Nearby points of interest

  1. Distance: 0.38mi
  2. Distance: 0.59mi
  3. Distance: 0.73mi
  4. Distance: 1.44mi
  1. Distance: 0.38mi
  2. Distance: 0.59mi
  3. Distance: 0.73mi
  4. Distance: 1.44mi

Nearby points of interest

  1. Distance: 0.38mi
  2. Distance: 0.59mi
  3. Distance: 0.73mi
  4. Distance: 1.44mi
  1. Distance: 0.38mi
  2. Distance: 0.59mi
  3. Distance: 0.73mi
  4. Distance: 1.44mi

About The Optimist

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

914 Howell Mill Rd.
Atlanta, GA 30318
View Larger Map

Dining Style:
Casual Elegant

Cuisines:
Seafood

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

Cross Street:
8th Street

Dress Code:
Casual Dress

Price Range:
$31 to $50

Payment Options
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa

Phone Number:
(404) 477-6260

Website:
http://www.theoptimistrestaurant.com/

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.

Additional:
Banquet, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, BYO Wine, Corkage Fee, Farm to Table, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Non-Smoking, Outdoor dining, Private Room, Wine

Special Events & Promotions:
Please contact Abigail Pietrobon at apietrobon@fordfry.com for special event information.

Specials

New Year's Eve Special Menus & Offers

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Specials

New Year's Eve Special Menus & Offers

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Details

Our Executive Chef, Pat Pascarella, has prepare a special 4 course $85 prix fixe menu for New Years Eve. We will also have optional wine pairings available for each course for an additional $30.

The Optimist Ratings and Reviews

5
4
3
2
1

4.7

Overall Rating

based on recent ratings
food

4.6

service

4.6

ambience

4.6

value

4.1

Noise

Moderate

93% would recommend it to a friend

Good for a Date (117)
Special Occasion (99)
Creative Cuisine (94)
See All
Fit for Foodies (91)
Good for Anniversaries (78)
Worth the Drive (76)
Hot Spot (63)
Good for Birthdays (61)
Business Meals (53)
Good for Groups (53)
Handcrafted Cocktails (53)
Fun (53)
Neighborhood Gem (50)
Bar Seating (47)
Casual (46)
Local Ingredients (44)
Authentic (43)
Vibrant Bar Scene (42)
Romantic (38)
People Watching (33)
Healthy (32)
Happy Hour (30)
Notable Wine List (28)
Great for Lunch (23)
Seasonal (20)
Pre/post Theatre (19)
Comfort Food (17)
Cozy (16)
Great for Outdoor Dining (13)
Late-night Find (12)
Gluten Free Options (11)
Quiet Conversation (11)
Sunday Lunch (11)
Paleo Friendly (10)
Tasting Menu (9)
Great for Brunch (7)
Live Music (7)
Organic (6)
Good Vegetarian Options (6)
Quick Bite (5)
Spicy (5)
Tapas (5)
Great Beer (4)
Scenic View (4)
Vegan (4)
Disabled Access (3)
Kid-friendly (2)
Afternoon Coffee (1)
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3655 reviews
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 (Washington DC)·Dined 21 hours ago

Amazing as always!

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food5
ambience5
service5

 
 (Atlanta)·Dined 2 days ago

The food was amazing, the ambiance was just right, and the service was first class! It's one of my favorite restsirsntd in the Atlanta area!

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food5
ambience5
service5

 
·Dined 3 days ago

Some of the best seafood I have ever had. The octopus for a appetizer was excellent . The lobster rolls and the Mahi-mahi-mahi was also good.

Tags: Special Occasion, Tapas, Fun, Good for Anniversaries, Fit for Foodies, Business Meals, Worth the Drive, Good for a Date, Tasting Menu, Bar Seating
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service4
value4

 
 (Atlanta)·Dined 3 days ago

As a Savannah native, I have very high expectations for seafood. The Optimist exceeded them. My wife and I split "The Refuge" Plateaux, a fresh, tasty mix of crab, lobster, oyster and ceviche. Swordfish Crudo was excellent as were the drinks and Semillon wine. Service was top-notch, Uber an easy drop-off and pick-up. Well worth the trip from the 'burbs into town!

