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

4.6

service

4.6

ambience

4.6

value

4.1

Noise

Moderate

92% would recommend it to a friend

Good for a Date (113)
Special Occasion (95)
Creative Cuisine (93)
See All
Fit for Foodies (89)
Good for Anniversaries (76)
Worth the Drive (72)
Hot Spot (62)
Good for Birthdays (61)
Good for Groups (56)
Business Meals (53)
Fun (52)
Handcrafted Cocktails (52)
Casual (47)
Bar Seating (46)
Neighborhood Gem (46)
Local Ingredients (43)
Authentic (42)
Vibrant Bar Scene (42)
Romantic (37)
Healthy (32)
Happy Hour (31)
People Watching (31)
Notable Wine List (26)
Great for Lunch (23)
Seasonal (19)
Pre/post Theatre (18)
Comfort Food (17)
Cozy (16)
Great for Outdoor Dining (13)
Late-night Find (12)
Gluten Free Options (11)
Sunday Lunch (11)
Quiet Conversation (10)
Paleo Friendly (9)
Tasting Menu (8)
Great for Brunch (7)
Live Music (7)
Organic (6)
Good Vegetarian Options (6)
Great Beer (5)
Quick Bite (5)
Scenic View (5)
Spicy (5)
Tapas (5)
Vegan (4)
Disabled Access (3)
Kid-friendly (2)
Afternoon Coffee (1)
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3643 reviews
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 (New York Area)·Dined 3 days ago

Fantastic meal and great service. Ambiance was excellent as well.

Tags: Casual, Good for Birthdays, Fit for Foodies, Business Meals, Good for Anniversaries
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (Atlanta)·Dined 3 days ago

A very well received dinner experience

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

 
·Dined 3 days ago

Lobster roll was Devine, the french fries were hand cut and cooked to perfection. The service was attentive and personable. I can’t wait to go back !!!

Tags: Local Ingredients
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Atlanta)·Dined 3 days ago

Very good crispy oyster/deviled egg combo. Plan on a nap after the she crab soup.

Tags: Neighborhood Gem
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Atlanta)·Dined 4 days ago

Food was ok. Better the last time.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience3
service5
value2

 
·Dined 6 days ago

Best customer service They really took care of us.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value3

 
·Dined 6 days ago

The amazing seafood dishes! Very creative. Fresh. The crudos were inventive. Our fish was cooked to perfection. The scallops were some of the best I have ever had.

Tags: Cozy, Good for a Date, Good for Birthdays, Business Meals, Handcrafted Cocktails, Creative Cuisine, Quiet Conversation
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service4
value5

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined 6 days ago

Great customer service. I love the taste of the food. Not a big seafood fan but I definitely eat seafood when I come here. The oysters are amazing!
Bit pricey. But worth it!

Tags: Special Occasion, Authentic, Romantic, Good for a Date, Vibrant Bar Scene, Business Meals
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value4

 
·Dined 6 days ago

My husband and I celebrated our anniversary at THE OPTIMIST. We had a great night, excellent food and a experienced and very friendly server. Thanks for a perfect Dinner! We’ll definitely come back.

Tags: Business Meals, Scenic View, Casual, Creative Cuisine
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Western NC)·Dined 6 days ago

Not as good as usual ! Disappointed with food .. wonder why ... new chef ?

Tags: Comfort Food
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food3
ambience5
service1
value2

 
 (Atlanta)·Dined 6 days ago

My birthday meal at the Optimist was excellent. We ordered quite a bit to sample more items. Our server, Caitlin, did a fantastic job, from choosing an oyster sampling and recommending wine to pacing the meal appropriately so we could enjoy each course. We are looking forward to dining again very soon!

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

 
 (Atlanta)·Dined 6 days ago

As always, fantastic! Two of us had the halibut and it was wonderful...and one should always order the octopus appetizer!

Tags: Organic, Authentic, Creative Cuisine, Fit for Foodies, Worth the Drive, Special Occasion
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Washington DC)·Dined 7 days ago

Loved it! Can’t wait to go back when i have more room for food.

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

 
 (Atlanta)·Dined 7 days ago

The Optimist came highly recommended and rated and it delivered. From the host staff, to bar, to wait staff they all were attentive and very professional. The food itself was some of the best. We did the shell fish medley with oysters, shrimp, crab legs and lobster with ceviche and it was excellent. The oyster menu is close in quality to Kimball House offering a wide variety of the bi-valve. The very best thing, however, was probably the crunchy octopus appetizer. Next time we may just go with that as the entrée. It was incredibly tasty, crunchy and tender, all at the same time. With hardwood floors, brick walls and high barrel ceiling the acoustics are not great so expect a lot of ambient noise. Quiet it is not. But that is about the only mark I kind find against the place and that is not much as the noise gives the place a high energy vibe. Will definitely be back!

