The Optimist

4.8
4507 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
Dining Style
Casual Elegant
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Cuisines
Seafood
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Hours of operation

Lunch: Monday - Friday: 11:30am - 2:30pm; Dinner: Sunday - Thursday: 5:00pm - 10:00pm, Friday - Saturday: 5:00pm - 11:00pm
The Oyster Bar opens at 3pm Saturday & Sundays
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Phone number
(404) 477-6260
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Payment options
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Casual Dress
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Neighborhood
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Cross street
8th Street
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Parking details
$3 Valet service is offered through the Brady parking garage, located on property . Additional surface street parking is available through the neighborhood, as well as additional lots in the area.
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Special events & promotions
Please contact our Events Department at events@fordfry.com for special event information.
Additional
Banquet, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, BYO Wine, Corkage Fee, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Non-Smoking, Outdoor dining, Private Room, Wine

Specials

New Year's Eve Special Menus & Offers

Ring in the new year with us at The Optimist! We will be featuring a $85 pre fixe menu to celebrate 2019.

Monday, December 31, 2018

What 4507 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
95% of people would recommend it to a friend
5
4
3
2
1
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CB
Atlanta
11 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Our waitress Taylor was absolutely amazing! She knew details about every area of the menu! Her level of service was Extraordinary! The food was amazing, fresh, well seasoned & oh so flavorful! The occasion was my daughter’s 19th birthday & the entire family enjoyed ourselves completely.

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c
Atlanta
5 reviews
Dined on October 11, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Our wedding anniversary. Everyone said Happy Anniversary and even signed our personalized menu. Food was amazing. Exceeded our expectations.

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OT
1 review
Dined on October 9, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The noise level was a bit high, but did we care? No! Because the food, service, and ambiance was 1,000/1,000! My new favorite restaurant in Atl

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OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on October 8, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food. Disappointed that at 8:30 pm, they were out of 4 fish entrees leaving only 2 to choose from. This is a seafood place after all.

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OT
Atlanta
1 review
Dined on October 7, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Food was amazing and best scallops ever. Service was great and Craig did an awesome job with his recommendations.

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S
Atlanta
6 reviews
Dined on October 7, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 4

Very cool and trendy. Food was delicious. The service misses a beat somewhere. Staff that brings food out is a bit disconnected from primary server and not very user friendly. Shocking that the Bartender had trouble making a basic dry martini. Need to bone up on technique and use (overuse) of vermouth. Manager was on top of things, staff not so much.

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BM
1 review
Dined on October 7, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Josh Coker the executive chef came out to the table. He also took a picture with us when we were leaving. 5 course meal, with the best oysters I’ve ever had.

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OT
Atlanta
1 review
Dined on October 7, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 5

Wedding Anniversary

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OT
Chicago
5 reviews
Dined on October 6, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This was one of the most amazing meals I’ve had in a while. Carmen was our waitress and guided us through the menu flawlessly. I left there stuffed but wanting to keep eating. Service was just as outstanding as the food.

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LF
Atlanta
6 reviews
Dined on October 6, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Consistently delicious food. Oysters are always fresh and they offer a wonderful variety.

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e
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on October 6, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great first experience this evening! Everything was delicious and enjoyed the energy of the restaurant and bar area. Theresa is a fabulous server, very attentive and made the experience memorable. :)

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AT
Atlanta
2 reviews
Dined on October 6, 2018
Overall 4food 2service 5ambience 5

The Octopus has a sweet sauce, which makes it taste like Applebee’s. No joke. Very disappointing.

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JF
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on October 6, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The Optimist is one of the best in Atlanta! I have been here a few times and it never disappoints. I enjoy taking business clients here and they always rave about it. Oysters are phenomenal and a great selection. One of my top 2 or 3 restaurants in the Southeast!

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G
Atlanta
14 reviews
Dined on October 5, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great dinner as always. Tried a few crudos that I had not had previously. Oysters were fantastic and the wine selection is always good. Service was top notch!

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D
New York Area
41 reviews
Dined on October 5, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The Optimist never disappoints!! Food, cocktails, service, ambience are top notch. Already looking forward to our next visit.

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M
Atlanta
5 reviews
Dined on October 4, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

1st time here and I absolutely loved it. Good service, good food .

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OT
1 review
Dined on October 4, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Amazing!!! Ryan was the best server. She was our dining consultant! We basically ate everything SHE suggested!!! It was wonderful.

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JB
Atlanta
1 review
Dined on October 2, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The Optimist is the place for a consistent high quality food experience. The imaginative preparations are made with the freshest of seafood cooked to perfection. However, I don't want to give the Optimist all the praise that it deserves or I won't be able to get a table.

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GT
Orlando
1 review
Dined on October 1, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

Food was very good and tasty. Moderately priced. Only issue was a very wobbly table.

