The Optimist

4.8
5132 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 5132 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
95% of people would recommend it to a friend
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GE
Birmingham
4 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We had a great experience at The Optimist. The oysters were very fresh and tasty. The crab soup and the gumbo were both fantastic. The hilight of the meal was probably the hush puppies. Definitely try the chocolate chess pie to cap off your night.

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

If you are looking for a great restaurant for relax with your friends and business partners, this is it.

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R
Nashville
2 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

My husband took me here for my birthday and it was perfect! Exceptional service, delicious food and trendy ambiance. So happy to hear you’re coming to our hometown - Nashville! ❤️

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MH
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 5

Excellent food, but service was slow (which our server acknowledged).

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

Wonderful evening and the service was excellent from the moment we arrived until the evening came to an end!

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M
Atlanta
18 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

A very good restaurant. The oysters were quite tasty and good and cold.

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

In town for work and yelp led us here- could not have been better!!! Will make a point to eat here every time I’m in ATL! Great oyster selection and every one I ate was super clean, cold, and delicious.

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

We love Optimist. My only contention is the white wine list. I’m allergic to red so favor Chardonnay . The Optimist Chard list is... wanting. How about one or two big oaky Chards? We all don’t enjoy the trendy fruity blends.

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C
New York Area
10 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 3

The toast appetizer was delicious. The food is quite rich

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

Outstanding as always. My wife convinced me to try the octopus and it was delicious.

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AG
Atlanta
3 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 3food 3service 2ambience 3

Service was very slow. We needed bread and drinks. So loud we could not hear. Food was too salty. Ive had better at this restaurant.

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

Great Service

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L
Birmingham
1 review
Dined 7 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We went for my husband’s birthday! What a great experience. Food and service was outstanding. We will be back.

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RL
Atlanta
7 reviews
Dined 7 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Everything we had was outstanding. Been many times and can’t wait to go back

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J
New York Area
1 review
Dined 7 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The restaurant's interior is beautiful. The food is amazing and so fresh. We really enjoyed our meal here!

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AJ
Atlanta
1 review
Dined 7 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Food was delicious! Our server was fantastic. I just wished that our table could have been more private. It was our anniversary, which they acknowledged a few times. But our table was so close to the next table, it was hard to talk to each other.

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

I love the Optimist so much and have been so many times. The food is always fresh and delicious and the service always great. The noise can be on the loud depending on where you sit.

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W
Atlanta
7 reviews
Dined 7 days ago
Overall 3food 4service 4ambience 4

Always enjoy dining at The Optimist. My wife and I shared some perfectly fresh oysters, smoke fish dip, grilled octopus and the Redfish entree, which was exquisitely prepared. With one exception the hand crafted cocktails were awesome. I was, however, served what I considered to be the worst Manhattan possibly ever mixed. I was given a do over but it was only marginally better. Such a head scratcher? A slight blemish to really enjoyable evening.

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D
San Francisco
7 reviews
Dined on June 8, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

Excellent food. Friendly perfect service. It was pretty cold temperature wise ... relatively close to your neighbor while eating

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L
Orlando
2 reviews
Dined on June 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Awesome experience! Nothing we tried disappointed!

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LD
1 review
Dined on June 7, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Very much a must go to for a fine night out for an special occasion. This place is pretty busy though at least on the weekend of my experience. But overall service and management was certainly attentive to everyone’s needs. Thanks for the dining!

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KG
Atlanta
6 reviews
Dined on June 7, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Lovely restaurant, Excellent food and service. I had guest in town from the DC area and took them to the Optimist for dinner. They we so impressed! We all enjoyed ourselves immensely!

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CH
New York Area
1 review
Dined on June 7, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

We were running a little late and called to say so, they front of the house were very kind about it. Leslie, our wait staff gave us a wonderful tour of the menu, and we can't wait to return.