Tags: Handcrafted Cocktails, Fun, Organic, Seasonal, Vibrant Bar Scene, Authentic
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service5
value3

 
·Dined 7 days ago

Food wasn’t to my taste... table setup to close together... no privacy. Wait staff was awesome. Would not recommend for having a romantic evening.

Tags: Happy Hour, Fun, Quick Bite, Good for Groups
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food2
ambience1
service5
value2

 
·Dined 7 days ago

Dinner out with friends. I had the scallops, my wife had the halibut dish, we had a sampling of oysters with the homemade crackers along with an octopus appetizer. I tend to be a more picky eater and everything was awesome. The couple we were with had the swordfish and halibut and everyone enjoyed what they ordered. Some of the food may sound a little over the top but it all works together really well.

If you're into the craft cocktails, they have a good selection, I had the one called "Defiance" and while I'm more of a beer guy if I drink, it was very good. Very cool, hip sort of atmosphere and most of the people fit the environment as an OTP couple (outside the perimeter) we didn't feel uncomfortable at all. It was a great night out in a great setting and with excellent food and service. I would strongly recommend and look forward to going back.

Tags: Healthy, Handcrafted Cocktails, Creative Cuisine
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service5
value4

vip
 (Los Angeles)·Dined 7 days ago

Up there as one of the finest meals of my life. Oysters, Kobe steak and scallops were exceptional. Finest steak in my life without a doubt. This place is a must in Atlanta if you wish to remember your food. We celebrated my daughters birthday in style without disappointment.

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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (Charleston)·Dined 7 days ago

Great all around experience. Food was excellent and the service was attentive. Overall great attention to detail - even providing koozies for bottled beer.

Tags: Good for a Date, Special Occasion, Creative Cuisine, Bar Seating, Hot Spot, Fit for Foodies, Vibrant Bar Scene, People Watching
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Chicago)·Dined 7 days ago

A very wonderful sustainable sourced seafood meal. Thoroughly enjoyable.

Tags: Worth the Drive, Creative Cuisine, Paleo Friendly
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service4
value5

 
 (Atlanta)·Dined 7 days ago

This is our 2nd visit to The Optimist. Both this visit and the last visit we had Topher as our our server. He is by far one of the THE best servers we have ever had. He's extremely knowledgeable of the menu, he is attentive, funny and overall you can just tell that he loves his job! The food is fantastic, and in our party of 8, everyone was more than satisfied with the taste, quality and quantity. We are already planning our next visit back to The Optimist! And, you should try the octopus. It's outstanding!

Tags: Happy Hour, Good for Groups, Authentic, Fun
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Atlanta)·Dined 7 days ago

amazing selections, helpful staff, vibrant scene, and easy parking!

Tags: Handcrafted Cocktails, Good for Anniversaries, Tasting Menu, Creative Cuisine
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Atlanta)·Dined on November 11, 2017

Great, lively atmosphere and friendly service. Food was good, although it seemed a bit formulaic - dishes came out so quickly it made me wonder if everything was premade (and dishes were not hot at all). My biggest complaint was the chairs - the wooden chairs were unbelievably uncomfortable! I wish that we would have requested one of the booths that looked WAY more comfortable.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food3
ambience5
service5
value3

 
·Dined on November 10, 2017

Amazing waiter!

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

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on November 10, 2017

Every visit, great service.

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

 
·Dined on November 10, 2017

Impeccable. My favorite restaurant... i drive from Birmingham to eat here.

Tags: Special Occasion, Vibrant Bar Scene, Seasonal, Healthy, Worth the Drive, Fit for Foodies, Creative Cuisine, Quiet Conversation, Paleo Friendly, Pre/post Theatre, Good for Anniversaries, Fun, Good Vegetarian Options, Romantic, Business Meals, Hot Spot, Bar Seating, People Watching, Good for a Date, Notable Wine List, Handcrafted Cocktails
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Chicago)·Dined on November 10, 2017

Delicious seafood in a picture perfect environment. The dishes were all spot on and the wine was amazing as well. Great restaurant for just friends, a special occasion or a date. The food and drinks were so good, we moved to the bar for a final round after we'd finished dining.

Tags: Hot Spot, Good for Anniversaries, Great for Brunch, Notable Wine List, Good for a Date, Bar Seating, Good for Birthdays, Creative Cuisine
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Atlanta)·Dined on November 10, 2017

Delicious food and well worth the effort to get down there on a Thursday night with tough traffic. Got a small platter to share and the octopus appetizer very tasty and tender!

