The Optimist

4.8
4359 reviews
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$31 to $50
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Seafood
Top tags:
  • Good for a Date
  • Fit for Foodies
  • Special Occasion
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
Dining Style
Casual Elegant
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Cuisines
Seafood
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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
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Phone number
(404) 477-6260
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Payment Options
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress Code
Casual Dress
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Neighbourhood
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Cross Street
8th Street
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Parking Details
$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.
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Special Events & Promotions
Please contact our Events Department at events@fordfry.com for special event information.
Additional
Banquet, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, BYO Wine, Corkage Fee, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Non-Smoking, Outdoor dining, Private Room, Wine
What 4359 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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5.0Dined 2 days ago

Everything about this restaurant was outstanding... from arrival to departure. Best grits side dish ever!!!

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5.0Dined 3 days ago

Its been a long time since I've been and GREAT to see the vybe, service, and food is still outstanding!

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5.0Dined 3 days ago

My fave restaurant. Hands down.

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5.0Dined 4 days ago

Food, drinks and service was Great!

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5.0Dined 5 days ago

had smoked fish chowder and gulf shrimp roll - chowder outstanding. a little pricey but very good. Service great venue cool.

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5.0Dined 6 days ago

Amazing staff, everytime we eat here the staff is friendly, informative and give off great vibes. Which is really important. Your waiter/ waitress can make the mood of a table fun and exciting or really bad. The drinks are fabulous and creative. The food is excellent from start to finish each time we eat here. Date night on Valentine’s Day, work group during apparel market week or just dinner anytime... the Optimist has always delivered and amazing meal, drinks and atmosphere. 🥂thank you

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5.0Dined 6 days ago

This was our first visit and it will not be the last. The service was outstanding from start finish. Th seafood fresh and well prepared. It was a home run. I can't wait until our next visit.

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5.0Dined 6 days ago

Chose The Optimist as an upscale dining choice for a birthday celebration, and it was superb. Wait staff took great care of us. Highly recommend, and we are very picky when it comes to exceptional dining.

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5.0Dined 7 days ago

We went to The Optimist as a family, including older children. The food was delicious, outstanding & friendly service. Nice children's menu. We would highly recommend this restaurant.

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5.0Dined 7 days ago

Everything was great, My wife & I enjoyed our anniversary dinner.
Only one thing my coffee when I got "fresh brewed" wasn't hot.
I didn't complain but probably should have said something to the server (I know she would have replaced if I asked), but coffee should have been hot!!

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5.0Dined on August 7, 2018

Good place for business meetings and lunch with friends. Good, attentive service, pleasant staff, good food, but I do wish they would serve the fabulous shoestring French fries that were one of their signature dishes. I also wish they would rely less on cheese to flavor their food,

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5.0Dined on August 6, 2018

This was a great outing, I don't love the parking situation but as for the restaurant as a whole it is exceptional. The duck was absolutely to die for!! I above the ambiance or setting I love the food. I am never disappointed with this restaurant. Enjoy!

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5.0Dined on August 6, 2018

Excellent all around - fresh and exceptional food with a fun and interesting atmosphere.

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5.0Dined on August 5, 2018

Our server, Leslie, Was outstanding. What a great time.

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4.0Dined on August 5, 2018

Fish had very little flavor and scallops were rubbery. Unusual for this location as normally it is phenomenal- oysters still rocked!

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5.0Dined on August 3, 2018

Cool looking restaurant, fabulous food and drink, great service- can't wait to go back!

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5.0Dined on August 2, 2018

Great Food Great atmosphere Cool Setting
Fun Definitely a Gem of a place
Recommend to everyone !!

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2.0Dined on August 1, 2018

I (we) have been to the Optimist many times, in fact we considered it one of our favorites in Atlanta. Our experience last night could not have been more disappointing, so much so ... we will never go back. Service came with a smile, but was extraordinarily slow, inattentive, uninformed and uninterested, and the food was not bad but not great either. The oysters we received I don’t believe were what we ordered (not like there is a label on the shell), and the wine (by the glass) I again don’t think was what we ordered. Everything seemed off, as if there was significant staff turnover. Honestly, at the first sign of trouble I wish we had stopped, paid for whatever we might have received, and gone elsewhere. There are simply to many great restaurants in the Atlanta area to waste hundreds of dollars on one that at the end of the service you don’t feel delighted for the experience.

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3.0Dined on August 1, 2018

Disappointed. Not the same as before. Waiter tried hard, but talked too much. Food was boring. Lobster Roll was cold lobster on a stake role. Nothing special. Overpriced to say the least. Dropped $100 per person and all four of us came away disappointed. Nothing was worth what we spent. Not sure if we will ever go back.

