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.

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) 355-5311 ext. 212

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.

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

4.5

value

4.1

noise

Moderate

94% would recommend it to a friend

Good for a Date (119)
Fit for Foodies (119)
Special Occasion (100)
See All
Creative Cuisine (91)
Good for Birthdays (79)
Good for Anniversaries (73)
Worth the Drive (70)
Hot Spot (69)
Modern Decor (66)
Bar Seating (66)
Open Kitchen (61)
Romantic (59)
Handcrafted Cocktails (55)
Good for Groups (54)
Business Meals (52)
Neighborhood Gem (47)
Vibrant Bar Scene (46)
Fun (44)
Casual (41)
Healthy (38)
Authentic (36)
Notable Wine List (33)
Happy Hour (33)
Local Ingredients (32)
Great for Lunch (32)
People Watching (29)
Seasonal (23)
Pre/post Theatre (20)
Cozy (19)
Wood Oven (16)
Late-night Find (15)
Tasting Menu (15)
Great Beer (15)
Great for Outdoor Dining (11)
Outstanding Value (11)
Comfort Food (10)
Disabled Access (9)
Paleo Friendly (9)
Fireplace (8)
Gluten Free Options (7)
Organic (7)
Family Style (7)
Scenic View (6)
Great for Brunch (6)
Good Vegetarian Options (6)
Sunday Lunch (6)
Quiet Conversation (5)
Quick Bite (5)
Kid-friendly (4)
Tapas (4)
Private Room (3)
Vegan (3)
Molecular Gastronomy (3)
Historic (3)
Spicy (2)
Waterfront (1)
Live Sports (1)
Afternoon Coffee (1)
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3109 reviews
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 (New York Area)·Dined 3 days ago

Great ambience and efficient service, but it left a little to be desired based on its reputation and price point. Small portion sizes hurt, uneven cooking of fish at the table, but still a good triple date overall.

The open kitchen is fantastic to look at and the service staff mean well if aren't always determined when asked for recommendations.

Tags: Hot Spot, Fit for Foodies, Good for a Date, Open Kitchen
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food3
ambience5
service3
value3

vip
 (Atlanta)·Dined 3 days ago

Great lunch spot!

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

 
 (Chicago)·Dined 4 days ago

My wife & I moved to ATL a year ago & we try to eat at as many independent restaurants as possible - this may be the best restaurant I have tried since moving to the city! Our server was fantastic; she offered excellent recommendations & made the experience very enjoyable.

Tags: Business Meals, Handcrafted Cocktails, Authentic, Good for Birthdays, Hot Spot, Notable Wine List, Great Beer, Casual, Great for Outdoor Dining, Bar Seating, Special Occasion, Fun, Fit for Foodies, Good for Anniversaries, Good for a Date, Modern Decor
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Central Coast)·Dined 5 days ago

I had an Open Table reservation but still had to wait at least 15-20 min for a table. I was hosting clients, so not ideal, but manager was nice enough to buy us a round of drinks and they comped an appetizer & dessert later as well. Good food, but very noisy. We enjoyed our evening and I would recommend - just be prepared for a packed & noisy place, it's very popular right now.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience3
service3
value3

 
 (Atlanta)·Dined 5 days ago

my experience from start to finish was not good I arrived for a 7:15 pm reservation on time was seated I ordered starters and Gran Mariner on the rocks they brought me whiskey on the rocks and I had been sitting for over 20 minutes with no bread had to ask for that finally after about 40 minutes I asked if the kitchen was backed up because we still haden gotten our food and if I had know how slow they were I would have order a salad so the waiter brought us an appetizer still having to wait on the main course when it arrived they gave me my dates steak i was so disappointed in my experience.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food3
ambience3
service1
value3

 
 (Los Angeles)·Dined 6 days ago

really cool place to go have dinner with friends. very nice service and fresh food with a good ambience. would recommend this place to dine.

Tags: Casual, Authentic, Neighborhood Gem
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience4
service4
value4

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined 6 days ago

We have been there three times now. Known for great seafood and we weren't disappointed. The range of oysters comes from several states in America as well as Canada. The amberjack and halibut were nicely prepared yet kept simple. One person at the table doesn't like seafood and ordered the chicken. It came out very tender and was excellent as well. Can get a little noisy when full.

