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/Private Rooms, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Farm to Table, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Personal wines welcome, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies), Private Room, Wine
Special Events & Promotions:
Please contact Abigail Pietrobon at email@example.com for special event information.
The Optimist Ratings and Reviews
The food was everything and more than we ...
The food was everything and more than we could've ever hoped. My husband and I started with the Shrimp a la plancha and boy did the description fit it to a tee..."messy, but worth it." The shrimp were delicious but the bread underneath soaked in the spicy sauce might've been the best part. My husband ordered the duck fat poached swordfish and needless to say he left nothing on the plate. He was nice enough to share some of the pork belly and oh my goodness, it melted in your mouth and finished with the most familiar and scrumptious bacony, pork flavor. I ordered the New York Strip, which was as melt in your mouth good as the pork belly. All of our food was divine and the service was top-notch as well.
This was my first time dining at The Opt ...
This was my first time dining at The Optimist, the ambiance was great, the food was great, but our service was very lackluster. When we first sat down a young lady came by and provided the drinks and took our orders while giving great input about the menu. She said our waiter Kyle would be right with us. So Kyle finally makes an appearance refills our water but does not speak. Then he provides us with bread, still no dialogue. We observed him as he waited on other tables and he was very chatty and attentive. Finally after our food arrives he asks how it was....ok. Food was great, service not so much.
We attended a Women's Leadership confere ...
We attended a Women's Leadership conference in Atlanta this week. We had dinner at The Optimist on the first night in town. Our waiter Craig recommended several selections from the extraordinary Oyster Bar, the Cornmeal Crusted Snapper, and a wonderful Sauvignon Blanc for dinner. Looking back on this trip, dinner at The Optimist will be one of our favorite memories.
I have been to the Optimist many times a ...
I have been to the Optimist many times and would recommend it to anyone looking for great service , delicious food and a great atmosphere. My last visit was very special since my boyfriend asked me to marry him at the restaurant!!
We loved our experience at The Optimist. ...
We loved our experience at The Optimist. Great food and even better service. Craig was our server and made great recommendations! Top notch night.
Delicious, as always! The menu was well ...
Delicious, as always! The menu was well thought out and servings were generous. My husband and I were able to find several menu items that appealed to us and we tried them all. We also tried three cocktails - one of which has become a favorite! Just perfect.
Went there to celebrate a friend's birth ...
Went there to celebrate a friend's birthday and had a great time. It was the first time for both of us. Service, food and atmosphere were all wonderful!
Food is good. It is a foodie kind of re ...
Food is good. It is a foodie kind of restaurant. It's a little pricy.
The mussels and half chicken were absolu ...
The mussels and half chicken were absolutely phenomenal!
My boyfriend and I visited the optimist ...
My boyfriend and I visited the optimist for our first anniversary. It was an incredible experience with a casual atmosphere, knowledgeable wait staff, and outstanding seafood! We can't wait to go back!
Two persons had dinner and the tab was a ...
Two persons had dinner and the tab was almost $200.00! One appetizer and one entree with a glass of wine! The food was not good. Fish was too seasoned and mussels had a taste of bacon...do not want mussels to taste like bacon! One small dessert and it was hard as a rock... could not really eat it! This was a birthday celebration and the restaurant knew this!
I ordered the salmon, it wasn't cooked t ...
I ordered the salmon, it wasn't cooked to my liking and once I notified our waiter he had no problem taking it back and having them cook me another piece. He also notified the manager and the manager came to me and acknowledged it. They brought another order cooked to perfection! Also as we were leaving, a two man band was outside performing. We chose to order another cocktail outside and listen to the band. We thoroughly enjoyed!
Our party of four had not previously din ...
Our party of four had not previously dined at The Optimist. Among the group we had three different entrees and two different sides, and everything was outstanding.
It was difficult to enjoy the meal becau ...
It was difficult to enjoy the meal because it was so cold in the restaurant. I can't imagine staying and enjoying drinks or dessert. Disappointing.
The service was indifferent and people s ...
The service was indifferent and people seemed bored with their jobs. I was expecting a special occasion vibe but it did not deliver. The food was good but at that price, it just met expectations. I will not be in a rush to go back. A big letdown from my previous visits.
I've been here before when in AtL; just ...
I've been here before when in AtL; just a great location. The food selection and quality is outstanding and the service is equally fine. The staff appears genuinely committed to providing a great experience.
Nice place to meet folks for dinner. O ...
Nice place to meet folks for dinner. One of my favorites.
Excellent meal and this was our first vi ...
Excellent meal and this was our first visit (but won't be the last). We had the mahi-mahi and the salmon and both were prepared perfectly.
Oysters and Jambalaya were superb. Great ...
Oysters and Jambalaya were superb. Great dinner and highly recommend to anyone
My boyfriend and I really enjoyed our di ...
My boyfriend and I really enjoyed our dinner at The Optimist! He took me out for my birthday and it was a great experience. He had the Shrimp a la Plancha and I had jambalaya. Both were delicious and filling. Our server, Craig, was great and attentive to our needs. Also, try the Cloudy Daun!
The optimist served me the best meal I'v ...
The optimist served me the best meal I've eaten since my 3 years living in Atlanta. From oysters, to apps, to cocktails, to the entrees, to dessert, everything was a 10!
