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The Optimist, Atlanta, GA

The Optimist

4.8
4.8
7752 Reviews
$31 to $50
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.

Make a reservation

2 people

7:00 p.m.


Booked 132 times today
Experiences are available.

Additional information

  • Dining style

    Casual Elegant

  • Cuisines

    Seafood

  • Hours of Operation

    Dinner Mon–Thu 5:00 pm–10:00 pm Fri, Sat 5:00 pm–11:00 pm

  • Phone number

    (404) 477-6260

  • Payment Options

    AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa

  • Dress Code

    Casual Dress

  • Executive Chef

    Brian Horn

  • Private party facilities

    The Optimist has a variety of event spaces that include bar events, restaurant buy outs, private dining up to 20 guests, semi-private dining for up to 50 guests.

  • Private party contact

    our Private Event Coordinator : (404) 355-5311 ext. 212

  • Neighbourhood

    West Midtown

  • Cross Street

    8th Street

  • Parking Details

    $5 Valet service is offered through the Brady parking garage, located on property. Additional surface street parking is available throughout the neighborhood, as well as additional lots in the area.

  • Additional

    Banquet, Bar/Lounge, Beer, BYO Wine, Cocktails, Corkage Fee, Delivery, Full Bar, Gluten-free Options, Non-Smoking, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Private Room, Takeout, Wine

Experiences

  • Valentine's Day Prix Fixe at The Optimist!

    US$125.00 per person

    Feb 14, 2023 only
    The best way to spend the evening with your special someone is "coast side!" Celebrate Valentine's Day at The Optimist with a four-course prix fixe menu Executive Chef Brian Horn for $115 per person. Enjoy oysters on the half shell, coastal inspired cuisine and much more! We look forward to celebrating with you!
  • Ring in the New Year with The Optimist!

    US$125.00 per person

    Dec 31, 2022 only
    To celebrate the New Year we are excited to offer a special four course menu from Chef Brian Horn, priced at $125 per person. Available wine Pairings from our amazing beverage team are sure to be the perfect accompaniment, only an additional $45.

What 7,752 people are saying

Overall ratings and reviews

Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant

4.8
4.8 based on recent ratings
  • 4.8Food
  • 4.9Service
  • 4.7Ambience
  • 4.5Value

NoiseModerate

Loved For

  • Atlanta / Georgia

    Seafood

  • Atlanta / Georgia

    Most Booked

  • Atlanta

    Best Overall

  • Atlanta

    Best Service

  • Atlanta

    Seafood

  • Atlanta

    Most Booked

Sort by

Filters

  1. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    1 review

    4.0

    1 review

    Dined 1 day ago

    overall4food4service5ambience4
    Always a great experience with excellent staff and great fresh seafood.
  2. RT

    ReiaT

    San Francisco

    9 reviews

    vip
    4.0

    9 reviews

    Dined 2 days ago

    overall4food3service3ambience4
    My husband and I came for happy hour I didn't like the fact that you had to sit at the oyster bar to take part in the happy hour . The oyster bar is small and the seats are extremely uncomfortable. They also took our favorite oysters off the menu it was a miss this time we had the Burundi fish and the sauce was very watered down this time . The cocktails were not that great the African American bartender made my drinks they weren't good but I drank them anyway . We wanted a Sauvignon Blanc and the only one they had was a semillion mixed with Sauvignon it was awful . I ask to taste the wine prior but the server was unable to do we were stuck drinking an entire bottle of something we did not like . I don't think we will come back for a while .
  3. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined 2 days ago

    overall5food4service5ambience5
    The ambiance was lovely although the music was super loud making conversation or even hearing your wait staff difficult.
  4. LL

    LyndaL

    Atlanta

    5 reviews

    3.0

    5 reviews

    Dined 3 days ago

    overall3food3service5ambience1
    After several disappointing dinners at prestigious Atlanta restos we were optimistic trying “The Optimist”. The restaurant is in an odd location with nearly no parking except a valet which cost $ 8.50 including $ 3 for gratuity. The main dining room is very noisy due to blaring musik and the consequential efforts by guests to communicate with each other. According to an employee the noise level is the owners Idea of Ambience. I believe I noticed in the corner of my eye a group of five gathered at a round table with their phones out, AirPods in and conversing with each other on conference call. The food was decent but nothing to write about. We ordered appetizers and entrees. The entrees after the appetizers took an unexpected long time to be served at our table. Our server, Doug, was excellent, professional and did everything to make us feel welcome. I can not recommend this resto neither for a couple or a group if they look forward enjoying a good meal in a relaxing ambience. If the owner is optimistic to see us again, he is wrong.
  5. KP

