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
Atlanta, GA 30318
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) 355-5311 ext. 212
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
This was our first visit to The optimist ...
This was our first visit to The optimist and we really enjoyed the atmosphere. They have an extensive oyster menu and great fish selections. There isn't a whole lot of seafood outside of fish and oysters, but some appetizers featuring lobster, etc. We will definitely return.
It was my first time eating here. I was ...
It was my first time eating here. I was excited as I heard great things. Unfortunately, the potatoes weren't done, even the second batch brought out. The salmon was ok, but definitely not the best I have had.
Cool atmosphere and extremely friendly staff, just disappointed on the food.
Food was fine-- nothing outstanding but ...
Food was fine-- nothing outstanding but everything quite good. Service was a mess-- we were there on a Thursday, so busy, night. But staff should be trained for that. Drinks were late in arriving, twice. We ordered several small plates and there were not staged, but rather brought at all once, even though the table did not have enough room.
This is my go to spot for out-of-town gu ...
This is my go to spot for out-of-town guest . My group consisted of business colleagues from different parts of the country and they were thoroughly impressed. I scored a lot of points by taking them there. kudos to the optimist!
Optimist continues to please! Outstandi ...
Optimist continues to please! Outstanding entree offerings and top notch Chef preparations. Each item we ordered stood on it's own for perfect presentation, overall taste, and superb flavor. Highly recommend. This is currently our favorite restaurant in Atlanta.
My wife and I dined here for Valentines ...
My wife and I dined here for Valentines Day. We had never been to this place before but based on the reviews we went ahead and booked it. The ambiance wasn't quite what I was expecting...and it was VERY loud, I could barely hear my own waiter...But it was busy so not a big issue. The food however... was less than stellar. They had a 4 course meal that was all that was available 80$ PP. My appetizer was literally.... ONE cracker, with a tiny bit of stuff on it. Seriously. Soup was better and decent size. The main course however... was terrible... I barely finished half, the wife's dish was better but not that great. For that kind of money you would think it would be stellar... it was very very average. I was hugely disappointed.. Oh well lesson learned.
My wife and I went for Valentines day. ...
My wife and I went for Valentines day. It was a preset menu as a four course meal for $80 a person. I thought the place was really packed and the food was average. Half of the items on the preset menu was an additional $15 on top of the $80 per person. I thought the food was really overpriced for what you got but I guess that's because it was Valentines day.
I will say that the servers were very friendly and the staff was very accommodating especially when I asked for them to turn down the music because it was too loud for the occasion. Overall I didn't really enjoy it, but I'll probably go back another night to see if it was just overpriced for Valentines.
Went for Valentine's Day, I'll preface b ...
Went for Valentine's Day, I'll preface by saying I've been here several times and the food has always been great. However on Valentine's they had a fixed price menu. And that wasn't unexpected. What was unexpected was the high cost (80$) and the incredibly meager portions. The soup first course was an espresso sized cup of soup that was barely lukewarm. And since the menu was 4 items that tiny cup was 20$. Furthermore, two items from the entree section had a 20 dollar supplement, which seemed excessive given the already high price of the menu.
Overall I wouldn definitely not return here for Valentine's Day. Instead I'll stick to their regular menu which is much more reasonably priced .
Had never heard of the restaurant before ...
Had never heard of the restaurant before my search for a new Valentine's Day dinner began. (I try to pick a new restaurant for my wife and I every year and have for the last 25 years or so.) My wife said she had heard good things and I chose it because the good reviews I found. The service was good, the food was EXCELLENT; yes, all caps required. There is a decent wine list and several specialty-of-the-restaurant mixed drinks. Since I am a fan of locally filmed movies and TV series (The Walking Dead being at the top of that list), I naturally gravitated to a drink called, of course, The Walking Dead. Stay away from this drink at all costs! It is horrible.
