The Optimist

4.8
4977 reviews
icon/ic_price_rangeCreated with Sketch.
$31 to $50
icon/ic_cuisineCreated with Sketch.
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

Specials

Mother's Day Menus & Specials

Offering a $28 Pre Fixe menu with choice of starter, entrée and choice of side.

Sunday, May 12, 2019

Easter Restaurant Specials & Reservations

$28 Pre Fixe Menu with choice of starter and entrée.

Sunday, April 21, 2019

What 4977 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
95% of people would recommend it to a friend
5
4
3
2
1
Sort by
Newest
Filters
K
Atlanta
6 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great seafood with a great environment. I love the optimist.

Report
Helpful
L
Chicago
5 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 3

Excellent food. Delicious and inventive. Noisy atmosphere but it adds to the energy of the place.

Report
Helpful
j
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

First time at the restaurant and had no expectations except hoping for some good seafood in a nice setting. It was that and more, starting with a chef’s selection of oysters through the calamari and tuna appetizers and ending with duck poached swordfish and redfish among others. Atmosphere was lively but not noisy. Staff were friendly and attentive. A little expensive with everything la carte but the food was worth the splurge. We will definitely go back.

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

First time there. Was great! Christian, our waiter, was awesome!

Report
Helpful
EA
Atlanta
4 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Food and ambience was great. Went there for our 5 year anniversary and was pleasantly surprised and pleased. The service provided by Caroline was helpful and always timely. We will definitely come back soon.

Report
Helpful
TY
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

My server was awesome and all of the servers worked together. My food was hot and everyone was so nice including the hostess.
Thanks for a great experience.

Tyler B....

Report
Helpful
SL
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 2food 2service 2ambience 4

We have both raw and fried oysters, a lobster roll, hush puppies and gumbo. The lobster roll was average in taste and expensive for its' small size. The fried oysters were delicious and well seasoned. The gumbo was not up to par! It was more like soup than gumbo! The raw oysters were good, but it made us sick later that evening! The hush puppies were very under cooked. They were 'raw' on the inside. We had strawberry ice cream and lemon pie for desert. The ice cream was awesome! The lemon pie was just ok. The staff is friendly, but our waiter lacked personality which further ruined the experience. The atmosphere is great, but the food was not worth the almost $300 bill for three adults and a five year old. We were disappointed overall, especially since we drove 3.5 hours to pick up someone from the airport coming to ATL for the first time and wanted them to experience a great high-end meal.

Report
Helpful
JM
Orlando
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The food and experience was exceptional as always. Our server (Theresa, I believe) was so sweet and did a fantastic job

Report
Helpful
OT
Baltimore
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Awesome dining experience. The food was outstanding. The service was excellent. We will be returning soon!!!

Report
Helpful
FC
1 review
Dined 7 days ago
Overall 2food 2service 4ambience 4

Heard about this place but we thought it was over-rated, especially for the price. I would call this place, 'over-priced' seafood.

Report
Helpful
DP
1 review
Dined 7 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The food was AMAZING!! We wanted to sit at the bar inside the restaurant but it was crowded, so we ended up sitting at the oyster bar which actually was a better choice for us. It was calm and not too noisy. The drinks were made to perfection so I have to definitely give the bartender a ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐. The food presentation was spectacular and it was worth the money spent. I would definitely come back again. Our waitress was pleasant and always checked on us!

Report
Helpful
BT
Raleigh
4 reviews
Dined 7 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great restaurant, really fresh fish. Arrive early to putt a couple holes.

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

Excellent experience and food.

Report
Helpful
OT
Houston
5 reviews
Dined 7 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food and ambiance. This is definitely on our repeat list.

Report
Helpful
MD
1 review
Dined on April 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This place was fantastic. The service was great, the food was even better. Would definitely come again the next time we're in town!

Report
Helpful
OT
Dallas
1 review
Dined on April 10, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 5ambience 4

Great service. We were there the day before as well because we loved the service and food. This time we were not as happy as the day before the halibut was too dry. And service was not as good as the night before.

Report
Helpful
OT
Richmond
1 review
Dined on April 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Amazing service! Was seated 30-minutes past our original reservation but the host catered to our group by offering an amazing table when we were eventually seated and threw in a complimentary fresh seafood tower. We were stuffed, and could not have enjoyed our experience more. Great seafood and amazing small plates and entrees. Very cool vibe.

Report
Helpful
OT
Dallas
2 reviews
Dined on April 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food, extremely professional waiter. Simply the best.

Report
Helpful
B
Atlanta
61 reviews
Dined on April 9, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 3ambience 3

The lobster roll is ok, but that’s about it.

Report
Helpful
OT
Atlanta
2 reviews
Dined on April 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent!

Report
Helpful
l
Nashville
20 reviews
Dined on April 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I wanted to try the Optimist for a long time. I definitely would return. Excellent food, good service.

Report
Helpful
OT
Las Vegas
1 review
Dined on April 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I’m from out of town, I chose this restaurant based on how many people had given good reviews. Food was amazing and service was great. Would love to come back if I’m ever in Atlanta again! We had some oysters, the endive salad, halibut, basmati rice, asparagus and potatoes. Highly recommend all of them. Wonderful experience

Report
Helpful
OT
Atlanta
7 reviews
Dined on April 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

It was my wife and I’s anniversary and The entire Optimist crew made us feel so very special. Extra special shoutout to our Server Teresa who is an absolutely amazing person and great at her job. Such a special place and meal for my wife and I.

