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
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
$31 to $50
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
$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.
Private Party Facilities:
The Optimist has a variety of event spaces that include bar events, restaurant buy outs, private dining up to 20 guests, semi-private dining for up to 50 guests.
Private Party Contact:
Abigail Pietrobon: 404-355-5311x212
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 firstname.lastname@example.org for special event information.
The Optimist Ratings and Reviews
We waited for months to get a reservatio ...
We waited for months to get a reservation on a night that worked. I finally got this one weeks in advance for my husbands birthday. The restaurant was almost empty. They ran out of the dish that both of us were going to order by 7:00 pm. We opted for other dishes that were mediocre. Super disappointed. Won't be back.
We have wanted to try Optimist for some ...
We have wanted to try Optimist for some time, and were pleased on our 29th wedding anniversary. Special touch was greeting us with glasses of sparkling Chardonnay (very yummy, and special way to begin the evening). My husband had the seafood chowder and tuna poke for appetizer and it was very good. I had the she crab soup which was served cool and non-impressive (but I have trouble finding good she crab soup outside of Charleston, SC). Both of our fish entrees were very good, and hush puppy beignets were truly special. Ambiance and service were great!
We made reservations to celebrate my son ...
We made reservations to celebrate my sons 20th birthday. Service and food was very good! When I called, I requested a table "off to the side" for a semi-private and quieter evening; we were placed directly in front of the kitchen... very disappointed. Other than it being too loud to enjoy a decent conversation, we had a nice celebration.
The gumbo was watery . I got one oyster ...
The gumbo was watery . I got one oyster and 2 pieces of sausage and broth . No rice and the soup part watery not thick like a stew. Both main courses came out very under cook and the water spilled my wine and broke the glass every wherr
Food and service off the charts. Needed ...
Food and service off the charts. Needed a lunch spot for a business meeting. They delivered HUGE. Quiet location, server didn't rush us. But when we did want our meal or beverages she was on the ball. Cant say enough...oh, did I mention the Octopus was amazing?! Well it was!
The food was just outstanding! We order ...
The food was just outstanding! We ordered a variety of oysters from the menu, all of which were very fresh and clearly of high quality. Additional appetizer/meal orders were well-prepared and delicious as well. There are only two areas where I was left disappointed: our server was very attentive to us when we arrived but shortly after our initial orders she was rarely coming to check on us, which I found to be odd . Additionally, the booth seats seem to be comfortable, but I was seated in a chair, which was very rigid and highly uncomfortable. I left the restaurant with an aching back, which took away from the pleasant experience I was having with tasting such great food. That was disappointing, along with the drop in level of service.
What a surprise! I love this area of tow ...
What a surprise! I love this area of town! The food was so good. We had an excellent waiter and he suggested our apps, which were very good. I was interested in the Bass but not sure if it would be a strong fish. His explanation was perfect and the meal was to die for. Our wine selection was perfect. I love the loft feel for this urban find!!
Been a minute since I've been here. Must ...
Been a minute since I've been here. Must be a new chef. I remember the octopus being the best ever; poached in port wine and grilled to perfection. Not this time. Overwhelmed with herbs, mushy vs firm but tender, charred ends of the tentacles were actually burned. The she crab soup used to be a very tasty froth. Now it's she crab soup, it's good but not as close to the taste and quality of the froth. The Georgia shrimp were head on and a mess to peel. The meat stuck to the shells. I'd prefer they deshell before cooking. I ordered the snapper for my entre. I expected a whole fish. I got a square filet. It was over seasoned with salt on the skin side but the meat was pretty good. The oysters were great! I may come back for the oyster happy hour but not for dinner.
Our server was delightfully efficient an ...
Our server was delightfully efficient and despite being very busy paced our meal very well. We started with oysters which we were disappointed that- on an early Saturday night- they were already out of both west coast varieties. We also ordered the poke which the ahi tuna was of great freshness and quality but the poke as a dish was basically tuna in a pool of super salty soy sauce.
