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

4.7

service

4.7

ambience

4.6

value

4.2

Noise

Moderate

93% would recommend it to a friend

Good for a Date (97)
Fit for Foodies (82)
Special Occasion (81)
See All
Creative Cuisine (80)
Worth the Drive (67)
Good for Anniversaries (65)
Hot Spot (55)
Fun (54)
Neighborhood Gem (47)
Good for Groups (45)
Bar Seating (45)
Business Meals (44)
Handcrafted Cocktails (44)
Good for Birthdays (43)
Casual (41)
Vibrant Bar Scene (39)
Local Ingredients (37)
Authentic (36)
Romantic (34)
Healthy (28)
Notable Wine List (28)
People Watching (27)
Happy Hour (24)
Seasonal (22)
Comfort Food (17)
Great for Lunch (17)
Pre/post Theatre (15)
Cozy (14)
Quiet Conversation (12)
Late-night Find (12)
Great for Outdoor Dining (11)
Paleo Friendly (10)
Tasting Menu (10)
Sunday Lunch (10)
Gluten Free Options (9)
Organic (8)
Great for Brunch (6)
Great Beer (5)
Live Music (5)
Spicy (5)
Tapas (5)
Good Vegetarian Options (5)
Kid-friendly (4)
Quick Bite (3)
Afternoon Coffee (2)
Disabled Access (2)
Scenic View (2)
Vegan (2)
Live Sports (1)
Waterfront (1)
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3692 reviews
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 (Atlanta)·Dined a day ago

Birthday dinner

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
·Dined a day ago

Anniversary

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food4
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (Western NC)·Dined 3 days ago

We always enjoy stellar service and an excellent meal at the Optimist. It has become one of our go-to restaurants for special occasions and date nights.

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

 
 (Atlanta)·Dined 3 days ago

Will definitely go back!

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

 
 (Atlanta)·Dined 4 days ago

Great as always!

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

 
 (Atlanta)·Dined 4 days ago

This place is our personal favorite for Seafood in Atlanta. I love the Oysters, they do have a variety of options. The Octopus in the appetizer portion is definitely needed with it's crunchy and sweet taste. I could just eat an whole octopus. I've had the halibut here, it was a beautifully put plate to the eyes and works well with my taste buds. I devoured every part of this meal.

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food4
ambience5
service5

 
·Dined on December 3, 2017

Nice but not good for parties over 4. We were crammed in seating for 4 and there were 5 in our party. 3 out of 5 of us are over 6'2". I sat in the walkway and was bumped a few times. Service was excellent, food was very good. Will return but only with small party.

Tags: Casual, Worth the Drive, Fit for Foodies
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience4
service4
value4

vip
 (Washington DC)·Dined on December 3, 2017

Came in from out of town and found the Optimist on Opentable. We loved the vibe and the food. Awesome oysters. Our waitress with the big green hair bow was great too-can't remember her name now, but great service. Will recommend the Optimist to friends.

Tags: Hot Spot
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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

 
·Dined on December 3, 2017

Awesome service and food. Will definitely be back. Thank you.

Tags: People Watching, Hot Spot, Notable Wine List, Fun, Worth the Drive, Neighborhood Gem, Good for Anniversaries
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience5
service5
value4

vip
 (Cincinnati)·Dined on December 2, 2017

Crazy good seafood in an energetic almost boisterous warehouse space. Food is beautifully prepared and presented. Oysters were briny and perfectly fresh. The selection was impressive. A grilled octopus appetizer was presented with the whimsical flavors of Chinese strip mall sweet n sour chicken, the acidity punched up by the lovely pickled vegetables accompaniment. Sea bass crudo was tiny and lovely with a garnish of pickled wild mushroom but the finger lime was awol. Still a delight. Star of the show was the duck fat poached swordfish served with short ribs. Yes that was not a typo. In my 40 years of devotion to eating well and exploring everything from fine dining to strip mall pho joints, I have never seen anything to match this dish for sheer imagination and flawless execution. If this dish were an Olympic gymnast, it would get the perfect 10. The Optimist gets a 9.8 overall. Next time I will ask for the finger limes!

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food5
ambience4
service5
value4

vip
 (Orlando)·Dined on December 1, 2017

All courses were well presented and well prepared. Oysters were wonderful and big selection. Fish fresh, perfectly cooked and sides delicious. Gumbo was rich and savory.

Tags: Healthy, Vibrant Bar Scene, Fit for Foodies, Handcrafted Cocktails, Fun
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
·Dined on December 1, 2017

Honestly not quite up to the hype. Great seafood menu with plenty of choices, however food arrived at the table cold, desserts were sub-par. Not worth the (rather high) price.

Tags: Handcrafted Cocktails, Notable Wine List, Healthy
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food2
ambience4
service4
value2

 
 (Atlanta)·Dined on December 1, 2017

it is very noisy. The food was good, but it is very expensive

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food5
ambience2
service4
value2

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on December 1, 2017

Awesome; visiting from New Jersey. Waitstaff gave good recommendations and everything was a marvelous experience.

