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, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Non-Smoking, Outdoor dining, Private Room, Wine

Special Events & Promotions:
Please contact our Events Department at events@fordfry.com for special event information.

Specials

Valentine's Day Special Menus & More

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Specials

Valentine's Day Special Menus & More

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Details

Our Executive Chef has prepared a special 4 course Prix Fixe menu to celebrate Valentines Day. There will also be several supplements available to further enhance your meal. We look forward to celebrating with you!

The Optimist Ratings and Reviews

5
4
3
2
1

4.8

Overall Rating

based on recent ratings
food

4.7

service

4.7

ambience

4.7

value

4.3

Noise

Moderate

94% would recommend it to a friend

Good for a Date (105)
Special Occasion (100)
Fit for Foodies (97)
See All
Creative Cuisine (82)
Good for Anniversaries (74)
Worth the Drive (66)
Good for Birthdays (62)
Hot Spot (58)
Fun (55)
Good for Groups (54)
Neighborhood Gem (51)
Handcrafted Cocktails (49)
Bar Seating (46)
Business Meals (44)
Romantic (44)
Casual (40)
Vibrant Bar Scene (36)
Authentic (35)
Local Ingredients (34)
Notable Wine List (29)
People Watching (27)
Healthy (25)
Happy Hour (22)
Seasonal (22)
Great for Lunch (19)
Comfort Food (16)
Pre/post Theatre (15)
Quiet Conversation (14)
Cozy (14)
Late-night Find (13)
Paleo Friendly (11)
Sunday Lunch (11)
Tasting Menu (10)
Gluten Free Options (9)
Organic (8)
Tapas (8)
Great Beer (7)
Great for Outdoor Dining (6)
Great for Brunch (4)
Good Vegetarian Options (4)
Kid-friendly (3)
Live Music (3)
Quick Bite (3)
Spicy (3)
Waterfront (2)
Afternoon Coffee (1)
Live Sports (1)
Scenic View (1)
Vegan (1)
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3787 reviews
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·Dined 3 days ago

I enjoyed everything about this restaurant. My only concern was that our gumbo was just juice (no meat), but when we told our server she quickly whisked it away and returned with hearty bowls filled with seafood and sausage. The service was excellent, the oysters, grouper and scallops were divine. I highly recommend.

Tags: Good for Groups, Romantic, Quiet Conversation, Neighborhood Gem, Special Occasion, Casual, Good for Anniversaries, Good for a Date
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Atlanta)·Dined 3 days ago

Stopped in for a spontaneous lunch on a weekday. The bar and barkeeps are extremely good and conversation is engaging but not more than wanted. The small plates menu is exceptional and focuses on seafood that is as fresh as anywhere in Atlanta. The preparations range from simple to testing the limits. Mussels shakshuka is a big change from mussels, white wine and garlic. The large plates are also great but it's a small commitment with a small plate to try something different.

Not many restaurants in Atlanta that can bring you back time and time again. It was our 8th or 9th time but not the last.

Tags: Business Meals, Handcrafted Cocktails, Worth the Drive, Fit for Foodies, Great for Lunch, Vibrant Bar Scene
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service5
value4

 
 (Atlanta)·Dined 4 days ago

Excellent overall

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

 
·Dined 4 days ago

We loved our dinner and the help was great. The only detail was that we sat behind the bar
on the street side,t was very cold outside and even though there was a sign on the door, people
continued to enter. Everyone around us was cold and irritated. The waiter tried very hard to deal with it, but clearly no one can read. I understand the door cannot be locked because of fire rules, but I think it would be worth your while to find a creative way to solve the
problem so that it doesnt affect your business.
We were actually somewhat amused and concerned that people could be so dense. We came that way ourselves when we arrived, read the sign and then came around the front. Hope you can figure something out.
Thanks for a great evening. We are from the bay area and the experience was right up there with our favorites in this neck of the woods. Karen

Tags: Tapas, Casual, Late-night Find, Handcrafted Cocktails, Spicy, Worth the Drive
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience4
service4
value4

 
 (Atlanta)·Dined 4 days ago

We had a beautiful birthday meal. We both had the Swordfish, which was described as the most popular meal, and it was a "home run." It was one of the best fish dishes we have ever had. Our appetizers and dessert were very good. The service was exceptional. We were enchanted with this restaurant, and will certainly come back.

Tags: Neighborhood Gem, Good for Birthdays, Creative Cuisine, Good for Anniversaries
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service5
value4

 
 (Atlanta)·Dined 5 days ago

Was trying to find the best seafood in Atlanta. I think we got what we wanted and then some. A very unique and exsquistic meal. Too delightful. Highly recommended.

Tags: Business Meals, Handcrafted Cocktails, Good for Birthdays, Special Occasion, People Watching, Good for a Date
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Atlanta)·Dined 5 days ago

Excellent service and wonderful food!