Next we ordered the charred octopus.The Indian/middle eastern flavors of mint and garlic were delicious but the large tentacles were extremely tough and chewy. We also had the toasted baby eggplant with black garlic sauce to go with the octopus dish and found the eggplant to be inconsistent. There are 3 different varieties of baby eggplant in this dish some smaller pieces cooked beyond recognition and other larger ones barely cooked at all. We wanted one more cocktail before our paying the bill were told they just ran out of the gin we like. So, we had high hopes that there would be more refinement with the seafood preparations at the Optimist but ultimate left disappointed in the food.
My and I chose The Optimist for her birt ...
My and I chose The Optimist for her birthday dinner. It was a very unique atmosphere, an open warehouse feel, slightly noisy, industrial very clean. Prices ranged from $20-30 per person. Our waiter was awesome, very helpful and attentive. My wife picked scallops ($30) and had no complaints. I went with fish and chips ($21), which were good but the fish was too heavily fried. I took half the batter off which made it better. Mississippi mud cake was a phenomenal dessert. Overall experience was great, but at $21, my dish was disappointing.
Great first experience with wonderful se ...
Great first experience with wonderful service and good food. We ordered the octopus app and is was very different but not bad. The wild rice meal with all the seafood was delicious but a lot of work to peel the shrimp. Dessert was the best part of the meal! Amazing!
our experience at the optimist was excel ...
our experience at the optimist was excellent - although one of the main dishes were less than expected ( at best average vs excellent), the manager, gabriel, more than compensated with his attention and offer to prepare something different. the wait staff and especially gabriel were highly professional in their care and attention.
This had been on my Atlanta bucket list ...
This had been on my Atlanta bucket list for a while and it was as I expected. The charred octopus and the PB&J Cheesecake were absolutely phenomenal. The oysters were fresh and flavorful and the service was absolutely top notch.
The Optimist used to be my favorite rest ...
The Optimist used to be my favorite restaurant in Atlanta. Since Adam Evans left, the food has gone downhill. My last visit I had to send back the octopus (my favorite dish there) which was supposed to be charred and was raw. We were there for over 2 1/2 hours waiting on our food. We had to ask about our main courses. This visit, the food was just mediocre. I had the georgia apples salad and the mahi, both of which I would not order again. In addition, the overall ambiance is not what it used to be. The very loud fire alarm went off for almost 20 minutes (there was no fire) which I realize it out of their hands. I was not expecting anything but it would have been nice for them to offer a dessert or something since we could not talk over the noise. The Optimist needs to go back to its roots and cook amazing seafood properly. Hopefully once they hire a new chef, this will happen.
I highly recommend the Optimist. We live ...
I highly recommend the Optimist. We live far OTP and I travel throughout the world, so I am not typically interested in driving an hour plus for dinner. I get great food everywhere else and let Atlanta just be my casual comfort food guilty pleasure. I also work with the largest multi concept restaurant operator in the Country. The Optimist is well worth the visit. The tuna poke, ceviche, amberjack, Mahi, several sides - not one miss. All great. Only thing I would change is ease up on the salt on the yeast rolls, and I LOVE salt.
I love this restaurant. I was disappoi ...
I love this restaurant. I was disappointed in my last visit basically because my Swordfish was served cold. I love that dish and ate it all - but compared to my past visits, I was not super happy.
I did not bring it to our servers attention because I was in the midst of a business deal and was not going to make any sort of fuss and risk losing a deal. I only pray the other four meals were served hot to my clients!
Our server was fantastic - I know she would have made it right...
Had a tremendous time dining at The Opti ...
Had a tremendous time dining at The Optimist. It was very cozy and relaxing. Very accommodating and vibrant. The staff was great! Loved the service and enjoyed the food. The experience was memorable and I'd go back anytime!
Great location for those staying in Down ...
Great location for those staying in Downtown Atlanta. Great seafood selections and menu has the extra special unique items that bring me back. Chowder and oysters are great! Scallops the best.
Don't mess them culinary gem!
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