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OT
Atlanta
1 review
Dined on September 30, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Awesome food and great service

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OT
1 review
Dined on September 30, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Oh my what can I say it was awesome. Meeka was our server and she was amazing. She really made the What was supposed to be just a dinner an experience. Meeka is so good she remembered my mom from our first time there because of her silver hair. Love this place going back this weekend do yourself a favor and go eat here

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H
Atlanta
6 reviews
Dined on September 30, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The food was excellent. I ordered Halibut and it was one of the best I’ve ever had!

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MA
New York Area
6 reviews
Dined on September 29, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This was my third visit to The Optimist, as a work colleague wanted to try it on my recommendation, and we went as a foursome with our husbands. It's not a cheap meal, but you get what you pay for and the food and service are outstanding. My personal favorite is the octopus, served with caper remoulade, spicy honey and house pickles. The lobster roll is also delicious. My husband likes the oysters, which are an Optimist specialty, & you can pick a selection according to your personal taste. He had swordfish as a main, thick, tender, snowy white & cooked in duck fat, which he said was the best swordfish he'd ever eaten, despite having lived/dined in San Francisco & Boston for many years. Decent wine list and an assortment of beers & cocktails.

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OT
Atlanta
5 reviews
Dined on September 29, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Everything about my experience was beyond amazing!

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CW
1 review
Dined on September 29, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

What a great dinner we had. Enjoyed a dozen oysters followed by several appetizers. The tuna crudo was wonderful. You will not be disappointed

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AF
1 review
Dined on September 29, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We chose the Optimist for our anniversary, and the staff went above and beyond to recognize and celebrate with us. We were so impressed by everything- the ambience, decor, friendly and knowledgeable staff, the wide array of food and quality of food. We ordered the swordfish and scallops, and have never in my life had such juicy, fresh, tender seafood. And the side dishes were amazing. We ordered the squash and it was absolutely delicious. For dessert, we enjoyed the icebox lemon pie and coffee. What a perfect ending to a perfect meal. I was recommended this place by a friend, and I will definitely return the favor and recommend to another friend. We had a beautiful anniversary.

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RE
Richmond
2 reviews
Dined on September 28, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The Optimist never disappoints! Service, atmosphere and food were all exceptional as usual.

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JS
1 review
Dined on September 28, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great time for anniversary dinner. Server AMY made the evening wonderful. Excellent service, pleasant and not rushed. Champagne for or anniversary. Way to Go AMY!!!

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HS
Tampa
2 reviews
Dined on September 28, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Mark took great care of us on my boyfriends birthday. The POAs and gifted octopus was a great touch. Entrees were cooked to perfection. Thanks Paul for coming and touching the table. We will be back very soon!

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l
Yosemite
1 review
Dined on September 28, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

I thought the oysters, fried rice and octopus were amazing! Everything else was overpriced. Very cool ambience

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B
Salt Lake City
2 reviews
Dined on September 28, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Visiting from out of town, wanted great seafoood. The Optimist did not disappoint. Ordered the Halibut and Swordfish and split both with my wife, perfectly cooked, prepared creatively and delicious. We had the Burrata Toast and it was so good. It’s a cool venue, little noisy if you want a really quiet dinner, but the food makes up for that.

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OT
1 review
Dined on September 28, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

It was my wife's birthday and we had an amazing time. The food was good to go along with the service, I would definitely come again.

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S
Atlanta
4 reviews
Dined on September 27, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

I’ve been wanting to try this spot for several months and finally made it out. The overall vibe and the ambiance was perfect. The noise level wasn’t too loud and the decor and lighting was amazing. The menu was diverse and had several options. Having a dietary restriction (gluten-free) there were some things I couldn’t order but I was happy with my 1/2 dozen oysters and she crab soup. I do wish the temperature of the soup had been better, but overall a good experience with good food!

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OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on September 27, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 3ambience 5

Food and drink and bar amazing

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K
Atlanta
5 reviews
Dined on September 26, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 3

Very loud and dark. Hard to read the menu. Food was outstanding !!

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KR
1 review
Dined on September 26, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 3

I took my Dad here, definite baby boomer who said it was too loud. However, he ate the octopus and loved it! (very impressed) What a hip, delicious, and easy to get to spot. Very much recommend to in town or out of town guests.

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RD
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on September 26, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Quite possibly the best Branzino I've ever had. Perfectly balanced, and very well executed. Octopus also a must try.

If you're fortunate enough to have Craig as your server, the experience gets that much better.

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JM
1 review
Dined on September 26, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 3

Loved the restaurant Loved the food and our Server was over the top amazing. The noise level was really really loud my clients actually complainted about it.

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EW
1 review
Dined on September 24, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This has become one of our favs over the last 2
Months

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F
Atlanta
1 review
Dined on September 24, 2018
Overall 3food 4service 4ambience 5

Good experience. Food made me a little sick today.

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