The Optimist

4.8
4615 reviews
icon/ic_price_rangeCreated with Sketch.
$31 to $50
icon/ic_cuisineCreated with Sketch.
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
icon/ic_cuisineCreated with Sketch.
Cuisines
Seafood
icon/ic_clockCreated with Sketch.
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
icon/ic_phoneCreated with Sketch.
Phone number
(404) 477-6260
icon/ic_new_windowCreated with Sketch.
icon/ic_paymentCreated with Sketch.
Payment options
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
icon/ic_dress_codeCreated with Sketch.
Dress code
Casual Dress
Open Google Maps
icon/ic_locationCreated with Sketch.
icon/ic_neighborhoodCreated with Sketch.
Neighborhood
icon/ic_cross_streetCreated with Sketch.
Cross street
8th Street
icon/ic_parking_detailsCreated with Sketch.
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.
icon/ic_special_eventsCreated with Sketch.
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 prix fixe menu to celebrate 2019.

Monday, December 31, 2018

What 4615 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
93% of people would recommend it to a friend
5
4
3
2
1
Sort by
Newest
Filters
AA
Charleston
2 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

It was great!

Report
Helpful
o
Atlanta
19 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Leslie was fabulous and the meal was excellent!

Report
Helpful
WT
Atlanta
4 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 2food 5service 1ambience 4

The food was great, but the service was sub-par. One of my dining companions did not receive his entree until after I had finished my meal. We had to point this out to our waiter - he did not come over soon after our entrees were served to ensure we had received everything we ordered. To the restaurant's credit, it comped his meal and gave two side orders for the table - it was the least the restaurant could do. My wife ordered her salad with dressing on the side, but it arrived drenched - I am not sure whether the waiter simply was not listening when she ordered or the kitchen wasn't paying attention to the order that was submitted. Drinks were extremely slow to arrive after they were ordered. The waiter brought a bottle of wine for all of us when one of our dinner companions ordered only a glass for himself - my drink had been delivered bout ten minutes earlier. When the bill arrived, we had been charged for a full bottle and for a glass - this was corrected after we pointed this error out to the waiter. We really want to like this restaurant, as the food always is great, but it seems like it cannot get its service act together. The poor service overshadowed the excellent food we received. We live a long way from the restaurant - it took us an hour to drive there, and we will re-evaluate whether we think it is worth the effort to dine there in the future, especially since there are great restaurants closer to our residence.

Report
Helpful
H
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

Took my wife here on date night before going out to a concert. I definitely made the right decision. Great atmosphere and set up for a nice dinner. She loves seafood so this place really hit the mark for her. Food and service were great which set the tempo for a great evening. I would say pricing was a little prideful for the amount of food you get.

Report
Helpful
PD
Atlanta
10 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Yummy as usual- one of my favorites in the city

Report
Helpful
r
Atlanta
27 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

The freshest, best prepared seafood in the city. The roux in the gumbo was just dark enough

Report
Helpful
TC
Atlanta
2 reviews
Dined on December 5, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 3ambience 5

Everything we ordered was amazing . Service was alittle slow but the waitress was super sweet

Report
Helpful
WG
Atlanta
9 reviews
Dined on December 4, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

A great place for a full dinner, or just appetizers and a drink. We sat at the bar and had a couple of well-prepared old fashioneds. We shared the shrimp a la plancha...which was the best shrimp I have ever had. We also shared a lobster roll which was fantastic. Highly recommended

Report
Helpful
W
Tallahassee
5 reviews
Dined on December 3, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 3

The Optimist was recommended by a few friends and it did not disappoint. The fish was great as well as the rice and grits sides. We had cervichi appetizer and it was great. The warehouse atmosphere is nice but not quaint. The waitress was super nice and helpful. I would recommend for a high end night out.

Report
Helpful
SE
Atlanta
19 reviews
Dined on December 3, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Lovely restaurant...our first table had very hard chairs, but the staff graciously moved us to a booth that was much more comfy. Food was great and service was also great.

Report
Helpful
s
Austin
1 review
Dined on December 3, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

teresa was amazing!!!! the noise level was PERFECT for intimate conversation and the food was outstanding.

Report
Helpful
d
Atlanta
47 reviews
Dined on December 2, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

One of our favorite seafood restaurants in the Atlanta area.

Highly recommend the Optimist for all the right reasons; the food tastes outstanding and the service is top shelf.

Report
Helpful
FC
Denver
5 reviews
Dined on December 2, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Oyster Happy Hour too!

Report
Helpful
OT
1 review
Dined on December 2, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Awesome service and food! Highly recommend.

Report
Helpful
AB
Cleveland
5 reviews
Dined on December 1, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We sat at the bar. Service was wonderful. Bartender was very informative and helpful in choosing drinks, as well as our entrees. Our food was prepared surprisingly fast. Food was delicious! Would definitely dine here again!

Report
Helpful
JW
Atlantic City
2 reviews
Dined on December 1, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Was here on a football weekend. Great food and service. A bit noisy but we didn't care.

Report
Helpful
HW
Central Coast
1 review
Dined on December 1, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The Optimist does not disappoint! Beautiful open space, a great menu, and full visual stunning bar.
The Octopus is a must have. Not what you are thinking....
We ran a little late due to an Uber mistake and the hosts couldn't have been kinder /accommodating.
Our waitress Eli, explained the menu in detail and made great suggestions. (cocktails and food!)
We never felt rushed and she was engaging and fun to chat with as well.

