The Optimist

4.8
5335 reviews
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$31 to $50
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Seafood
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
What 5335 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
4.8
food
4.7
service
4.7
ambience
4.3
value
Noise · Moderate
93% of people would recommend it to a friend
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SC
Atlanta
2 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 2food 2service 1ambience 2

We were disappointed. This is my second time here and this restaurant is not the same. The food portions are very small and they were ok, but surely not worth the price we paid. Our waiter only had 3-4 tables to take care of, but he took over 15 minutes to come and offer us drinks. Then another 20 minutes before we got our drinks. I just wasn't impressed and we won't go back. There are too many great places to eat in Atlanta, this is not one of them anymore.

MR
Charlotte
3 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The Optimist never disappoints! My boyfriend and I love going here for date night. This was our 4th visit. The oysters are fresh, and we love being able to try multiple different kinds. Our favorite appetizer is the Spanish Octopus. We love how they keep the staple menu items but changed up how they are prepared. I had the Scallops with cauliflower and almonds, and he had the Swordfish. Both were fantastic! The ambiance is perfect for date night or a group of friends. The bar is incredible. I love the variety of cocktails. I had the Wildflower and an Aperol spritz. I highly recommend the Optimist.

r
Dallas
11 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 3

All of the food and wine was outstanding. The waiter's recommendation for everything was the highest price item but he was attentive during the most of the meal.

VC
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Very efficient and friendly waiter. Food was delicious.

s
Atlanta
14 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Excellent as always. I loved the fresh scallops and so did my fellow lunch buddies. It was my birthday lunch with my birthday lunch group and I picked The Optimist because it is always a great dining experience.

SB
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Love this place! The lobster roll is amazing and oysters were fresh and paired great with their cocktails. We came for our anniversary and they were kind enough to stamp our menu with “Happy Anniversary” as well as comping our desert. Will be back!

JA
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This place was so adorable and the food was absolutely delicious

OT
Columbus
7 reviews
Dined 7 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great first-time visit! Ther service was spot on, the drinks were good and the food was outstanding... presentation and all. Very nice touch to include the words "Happy Birthday" on my wife's menu!

OT
1 review
Dined 7 days ago
Overall 3food 5service 2ambience 4

The Optimist is one of the hottest spots in west midtown, but I have to say this experience fell short of the “wow factor”. I brought a client in who had never been and instead of sitting at a table we sat at the bar. We felt the bartenders weren’t warm, welcome or attentive. Almost like they didn’t want us to be there. The female bartender was closing her side of the bar and barely checked on us. Maybe she was cut, but service shouldn’t haven’t stopped just because of that. We will be back because it really is an impressive venue... but we won’t be sitting at the bar.

TA
1 review
Dined 7 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Perfect date night spot or place to have a celebratory dinner. We celebrated our anniversary and the staff could not have been friendlier. Service and staff were on point. Food was outstanding. Highly recommend.

MA
Atlanta
18 reviews
Dined 7 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

The food and service were excellent. We had a wonderful time for my Birthday.

BB
Philadelphia
2 reviews
Dined 7 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

If you love oysters and seafood, this is the place for you. Beyond fresh ingredients and very tasty meals.

R
New Orleans
18 reviews
Dined 7 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Perfect seafood in Atlanta. Very original place that's executing on a high level. The owner's have clearly invested in the construction finishes along with the service, and their attention to detail is on full display. Food and presentation were great. The place was packed, but clearly that's the norm as there were no gaps in our dining experience. Our server, Daniel, was first class. Canned Pacifico beer could have been colder, but that's reaching for something to complain about. Check it out.

OT
Savannah
1 review
Dined 7 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Sisters birthday! And the service was fantastic. When I can afford it again, I’ll go back!

OT
1 review
Dined 7 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Food was amazing and service impeccable!!

OT
Atlanta
1 review
Dined on August 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Entire experience was excellent. Started with a drink at the bar then moved to our table. Every staff member was extremely knowledgeable of the drink and dinner menu. Gena was phenomenal!
We will be back very soon.

MP
Greensboro
11 reviews
Dined on August 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great oysters, entrees were superb.

OT
Atlanta
2 reviews
Dined on August 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Birthday celebration for my husband who had never been there. They were late seating us but sent a free Spanish octopus app over that was excellent. We are big oyster fans and they didn’t disappoint. And all of our fish entrees were excellent. And the drinks and wine were no exception! Oh and the birthday cake was the best surprise! He can’t wait to go back!