Tags: Neighborhood Gem, Handcrafted Cocktails, Worth the Drive, Special Occasion, Authentic, Fun, Vibrant Bar Scene, Good for Anniversaries, Notable Wine List
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Atlanta)·Dined 3 days ago

I was really disappointed with my experience... I took my sister here who was visiting from out of town. This was my first time here, I’ve heard of the Optimist from several people who gave it high reviews... I don’t get it. My sisters swordfish was over cooked. I ordered the lobster roll which was bland and cold, which I wasn’t expecting.... it came with a side of small broken potatoe chips that looked like they were from the bottom of the bag. The presentation was lackluster. For the price I expected more if this experience... I will try it again, because I feel like I could have just been there on a bad day...?? I will say that the bread that they bring you is really delicious.

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food2
ambience3
service3
value1

 
 (Atlanta)·Dined 3 days ago

I used to live on the beach and miss the great seafood.
Optimist is the best I've found in Atlanta.
I eat there every chance I get.

Tags: Good for a Date
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service4
value4

 
 (Jacksonville)·Dined 3 days ago

The Management could not have been more wonderful. Not only did they treat us like royalty for my birthday, my sweetheart proposed to me as well. The staff was amazing and made the evening even more special if that was at all possible. We love the Optimist!

Tags: Worth the Drive, Good for a Date, Local Ingredients, Seasonal, Vibrant Bar Scene, Romantic, Special Occasion, Good for Birthdays
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
·Dined 3 days ago

My wife and I celebrated our 22nd Anniversary at this beautiful restaurant. We were very impressed with the spaciousness of Optimist, the quality of the food offerings, and the knowledge and guidance of our exceptional waitress. The total experience was one of total pleasure. We would like others to have a most wonderful dining experience at Optimist.

Tags: Pre/post Theatre, Good for Anniversaries, Local Ingredients, Business Meals, Bar Seating
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service5
value4

 
 (Los Angeles)·Dined 4 days ago

We loved the ambiance of The Optimist, and the food was amazing.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (New York Area)·Dined 5 days ago

The restaurant is a little pricey and the fish selections are limited but what was available was prepared exceptionally.The octubus appetizer was unique and very well prepared
They really value their rolls (which were very tasty) but once they served each person one there was no offer for refills One piece of bread at the prices charged is rather cheap
This is not an inexpensive restaurant so be prepared for a hefty bill with cocktails appetizers small plates and entree

Tags: Creative Cuisine, Authentic, Good for a Date, Special Occasion, Bar Seating
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience5
service5
value3

 
 (New York Area)·Dined 5 days ago

The food and service were both excellent. We tried the grilled calamari, lobster roll, octopus, it was all delicious! The server was also very attentive and had good recommendations!

Tags: Fit for Foodies
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (New York Area)·Dined 6 days ago

Fantastic meal and great service. Ambiance was excellent as well.

Tags: Casual, Good for Birthdays, Fit for Foodies, Business Meals, Good for Anniversaries
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (Atlanta)·Dined 6 days ago

A very well received dinner experience

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
·Dined 6 days ago

Lobster roll was Devine, the french fries were hand cut and cooked to perfection. The service was attentive and personable. I can’t wait to go back !!!

Tags: Local Ingredients
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Atlanta)·Dined 6 days ago

Very good crispy oyster/deviled egg combo. Plan on a nap after the she crab soup.

Tags: Neighborhood Gem
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Atlanta)·Dined on November 14, 2017

Food was ok. Better the last time.

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food4
ambience3
service5
value2

 
·Dined on November 13, 2017

Best customer service They really took care of us.