Tags: Good for Groups, Handcrafted Cocktails, Vibrant Bar Scene, Great for Lunch, Casual, Good for Birthdays, Good for Anniversaries
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience3
service5
value5

vip
 (Western NC)·Dined on November 10, 2017

Loved this restaurant! Our service was great as well as the food

Tags: People Watching, Bar Seating, Gluten Free Options, Fit for Foodies
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service5
value5

vip
 (New York Area)·Dined on November 8, 2017

The calamari is out-of-this-world delicious and the entrees are equally as amazing. Simply a tasty meal with great service to boot!

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Atlanta)·Dined on November 5, 2017

One of our favorites. Menu is interesting and fish is the freshest around. Side dishes are delicious too so order a few to share. Service is friendly and not pretentious at all. Casual but special restaurant.

Tags: Casual, Business Meals, Creative Cuisine, Worth the Drive
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Atlanta)·Dined on November 4, 2017

Great food. I have to admit I expected a little more of it. But really really great food. I had the barrelfish. My date had the scallops. Tremendous.

Tags: Healthy, Creative Cuisine, Good for Anniversaries, Good for a Date, Special Occasion, Romantic, Fun, Bar Seating, Worth the Drive, Local Ingredients, Fit for Foodies, Casual, Good for Birthdays
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (Atlanta)·Dined on November 4, 2017

We are regulars at Optimist and very pleased with the quality of the food and service.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience4
service4
value4

 
·Dined on November 4, 2017

In short, it was a wonderful experience. I made a reservation here to celebrate my wife's and my sixth wedding anniversary and it was an excellent choice.

When we first arrived and said that we had a reservation, it seemed for a moment that they were just then reading the special request I'd made when I made the reservation, but just a second later they seated us at a booth (which was more private like I'd requested) and gave us menus stamped with the message "Happy Anniversary". This was later followed by two flutes of champagne as well as a complementary plate of the pumpkin gnocchi with lobster (which was delicious, of course). In the end, they made us feel special, which is exactly what I wanted for the occasion.

It goes without saying that the food is incredible. We ordered some raw oysters, which were great, as well as some barrel fish crudo (which was similar to Peruvian tiradito, they even had aji sauce with it). Our main course consisted of scallops and crusted halibut, both dishes were cooked perfectly in terms of texture/consistency and the flavors were balanced and nuanced, definitely a meal we will remember.

Our waitress was very attentive, and two gentlemen, managers and/or owners I'm assuming, stopped by twice to check on us as well but were never intrusive or overbearing. All in all, good service.

Tags: Worth the Drive, Special Occasion, Handcrafted Cocktails
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service5
value4

 
·Dined on November 4, 2017

Food was wonderful service was exceptional could not have been more pleased with the experience of visiting this resturaunt. Definitely will be going back

Tags: Good for Anniversaries, Quiet Conversation, Creative Cuisine, Worth the Drive, Romantic, Special Occasion
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (New York Area)·Dined on November 3, 2017

Energetic atmosphere. Great food. Some patrons take casual to a ridiculous level, making the value of the place questionable. I don’t want to plan a lovely evening, drive miles to get to a restaurant, spend $$$ on food and drink to sit next to people who smell like last nights liquor and look like weekly bathers.

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food5
ambience4
service4
value3

 
 (Atlanta)·Dined on November 2, 2017

Food is constantly excellent and cocktails are amazing. The times we have been there, service is also excellent. It's a bit pricey for what it is (particularly the crudo - only a few bites for $15), but for a special occasion it's worth a little bit of a splurge.

Tags: Worth the Drive, Good for a Date, Creative Cuisine, Fit for Foodies
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value3

vip
 (St. Louis)·Dined on November 2, 2017

Some of the best food I've had. Their gumbo is definitely the best I've had. And their side of cauliflower -- not sure how they so perfectly flash-fried it, but it was astonishing.

Tags: Creative Cuisine, Worth the Drive
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Atlanta)·Dined on November 1, 2017

Always great

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service4
value4

vip
 (Atlanta)·Dined on October 31, 2017

Great restaurant, great bar. I love the seafood gumbo. We had the scallops, and Swordfish. Both were outstanding. The garlic bread with the gumbo was amazing. you need to try the the crack pie. I recommend this restaurant highly!

Tags: Business Meals, People Watching, Good for Groups, Comfort Food, Cozy
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service4
value4

 
 (Dallas)·Dined on October 30, 2017

Absolutely off-the-charts amazing. All you need to know is that you need to, MUST go. Foodie and Seafood paradise. Duck fat poached swordfish is killer, oysters are very fresh and varied. Surprise is the kale salad... get it. Service was impeccable.

Tags: Sunday Lunch, Gluten Free Options, Vegan, Vibrant Bar Scene, Local Ingredients, Healthy, Fit for Foodies, Handcrafted Cocktails, Hot Spot, Good for a Date, Good Vegetarian Options
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value3

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