The Optimist

4.8
4215 reviews
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$31 to $50
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Seafood
Top Tags:
  • Good for a Date
  • Fit for Foodies
  • Creative Cuisine
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
Dining Style
Casual Elegant
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Cuisines
Seafood
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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
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Phone number
(404) 477-6260
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Payment options
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Casual Dress
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Neighborhood
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Cross street
8th Street
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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.
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Special events & promotions
Please contact our Events Department at events@fordfry.com for special event information.
Additional
Banquet, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, BYO Wine, Corkage Fee, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Non-Smoking, Outdoor dining, Private Room, Wine
What 4215 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
4.7
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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5.0Dined a day ago

Great experience as always. I was a little surprised the waiters didn’t know what type of oysters they were serving, But that is just nitpicking.

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5.0Dined 2 days ago

One of our favorite Atlanta restaurants....great service, great food and great ambience. We will definitely go back!

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5.0Dined 3 days ago

Service was excellent. Our waiter was very attentive. Great timing on the food as well as recommendations.

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5.0Dined 4 days ago

This restaurant nails it. I am never disappointed with this restaurant. The food is simply outstanding! I also love the craft drinks they make. Overall, I think this is one of the best restaurants in ATL!

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5.0Dined 5 days ago

We celebrated Fathers Day at The Optimist. We will definitely be back. We shared the medium platter between the 3 of us. The Octopus ceviche was incredible. Frankly everything was great. The smoker chowder was fantastic. The service was top notch. They even went to a sister restaurant down the street to get us out favorite wine. We can’t wait to go again.

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5.0Dined 5 days ago

The food is so yummy!

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5.0Dined 5 days ago

This was a Father’s Day dinner... It was amazing!

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5.0Dined 5 days ago

Love this restaurant for variety of food. They have good choices for kids too and the miniature golf outside keeps kids happy when dinner is over.

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5.0Dined 6 days ago

We had an excellent experience at The Optimist. The food was exceptional. Everything g was prepared uniquely and perfectly. Our server, Taylor, was personable and made excellent recommendations. The wine list had unique offerings, the atmosphere was inviting. We really enjoyed it and would come back again from Roswell.

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5.0Dined 6 days ago

We celebrated Father's Day at the Optimist this past weekend and everything from the drinks, to the food (ESPECIALLY THE FOOD), to the service was top-notch. The oysters and fish are fresh and the cocktails delightful.

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5.0Dined 6 days ago

Amazing service and delicious food. Highly recommended.

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4.0Dined 6 days ago

Went with my 84yo dad and 8yo daughter. Everyone was very happy, which isn’t easy with the wide range. Service was great and food was absolutely delicious!

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5.0Dined 6 days ago

The Optimist is consistently among the top 2 seafood restaurants in Atlanta. Their oyster list is varied (a bit pricey but in the market--try the Alabama farmed choice, Isle Dauphine for flavor and value). The bar staff is exceedingly competent and never too busy to interact with the time they have. Our favorite location is the bar bar. The raw bar is a little less user-friendly, but if no other seating is available it is better to sit there than most any other restaurant. In spite of the warm weather, the gumbo and crispy oysters was a great way to enjoy the evening. The whole grilled branzino and half-shell oysters made up the second dinner. We have never been disappointed in probably 7 or 8 visits and look forward to coming back every time.

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5.0Dined on June 15, 2018

Delicious seafood and great service!

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5.0Dined on June 14, 2018

The noise level was quite high and made conversation difficult. Otherwise all was very good.

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5.0Dined on June 14, 2018

This restaurant is always a favorite. Food/atmosphere/service are consistently top notch. The fried rice is so good!

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5.0Dined on June 14, 2018

My server was amazing just she just moved from Texas
She was very attentive and sweet

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3.0Dined on June 14, 2018

The Octopus Appetizer was excellent. The Shrimp dish was very slight with three heads on shrimp for $$. The Server was very attentive. The noise level was too loud. Drinks were flowing at the table beside us and the table party's volume became deafening and obnoxious.

