The Optimist

4.8
4898 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

Specials

Easter Restaurant Specials & Reservations

$28 Pre Fixe Menu with choice of starter and entrée.

Sunday, April 21, 2019

What 4898 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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OT
1 review
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Food fantastic, service excellent, way too close on the tables. Don’t need to feel like I am in someone elses conversation

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k
Atlanta
11 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

I always enjoy myself at The Optimist. Lunch or dinner or oyster happy hour, the service is always perfect and friendly. Food is great. I only wish they had more ceviche options like they used to!

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OT
Atlanta
2 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great place to take friends from out of town or business colleagues. Never a disappointment. Server recommendations spot on.

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CF
Atlanta
7 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 3food 2service 5ambience 4

Scallops were tasty but cold and raw in middle. Lobster roll had great meat, but the actual bread was too hard. Oysters and Fish chowder were fantastic.

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CA
Atlanta
10 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Excellent seafood! Long wine list. Great service. Lived up to the hype-I had the endive salad and swordfish with green cauliflower & white wine

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

Great food! Staff is friendly and the atmosphere is wonderful.

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

Other than a little snafu regarding our table, everything was very good!

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

The Optimist is a little far for us and so we don’t get there as often as we should because our dinner was wonderful. Oysters, she crab soup, redfish, bronzino all fabulous.
We had a great time.

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SH
1 review
Dined 7 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We had wanted to eat here for some time and it did not disappoint. The staff even acknowledged our anniversary which was very gracious. Really delicious food; all four courses we had were excellent. Can’t wait to return.

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

Always delicious! My husbands favorite place.

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

This was probably our fifth time going and it did not disappoint again this time. The food and the oysters were fabulous!

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AW
Atlanta
1 review
Dined on March 15, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

Loved the ambiance. Food was good. Small portions and kind of pricey but very tasty! Service was great!

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OT
Dallas
51 reviews
Dined on March 15, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great first trip to the Optimist. Food was excellent. Octopus was tasty. The scallops were perfectly done. Hush puppies were addicting.

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CS
Montana
2 reviews
Dined on March 15, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

A friend recommended the Optimist. Outstanding. Had 2 dinners and one lunch in two days. Should have had a group hug for the last supper!

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k
New York Area
4 reviews
Dined on March 10, 2019
Overall 5food 3service 4ambience 5

everything was wonderful!! however my husband's fish was cold.. second time this has happened

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OT
Atlanta
2 reviews
Dined on March 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The grilled octopus was unreal.

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BH
1 review
Dined on March 9, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 2ambience 4

Service was pretty slow. Food was excellent. Noise was an issue because new guests coming in would stand behind us (we sat at the oyster bar) and carry on conversations loudly.

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WH
Atlanta
17 reviews
Dined on March 9, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 4

Excellent food. Lively crowd. Service could have been a little more attentive.

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OT
Atlanta
2 reviews
Dined on March 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Always great (and always noisy). Our fav location for seafood in Atlanta. We have been many times and will be there for many more times.

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S
Detroit
1 review
Dined on March 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Wonderful service! Wonderful food! The whole shrimp a la placha is a must have. Fun place! We were celebrating two birthdays and they went above and beyond to make them special.

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OT
Atlanta
4 reviews
Dined on March 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Consistently awesome food and ambiance.

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

One word to describe this place: Bitchin’!

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DA
1 review
Dined on March 9, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 5

Absolutely loved it but wasn’t expecting it to be so costly!

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C
1 review
Dined on March 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

A bit pricey, but excellent food/drink with great service!

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AM
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on March 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Fabulous..... we had a great time! We will definitely come back!

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s
1 review
Dined on March 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Since moving to the Atlanta area we have been searching for straight up good seafood. We found it here. The service was amazing and the bread. Omg the bread! It’s amazing. We had the Halibut & the scallops and both were cooked to perfection and the sauces were light but amazing! Don’t forget to save room for dessert. The banana cake was so yummy! Can’t wait to come back!

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L
Memphis
1 review
Dined on March 8, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 5ambience 5

She’s crab soup was too watery. It did not taste like the soup in Charleston.

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MH
1 review
Dined on March 7, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great. Had my boss in town and she thought it was great.

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B
Atlanta
55 reviews
Dined on March 6, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 3ambience 3

Tried it again for dinner and was again disappointed. The roasted oysters couldn’t be eaten by me or my wife because of a bitter aftertaste so we sent them back. Fortunately no one got sick. We each ordered a different Fish, but the preparation was so simple it was hardly worth paying for. The lobster roll, bread, fries, and desserts are good, but they really don’t measure up to a typical good fish restaurant in most other cities

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MR
Miami
3 reviews
Dined on March 6, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

Great ambiance, oysters were delish and service was good!

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TS
1 review
Dined on March 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

My group and i had an amazing experience at the Optimist. I booked the reservation and it was so efficient to walk right on in and our table is ready. We all felt as though the staff was expecting us. also, the food was amazing!!

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C
Atlanta
1 review
Dined on March 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great service. Friendly hosts and wait staff. Entrees are small and you have to get sides separately. This is the only thing I have a problem with, but if your budget allows it’s great.

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OT
San Diego
15 reviews
Dined on March 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Seafood service extraordinary. Go there!

Found on yelp

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J
Milwaukee
10 reviews
Dined on March 4, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

Third visit and best food to date. Service was very charming, but a little wonky with miscommunications between server, kitchen and support staff. They made a nice gesture of comping a couple things but would have been nicer if the manager came by to apologize.
Still, the Optimist has a lot going for it, and will be back.

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

The food was amazing

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H
Atlanta
1 review
Dined on March 4, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Loved my meal. One night in Atlanta and this is where I come every time. It never disappoints.

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RM
Atlanta
1 review
Dined on March 4, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The service was exceptional I would go back again. The food was worth the money everything had a great taste.

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p
1 review
Dined on March 4, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 2ambience 2

The Optimist is one of our favorite restaurants. Unfortunately this time around it was disappointing. Their team has always showed exceptional / top notch hospitality - this time it seemed like we were bothering our server .. maybe she had a bad day. Never thought the usual 'how are you / how's everything going' visit from the manager would be missed .. until it did not happen.

Guys - the food & dining room are great, what really matters and make you special is the hospitality ... please do not slack

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t
Charleston
36 reviews
Dined on March 3, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

The shrimp appetizer with the sopping bread was to die for!!

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OT
Atlanta
7 reviews
Dined on March 3, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Our waitress at the oyster bar and then for dinner in the main dining area were two of the best EVER !!! So sweet, kind, helpful, and made us feel so special and welcomed !!

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