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience5
service4
value4

vip
 (Dallas)·Dined 5 days ago

Great from cocktails to dessert! FABULOUS fish.

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

 
 (Atlanta)·Dined 5 days ago

Excellent as always! Our favorite in Atlanta!! Our first choice

Tags: Special Occasion, Comfort Food, Notable Wine List, Good for a Date
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
·Dined 5 days ago

I drove from Nashville, TN to try The Optimist and it was everything I expected and more! The ambiance was nice. The food and drinks were immaculate. I would definitely make that drive again!

Tags: Good for Anniversaries, Authentic, Good for a Date
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Atlanta)·Dined 5 days ago

Awesome eatery in Atlanta. The freshness of the seafood is why I continue to dine here. Everything on there menu is better than most seafood restaurants in Atlanta. Try it once and you will see you will come back.

Tags: Local Ingredients, Authentic, Good for a Date, People Watching, Good for Groups
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Atlanta)·Dined 6 days ago

My family had a wonderful meal here. Since taking them to The Optimist a few years ago, they always insist on returning during each visit.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Atlanta)·Dined 6 days ago

On a recent date night, my partner and I had an excellent meal at The Optimist. The bar scene can be lively with good reason - they'll mix you a fine cocktail. The food and service did not disappoint, either. In all, a fine place for an evening out.

Tags: Good for a Date, Great Beer, Quiet Conversation, Good for Birthdays, Hot Spot, Fit for Foodies
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Atlanta)·Dined 6 days ago

Good menu food and service worth while dinner. A little pricy, but not extreme.

Tags: Happy Hour, Creative Cuisine, Fit for Foodies, Good for a Date
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience4
service4
value3

vip
 (New Orleans)·Dined 7 days ago

Wonderful service & incredible meal.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on January 11, 2018

Leo was wonderful server and food outstanding!

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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (New England)·Dined on January 10, 2018

One of the most amazing seafood dinners I’ve ever had! Swordfish braised in Duckfat was great. The octopus appetizer was very unique (in a good way). Fusion hot sweet with a lightly fried crispy batter. Amazing. Great vibe. Will define be back the next time we are in Atlanta

Tags: Paleo Friendly, Romantic, Notable Wine List, Casual, Bar Seating, Creative Cuisine, Fun
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value4

vip
 (New York Area)·Dined on January 10, 2018

Absolutely fabulous

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

vip
 (Houston)·Dined on January 8, 2018

Mika, our server, was fantastic! So friendly, informative and fun.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Atlanta)·Dined on January 8, 2018

This is our 4th trip to The Optimist. Excellent, fresh off the boat seafood. Good service and fun place to dine.

Tags: Fit for Foodies
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service5
value4

 
 (New Orleans)·Dined on January 8, 2018

Great fresh and creative seafood served by an optimistic staff. Fresh seafood at its best.

Tags: Fun, Healthy
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience3
service5
value3

 
·Dined on January 7, 2018

My husband has been wanting to go to this restaurant for a very long time. For his birthday, we finally made our way there. He enjoyed it much more than I did as he is a foodie. Me, not soo much. I have pretty strong food allergies and tend to stick to the basics. Optimist is not the restaurant for the average palette. I did enjoy the basic fish and chips on the menu.

Tags: Special Occasion, Good for a Date, Romantic
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service5
value4

vip
 (Miami)·Dined on January 7, 2018

I was not impressed. I dined at various restaurants while in Atlanta and this one left much to be desired. We ordered a few crudos, which were warm and unappetizing. We also ordered the whole octopus, while it looked cool on the plate it was undercooked. I definitely regret my $300 bill!

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food1
ambience2
service2
value1

 
 (Atlanta)·Dined on January 6, 2018

Great experience! Oysters, both raw and roasted, were outstanding. She crab soup was delicious. I would highly recommend the Mahi mahi and the scallops! My wife really enjoyed her birthday meal!

Tags: Romantic, Good for Groups, Happy Hour, Worth the Drive, Fit for Foodies, Good for a Date
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value4

vip
 (Atlanta)·Dined on January 6, 2018

And take my wife there for her birthday. The food was exceptional as was the service. Lively environment. Great place. We look forward to returning

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
·Dined on January 6, 2018

Fantastic food and experience. The salmon crudo, oysters and monkfish were very fresh and well prepared. Pleasantly surprised by the casual, yet elegant atmosphere.

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food5
ambience5
service5

 
·Dined on January 6, 2018

Service could not have been better. Food was great

Tags: Good for Groups, Casual, Vibrant Bar Scene
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service5
value4

 
·Dined on January 6, 2018

Great service, great food, and hear ambiance! Went here for a birthday, our server Craig was awesome, he had great menu suggestions and didn't linger but was always available when we needed him. We had a slew of tasty oysters but the Hearth Roasted Oyster was out of this world. Everything else was delicious with the Mahi Mahi standing out as amazing, it paired well with the crispy Brussels. Will definitely be back.