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food5
ambience5
service5
value3

 
·Dined on November 13, 2017

The amazing seafood dishes! Very creative. Fresh. The crudos were inventive. Our fish was cooked to perfection. The scallops were some of the best I have ever had.

Tags: Cozy, Good for a Date, Good for Birthdays, Business Meals, Handcrafted Cocktails, Creative Cuisine, Quiet Conversation
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food5
ambience5
service4
value5

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on November 13, 2017

Great customer service. I love the taste of the food. Not a big seafood fan but I definitely eat seafood when I come here. The oysters are amazing!
Bit pricey. But worth it!

Tags: Special Occasion, Authentic, Romantic, Good for a Date, Vibrant Bar Scene, Business Meals
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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

 
·Dined on November 13, 2017

My husband and I celebrated our anniversary at THE OPTIMIST. We had a great night, excellent food and a experienced and very friendly server. Thanks for a perfect Dinner! We’ll definitely come back.

Tags: Business Meals, Scenic View, Casual, Creative Cuisine
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Western NC)·Dined on November 12, 2017

Not as good as usual ! Disappointed with food .. wonder why ... new chef ?

Tags: Comfort Food
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food3
ambience5
service1
value2

 
 (Atlanta)·Dined on November 12, 2017

My birthday meal at the Optimist was excellent. We ordered quite a bit to sample more items. Our server, Caitlin, did a fantastic job, from choosing an oyster sampling and recommending wine to pacing the meal appropriately so we could enjoy each course. We are looking forward to dining again very soon!

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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (Atlanta)·Dined on November 12, 2017

As always, fantastic! Two of us had the halibut and it was wonderful...and one should always order the octopus appetizer!

Tags: Organic, Authentic, Creative Cuisine, Fit for Foodies, Worth the Drive, Special Occasion
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Washington DC)·Dined on November 12, 2017

Loved it! Can’t wait to go back when i have more room for food.

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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (Atlanta)·Dined on November 12, 2017

The Optimist came highly recommended and rated and it delivered. From the host staff, to bar, to wait staff they all were attentive and very professional. The food itself was some of the best. We did the shell fish medley with oysters, shrimp, crab legs and lobster with ceviche and it was excellent. The oyster menu is close in quality to Kimball House offering a wide variety of the bi-valve. The very best thing, however, was probably the crunchy octopus appetizer. Next time we may just go with that as the entrée. It was incredibly tasty, crunchy and tender, all at the same time. With hardwood floors, brick walls and high barrel ceiling the acoustics are not great so expect a lot of ambient noise. Quiet it is not. But that is about the only mark I kind find against the place and that is not much as the noise gives the place a high energy vibe. Will definitely be back!

Tags: Handcrafted Cocktails, Fun, Organic, Seasonal, Vibrant Bar Scene, Authentic
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food5
ambience4
service5
value3

 
·Dined on November 12, 2017

Food wasn’t to my taste... table setup to close together... no privacy. Wait staff was awesome. Would not recommend for having a romantic evening.

Tags: Happy Hour, Fun, Quick Bite, Good for Groups
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food2
ambience1
service5
value2

 
·Dined on November 12, 2017

Dinner out with friends. I had the scallops, my wife had the halibut dish, we had a sampling of oysters with the homemade crackers along with an octopus appetizer. I tend to be a more picky eater and everything was awesome. The couple we were with had the swordfish and halibut and everyone enjoyed what they ordered. Some of the food may sound a little over the top but it all works together really well.

If you're into the craft cocktails, they have a good selection, I had the one called "Defiance" and while I'm more of a beer guy if I drink, it was very good. Very cool, hip sort of atmosphere and most of the people fit the environment as an OTP couple (outside the perimeter) we didn't feel uncomfortable at all. It was a great night out in a great setting and with excellent food and service. I would strongly recommend and look forward to going back.