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

vip
 (Detroit)·Dined on December 1, 2017

Wonderful seafood and drinks!
Service was good and great choice by a friend.

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

vip
 (Atlanta)·Dined on November 30, 2017

One of my favorite restaurants in Atlanta! The Lobster Roll is amazing. Great service. Came all the way from Norcross for lunch.

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food5
ambience5
service5

vip
 (Denver)·Dined on November 30, 2017

Brett was the best server!! Definitely request his area!

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Atlanta)·Dined on November 29, 2017

Service and food was absolutely amazing! Reagan was a great server, everything was on point.

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Atlanta)·Dined on November 29, 2017

You can be assured of always being served great food. Fresh, tasty and a wonderful presentation. Have never been dissapointed. The only shortcoming is that it is a little on the loud side. Excellent place!

Tags: Organic, Creative Cuisine, Healthy, Worth the Drive, Business Meals
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food5
ambience4
service4
value5

 
 (Atlanta)·Dined on November 28, 2017

Absolutely incredible. We are Atlanta natives yet live outside of the city. We make the drive for food and entertainment often. This place stood out in every area. Can’t wait to go back!

Tags: Comfort Food, Seasonal, Local Ingredients, Authentic, Worth the Drive, Fit for Foodies, Creative Cuisine, Kid-friendly, Special Occasion, Good for Groups, Fun
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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

vip
 (Atlanta)·Dined on November 26, 2017

Had a great dinner with and old friend. She had never been there before and I wanted to show off one of my favorite restaurants. Our server, Nick, was very informative and explained each detail of the menu. We’ll be back!!

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Atlanta)·Dined on November 26, 2017

Awesome as usual!!

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

 
 (Atlanta)·Dined on November 26, 2017

The Optimist never disappoints. Great food, service and atmosphere.

Tags: Special Occasion, Neighborhood Gem, Happy Hour, Good for Anniversaries, Romantic, Good for Groups, Authentic, Fit for Foodies, Good for Birthdays, Pre/post Theatre, Great Beer, Good for a Date, Bar Seating, Fun, Notable Wine List, Casual, Worth the Drive, Hot Spot, Cozy
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value3

 
 (Jacksonville)·Dined on November 25, 2017

Ten Year Old Oysters! They were Awsome.

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
·Dined on November 25, 2017

This is a good restaurant, great starter with the rolls( awesome) very good appetizers (spicy shrimp and crispy oysters) but my main entree was a big let down, ordered the fish and chips and it was so so. The fish portion was huge but that was the problem, fish and chips are meant to be eating by hand so smaller pieces are much better than one big piece of fish that was the size of really big sandwich, had to use fork and the batter was thick and not crispy, almost corn dog style. Chips were way over cooked, just a bad experience with this dish. I will give them another try just to make sure it was just the dish, my wife had the kale salad and it was nothing special, Houston’s kale salad is much better.

Tags: Good for a Date
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food3
ambience5
service5
value3

 
 (Atlanta)·Dined on November 25, 2017

Our dining experience was amazing, everything we ordered was splendid!

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food5
ambience5
service5

 
·Dined on November 23, 2017

Food was excellent but the service made the experience. Mark was fabulous and will request him next visit.

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Sacramento)·Dined on November 22, 2017

Went for my wife’s bday, and Service and food were amazing! One of the finest restaurants you’ve ever been too!!

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Washington DC)·Dined on November 21, 2017

Amazing as always!

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food5
ambience5
service5

 
·Dined on November 21, 2017

The atmosphere was perfect and the service even better for a very nice dinner to celebrate birthdays of my twenty something kids.

Tags: Good for Anniversaries
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience5
service5
value4

vip
 (Atlanta)·Dined on November 20, 2017

Can hardly hear yourself talk. Too noisy. In restaurant. That’s the only complaint.

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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

 
·Dined on November 20, 2017

The food was fantastic, the place was laid out well, but the service was the best I have ever had in Atlanta.

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

 
·Dined on November 20, 2017

Visited this restaurant for the first time. This is one of the best places i've been to. Food was delicious, staff was extra wonderful, and atmosphere was pleasant. I would recommend this to anyone looking for a good time, wanting to eat good food, and most importantly, have a pleasant experience...love it!

Tags: Notable Wine List, Good for Groups, Worth the Drive, Sunday Lunch, Late-night Find, Creative Cuisine
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (Atlanta)·Dined on November 19, 2017

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 on November 19, 2017

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 on November 19, 2017

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 on November 19, 2017

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 on November 19, 2017

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 on November 18, 2017

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 on November 18, 2017

My birthday celebration second time in this restaurant. Best selection of oysters in Atlanta. Outstanding service. Great atmosphere.

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

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