The Optimist

4.8
4806 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 4806 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
93% of people would recommend it to a friend
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GS
Atlanta
7 reviews
Dined a day ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Been to this restaurant several times and never been disappointed. Their saltine crackers are to die for!

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OT
Atlanta
1 review
Dined a day ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We came to celebrate my fiancé’s birthday and had a great dinner! Jon DeMeglio was our waiter and took good care of us. We appreciate him and will definitely ask for his services again! The food was amazing.

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TC
Atlanta
12 reviews
Dined a day ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

AMAZING!!! Food was incredible and our server, Stormy, was absolutely the best. He was very attentive, but not overly so. He explained everything and was very helpful, made the night even better!!! Tries to tell the Manager, but she came to our table and removed some dishes, NEVER introduced herself or anything even though I had asked to talk to the manager. She needs to learn a few things bout communication and customer service!!!! Poor management, but incredible staff. Definitely worth more visits.

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AP
Atlanta
11 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We had a wonderful Valentines Day dinner, with a prixe fixe menu and wine pairings. The only small glitch was that we had a 7:30 reservation and didn’t get seated until almost 8:15, but we were a little late, and had a drink at the bar while we waited so no big deal. All together a great meal!

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

Love the space. Our service was amazing. The food was hit and miss. The wine pairing was a real disappointment. Will look strictly at cocktail list next time.

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DF
Atlanta
7 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 5

Upon reviewing the menu, my wife and I were a bit disappointed that the menu was PF - I must have missed the note upon booking the reservation. When confirming with the server that the regular menu (which we love) was not available, she immediately began to explain that “the items were available a la carte at the Oyster Bar if the price was a problem”. This rubbed me the wrong way. I tried to get over it as service progressed, but it continued to bother me. For this reason, I ended up tipping 18% vs. 20%. Would I return? Absolutely - I love the restaurant and the food. I just wish the server was less condescending.

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M
Atlanta
17 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

We had a great valentines night dinner. The food, the wine pairings, the service were all outstanding. This may be our new favorite Atlanta area restaurant for special occasions or even just a romantic date night!

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GH
1 review
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Always great food and exceptional service. We’ve not experienced high noise levels, which makes conversation easy to hear.

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BC
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Incredible food, there is literally nothing on the menu that is not delicious.

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p
Pittsburgh
2 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Great fresh seafood. Plenty of appetizers and main course selections. Noisy restaurant

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L
Atlanta
16 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 3

Food was amazing. Service was friendly and knowledgeable but a little slow to react (getting water, taking our order, clearing table). Food is really good but I spent $75 and left hungry. Oysters are expensive. I had an appetizer and entree too but entree portion is just so small. I would go back, though.

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OT
Atlanta
9 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Great food! Kind of pricey but great for special occasions.

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l
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The best restaurant I’ve been to while visiting Atlanta!

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

Came here for a valentine’s meal with my wife. Started off at the oyster bad for happy hour with the freshest oysters I have had in ATL! So good! Host came and told us halfway through our oysters that our table was ready, but did not rush us and allowed us to finish and enjoy our oysters at the bar. Great host! After the oysters we found our host and she seated us immediately at our table. We with the octopus appetizer and it was the most tender I have ever had. Cutting through it felt like butter! Then my wife had the scallops for her entree while I opted for the grouper. Both were extraordinary melt in your mouth goodness. We also had the curry rice and broccolini to accompany our meals. And just when I thought it could not get any better, we ended our night with the banoffee pudding cake... and that has got to be one of the best desserts I have ever had in my life! Wow! Everything was phenomenal! Prices are definitely on the high side (besides the happy hour oysters, those were a fantastic value), but the experience was worth every penny. Highly recommended! Will be coming back!

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

Remains one of the best restaurants in Atlanta. Only suggestion to make our visit better is I wish the chairs were more comfortable

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OT
Atlanta
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Ford fry at his finest. This place is always in our rotation.

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OT
San Francisco
12 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Loved our meal

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S
Seattle
11 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Loved this restaurant!! The food is exceptional and the service was great! Thank you to Portia our wonderful server!! We won’t forget our experience.

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DK
Atlanta
4 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 2food 3service 1ambience 4

Food was great. I love Ford Fry. This was a business lunch on they failed in all aspects of service. Horrible experience.