Tags: Healthy, Handcrafted Cocktails, Creative Cuisine
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food5
ambience4
service5
value4

vip
 (Los Angeles)·Dined on November 12, 2017

Up there as one of the finest meals of my life. Oysters, Kobe steak and scallops were exceptional. Finest steak in my life without a doubt. This place is a must in Atlanta if you wish to remember your food. We celebrated my daughters birthday in style without disappointment.

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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (Charleston)·Dined on November 11, 2017

Great all around experience. Food was excellent and the service was attentive. Overall great attention to detail - even providing koozies for bottled beer.

Tags: Good for a Date, Special Occasion, Creative Cuisine, Bar Seating, Hot Spot, Fit for Foodies, Vibrant Bar Scene, People Watching
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Chicago)·Dined on November 11, 2017

A very wonderful sustainable sourced seafood meal. Thoroughly enjoyable.

Tags: Worth the Drive, Creative Cuisine, Paleo Friendly
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food5
ambience5
service4
value5

 
 (Atlanta)·Dined on November 11, 2017

This is our 2nd visit to The Optimist. Both this visit and the last visit we had Topher as our our server. He is by far one of the THE best servers we have ever had. He's extremely knowledgeable of the menu, he is attentive, funny and overall you can just tell that he loves his job! The food is fantastic, and in our party of 8, everyone was more than satisfied with the taste, quality and quantity. We are already planning our next visit back to The Optimist! And, you should try the octopus. It's outstanding!

Tags: Happy Hour, Good for Groups, Authentic, Fun
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Atlanta)·Dined on November 11, 2017

amazing selections, helpful staff, vibrant scene, and easy parking!

Tags: Handcrafted Cocktails, Good for Anniversaries, Tasting Menu, Creative Cuisine
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Atlanta)·Dined on November 11, 2017

Great, lively atmosphere and friendly service. Food was good, although it seemed a bit formulaic - dishes came out so quickly it made me wonder if everything was premade (and dishes were not hot at all). My biggest complaint was the chairs - the wooden chairs were unbelievably uncomfortable! I wish that we would have requested one of the booths that looked WAY more comfortable.

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food3
ambience5
service5
value3

 
·Dined on November 10, 2017

Amazing waiter!

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on November 10, 2017

Every visit, great service.

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food5
ambience5
service5

 
·Dined on November 10, 2017

Impeccable. My favorite restaurant... i drive from Birmingham to eat here.

Tags: Special Occasion, Vibrant Bar Scene, Seasonal, Healthy, Worth the Drive, Fit for Foodies, Creative Cuisine, Quiet Conversation, Paleo Friendly, Pre/post Theatre, Good for Anniversaries, Fun, Good Vegetarian Options, Romantic, Business Meals, Hot Spot, Bar Seating, People Watching, Good for a Date, Notable Wine List, Handcrafted Cocktails
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Chicago)·Dined on November 10, 2017

Delicious seafood in a picture perfect environment. The dishes were all spot on and the wine was amazing as well. Great restaurant for just friends, a special occasion or a date. The food and drinks were so good, we moved to the bar for a final round after we'd finished dining.

Tags: Hot Spot, Good for Anniversaries, Great for Brunch, Notable Wine List, Good for a Date, Bar Seating, Good for Birthdays, Creative Cuisine
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Atlanta)·Dined on November 10, 2017

Delicious food and well worth the effort to get down there on a Thursday night with tough traffic. Got a small platter to share and the octopus appetizer very tasty and tender!

Tags: Good for Groups, Handcrafted Cocktails, Vibrant Bar Scene, Great for Lunch, Casual, Good for Birthdays, Good for Anniversaries
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience3
service5
value5

vip
 (Western NC)·Dined on November 10, 2017

Loved this restaurant! Our service was great as well as the food

Tags: People Watching, Bar Seating, Gluten Free Options, Fit for Foodies
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food5
ambience4
service5
value5

vip
 (New York Area)·Dined on November 8, 2017

The calamari is out-of-this-world delicious and the entrees are equally as amazing. Simply a tasty meal with great service to boot!

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

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