The Optimist

4.8
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5868 reviews
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$31 to $50
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Seafood
The Optimist brings a seaside fish camp experience to landlocked Atlantans. The ever-changing menu features high-quality, sustainable seafood masterfully paired with fresh, local ingredients. From sophisticated, daily-catch dishes to crudos and beachside classics, chef-owner Ford Fry’s the Optimist transports guests to their favorite coastal haunts. Enjoy $1 Oyster Happy Hour on the patio or in the oyster bar Monday – Friday starting 5 – 6 p.m. and Saturday and Sundays from 3 – 5 p.m.
What 5868 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.8based on recent ratings
4.7
food
4.7
service
4.7
ambience
4.3
value
Noise · Moderate
95% of people would recommend it to a friend
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DC
1 review
Dined on 14 March 2020
Overall4food4service4ambience4

The food was good. The service was really good. Our waiter was nice. The place was loud, so that was a small drawback. We would go back.

J
Atlanta
2 reviews
Dined on 14 March 2020
Overall5food4service5ambience5

Very good seafood and our server, Daniel , was outstanding. Hope to return soon

OT
New Orleans
3 reviews
Dined on 13 March 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Wife’s Birthday. Great food, a little pricey, but it was a special occasion. Drinks were ok, but also expensive. The oysters were fresh, and they offer various kinds of oysters. I got the Swordfish, and it was great. Wife had the scallops, which were delicious. The buttery sweet Hawaiian rolls they give you to start are the perfect starter, and the sea salt on top was the perfect touch. We also had one of the best appetizers I’ve ever had here, the Spanish Grilled Octopus. Simply amazing. Will be back but only for special occasions as it is a little pricey.

OT
Atlanta
2 reviews
Dined on 13 March 2020
Overall1food1service1ambience4

Peel and eat shrimp consisted of 5-6 small shrimp. The scallops were undercooked and the coffee was like warm. Expect more for what you’re paying. Nothing was great and service was lacking

JM
Los Angeles
6 reviews
Dined on 13 March 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Delicious seafood. Large portion sizes. Lovely birthday meal for my husband.

EM
Atlanta
1 review
Dined on 13 March 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Amazing food & service! Scallops were the best we have ever had!

AS
Atlanta
1 review
Dined on 13 March 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Our server, Sarah was amazing. She helped suggest a wine and was attentive all night. We had our first date night since our baby was born and it was a great experience. Scallops, swordfish, broccoli, hush puppies, oysters... Yum!!

ED
Atlanta
4 reviews
Dined on 13 March 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Nothing irks me more than paying a lot of money for bad food. The food was pricey but creative and tasty. The menu was of moderate size with lots of interesting dishes. What made our evening, however, was the service. Brittany, our wait person was a rock star. She knew the menu inside out, was candid with her recommendations, and accepted all of the minor changes we made to each dish with grace. If she was unsure a substitution could be made, she said so. And, she did all this without taking a note and got everything perfectly correct, a true rarity these days. Before we concluded that she was singularly great, the bread server appeared and blew us away with his knowledge of how the bread was made, its ingredients and the baking process. The dinner rolls are to die for! In summary, it was a great evening- great atmosphere, great food and stunningly well trained and efficient wait staff. Management is to be commended for the unbeatable combination!

m
Atlanta
16 reviews
Dined on 13 March 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Another hit for Atlanta Dining in West Midtown! We loved the Optimist and our out of town guests were quite impressed.

OT
Las Vegas
3 reviews
Dined on 10 March 2020
Overall4food4service5ambience4

Service was great. Food was good. I’d give it another shot.

OT
1 review
Dined on 8 March 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Duck fat poached swordfish not to be missed!

B
New Orleans
13 reviews
Dined on 8 March 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Our server Ashley was outstanding. Food was excellent!

VJ
Atlanta
4 reviews
Dined on 8 March 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We celebrated my daughter's 20th birthday at the Optimist since she has become a foodie. We enjoyed our appetizers of octopus and ceviche. Our wonderful and knowledgeable server, Jonathon, did a great job guiding her on her first taste of oysters on the half shell. Entrees of lobster roll, scallops and redfish were all excellent. Sides of Hushpuppies and brussel sprouts were great, as were dessert and coffee. She said it was a meal she will always remember. We have always had great meals and service at the Optimist!

S
Atlanta
70 reviews
Dined on 8 March 2020
Overall4food4service5ambience4

Our first visit to The Optimist in several years - and just as good as we remembered! Our server Daniel was particularly impressive.

D
Atlanta
4 reviews
Dined on 8 March 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The food was amazing and very fresh. Our server was extremely good and very attentive to our table. She was very informed about all the menu items. We will be back!

BL
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on 7 March 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Absolutely delicious. Expensive but worth every bite.