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5.0Dined on June 13, 2018

Always awesome!

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5.0Dined on June 13, 2018

Another great dinner at The Optimust, Our server Eli made our evening !

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5.0Dined on June 13, 2018

Exceptional service! Wonderful food. Calamari was outstanding.

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5.0Dined on June 11, 2018

As always, The Optimist was fantastic. I would 10/10 recommend.

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5.0Dined on June 10, 2018

Excellent food and service. I had the scallop crudo and seared scallop entree. The crudo was incredibly fresh and well-seasoned, although the peanuts were absolutely unnecessary and hid the delicately sweet flavor of the raw scallops. The seared scallop entree was perfect - buttery and crunchy on the outside, medium-rare on the inside. Waiter was wonderful.

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5.0Dined on June 10, 2018

It was a nice place for a date and the food was just okay

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5.0Dined on June 9, 2018

Our waiter Topher was superb! Great experience!

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4.0Dined on June 9, 2018

Good food but not worth the price. A lobster roll for $32! Rip off.

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5.0Dined on June 9, 2018

Excellent seafood. Very helpful waiters. Good food and service. Loud.

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5.0Dined on June 8, 2018

Food is amazing! Staff and service exceptional!

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5.0Dined on June 8, 2018

Some of the best food I have eaten. Had the Black Grouper which was perfectly seared and accompanied by a wonderfully creamy sauce which I presume is the Carolina gold.

There seems to be some influence of Louisiana cuisine. The corn milk hush puppies “beignet“ style we’re presented like beignets at Cafe du Monde. They were light, crispy, sweet and the maple butter made them even more savory.

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5.0Dined on June 7, 2018

Food is always excellent! Service was fantastic. Our waitress was out of this world awesome

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2.0Dined on June 7, 2018

I had the lobster salad and it was overwhelming with the dressing. For $29 the lobster which is not that tasteful anyway was even less than tasteless. The waiter were so nice and accommodating and I told him what I thought about the salad he was thoughtful and said he would carry forward my message

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5.0Dined on June 6, 2018

A wonderful dinner! The dinner rolls covered in butter were warm and so good. Everything ordered was delicious. We had a scallop ceviche, a grouper entree, and the swordfish and short ribs. Some of the best swordfish ever. Added sides were the fried rice and hush puppies. Oh my so yummy. We shared the key lime pie and announced it well worth the calories. We highly recommend the Optimist.

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4.0Dined on June 5, 2018

This is the second time I've been to The Optimist recently, and I've had the pleasure of interacting with Melody both times. She is amazing! Guest service is #1 and she makes great recommendations.

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5.0Dined on June 5, 2018

The food was very tasty and prepared in good time.

The octopus appetizer was amazing and glad to hear we can get a whole one prepared the same way. They have good selection of oysters, too.

Our entrees were as good as i have had anywhere in Atlanta and i entertain quite a bit.

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4.0Dined on June 5, 2018

Nice, open and fun place with daily menu with interesting, great options

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4.0Dined on June 3, 2018

My oysters came without being told which ones were which. My friends card was charged at another table and her card was given to someone else.

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5.0Dined on June 3, 2018

The Optimist offers a variety of options for the diner who enjoys seafood. The oyster bar is a more casual environment with excellent happy hour options. On the other hand, the restaurant provides a finer dining experience. The service is wonderful, and the staff is helpful and friendly. I highly recommend dining at The Optimist.

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5.0Dined on June 3, 2018

Wonderful experience with amazing food! Don’t skip dessert, it’s a perfect finish.

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4.0Dined on June 3, 2018

Definitely in my top 3 restaurants around the world.

These guys can make any fish or seafood like you would never expect it.

The noise level is the only negative point... but it is a big one.

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5.0Dined on June 2, 2018

What's not to like? Great service, interesting and meticulously prepared seafood (including a great selection of oysters), and a lively, hip scene. Definitely coming back.

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