The Optimist

4.8
5349 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 5349 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
94% of people would recommend it to a friend
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OT
Atlanta
2 reviews
Dined 11 hours ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

It was out 30th anniversary and they could not have been nicer. Our waiter Walter took great care of us and we really appreciate it.

OT
1 review
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Food and service was excellent. Great meal

OT
Atlanta
1 review
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent experience! Great food and atmosphere! Perfect date night. We highly recommend the calamari for an appetizer. The purée that it came with was amazing! 5 stars easy.

OT
Atlanta
1 review
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great birthday dinner for my wife. She really enjoyed the menu. And the service was top of the line. We will definitely make this a regular spot in the future.

OT
Atlanta
1 review
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Food and service were outstanding. At full capacity, restaurant was very loud. I would still go back as the bar was great.

CC
San Francisco
13 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

We were celebrating our 35th wedding anniversary and our daughter joined us for dinner. We had a fantastic server, Daniel, who went out of his way to make sure we had a wonderful experience!! From the drinks and appetizers to the main course and dessert, all of our food was delicious and beautifully presented. The only criticism I have is that it was a little warm in the restaurant. With temps in the mid nineties, you need to feel cool and comfortable to fully enjoy the experience. However, this doesn’t take away from us having a great time at The Optimist!!

MW
Atlanta
1 review
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 3

This is obviously a restaurant attractive to a fairly young crowd. The service was great and the menu offered a wide variety of choices. We had a large party of 8 and were seated promptly at our reservation time at a round table very near the reception area.
The only criticism we found was that the noise level was so loud that we had difficulty having a conversation at our table unless we literally shouted at one another.

JB
Chicago
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Alissa was our waitress and she did a phenomenal job: she knew the menu inside and out and gave us some great recommendations. Food was excellent but her service was outstanding. Live music in the courtyard was a great touch. After we completed dinner, we sat outside and had a few drinks and listened to the music. We will definitely be back to the The Optimist!

LA
Atlanta
41 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 4food 3service 4ambience 4

The shrimp appetizer was too spicy and hard to eat since the heads and tails were in the shrimp. The swordfish was good. Not enough healthy dudes.

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

Everything we ordered was delicious. It was my birthday dinner and they made sure I felt special.

M
Western NC
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

I treated my 2 adult children to dinner. This was my second visit to the Optimist. First visit, our party of 3 was seated in a booth, very comfortable. This time we were seated at a small table beside the busy bar area. The seats were hard and the noise level high. The food was simply outstanding and thoroughly enjoyed by all. The table, seating and ambiance, not so much, especially factoring in the cost.

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

I love the place but on this visit it took an hour and 15 minutes to get our food. No one gave any explanation until we complained. We were there for a birthday and since it took so long everyone was ready to leave instead of having a birthday desert.

AC
San Francisco
8 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We went to The Optimist for my husband's birthday, and everything we ate was delicious. The atmosphere is bright, airy and bustling. From the bread to the scallops, everything we ate was OUTSTANDING. I highly recommend the fingerling potato side dish, it really was beyond delicious. The lemon pie dessert was the perfect way to top it all off. 10/10 would recommend for a special occasion dinner!

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

This is my favorite restaurant - the food is always fresh and the cocktails are divine.

SC
Atlanta
2 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 2food 2service 1ambience 2

We were disappointed. This is my second time here and this restaurant is not the same. The food portions are very small and they were ok, but surely not worth the price we paid. Our waiter only had 3-4 tables to take care of, but he took over 15 minutes to come and offer us drinks. Then another 20 minutes before we got our drinks. I just wasn't impressed and we won't go back. There are too many great places to eat in Atlanta, this is not one of them anymore.

MR
Charlotte
3 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The Optimist never disappoints! My boyfriend and I love going here for date night. This was our 4th visit. The oysters are fresh, and we love being able to try multiple different kinds. Our favorite appetizer is the Spanish Octopus. We love how they keep the staple menu items but changed up how they are prepared. I had the Scallops with cauliflower and almonds, and he had the Swordfish. Both were fantastic! The ambiance is perfect for date night or a group of friends. The bar is incredible. I love the variety of cocktails. I had the Wildflower and an Aperol spritz. I highly recommend the Optimist.

r
Dallas
11 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 3

All of the food and wine was outstanding. The waiter's recommendation for everything was the highest price item but he was attentive during the most of the meal.