I thought this was going to throw a cloud over the meal but I could not have been more wrong. The meal was prix fixe for the evening. There were four courses and each course was just as good, OR BETTER, than the previous one. The swordfish I had as a main course could may very well have been the best I have ever had. The only exception might have been a Miami swordfish meal I had over 20 years ago.
Prepare yourself for the neighborhood though. It is about two blocks from Bacchanalia, my wife's favorite Atlanta restaurant. The area is improving day by day and is less than half a mile from the Atlanta water treatment plant. It is growing more "hip" by the day. USE THE VALET PARKING, though. I would not want to leave my car unwatched in this area.
Though this is not the restaurant you want if you are looking for a quiet corner table, if you don't mind a dull conversational roar (high ceilings, no curtains, hard surfaces, but great ambience), this should be your next seafood destination in Atlanta.
The place overall was probably a lot bet ...
The place overall was probably a lot better than the rating I gave but I took my wife for Valentine's Day and we expected to be able to order off their regular menu which we had already looked at online and had an idea of what we wanted to order. Unfortunately we weren't made aware that the only had a "very limited" pre-fix menu for the occasion and absolutely no flexibility. We picked this place specifically because they were one of the few restaurants that didn't have the pre-fix menu requirement online when we booked. Pretty disappointing. The waitress self admittedly said that there best food wasn't on the menu for the night and therefore unavailable.
Everything was good except for the fact ...
Everything was good except for the fact that I walked into a price fix menu and was never told that was the case when making my reservation. So I got stuck spending $300 on a dinner that I thought I was going to maybe spend $100 on. I will not be using OpenTable anymore.
My husband and I have wanted to try this ...
My husband and I have wanted to try this restaurant for a while, as we've heard its the best seafood in Atlanta and well, Ford Fry. Our food was fantastic and lived up to the hype, however the service was a little lacking - our server was nice enough but seemed rushed and disinterested. When we asked for recommendations for starters, she named off a few side dishes and when we asked about a particular dish, she started talking about a completely different item. Who knows why she was so spaced out, but when you represent this caliber restaurant and when people pay these prices, I expect a little more. The cocktails were creative, the oysters were fresh and delicious, the she crab soup was very flavorful (although a few shells were found) and the fish entrees were creative and some of the best I've ever had. We'd definitely return, but hope for another server.
Packed as expected for a Saturday night ...
Packed as expected for a Saturday night before Valentines. Wait with reservation was about 10 minutes. Seating was by the window for 2. Sound was high, but didn't struggle to talk to my wife or wait staff. Started with lobster roll (wasn't present on menu, but waiter said they'd get it ordered) and shrimp la pancha. Lobster roll was excellent, while the shrimp was hard to shell (the sauce was good, but not worth the fuss). Had 3 cocktails total, all were good with East of Eden being the best. My wife had the snapper and I the scallops. As good as my scallops were, I couldn't help but want to steal my wife's perfectly cooks snapper with crispy skin. The roasted brussel sprouts we shared were pretty good too. So for 2 appetizers, 3 cocktails, 2 entrees, and a side we were close to $200 after tip. A good time can add up fast here, but it was for sure a good time.
My girlfriend and I chose to dine at The ...
My girlfriend and I chose to dine at The Optimist as an early valentines date specifically for the oysters. While the oysters were absolutely what we were looking for, the entire experience was incredible. The atmosphere was very cozy and everyone we interacted with was incredibly nice. Jill was our server and gave us one of the best dining experiences we have had in a while! She was very helpful, very knowledgeable and super friendly. The food was incredible, but the service and overall atmosphere is really what made our night.
My wife and I live in Columbus, Georgia, ...
My wife and I live in Columbus, Georgia, and came up to eat at the Optomist before attending the Bon Jovi concert at Phillips Arena. We love the restaurant. One of our favorite things is steamed oysters, so we especially loved the way the Optomist bakes them and serves them. They were so good as was our meal. We will definitely be coming back and I totally recommend this restaurant for date night before the show! Thanks for a great evening. And, the service was excellent as well.
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