Tags: Open Kitchen
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service4
value4

 
 (Naples)·Dined 6 days ago

I've heard a lot about this place so I was excited to go and it was definitely worth it! Seafood was fresh! Delicious drinks, great service, great vibe. Even the valet guy was super nice!! Fantastic experience and I'm super picky with restaurants since I've worked in the industry, went to school for it and love to wine and dine... It says a lot :) Will be back for sure!

Tags: Neighborhood Gem, Open Kitchen, Good for Groups, Good for a Date, Hot Spot
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Atlanta)·Dined 6 days ago

The rolls are absolutely amazing. This service is great. Our server, Meka, was extremely familiar with the menu and had great recommendations for everyone from the wine to the dessert.

Tags: Handcrafted Cocktails, Modern Decor, Creative Cuisine
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Atlanta)·Dined 7 days ago

Ask for Reaghan she was awesome!

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

vip
 (Atlanta)·Dined 7 days ago

One of atlanta's best!

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service5
value5

 
 (Atlanta)·Dined 7 days ago

Best service ever!!!

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

vip
 (Atlanta)·Dined on March 18, 2017

Travis was awesome! We let him pick the food and the wine and it was amazing. Well done!

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service5
value4

 
 (Los Angeles)·Dined on March 17, 2017

Heavenly food cooked with fresh, simple ingredients, served with perfection by an amiable and attentive wait staff.

Tags: Modern Decor, Open Kitchen, Wood Oven, Romantic
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (Atlanta)·Dined on March 17, 2017

Enjoyed our meal from appetizer's to dessert. Service was attentive, Food was delicious.

Tags: Fit for Foodies
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience3
service4
value3

 
 (Atlanta)·Dined on March 17, 2017

Went for a birthday at lunch, low noise, level . We enjoyed the presentation, fresh flavors, and attentive service. Fish chowder and the key lime pie were delicious. Looking forward to visiting the Oyster Bar in the future.

Tags: Special Occasion, Fit for Foodies, Local Ingredients
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value4

vip
 (Philadelphia)·Dined on March 16, 2017

The swordfish was the best I have ever eaten! I would highly recommend it

Tags: Creative Cuisine, Fit for Foodies
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Atlanta)·Dined on March 14, 2017

Excellent dining experience. Oysters are incredibly delicious! Seafood is creatively prepared and amazingly fresh.

Tags: Good for a Date, Good for Birthdays
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service4
value4

 
 (Nashville)·Dined on March 14, 2017

I have been following The Optimist on Instagram since before I even moved to Atlanta. I have now lived here for 15 months and finally got to mark if off my ATL bucket list....and it did not disappoint one bit!! Being from Nashville (the hottest new food city), I loved the ambiance of the restaurant and the simple food done right!! And the oysters!!!! Oh my goodness- some of the best I've ever had!

Tags: Fun, Worth the Drive, Fit for Foodies, Hot Spot, Good for Groups, Pre/post Theatre, Tasting Menu, Good for Anniversaries, Good for Birthdays, Vibrant Bar Scene, Good for a Date, Creative Cuisine, Handcrafted Cocktails, Casual, Special Occasion, Romantic, Happy Hour
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (Atlanta)·Dined on March 14, 2017

Honestly, one of my favorite nights I've had since living in ATL was here. Can't miss this place. Good ole Ford Fry knows his stuff. There's a scallop dish on the menu that is a must!

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

 
 (Atlanta)·Dined on March 13, 2017

This restaurant was awesome I will come here every weekend the oysters are addictive and they are so good the service was very very well I love this restaurant anyone was contemplating going you need to go it's great!!!!!!!

Tags: Casual, Good for a Date, Great Beer, Comfort Food, Bar Seating, Kid-friendly
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Atlanta)·Dined on March 12, 2017

Wonderful dinner. Have heard great things about this place. Seafood was excellent and service was just as good. I'll surely go back. Drinks were good. Encourage getting a mixed drink from the bar... was great.

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

 
 (Atlanta)·Dined on March 12, 2017

Never disappoints! I Enjoyed the ambience and food!

Tags: Great Beer, Worth the Drive, Scenic View, Special Occasion
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Atlanta)·Dined on March 12, 2017

Should have stuck with the oyster bar and skipped the restaurant! Poor service and ordinary food made this restaurant hopping couple decide to skip The Optimist return visit. The spendy bill is better spent elsewhere in Atlanta.

Tags: Vibrant Bar Scene
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food2
ambience4
service2
value2

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on March 12, 2017

Amazing service and food for a special occasion, I'll be back soon!