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K
Atlanta
4 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Amazing meals and the freshest oysters I’ve ever had.

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r
Atlanta
2 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Dinner and drinks were very good. Everything was executed well. The space was wide open with easy views to the kitchen with wood burning stoves and the bar. Service was spot on. Our server, Carolyn, was outstanding. We had a wonderful meal. The only downside is that you may find it noisy if that bugs you.

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B
Miami
2 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great meal for my wife’s bday. No complaints, everything was great as usual!

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

Excellent!!!! Creative menu, excellent service. Wine list was a little thin and a bit top heavy

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

The entire evening was perfect from the second we talked into the restaurant until we walked out. The staff did a great job making us feel welcomed and we will definitely be longtime customers!!

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OT
Atlanta
1 review
Dined on February 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Delicious as always! Great service! Love the oysters and gumbo! Scallops were devine!

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SL
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on February 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We don't go out to eat very often. I Saw The optimist on Atlanta eats, and knew I had to have that octopus. It was delicious I'm so thankful for the couple of hours that we got to spend with her server Leslie. The food was outstanding and the service was awesome! We will definitely be back for more oysters.

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k
Atlanta
9 reviews
Dined on February 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

As always excellent food and service

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SE
Atlanta
39 reviews
Dined on February 9, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

We have dined at Optimist before several times. The food and the wait staff were great this past Saturday. The front hostess making decisions about seating needs to learn a few lessons on customer service. There were plenty of tables. Two by the window - so we requested one of them. We were told they were for 5 people and they added a chair at the end of each table. Before we left, they sat a party of three at each of the tables. We did let management know and they did apologize and provided some complimentary deserts. When paying almost $400 for dinner for 4, the customer should be able to pick a table unless specifically reserved. I recommend giving additional training to your hostess staff to perfect a 5 star rating. Thank you.

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MB
Atlanta
1 review
Dined on February 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Really great vibe to the place. Food was fantastic and our server did a great job helping us with the difficult choice from all the wonderful sounding options. The room behind the bar is quieter for those interested in a lower volume.

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MK
1 review
Dined on February 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Our waiter John was charming and the food awesome, what a perfect night out! Will be back again.

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MH
Atlanta
15 reviews
Dined on February 9, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

The restaurant is very nice with a big open space. The service was outstanding. We started with appetizers of gumbo and shrimp and both were good. We also had a couple orders of hush puppies which were delicious. We both had fish entrees which were very good.
Overall, it was a very good experience and we recommend it to anyone looking for a seafood restaurant.

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KB
1 review
Dined on February 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I had the best time! Our server Portia showed us an amazing time. We were celebrating a birthday and everything rolled out very smoothly. We weren’t rushed to order as we were unfamiliar with the menu and Portia made insightful suggestions that delivered every time. The entire team-the hosts, runners and servers, and everyone I made eye contact with made me feel welcomed and seemed to enjoy what they were doing.I will definitely be back!

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OT
1 review
Dined on February 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This place never disappoints! We had excellent service and her recommendations were on point. The burrata toast, scallops, oysters ... yum!

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OT
Atlanta
2 reviews
Dined on February 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Incredible birthday date night! Food is delicious!

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OT
Atlanta
1 review
Dined on February 7, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 4ambience 3

So so Quinoa veggie bowl for lunch. Just not there with the medley of tastes. Too salty.

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SD
Atlanta
6 reviews
Dined on February 7, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great as always. Food and service both great. We love this restaurant.

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

Excellent as always. My wife's favorite Atlanta restaurant.

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TK
Atlanta
10 reviews
Dined on February 7, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Birthday!!

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LW
Atlanta
11 reviews
Dined on February 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We had a fabulous experience at The Optimist. Everyone was very nice, professional, and accommodating. Especially our server, Eli. She took great care of us and gave us a lot of information about the food. We had our one year old grand baby with us so I appreciated everyone being so nice. Our meal tasted outstanding. The only comment I had is for the price the fish portions could have been a touch bigger. But everything was delicious. We love this restaurant and will definitely be back. Would love to have Eli wait on us again.

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DM
Atlanta
2 reviews
Dined on February 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

Dined with close colleagues and shared the family-style sides of rice and broccoli with our fish entrees. Food was perfectly prepared and the server was very knowledgeable, helping us make choices that suited our tastes.

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