Tags: Romantic, Healthy, Good for Birthdays, Good for a Date, Good for Anniversaries, Fit for Foodies, Cozy, Hot Spot
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service5
value4

 
 (Atlanta)·Dined on January 5, 2018

So the optimist rolled out the red carpet for me affirming that it’s the go to place for seafood - and other stuff too - but especially seafood.
What I like best about this place is I ALWAYS have amazing attentive service.
Optimist always makes it right!

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Atlanta)·Dined on January 5, 2018

The food was very good, but the server was fantastic. We were there for a special occasion and it was perfect.

Tags: Bar Seating, Romantic
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Atlanta)·Dined on January 4, 2018

Sitting behind the bar on the far side of the curtains feels like being banished to Siberia. Service not as attentive as sitting in the main section. Third visit in two months. Glad this wasn’t the first or I might not have returned. Food uneven. Came out of kitchen veeery slowly. This was a Wednesday night. Our other recent visits were on busy Saturday nights, and those visits were stellar.

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food4
ambience3
service4
value3

 
 (Nashville)·Dined on January 4, 2018

Second time here and knew coming back would be a good idea and it was! Server was excellent and food superb. Monkfish had a bone it it and was not prepared for that. See you next time thx

Tags: Casual, Hot Spot, Good for Groups, Worth the Drive, Local Ingredients, Notable Wine List, Great Beer, Business Meals, Authentic, Waterfront, Special Occasion
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
·Dined on January 2, 2018

My fiancé and I had our first date at The Optimist, so naturally our first dinner out together after I proposed was at The Optimist. The staff made us feel like honored guests. This is definitely in Atlanta's top 10 restaurants and for good reason - the food is excellent and the service is top notch.

Tags: Special Occasion
1 person found this review helpful.
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Orlando)·Dined on January 1, 2018

Excellent food. The ambiance is also great. Our servers name was Lisa and she was incredible, very friendly and offered great suggestions. Highly recommend the scallop ceviche, grilled octopus and scallop entree!

Tags: Happy Hour, Business Meals, Handcrafted Cocktails, Creative Cuisine, Good for a Date, Worth the Drive, Good for Anniversaries, Neighborhood Gem, Romantic, Good for Birthdays, Special Occasion
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Atlanta)·Dined on January 1, 2018

New Years Eve meal was outstanding! The service was phenomenal. In our top 5 best restaurant meals ever!

Tags: Good for Groups, Seasonal, Good for Birthdays, Creative Cuisine, Good for a Date, Pre/post Theatre, Casual, Good for Anniversaries
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service5
value4

vip
 (Atlanta)·Dined on January 1, 2018

An excellent setting for New Years Eve. The service was excellent. The food was amazing. I enjoyed the ambiance. It is important to sit in the main room and not the front area facing the road.

Tags: Bar Seating, Neighborhood Gem, Romantic
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Atlanta)·Dined on January 1, 2018

A little mix up with seating but it was rectified by the service Manager Ray and the evening was fantastic!
Will Definitely return!

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food4
ambience5
service5
value4

 
·Dined on January 1, 2018

We went for New Year’s Eve (my first time there, my husband had been for business). We had a corner booth which was perfect for us- we could talk without shouting, and could people watch. The prixe fixed meal had enough variety and we chose the wine pairing option. Our waitress was outstanding.

Tags: Business Meals, Fun, People Watching, Good for Groups
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
·Dined on January 1, 2018

I went here with my significant other for New Years Eve. 7 pm reservation, arrived at 6:50. I was told they were still working on a table, which was totally understandable considering we were early. At about 7:15, after watching 4 separate sets of couples come in and sit right down (presumably with 7 o'clock reservations), a hostess came over and asked me to confirm the name on the placeholder. After repeating my name, I was met with a look and tone of skepticism. My face has never hidden emotion and apparently my visible annoyance was recognized and a host brought us over 2 cocktails. Nice gesture. We finally were seated around 7:30. Nice atmosphere inside, great food, and the waiters are fantastic. Its just a shame the pseudo gatekeepers left a taste of disrespect in my mouth after what was otherwise a nice meal. Won't be going back.

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food4
ambience4
service3
value3

 
 (Atlanta)·Dined on December 30, 2017

It was our first time to visit The Optimist and was our wedding anniversary. Everyone from the front hostess staff to the wait staff was incredible and made the occasion extra special. Our server Carolyn did an exceptional job explaining and recommending the various courses. The Optimist made our very special day even more special!

Tags: Romantic, Creative Cuisine, Worth the Drive, Good for a Date, Good for Anniversaries
1 person found this review helpful.
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value4

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