We were seated at a table, just left of the bar in the room behind the bar. Our table felt as though it was stuck in the corner. Should have asked for a better table but didn’t want to bother with my guests

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AM
1 review
Dined on May 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great service. Plus the food was awesome. Highly recommend this restaurant.

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OT
Atlanta
1 review
Dined on May 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Service was great as usual, music was awesome

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m
Jacksonville
2 reviews
Dined on May 11, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 3ambience 4

The experience was really nice, the waiter was friendly

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OT
Atlanta
8 reviews
Dined on May 11, 2019
Overall 3food 5service 3ambience 2

I always enjoy the food at this restaurant. The atmosphere is the problem here. The noise level is deafening. Made worst by the loud, fast music. Which causes people to need to yell to communicate. Instead of enjoying a nice dinner (which is expensive.) It's like going to a sporting event. They also seat couples at tiny little tables right on top of each other. This is not a good place for a romantic evening. It would be ok for a group ,but you can only converse with the person next to you because the noise level is to extreme to hear what anyone else has to say. Despite the fast energetic atmosphere,the service is on the slow side. The only good thing about this restaurant is the food.

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J
Chicago
5 reviews
Dined on May 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We loved everything about this place. It’s a great spot for a celebration— we had a Birthday and the staff did everything to make it special for us! Our waiter Stormy was the best!

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JT
Atlanta
1 review
Dined on May 10, 2019
Overall 3food 5service 2ambience 3

The food was flavorful, however heavy salt on everything from the soup, bread and entree was overpowering. We felt it was overpriced.
The waiter was distracted disengaged and preoccupied. Honestly, it was early on the evening and not that busy.

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TC
1 review
Dined on May 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Always a fantastic experience! Best oysters in Atlanta.

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KB
Atlanta
8 reviews
Dined on May 8, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

I'm usually blown away by the food at the Optimist, but not this time. The new presentation of the scallops is underwhelming. The scallops really disappeared behind the sauce they were presented on. And that's not fair to the scallops. Usually, a scallop dish at the Optimist respects the scallops and the sauces complement - but that wasn't the case this time.

Maybe next time. And there's always the Branzini at dinner, which is ALWAYS wonderful.

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T
Atlanta
2 reviews
Dined on May 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Always love going to The Optimist! Special treat!

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l
San Francisco
26 reviews
Dined on May 7, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 4ambience 4

We ate outside on a lovely day and it was the most pleasant lunch I've had in a long time.
The Poke salad was delicious, the service was great and the valet super efficient.
This continues to be a terrific restaurant.

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AA
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on May 5, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Great seafood, a little pricey for certain things, and almost too-quick service (sometimes you just want to enjoy the spot). Service, across the board, is fantastic. Vibe is great too. Valet parking is a nice touch.

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

Awesome meal!! Great birthday celebration!

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