The Optimist

4.7
4829 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 4829 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.7based on recent ratings
4.7
food
4.7
service
4.7
ambience
4.3
value
Noise · Moderate
94% of people would recommend it to a friend
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OT
Atlanta
1 review
Dined 15 hours ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Fantastic!

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OT
1 review
Dined a day ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

excellent in everyway

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1
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Great dining experience, but the prices to portion size were out of line.

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

By far the best high end seafood restaurant in ATL. The menu here will blow you away. Always something for everyone to enjoy. I've been coming to The Optimist for years and have yet to be disappointed.

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PF
Atlanta
14 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Fantastic service, excellent drinks and wine and tasty sea food. We always enjoy The Optimist! We need to visit more often.
Thanks!

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BS
Atlanta
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Our server was amazing. Food was good.

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HN
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Always top notch experience at the Optimist. By far my favorite Atlanta restaurant, great food, excellent cocktails, friendly staff, warm vibe. Our server, Ryan, who has an amazing personality and gave great suggestions. Ryan was extremely attentive to our table and always made sure drinks were refilled and our table was clean.

The Optimist does a great job of bringing global seafood flavors to midtown. I had the Mahi Mahi in a ham consommé. I just got back from Barcelona so Ryan instantly recommended this dish because it pays homage to the Iberian peninsula.

Great experience, great job to the Optimist staff.

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FC
Atlanta
14 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Our second time visiting this place and the second time was better than the first. From the hostess to the waiter, the food and drinks were outstanding. I’d highly recommend this place for any occasion. Thanks again for a enjoyable evening

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DA
Austin
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Fantastic food and service. Each of our meals was unique and of the highest caliber. Enjoyed the staff and their attention. Can wait to get back and explore even more of the menu.

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AH
Atlanta
8 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food, great ambiance, great service! The octopus is phenomenal, we will be back!

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RS
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 5

Good food. Service was a little rushed but good seafood.

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OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent!!

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JM
Charleston
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The best scallops and Halibut my wife and I have ever had. We eat out a lot and that is a definite compliment. I have already told several people and we will be back there again for sure. Outstanding seafood restaurant.

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

Been to this restaurant several times and never been disappointed. Their saltine crackers are to die for!

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DH
Chicago
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Fantastic experience, one of my faves in ATL. If you are looking for quality ambience, and top shelf cuisine, look no further than the Optimist.

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

We came to celebrate my fiancé’s birthday and had a great dinner! Jon DeMeglio was our waiter and took good care of us. We appreciate him and will definitely ask for his services again! The food was amazing.

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MS
Atlanta
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We went for the seafood (which was awesome) but the best part was the bread!!! Possibly the best bread I have ever had.

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DB
Atlanta
18 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I love this place and have never had a bad meal. The atmosphere was pleasant and energetic. The service was attentive yet non-obtrusive. And the food was excellent. I started with a beet salad, had the grouper as my entree, and shared the amazing roast cauliflower and mushrooms. I then indulged with the Atlantic Beach lemon pie - perfectly tart & smooth and not overly sweet. I brought two out of town guests, and they loved it.

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

We had the best service ever! John was wonderful. He is a waiter at the Atlanta location and boy did he make us feel comfortable and familiar with the menu. He made sure we understood all the great entrees the Optimist had to offer! Shout out to John we'll definitely be back to see him!! Thanks, for making my first experience there a great one!!!!!

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TC
Atlanta
12 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

AMAZING!!! Food was incredible and our server, Stormy, was absolutely the best. He was very attentive, but not overly so. He explained everything and was very helpful, made the night even better!!! Tries to tell the Manager, but she came to our table and removed some dishes, NEVER introduced herself or anything even though I had asked to talk to the manager. She needs to learn a few things bout communication and customer service!!!! Poor management, but incredible staff. Definitely worth more visits.

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MD
San Francisco
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Food was delicious and service fantastic! We will be back!

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AP
Atlanta
11 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We had a wonderful Valentines Day dinner, with a prixe fixe menu and wine pairings. The only small glitch was that we had a 7:30 reservation and didn’t get seated until almost 8:15, but we were a little late, and had a drink at the bar while we waited so no big deal. All together a great meal!