ES
Atlanta
19 reviews
Dined on 7 March 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

My wife and I had a great meal! Cocktails were exquisite; oysters were amazing; and the beef tartar was superb. She loved her lobster roll, but I might recommend getting it warm next time. The branzino was very good and it was nice to see the majority of the bones removed. Service was exactly what I expected from an upscale establishment like this. Similar pricing as other higher-end dining. THE BREAD! We will definitely be back.

OT
Atlanta
1 review
Dined on 7 March 2020
Overall3food3service4ambience4

Had a table close to the kitchen. Their kitchen procedures were questionable and in my opinion may require a good health inspection.
The food was average for a fish house. They rely on sauces and butter too much which I think masks the flavor of the quality fish.

C
Minneapolis
34 reviews
Dined on 6 March 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience4

The oysters were amazing! A nice selection from sweet to briny(my favorite). Our entrees were exquisitely prepared and presented.

KF
Toronto
10 reviews
Dined on 5 March 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great space/atmosphere. Service and food were fantastic!
Highly recommend.

OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on 5 March 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Amazing food, exceptional service

SJ
Atlanta
21 reviews
Dined on 5 March 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The Optimist never disappoints. I have dined here several times for dinner and recently have begun visiting for lunch. The food and service are always excellent!

OT
Chicago
1 review
Dined on 4 March 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Everything was amazing

OT
Atlanta
1 review
Dined on 4 March 2020
Overall5food4service5ambience5

Great service and the food was very good

r
Atlanta
325 reviews
Dined on 4 March 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Excellent place for fish and seafood.

OT
Birmingham
2 reviews
Dined on 1 March 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Awesome! The ambiance was very sexy. I will definitely be back. Food was superb and staff was very professional.

L
Atlanta
1 review
Dined on 29 February 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We went to celebrate our wedding anniversary! Everything was amazing. The dinner rolls were the best I’ve ever had! The only thing We didn’t get was a complimentary dessert or something for our Anniversary, which we usually do get at these nicer restaurants. It could have been because we had one of the later reservations. Our waiter Did tell us Happy Anniversary and acknowledge it. We had a great time enjoyed the food and will definitely be back!

TB
Chicago
32 reviews
Dined on 28 February 2020
Overall5food4service5ambience5

Wonderful dinner experience; service was top notch; great cocktails; loved the oyster menu; highly recommend the octopus and the tuna crudo; ambiance is energetic but not too loud, ideal lighting, dramatic space; definitely would recommend

TJ
Charlotte
8 reviews
Dined on 28 February 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Fabulous experience. Our server was awesome. The restaurant had a great vibe High energy. One of the best meals we’ve had in years.

OT
1 review
Dined on 28 February 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Little loud but overall great food.

LG
Atlanta
1 review
Dined on 28 February 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The entire experience was phenomenal. Service, food, and ambiance were all amazing. The lobster rolls are the best in Atlanta. I can’t wait to go back!

AG
Atlanta
3 reviews
Dined on 27 February 2020
Overall5food5service4ambience4

Redfish was one of the best fish dishes ever had. Oysters were off the charts as well. Bread sinful. Brussels fantastic. Everyone else was over the moon with theirs. Pricier than lots of other spots; worth every penny.

MM
Atlanta
2 reviews
Dined on 25 February 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

I saw The Optimist on a Netflix documentary show and it did not disappoint. The hush puppies were Fantastic and the grits were the best in the ATL!

NW
Atlanta
17 reviews
Dined on 24 February 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Celebrated my son's birthday here. He wanted to go here because of their reputation of excellent oysters. He wasn't disappointed and the other 5 of us loved our food, ranging from chicken to red fish to their lobster roll and fabulous she crab soup. Great appetizers and sides as well. Excellent food, good service! This was not our first visit and will not be our last.

GB
1 review
Dined on 24 February 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Wonderful menu and superior service, incredible food!

ZS
Atlanta
1 review
Dined on 24 February 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The Optimist is always top-notch! Excellent food and service as always!

OT
Houston
2 reviews
Dined on 23 February 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Excellent food! Excellent service both at the oyster bar (while waiting for a table), and the server during dinner. I enjoyed it very much and definitely returning.

JR
1 review
Dined on 23 February 2020
Overall4food4service4ambience5

Excellent restaurant, staff is a bit pretentious, but overall top 5 fave in ATL. Best Lobster Roll in town! Worth the price, just wish they'd honor table requests, but they cater to the rich and famous, so unless you dine there all the time, it's not gonna happen...Still love Ford Fry!!

J
New Orleans
8 reviews
Dined on 23 February 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Really a great surprise. Had a drink at the bar first, then to our table — both areas had a really nice atmosphere, casual but very nice. Great menu, food was delicious, wait staff were very nice and on top of things. Definitely give it a try. Make s reservation, it was very busy even on a Sunday evening b

OT
Detroit
1 review
Dined on 23 February 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Our server, Daniel L, was awesome! Super helpful with the menu and gave spot-on recommendations. He definitely helped make the meal an enjoyable experience.