Report
Helpful
AT
Las Vegas
2 reviews
Dined on April 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Our entire dining experience at The Optimist was outstanding. All of the seafood is line-caught and you can taste the freshness! Our server, John, was knowledgeable, helpful, professional, and friendly. We would highly recommend The Optimist!

Report
Helpful
OT
Philadelphia
12 reviews
Dined on April 7, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

One of the best seafood places I've been too. Our group of 4 were impressed and more than satisfied. I will put it on my list of places to eat in Atlanta in the future.

Report
Helpful
LV
Miami
12 reviews
Dined on April 7, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great place! Highly recommend. The oysters are fresh and amazing as is the Lobster roll! Love the lemon pie as well...

Report
Helpful
OT
Nashville
1 review
Dined on April 7, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Sins birthday.

Report
Helpful
LE
Atlanta
1 review
Dined on April 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Their food and atmosphere are always wonderful. I highly recommend!

Report
Helpful
K
Charlotte
2 reviews
Dined on April 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Dining at the Optimist felt like you were dining at the beach. Optimist served high-quality seafood and provided exceptional service. I went for a date, and it was perfect. There was low-lighting, intimate seating, and an exciting ambience. We ordered oysters, the Endive Salad, and the Spanish Octopus to start. The oysters and Endive Salad were excellent, but the Spanish Octopus was a bit dry. For our main dish, we ordered the Mahi Mahi and the "Duck Fat Poached" Swordfish. Both of these dishes were full of flavor and satisfying. Highly recommend the Optimist for a great date night or for a delicious seafood dinner.

Report
Helpful
RC
Atlanta
1 review
Dined on April 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

First off - our waitress Sara was the absolute best waitress we have ever had. Been there 3 times now!
She made great suggestions. Knew every item and how it was prepared. Offered her opinion when asked.
AND was simply a delight to work with. I will ask for her again!
Second, Mark (one of the mangers) stopped by to ask how we were doing, was the food good, how was the waitstaff. Inquired if we'd been here before. Mark was a real gentleman. Thank you!
Food - all four of us raved about each item we had ordered, how GREAT it tasted, how well prepared it was and the presentation, you could not ask for more.
The other team members of the Optimist were equally as friendly and ready to help, answer questions, whatever you needed.
To put it in a NUTSHELL - absolutely the best meal we have enjoyed in a local restaurant, here.
THANK YOU ALL!
Robert

Report
Helpful
KL
Atlanta
21 reviews
Dined on April 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Food, drinks and service was so awesome!!

Report
Helpful
D
Atlanta
58 reviews
Dined on April 6, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

A return visit that did not disappoint. We had a great meal with great service. We always enjoy ourselves here.

Report
Helpful
m
Hawaii
1 review
Dined on April 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Went here for my birthday this weekend. we made a reservation for 5 and got there a little earlier to experience the happy hour deals. we got the bakers dozen oysters and the punch pitcher. both we wonderful and well priced! we quickly cashed out and they transferred our drinks and oysters to our dinner spot. Very accommodating! for dinner we got the lobster roll (AMAZING), the scallops (AMAZING), and the hush puppies (AMAZING). I highly recommend this restaurant!!

Report
Helpful
RB
Atlanta
16 reviews
Dined on April 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

First time dining here...two couples getting together for a birthday celebration for one of our friends...Lucille was awesome & very helpful in choosing our courses...the whole team serving us did well...it was a busy Friday night but service was spot on & timely...we will definitely be back again.

Report
Helpful
RC
Atlanta
9 reviews
Dined on April 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Our first dinner at The Optimist was AWESOME! Our reservation was at 6:30 which was perfect for us on a Friday night. We both love fish and the chef did not disappoint-from oysters to tuna, swordfish to halibut, we couldn’t have had a more delicious meal! I also had the kale salad which is wonderful. We ended with the very best lemon pie-the crust along with lemon filling was heavenly. We look forward to many more meals at The Optimist!

Report
Helpful
AJ
Atlanta
3 reviews
Dined on April 4, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Our server was perfect and the food was exactly what we wanted. They even brought me a oyster with a birthday candle as I was there celebrating with a friend!

Report
Helpful
DM
Atlanta
20 reviews
Dined on April 4, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

What a superb meal. Amazingly fresh seafood, a modern menu and casual, approachable service. We had a wonderful time.

Report
Helpful
OT
Atlanta
1 review
Dined on April 3, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Amazing as always! Best oysters in the downtown Atlanta area!

Report
Helpful
HP
Los Angeles
57 reviews
Dined on April 3, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We enjoyed a great dinner and theresa made it even better....grilled oysters are a must for those who do not enjoy raw ones...the lobster roll still ranks as the best ..
Wine list is great...swordfish is unusual and really delious.

Great time..great food...great service..

Report
Helpful
EL
Atlanta
1 review
Dined on April 3, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The food and service were fantastic. We got there at 6:30 and were seated and served immediately. We enjoyed the gumbo, tuna, she crab soup and fish. Looking forward to our return visit

Report
Helpful
1
2
3
125