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KC
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 4food 3service 5ambience 5

Love the space. Our service was amazing. The food was hit and miss. The wine pairing was a real disappointment. Will look strictly at cocktail list next time.

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OT
Columbus
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 3ambience 4

Great prefix Valentine’s Day menu. We will certainly be back

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DF
Atlanta
7 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 5

Upon reviewing the menu, my wife and I were a bit disappointed that the menu was PF - I must have missed the note upon booking the reservation. When confirming with the server that the regular menu (which we love) was not available, she immediately began to explain that “the items were available a la carte at the Oyster Bar if the price was a problem”. This rubbed me the wrong way. I tried to get over it as service progressed, but it continued to bother me. For this reason, I ended up tipping 18% vs. 20%. Would I return? Absolutely - I love the restaurant and the food. I just wish the server was less condescending.

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M
Atlanta
17 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

We had a great valentines night dinner. The food, the wine pairings, the service were all outstanding. This may be our new favorite Atlanta area restaurant for special occasions or even just a romantic date night!

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M
Atlanta
11 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Valentine’s. Won’t be doing a prix fixed menu again. Fish came out so dry you couldn’t cut it. For $80 per person plus bumps for Steak was not worth money spent. Normally the food is terrific. I will just avoid the rush of Valentines in the future.

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

Always great food and exceptional service. We’ve not experienced high noise levels, which makes conversation easy to hear.

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BC
1 review
Dined on February 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Incredible food, there is literally nothing on the menu that is not delicious.

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d
Atlanta
7 reviews
Dined on February 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Food was fabulous but they were out of a number of items on the menu by 8:00 pm. A little pricey but worth it

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p
Pittsburgh
2 reviews
Dined on February 13, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Great fresh seafood. Plenty of appetizers and main course selections. Noisy restaurant

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L
Atlanta
18 reviews
Dined on February 13, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 3

Food was amazing. Service was friendly and knowledgeable but a little slow to react (getting water, taking our order, clearing table). Food is really good but I spent $75 and left hungry. Oysters are expensive. I had an appetizer and entree too but entree portion is just so small. I would go back, though.

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OT
Atlanta
9 reviews
Dined on February 13, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Great food! Kind of pricey but great for special occasions.

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l
1 review
Dined on February 13, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The best restaurant I’ve been to while visiting Atlanta!

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OT
1 review
Dined on February 13, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Came here for a valentine’s meal with my wife. Started off at the oyster bad for happy hour with the freshest oysters I have had in ATL! So good! Host came and told us halfway through our oysters that our table was ready, but did not rush us and allowed us to finish and enjoy our oysters at the bar. Great host! After the oysters we found our host and she seated us immediately at our table. We with the octopus appetizer and it was the most tender I have ever had. Cutting through it felt like butter! Then my wife had the scallops for her entree while I opted for the grouper. Both were extraordinary melt in your mouth goodness. We also had the curry rice and broccolini to accompany our meals. And just when I thought it could not get any better, we ended our night with the banoffee pudding cake... and that has got to be one of the best desserts I have ever had in my life! Wow! Everything was phenomenal! Prices are definitely on the high side (besides the happy hour oysters, those were a fantastic value), but the experience was worth every penny. Highly recommended! Will be coming back!

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DH
1 review
Dined on February 13, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Remains one of the best restaurants in Atlanta. Only suggestion to make our visit better is I wish the chairs were more comfortable

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OT
Atlanta
1 review
Dined on February 13, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Ford fry at his finest. This place is always in our rotation.

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OT
San Francisco
12 reviews
Dined on February 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Loved our meal

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S
Seattle
11 reviews
Dined on February 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Loved this restaurant!! The food is exceptional and the service was great! Thank you to Portia our wonderful server!! We won’t forget our experience.

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DK
Atlanta
4 reviews
Dined on February 11, 2019
Overall 2food 3service 1ambience 4

Food was great. I love Ford Fry. This was a business lunch on they failed in all aspects of service. Horrible experience.

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