My son and i had dinner before a concert ...
My son and i had dinner before a concert. It was our first time dining here. The food was excellent, the service was great. We will definitely return. It would be nice if valet parking was free.
Excellent place to eat. Atmosphere is sp ...
Excellent place to eat. Atmosphere is spot on and the food is top notch. The Swordfish is excellent and the fried rice was like seeing the hand of God...
Went there for anniversary with the bride.
Sat at the bar and soooo glad we decided to do so. James was very attentive, helped us navigate the menu and showed us his great skill with a signature cocktail. Highly recommended.
Great seafood and energetic ambiance. T ...
Great seafood and energetic ambiance. The by-the-glass wine list (especially whites) is remarkable.
If you have a lot of money - go to Optim ...
If you have a lot of money - go to Optimist. Great restaurant - delicious food with average service. But, very expensive. If you have the dough - GO!
The Optimist is the go to date spot for ...
The Optimist is the go to date spot for my wife and I. The food is great and so is the service. They just added a ridiculously good jambalaya to the menu and a strawberry ice box pie that has to have been sprinkled with unicorn dust! You can't go wrong with any of Ford Fry's joints!
The Optimist, with its seafood bar offers a great selection. I especially like the card they bring to the table that has a selection of raw oysters to choose from. The food is nicely presented, although the fish has been too overcooked and dry every time I have gotten it...three times, now.
To start it off with a positive note, the oysters are some of the freshest in Atlanta, I would go back for just raw oysters. The craft cocktails are great and the appetizers are delicious. If I ever go back, I'll stick to the apps, our main courses were very disappointing. My mom had the fish and chips, she said there was a lot of thick, doughy breading, she barely touched it. I ordered the mahi mahi with lemon and olive oil for $26, and it was just a piece of fish, absolutely nothing came with it, you have to pay for your side! Waaaaayyyy over priced. So we ordered some appetizers and a main course for just 2 people and it took 3 hrs on a Monday night! If I ever do go back, I'll stick with the oysters, they were fantastic.
Amazing quality and presentation. Chargrilled octopus as a starter was a big hit. The Mahi Mahi main was one of the freshest I have ever had. We will be back as this place is alive with sight, sound and quality. The aroma of the wood-fired oven just adds to the experience. Do yourself a favor and plan an evening with your significant other.
Enjoyed the experience
Tried the Optimist for the first time this past weekend. The dining area is large but despite the full-house the noise level was manageable for a conversation. Server was professional and friendly. The oyster selection was very good albeit a bit high on the prices. Whole haddock entree was excellent. Swordfish was slightly overcooked. Refills on cocktails and wine took too long to be delivered. This is a common problem for restaurants that do not have a separate service bar for the waiters to use for the guests seated at tables.
Food was delicious, service was spot on, atmosphere was fun, and they even remembered it was our anniversary and did a little something extra. Great experience.
Great food, outdoor atmosphere & live music.
I had the scallops. Seared to perfection & presentation was beautiful.
I researched and found The Optimist on Yelp after searching for nice restaurants near the Four Seasons where my dining companion was staying. We were both very impressed with the ambiance, the friendly and knowledgeable staff, and the excellent meal. I don't eat oysters, but my dinner companion was likewise very happy with the selections recommended by the staff.
Everything was great except for the service, making the experience less enjoyable. The server was neither attentive nor friendly. She must be new or needs to receive more training. She was not familiar with the oyster menu. We asked for our beer at the time of the oyster tray, but the beer was delivered way before. Before we could finish our beer, she took away our beer glasses. We had to ask some dinner rolls, when we saw the next table had bread. When we were done with our dinner, another server had to take our dishes away. We had to ask for water refill, and then dessert menu. She did not utter a word to offer a dessert recommendation. Disappointed with the interaction.
Very good food, slow service
The salmon, scallops and steak that our table ordered were well-executed and delicious. One member in our party ordered halibut only to be told several minutes later that the kitchen had run out. The kitchen was accommodating by removing meat items from a couple of seafood dishes. While our server was friendly and helpful, the wait between courses was too long.
Still a fan.
The Optimist is my self-proclaimed favorite restaurant in the neighborhood. Kenya (hostess) was courteous and accommodating when my guest pushed back his time of arrival. She went so far as to adjust our reservation while still allowing us a choice of seating options. No, it wasn't busy, but it was a thoughtful gesture. Our server, while courteous, was borderline robotic - not something I'm used to at this restaurant. No suggested favorites (for my guest on his first visit), no highlight of any menu changes or additions, and no question on what our preferences may have been for the evening (be it seafood, veggies, or other proteins). Consistently good cocktails (our server did agree to replace my first bad choice). Both fish entrees were overcooked. I knifed through my almond fish; but the mahi-mahi had to be sent back (which was done without a question or hesitation by one of the managers.)
We went here for our anniversary celebration. My husband had 3 different kinds of oysters on the half shell which he enjoyed very much. I had the Kale Salad that had a punch of crushed red pepper. Although I would not order that again, I did enjoy trying it. For a starter though, the portion was a bit too much for me. My husband and I both had the Whole New England Haddock. It was presented beautifully and was excellent! Our server was adequate but a bit aloof and not friendly. Although we may not rush back, The Optimist is definitely worth trying.
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