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 email@example.com for special event information.
The Optimist Ratings and Reviews
The Optimist used to he great when it fi ...
The Optimist used to he great when it first opened, but alas the executive chef left and the place has gone down hill ever since. The second time we came there were signs of the demise, but this last week-end it was all too apparent.
Arriving at 8.20pm on a Saturday there was NO ONE sitting around the oyster bar and we were seated immediately, even though we had arrived early for our reservation.(We had hoped to nudge up to the oyster bar and enjoy the fun and a dozen before we sat down)
The larger of the two rooms in which we were seated was not full, but the volume of the music certainly was. We spent the first half hour trying to shout above the noise;something I seemed to enjoy more than my wife. We eventually moved to another table where we could get our seats a little closer together so we could talk(We had tried texting but that was foolish!!!)
Oysters were good, as was the Shrimp a la plancha, but the main course fish were both terrible. Tilefish substitute for Wahoo REAKED of fish smell, and the swordfish was mealy in consistency as if previously frozen. Both were left almost un-touched. Their vegetable side dishes were, however, delicious.
No one thought to question our lack of interest in the fish, even though they call themselves a fish camp!
So, farewell Optimist. It was great at the beginning but.................
I had previously only been here for lunc ...
I had previously only been here for lunch.
Had some out of town family who had read about it - so we made a reservation and the meal and experience was FABULOUS. We loved our server and all the food and drinks.
Cannot wait to go back!
Great service and atmosphere. Our waiter ...
Great service and atmosphere. Our waiter was very knowledgeable and also provided great service. The swordfish is absolutely amazing. The rest of the food was great as well, but if there is one thing I would say to definitely try at the Optimist, it's the swordfish.
Great seafood and interesting flavor com ...
Great seafood and interesting flavor combinations. Fun, upbeat atmosphere. Great, very attentive service. The on tap beer list needs some good porters, stouts, and maybe a good sour or Hefeweizen - it was too focused on ipa's.
The Optimist is a great place for busine ...
The Optimist is a great place for business lunch it's in a great location as well as the valet parking makes it easy to get in and out. Service has always been great, always quickly seated and the servers are very attentive and the food is great. My favorite menu item is the lobster roll and I change out the shoe string fries for wedge fries instead.
The Optimist is probably one of, if not ...
The Optimist is probably one of, if not the, best restaurants that I have ever been to. The food was absolutely superb, but the meal was made all the more better by our outstanding waitress, who was very knowledgeable and relatable. She was able to help us navigate the amazing menu, and we were not disappointed with any of her suggestions.
My wife and I had a terrific meal at The ...
My wife and I had a terrific meal at The Optimist when in town traveling from Philadelphia. Amazing. Our waitress (Alexis?) was great from start to finish. Helpful. No rush. All smiles. The food was imaginative and delicious. One of the better dining experiences we have had and we get out often. The manager (Darren?) came over to our table and we got into a conversation regarding the swordfish dish. Gave us some pointers on trying to make the dish ourselves. It wouldn't be nearly as good I am sure. What a job he did by giving us that kind of time on a Saturday night. My advice to the owners - lock him up. Stellar. Restaurant is first class. Don't think twice. Get here.
Given the raves this restaurant has rece ...
Given the raves this restaurant has received over the past few years, our expectations were high. We made reservations for three persons in advance, and I arrived with a gift bag in hand. Our seating hostess asked if it was a special occasion and I replied yes. She then led us to a table that was oblong, with awkward seating on three sides only and that directly faced a party of 20. As it would have been very difficult for us to talk and hear each other, I asked for a different table and we were seated at a nearby 'normal' table (there were many other tables available).
Our server was great, although there was never any mention of the birthday event we were clearly celebrating. We found the food to be average, certainly not exceptional. In addition, the meal was quite expensive; we had two appetizers, three entrees, and one dessert (along with a bottle of wine), and our bill was close to $200 without tip. Given these factors, there are other restaurants in Atlanta that we will choose from for our next 'special' meal.
I took my husband there for his birthday ...
I took my husband there for his birthday and wasn"t disappointed : the location was charming with a nice, romantic outdoor lighting. Classy without being pretentious. Everything on the menu seemed really fresh, original and appealing. And I'm very picky when it comes to seafood :) We shared a $50 seafood plate (oysters, clams, crab, shrimps....) that we loved - very good value, and the seafood tasted really authentic, like it came right back from the ocean to my plate. The service was discrete but very efficient, just how I like it. I will definitely go back shortly :)
Was super salty and disappointing. I ha ...
Was super salty and disappointing. I have had several great experiences in the past but didn't enjoy my meal. Had the halibut and it was so cooked that it was almost chewy. And the octopus was also chewy and had a funk. Even the oysters were just okay. Bummer!
All of my expectations were exceeded. Ha ...
All of my expectations were exceeded. Have heard great things and they did not disappoint. I'm hard to please when it comes to food in Atlanta but The Optimist was great. The octopus app was outstanding and the swordfish entree was great too. They also had raw clams, which are impossible to find in GA. Can't wait to go again.
I've heard nothing but good things abou ...
I've heard nothing but good things about the Optimist however I was not impressed. The service was great, the hostess were very friendly but the food was a whole different story. I was planning on having my birthday dinner here so I decided to try it out with a couple of friends, we ordered the Fish & Chips, it was too greasy and fried too long and the Gumbo was awful, it tasted like someone poured coffee grinds into the seasoning. However I would like to say the Snapper and Kale salad was excellent. The Decor is WONDERFUL and that would probably be the only reason for me to visit again and maybe try the lunch menu.
The only reason I didn't give an overall ...
The only reason I didn't give an overall rating of 5 was the fact that when I arrived at 4:55pm I was told the restaurant was not open and the hostess said she would let me and my husband know when our tables would be ready. About 5:15pm, the hostess told us our table was ready. As I walked in, I noticed 5 or 6 tables that already had patrons at tables. When she noticed the look on my face she replied I forgot that you were seated outside.
Not sure If I want to re-visit a restaurant who's hostess forgets that she told guests to wait until their table is ready and forgets about you.
My guest and I enjoyed our meals and the ...
My guest and I enjoyed our meals and the service was phenomenal. As a lesbian couple we felt our server was inviting and engaging. We dined on 9/2 @9pm and we sat on the corner close to the glass windows the looked out at Howell Mill Rd.
The only recommendation is that the She crab soup could be made with more lump crab meat. But overall it was a great culinary experience!
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