    KurtP

    Orange County

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined 3 days ago

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Great experience. Atmosphere and food both top notch.
  6. l

    lorrib

    Atlanta

    81 reviews

    vip
    4.0

    81 reviews

    Dined 4 days ago

    overall4food4service5ambience3
    Oysters were amazing so are the homemade crackers! Sid was our delightful server ! Happy hour was fun GO
  7. HW

    HadleighW

    Chicago

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined 6 days ago

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    The food was amazing and the service was super prompt. Can’t wait to go back!
  8. CB

    CoolBreeze

    Atlanta

    12 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    12 reviews

    Dined 7 days ago

    overall5food5service5ambience4
    It was date night and we had a great time. Although busy, service was timely and food was excellent…as always. Fresh oysters, very tasty she-crab soup and lobster was perfect. Waitress (Winnie) made excellent recommendations and was very engaging. Looking forward to our next visit.
  9. CL

    CLBATL

    Western NC

    26 reviews

    5.0

    26 reviews

    Dined on November 23, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Wow!! Fantastic experience with great food- the crudo was amazing, the monkfish ridiculously good, and the Hushpuppy beignets were the best! The service team were knowledgeable, interactive, and professional!! We will be back!!
  10. l

    laurent

    Miami - Dade

    13 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    13 reviews

    Dined on November 23, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Excellent. Great food, unique but also comforting. Great service too. Alexis was a fantastic server
  11. L

    Lovegreatfood

    New York Area

    3 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    3 reviews

    Dined on November 22, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    First time and loved it! Amazing quality seafood, nice environment, great for dining with family and friends , business associate or date night!
  12. DP

    DianaP

    Atlanta

    7 reviews

    5.0

    7 reviews

    Dined on November 22, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    The selection and quality of the oysters here is a huge draw! Never disappointed, and my 4 guests and I feasted on over two dozen - all delicious! Then the main event, being the seafood - always very enjoyable. We had a lovey server named Winnie, and one of my guests had a jacket that kept falling off the chair and onto the floor - at least 3 different people that worked here picked it up and returned it to her chair. They are just good people working there, dedicated to assuring we enjoyed every element of the experience. It worked too - my daughter, for whom the dinner was planned, thanked me and told me she always loved The Optimist!
  13. KH

    KatherineH

    Salt Lake City

    2 reviews

    5.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on November 21, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Optimist is always a must for me - great cocktails, excellent food, and service is fantastic. Don't skip the Opportunities that change for what's in season - the Crudo's are always on point.
  14. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Atlanta

    1 review

    2.0

    1 review

    Dined on November 21, 2022

    overall2food2service3ambience3
    Very expensive for the quality of food you get - we were not blown away by anything. service was good - very attentive. We enjoyed our cocktail drinks, the soup, the complimentary bread - and that was about it - our oysters were grainy and tasted briny, the ‘ceviche’ we got was awful, the shrimp were just okay, I didn’t think the corn hush puppies were anything to write home about.
  15. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Louisville

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on November 20, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Food was great! Our server, Austin, was the BEST!
  16. KC

    KCRnFam

    Atlanta

    20 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    20 reviews

    Dined on November 19, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Great evening celebrating exciting news for our son and daughter in law, everything was wonderful. Morgan was such a friendly and attentive waiter, she made our night even better with her attention to detail and friendly demeanor, so very genuine! As always, the food and cocktails on point! Can’t wait to see you again The Optimist!
  17. JJ

    JackieJ

    Atlanta

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on November 19, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Has the red fish and sword fish both delicious just wish for the price you would get more. But definitely recommend the restaurant.
  18. EF

    ErikF

    New York Area

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on November 19, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Service and food was great! Every dish was outstanding!
  19. Z

    Zach

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on November 18, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Incredible food. Best lovers yet and fish I’ve had
  20. m

    melodieb

    Atlanta

    12 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    12 reviews

    Dined on November 18, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience4
    Beautiful seafood tower! The she-crab soup is exceptional!
  21. M

    Marcus

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on November 18, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    I went on a recommendation from the chef I currently work for. I live in Texas. We had Winnie as our server. She's super knowledgeable and helped me select plenty of oysters. Everyone enjoyed their entrées. I enjoyed the Starving tower. It's what I had set my sights on when I made the reservation. The cocktails were great. The house made hot sauce awesome, it was not too spicy, but had a alot of flavor. The bread rolls were phenomenal. I hope our baker can make something similar to that someday. I had a great time. 12/10 if I visit Atlanta again I will definitely be coming back
  22. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Atlanta