Report
Helpful
B
Atlanta
1 review
Dined on December 1, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

If you love seafood you will LOVE the Optimist!! Some of the best seafood I have had. My boyfriend and I ordered 6 different starters because we coulnd't decide what we wanted. ALL OF THEM were incredible!! Can't say enough great things about this place

Report
Helpful
RS
1 review
Dined on December 1, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We had a great knowledgable waitress who made some recommendations that were all great. We had the swordfish and red grouper and both were awesome. The wine selection was great also.

Report
Helpful
B
Atlanta
2 reviews
Dined on November 30, 2018
Overall 2food 1service 5ambience 3

We normally love everything about the Optimist this visit was disappointing. The octopus had a hot spiced almost morrocan flavor to it that was too Spicy The grouper also had this in the crust and lots of salt which dried out the usually moist fish and the delicious chocolate chess pie was out sweetened with a too sweet caramel The bar tender as always was wonderful as were the wait staff and the rolls. I think it was a bad night and we will definitely be going back

Report
Helpful
S
Atlanta
8 reviews
Dined on November 28, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent, as always. It’s the best seafood place in town.

Report
Helpful
JS
1 review
Dined on November 27, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The food is always exceptional! The octopus is always one of our favorites.

Report
Helpful
OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on November 27, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Friendly service and great food!

Report
Helpful
CC
Atlanta
10 reviews
Dined on November 27, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This was my forth time to the Optimist in the last month. It was excellent every time. Certainly did not disappoint. I really enjoy taking business partners to the Optimist.

Report
Helpful
SF
Charleston
1 review
Dined on November 25, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

EXCELLENT FOOD AND SERVICE. Great ambiance and every aspect of the business was very professional.

Report
Helpful
L
Atlanta
6 reviews
Dined on November 25, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Wonderful dining experience. Our server was knowledgeable about the food choices and gave great recommendations. The atmosphere was elegant. We and another couple went to celebrate our wedding anniversary. Will certainly go again

Report
Helpful
SF
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on November 24, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 4

The side dishes came out about 3-5 minuets before main dishes. Then it took 3 trips for them to bring all 5 main dishes so we had to sit and wait for everybody’s meal to arrive. Then when we are done they didn’t clean up very quickly.
Overall disappointing for something we had really been look forward to.

Report
Helpful
OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on November 24, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great staff! Super accommodating! Delicious food! Will go back again and again.

Report
Helpful
OT
Las Vegas
12 reviews
Dined on November 23, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Service was outstanding! Food was great as always!

Report
Helpful
MM
Atlanta
31 reviews
Dined on November 22, 2018
Overall 3food 2service 3ambience 4

I have eaten at The Optimist any number of times and always left looking forward to the next visit. Tonight, that was definitely not the case. We went on Wednesday before Thanksgiving and as expected the place was empty. Despite that, the maitre'd's were huddled in a gossip session and took several minutes for them to realize we were standing there waiting for a table. Then we had a "socially awkward" server (the server can make or break any dining experience). Let me say, the oysters and cocktails were divine and spot on as always. We ordered two of our favorites to start, mussels and octopus. They must have been running low on mussels, because I feel like we only received a half order (and many of them were empty). The usually delicious broth did not have it's usual bite. Same issue with the octopus - we typically fight over the last morsels and tonight's sauce just had no flavor. At this point we decided not to try any other of our other favorite dishes. Disappointing, especially given that this has traditionally been one of my favorite restaurants.

Report
Helpful
OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on November 21, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The food is AMAZING

Report
Helpful
OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on November 21, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We ate at The Optimist on Thanksgiving Eve and it was an amazing family dinner. The entire team took care of us starting during happy hour and into the evening. Eli was a killer server who helped us navigate all of our interests on the menu and asked the kitchen to split an appetizer 3 ways with adorable servings for each person.

Report
Helpful
BH
Houston
4 reviews
Dined on November 20, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Meka and Stormy awesome servers
Oysters are the best

Report
Helpful
s
Atlanta
8 reviews
Dined on November 20, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I love the Optimist.

Report
Helpful
L
Atlanta
2 reviews
Dined on November 19, 2018
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

We loved our experience at The Optimist. The atmosphere was beautiful, albeit a bit loud. It didn’t bother us at all, we could still easily have a conversation, but it’s an open building so be aware. The food and service were phenomenal. Seafood and presentation were superb quality and very yummy. We enjoyed a few cocktails and a bottle of wine- all were great! Overall, a wonderful date night experience for me and the hubs.

Report
Helpful
OT
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on November 17, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

Fantastic dining experience at The Optimist, absolutely essential for all seafood lovers in Atlanta. A great selection of fresh Oysters are on offer to start your meal. You are then spolit for choice with the entrees, I really enjoyed the Wood Grilled GA Shrimp and Nduja risotto, super tasty. Plus there is a great wine list too, to pair with everything on the menu. Service was efficient and friendly. Main dining room is very busy, but the Oyster bar is a little more relaxed and chilled. Overall, The Optimist is definitely one of Atlanta's top restaurants.

Report
Helpful
OT
1 review
Dined on November 17, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Best food in Atlanta!

Report
Helpful
OT
Jackson Hole
1 review
Dined on November 17, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We had the most incredible experience. The food was, of course, outstanding. The service was top notch and we were so lucky to have Leslie as our server - she made us feel so special as we celebrated our anniversary. A perfect date night!

Report
Helpful
BS
Atlanta
13 reviews
Dined on November 17, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Food was excellent and the service was outstanding! I would definitely come back.

Report
Helpful
s
Philadelphia
54 reviews
Dined on November 17, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I ate hear when I was in Atlanta for a conference. I always seek out great places to eat before I come to meetings. The food at The Optimist was fantastic! I loved every bite. The staff was unbelievably helpful, recommending cocktails and items that went together. I am so sorry that I won't be able to come back any time soon since I live very far away.

Report
Helpful
1
2
3
116