Tags: Good for a Date, Modern Decor, Fun, Open Kitchen, Romantic, Creative Cuisine, Good for Groups, Bar Seating, Good for Birthdays, Fit for Foodies, Special Occasion, Good for Anniversaries
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (New England)·Dined on March 12, 2017

Everything was great from start to finish!

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Creative Cuisine
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Atlanta)·Dined on March 11, 2017

Highly recommended The Optimist!!! Our server, Melody, was AHHHMAZING! So attentive and kind, it was our anniversary and she made us feel extra special . Our food was absolutely delicious. We cannot wait to go back again!

Tags: Casual, Handcrafted Cocktails, Special Occasion, Seasonal, Fit for Foodies, Good for a Date, Local Ingredients, Worth the Drive, Neighborhood Gem, Good for Anniversaries, Creative Cuisine
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Chicago)·Dined on March 11, 2017

Our server was simply outstanding. She was extremely familiar with the menu both food and alcohol. Her recommendations were just exceptional and the service was perfection. We don't live in Atlanta, but when we come to visit this is a favorite. Our server made our daughter's birthday celebration extra special.

Tags: Good for Birthdays, Special Occasion
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Birmingham)·Dined on March 10, 2017

Risotto was not cooked properly, rice still crunchy. It was supposed to be lobster risotto but lobster was hard to find.
The oysters were the biggest disappointment. Never seen such small oysters..a total waste of $50!

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food2
ambience4
service4
value1

 
 (Western NC)·Dined on March 9, 2017

Octopus was very salty
Oysters were very good.
Snapper very ordinary

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food3
ambience4
service4
value3

 
 (México)·Dined on March 8, 2017

We had an amazing dinner and our server MEKA was off the charts fantastic! She made our dining experience a food adventure! She was thoughtful and creative with her suggestions from the menu! We love this place and can't wait to go back!! Thank you to the chefs in the kitchen for preparing a fantastic meal and to Meka for guiding us through the menu!! Awesome!!

Tags: Handcrafted Cocktails, Romantic, Notable Wine List, Creative Cuisine, Fit for Foodies, Good for a Date
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service4
value5

 
 (Atlanta)·Dined on March 7, 2017

The food was very tasty and well prepared.
The atmosphere was very dark and noisy. There was not a crowd there, but it was difficult to hear people at our own table because they sound did not carry well.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience2
service4
value4

 
 (Houston)·Dined on March 6, 2017

Great service, appetizers and oysters. The main course cooked fishes were disappointing. The taste was fine but did not live up to the hype. I could have gotten equal pleasure elsewhere. The appetizers were amazing - just popped in our mouths.

Tags: Creative Cuisine
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food3
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (Atlanta)·Dined on March 5, 2017

The best seafood restaurant I have found in Atlanta.

Tags: Worth the Drive, Bar Seating
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Atlanta)·Dined on March 4, 2017

Wonderful service, wonderful food, but loud and noisy - better for fun evening than quiet romantic dinner

Tags: Vibrant Bar Scene, Good for Birthdays, Fit for Foodies
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service5
value4

 
 (Atlanta)·Dined on March 4, 2017

This restaurant is incredible. Great food. Excellent service. Incredible staff. Would definitely recommend.

Tags: Romantic, Creative Cuisine, Happy Hour, Modern Decor, Special Occasion, Neighborhood Gem
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service5
value4

 
 (Atlanta)·Dined on March 4, 2017

We had a great dinner here !! The food was amazing and the ambience is awesome !!

Tags: Special Occasion, Worth the Drive, Fun, Good for a Date, Vibrant Bar Scene, Happy Hour
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (Atlanta)·Dined on March 4, 2017

This was our 1st time eating at The Optimist. Seafood was the choice for the weekend and we wanted something different from the ATL Fish Mrkt.

I have to say, we were impressed. The service, food, and atmosphere were all very good. The messy shrimp appetizer that others have mentioned is truly worth it. Some offerings, but not big on shellfish selection. They do have great fish selections and the ones we chose were very much to our liking.

A little pricey for every week dining but I suspect that we will be back.

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food4
ambience4
service4
value3

 
 (Atlanta)·Dined on March 4, 2017

Aside from the excellent food, the service was extremely attentive in every aspect, the best we've experienced in a while. Not overwhelming, just consistently anticipating and meeting needs. We will definitely be back!

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

 
 (Las Vegas)·Dined on March 3, 2017

The food was amazing! Some wild recipes left me wanting to order one of each. Great service. Would definitley recommend and I will be back.

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

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