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OT
Atlanta
1 review
Dined on June 7, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This is my third time at this restaurant. It is by far the best restaurant I have ever been to in Atlanta. The fresh oysters are some of the best I’ve ever had and I live in Florida.

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OT
Atlanta
96 reviews
Dined on June 7, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Outstanding creative menu items, great service and beautiful attention to details from beginning to end.

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MW
Atlanta
3 reviews
Dined on June 7, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Jonathan was an awesome and attentive server and our food was fantastic. Get all the bread that The Optimist makes - the hush puppies, the rolls, the bread under the shrimp. The octopus too. It was all fantastic and the bartenders were awesome too. Great place for our tenth anniversary.

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EV
Atlanta
6 reviews
Dined on June 7, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Beautiful ambiance,food was outstanding. Great find on Opentable. Will definitely visit again.

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OT
Atlanta
1 review
Dined on June 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

My birthday dinner was perfect! The seared scallops and halibut were superb! Would highly recommend The Optimist for any anniversary/date night/birthday occasion!

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J
Atlanta
29 reviews
Dined on June 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Wonderful birthday meal!

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k
Atlanta
12 reviews
Dined on June 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I have never had a bad meal at The Optimist. The service is always good, and the drinks and food are delicious. The octopus is wonderful and the lobster roll as well. I do wish they would bring back Ceviche as a starter.

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OT
Charlotte
1 review
Dined on June 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Awesome place! Can’t wait to have one in Charlotte!

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BB
Atlanta
8 reviews
Dined on June 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great Lobster-go for the Lobster Roll or the Lobster Cobb Salad

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T
Atlanta
1 review
Dined on June 4, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 3

Amazing food. The service was great. If you sit outside be prepared to be near the entrance and an outdoor area that can get a little loud. Sit inside if you prefer a quieter experience.

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OT
1 review
Dined on June 4, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

My wife and I had one of the best dining experiences here. Alissa was just delightful. Amazing recommendations. Stellar personality. Paced our meal perfectly, and knew when to give us time throughout our meal. This place had definitely become a favorite of ours!

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OT
Atlanta
1 review
Dined on June 3, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Best Lobster Cobb I have ever had!

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OT
Atlanta
1 review
Dined on June 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Content for our Ford Fry Food Tour series

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OT
Atlanta
1 review
Dined on June 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Maybe it was the occasion. Marking my seventh year in my third marriage, but it mattered. And the Optimist lived up to its reputation. I swear this was some of the best food I’ve ever eaten. Smoked.Chowder. Wow. Put a little of the homemade hot sauce in from time to time for delicious kick. Oyster sampler and accoutrements. Perfect wood fired halibut. Just wow. Thank you for a great meal. .

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CJ
New York Area
1 review
Dined on June 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

First time. The waiter explained everything about the restaurant and menu, gave great recommendations. Oysters were amazing - oyster bar had at least 15 types of oysters. Loved the little waste and recycling attitude. Relaxed but prestine atmosphere - can come in shorts or dress up. Blueberry pudding cake was to die for. Octopus had the perfect combination of crunchy yet not. Calamari had perfect seasoning and was not greasy even though it was fried. Not from the area but would definitely go again if I had the chance. 5+ stars. Perfect for every occasion. A bit pricey but everything was very fresh and well worth it.

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KS
Atlanta
19 reviews
Dined on June 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Rarely do I visit a restaurant more than once. From hundreds, maybe even thousands of restaurants to pick from in Atlanta, I always want to try a new (to me) restaurant. However, The Optimist, is definitely a "return" restaurant. I had halibut, husband had scallops, male friend had grouper and female friend had scallops. Side dishes were grilled vegetables and hushpuppies. Appetizer for each was SheCrab soup. All a delight! On my next visit I will again order the hushpuppies however without the powdered sugar. It was different and very tasty but my preference is plain or with jalapenos.

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f
Atlanta
3 reviews
Dined on June 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Amazing seafood, great service and attentive service. Celebrated a birthday. Upscale and trendy and relaxed at the same time.

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