OT
New England
1 review
Dined on August 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Oyster bar is awesome. Hush puppies are life changing. Great service.

E
Atlanta
5 reviews
Dined on August 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Food and atmosphere was amazing. Awesome seafood location for foodies.

MC
1 review
Dined on August 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent food, outstanding service, cool ambiance and diverse menu. It never disappoints!

P
Atlanta
12 reviews
Dined on August 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Fantastic food and ambience!

OT
Atlanta
1 review
Dined on August 8, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 4ambience 4

Is good, i just was expecting more...

d
Toronto
7 reviews
Dined on August 7, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

The server was awesome. Knowledgeable with a great demeanour. Food was beautifully prepared. The octopus was cooked perfectly. The favourite dish was the branzino. The curry sauce was delicate yet flavourful. Perfect combination!!
Well done!

OT
Atlanta
4 reviews
Dined on August 7, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Amazing food and service!

OT
Atlanta
12 reviews
Dined on August 7, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Food was fantastic & delicious. I got the scallops my wife the Red Fish both cooked perfectly.
the server was gracious, polite & very knowledgeable of items.

B
Atlanta
3 reviews
Dined on August 7, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Very warm, quite loud , not terribly organized, service great food good although expensive

OT
1 review
Dined on August 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Always a great experience at Optimist! Would recommend without hesitation.

B
1 review
Dined on August 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Bryce made date night a fantastic experience. Not only did we celebrate National Oyster Day, but we had the opportunity to try many plates of food. After our dining experience, Rachel took great care of us at the bar while we waited for the rain to stop.

OT
1 review
Dined on August 4, 2019
Overall 3food 2service 4ambience 3

Food was very salty -and this covered the taste of the food.

OT
Atlanta
2 reviews
Dined on August 4, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Seasonal, delicious food and a great wine and cocktail menu. I loved the beachside feel, it takes you away from the city!

RP
1 review
Dined on August 3, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 4ambience 5

The quantity of the food can be better. Not value for money.

LB
Atlanta
3 reviews
Dined on August 3, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Food was excellent, service outstanding, we had a great time, little noise ☹️

SD
1 review
Dined on August 3, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 5ambience 5

Too expensive for the quality. I’ve had better oysters. Beef tartare tasted like sirloin.

Drinks and service were good. Would only go back for drinks.

NA
Tallahassee
17 reviews
Dined on August 3, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Consistency is what you get here.... fabulous food (can't miss with fish), great service, positive attitudes, great anniversary evening. We will be back … again and again.

DD
Atlanta
5 reviews
Dined on August 3, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Outstanding food, drinks and service

OT
London
1 review
Dined on August 3, 2019
Overall 2food 5service 2ambience 4

I loved the Optimist. I have been here many times with business associates from big companies like Microsoft. However when I chose the optimist for a very special date night with my wife of 35 years, we were placed at a table in close proximity with loads of people and our waiter kept picking up our food before we were done. I am an EVP of a global company here in Atlanta. My advice is to know your regular customers and give them something special when they bring their family in. I will not be coming back.

OT
Atlanta
1 review
Dined on August 3, 2019
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 4

I had heard great things about this restaurant so was very excited to try, and we were very underwhelmed, actually disappointed. Service was not great, waiter was incredibly rude, not helpful, dismissive, avoided eye contact. Food was just ok. I can totally justify paying 30-40 for an entree when I enjoy it, but these were just subpar. Felt like we overpaid.

OT
Atlanta
6 reviews
Dined on August 3, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great service, awesome food. A little pricey, but worth it.

JO
Chicago
2 reviews
Dined on August 3, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 5ambience 5

We saw The Chef Show on Netflix and decided to give this restaurant a try on a recent trip to Atlanta. The overall impression was a hip, people- watching, energetic dining experience. Unfortunately, the food was not anything special in our opinion, although the fish was very fresh. I had the halibut and my husband had the scallops. We shared the grilled veggies. I must say the desserts were lovely. I had the blueberry crumble and my husband had the peach bourbon ice cream. Both were excellent. One big question I have is why is the cappuccino is served in a juice glass with no handle?! Literally too hot to handle.

Overall, we did enjoy the great service by Brittney and the lovely decor. I would go back for dessert and drinks.

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