VC
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Very efficient and friendly waiter. Food was delicious.

s
Atlanta
14 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Excellent as always. I loved the fresh scallops and so did my fellow lunch buddies. It was my birthday lunch with my birthday lunch group and I picked The Optimist because it is always a great dining experience.

SB
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Love this place! The lobster roll is amazing and oysters were fresh and paired great with their cocktails. We came for our anniversary and they were kind enough to stamp our menu with “Happy Anniversary” as well as comping our desert. Will be back!

JA
1 review
Dined on August 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This place was so adorable and the food was absolutely delicious

OT
Columbus
7 reviews
Dined on August 11, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great first-time visit! Ther service was spot on, the drinks were good and the food was outstanding... presentation and all. Very nice touch to include the words "Happy Birthday" on my wife's menu!

OT
1 review
Dined on August 11, 2019
Overall 3food 5service 2ambience 4

The Optimist is one of the hottest spots in west midtown, but I have to say this experience fell short of the “wow factor”. I brought a client in who had never been and instead of sitting at a table we sat at the bar. We felt the bartenders weren’t warm, welcome or attentive. Almost like they didn’t want us to be there. The female bartender was closing her side of the bar and barely checked on us. Maybe she was cut, but service shouldn’t haven’t stopped just because of that. We will be back because it really is an impressive venue... but we won’t be sitting at the bar.

TA
1 review
Dined on August 11, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Perfect date night spot or place to have a celebratory dinner. We celebrated our anniversary and the staff could not have been friendlier. Service and staff were on point. Food was outstanding. Highly recommend.

MA
Atlanta
18 reviews
Dined on August 11, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

The food and service were excellent. We had a wonderful time for my Birthday.

BB
Philadelphia
2 reviews
Dined on August 11, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

If you love oysters and seafood, this is the place for you. Beyond fresh ingredients and very tasty meals.

R
New Orleans
18 reviews
Dined on August 11, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Perfect seafood in Atlanta. Very original place that's executing on a high level. The owner's have clearly invested in the construction finishes along with the service, and their attention to detail is on full display. Food and presentation were great. The place was packed, but clearly that's the norm as there were no gaps in our dining experience. Our server, Daniel, was first class. Canned Pacifico beer could have been colder, but that's reaching for something to complain about. Check it out.

OT
Savannah
1 review
Dined on August 11, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Sisters birthday! And the service was fantastic. When I can afford it again, I’ll go back!

OT
1 review
Dined on August 11, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Food was amazing and service impeccable!!

OT
Atlanta
1 review
Dined on August 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Entire experience was excellent. Started with a drink at the bar then moved to our table. Every staff member was extremely knowledgeable of the drink and dinner menu. Gena was phenomenal!
We will be back very soon.

MP
Greensboro
11 reviews
Dined on August 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great oysters, entrees were superb.

OT
Atlanta
2 reviews
Dined on August 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Birthday celebration for my husband who had never been there. They were late seating us but sent a free Spanish octopus app over that was excellent. We are big oyster fans and they didn’t disappoint. And all of our fish entrees were excellent. And the drinks and wine were no exception! Oh and the birthday cake was the best surprise! He can’t wait to go back!

OT
New England
1 review
Dined on August 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Oyster bar is awesome. Hush puppies are life changing. Great service.

E
Atlanta
5 reviews
Dined on August 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Food and atmosphere was amazing. Awesome seafood location for foodies.

MC
1 review
Dined on August 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent food, outstanding service, cool ambiance and diverse menu. It never disappoints!

P
Atlanta
12 reviews
Dined on August 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Fantastic food and ambience!

OT
Atlanta
1 review
Dined on August 8, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 4ambience 4

Is good, i just was expecting more...

d
Toronto
7 reviews
Dined on August 7, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

The server was awesome. Knowledgeable with a great demeanour. Food was beautifully prepared. The octopus was cooked perfectly. The favourite dish was the branzino. The curry sauce was delicate yet flavourful. Perfect combination!!
Well done!

OT
Atlanta
4 reviews
Dined on August 7, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Amazing food and service!

OT
Atlanta
12 reviews
Dined on August 7, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Food was fantastic & delicious. I got the scallops my wife the Red Fish both cooked perfectly.
the server was gracious, polite & very knowledgeable of items.

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