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5.0Dined on August 1, 2018

It was delightful. Service was fantastic. A night to remember. Try the octopus.

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4.0Dined on August 1, 2018

The waitress was super friendly and made great recommendations!

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5.0Dined on August 1, 2018

Our meal was great! We went for Oyster Happy Hour and it did not disappoint!

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5.0Dined on July 31, 2018

I've been to the Optimist several times and the food during my most recent visit has been the best yet. Highly recommend for any occasion. Everything we ordered was fantastic.

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5.0Dined on July 31, 2018

Exceptional quality and freshness in every item we tried. JR was outstanding in his knowledge of the menu and his service was impeccable. We will gladly return for freshest and most tasty oysters and fish very soon. Can't forget the octopus it was scrumptious.

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3.0Dined on July 31, 2018

We were disappointed this time. y'all were out of the whole fish and the pairing of fish with fatty brisqut
was underwhelming. Apps were awesome unlike entrees. Service was decent. overall, not as fab as previous meals.

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5.0Dined on July 30, 2018

We will definitely go back! OUTSTANDING experience!

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4.0Dined on July 29, 2018

Spotless service. Great food. Yummy cocktails. I look forward to going back!

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5.0Dined on July 29, 2018

We didn’t love our table location given this was an anniversary dinner but everything else exceeded our expectations from the professional mixologist to the gourmet food!!

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5.0Dined on July 29, 2018

From the cocktails to the dessert, the experience was wonderful. Our waitress, Audrey, was incredibly knowledgeable and very personable. We look forward to returning!

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2.0Dined on July 28, 2018

Patrons were packed-in like sardines, much over- crowded and loud. An order of oysters was served twice (two orders instead of one). My friend ordered potatoes then changed his mind and ordered rice but the waiter brought both. My fish was overcooked and for some reason my salad was served with my main course, not before as it should have been.

This was my second visit. It was worse than the first and it will be my last.

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5.0Dined on July 28, 2018

Always a great experience at the Optimist!

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5.0Dined on July 28, 2018

Everything was amazing. Octopus was so tender and delicious. Oysters were great. Redfish and Lobster roll were amazing also. Ambiance is cool, very modern space.

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5.0Dined on July 28, 2018

The food was great. The service was great. We loved the fun atmosphere. We have told everyone how nice it was. We would go back again at any time. I don't remember the name of our server, but he was a male and he was great. He was very helpful and knowledgeable.

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5.0Dined on July 28, 2018

Our first time dining here but definitely not our last.

THE SERVICE. The car valet was great, quick, courteous, couldn't ask for better. The hostesses were warm and welcoming. The best part, our server, Audrey was fantastic. She was engaging, knowledgeable and out right fun. She knew the menu and helped guide us through the selections along with the wine pairings.

THE FOOD.

The raw oysters were great, there was a nice selection and the homemade oyster crackers were tasty.

The dinner rolls were outrageous. Warm and buttery with a hint of salt, almost a pretzel roll but so much more delicate and incredibly tasty. Definitely heart healthy but well worth the risk.

We move straight to rhe main course, both my wife and I had fish. I had the grouper and she the red fish. Both meals were well prepared, tasty and a nice sizes portion; not overly generous but not haughty small. We shared a side of fingerling potatoes and they too were delicious. (Note: do order a side as the meals are basically all la carte).

THE ATMOSPHERE.
The place was nicely done; open, airy, and tastefully decorated. It's a bit loud, lots of energy, but not to the point that it overwhelms or stifles table conversation.

I highly recommend the Optimist.

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5.0Dined on July 28, 2018

We had a fantastic time here as usual. Everything was delicious. Make sure you save room for dessert.

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5.0Dined on July 28, 2018

It was fantastic! This was our second time there and it was even better than the first, which was great. Wonderful! This restaurant should be on the list for the best in the city.

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5.0Dined on July 28, 2018

Waitress - phenomenal. Management- phenomenal. Food - phenomenal.

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5.0Dined on July 28, 2018

The Optimist has great food and service. Everything was fresh, and the wait time was extremely short. Our server Amy was awesome. It was my wife's 40th and she couldn't stop praising the experience. I'm definitely looking forward to going again.

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5.0Dined on July 28, 2018

Loved it! Had a great time.

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3.0Dined on July 27, 2018

The service was great, but I felt that the prices were above average for the portions we received. I enjoyed this place in the past, but perhaps it was just an off night.

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