    2 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on November 18, 2022

    overall5food4service4ambience2
    Terribly slow bar. Horribly rude and expensive valet.
  23. DL

    DanL

    Atlanta

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on November 17, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Great dining experience! Food was fantastic, and our server , Erin, was outstanding. One of the best waiters I have had in a long time. Well done!
  24. SM

    SteveM

    1 review

    3.0

    1 review

    Dined on November 16, 2022

    overall3food3service4ambience4
    They take out redfish and lobster roll were way below par.
  25. JC

    JeffClevelandTN

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on November 15, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    First time dining there while going to performance at Fox Theater. Daniel provided excellent service. Great food and very cool atmosphere. If you love seafood, try it out. They also have a nice chicken option and a couple of steak choices. Not an oyster fan but it appears that is one of their specialties.
  26. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Atlanta

    13 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    13 reviews

    Dined on November 15, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Night out after having twins!
  27. W

    Wrivero

    Philadelphia

    5 reviews

    5.0

    5 reviews

    Dined on November 14, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Very good experience over all. The tuna and the red fish were awesome!
  28. RM

    RobM

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on November 13, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    The dinner and atmosphere was great. They accommodated my guests dietary restrictions. Favorite place in Atlanta
  29. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Dallas

    1 review

    3.0

    1 review

    Dined on November 12, 2022

    overall3food3service3ambience3
    They changed the menu quite a bit. I’ve eaten here many times and for the first time left disappointed.
  30. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on November 12, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Great food, drinks and experience
  31. AM

    AnnM

    Miami - Dade

    4 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    4 reviews

    Dined on November 12, 2022

    overall5food4service5ambience4
    We once again sat at the bar and the service was fantastic. Mack who is the bartender is so attentive and thoughtful. The whole scene is a great vibe and food was delicious. I had the Branzino and my husband the Tuna.
  32. SG

    SteveG

    Atlanta

    8 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    8 reviews

    Dined on November 11, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    An absolute pleasure from start to finish. Perfect service and food. Highly recommend
  33. T

    Taylor

    Savannah

    3 reviews

    5.0

    3 reviews

    Dined on November 10, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Absolutely lovely - one of my favorite places in ATL. The rolls are the best I’ve ever had!
  34. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Toronto

    5 reviews

    5.0

    5 reviews

    Dined on November 10, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience4
    The food was great as was the service. The food was impressive and we all enjoyed our time. Absolutely must try the oysters! Amazing.
  35. SB

    SusanB

    Atlanta

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on November 9, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Great food and atmosphere! Had a wonderful time!
  36. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Atlanta

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on November 9, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Met for dinner with my close girlfriends. The food was great as usual and eating plant based was not an issue for me. As they got busy the noise level was pretty loud. Overall it was a great experience...as usual!
  37. AM

    AnthonyM

    Atlanta

    6 reviews

    5.0

    6 reviews

    Dined on November 8, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Excellent place to dine.
  38. T

    Thought4food

    Atlanta

    41 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    41 reviews

    Dined on November 8, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Consistently excellent. Last night was no exception!
  39. s

    simond

    Atlanta

    7 reviews

    vip
    3.0

    7 reviews

    Dined on November 8, 2022

    overall3food2service2ambience4
    Love this place but this time the food was not as good. The octopus appetizer was way over sauced with a kind of southern style red goo. It was ok but the flavor of the fish was overcome. My scallops entree was served with an odd sauce too with a weird flavor (not sure what it was). Three or maybe four scallops? I will still go back but wanted you to have this feedback. It’s all relative too as your standard is very high….normally, but not so this time.
  40. H

    cindyH

    Atlanta

    1 review

    3.0

    1 review

    Dined on November 7, 2022

    overall3food3service5ambience1
    so noisy and tables for two were very crowded -- could not have conversation easily

Safety precautions

  • Cleaning & sanitising

    • Surfaces sanitised between seatings
    • Digital, disposable or sanitised menu provided
    • Sealed or wrapped utensils used
    • Common areas deep-cleaned daily
    • Sanitiser or wipes provided for customers
  • Screening

    • Sick staff prohibited in the workplace

FAQs

The Optimist offers takeout which you can order by calling the restaurant at (404) 477-6260.

The Optimist is rated 4.8 stars by 7752 OpenTable diners.

Yes, you can generally book this restaurant by choosing the date, time and party size on OpenTable.

Make a reservation

2 people

7:00 p.m.


Booked 132 times today
Experiences are available.
Google Map for The Optimist

914 Howell Mill Rd., Atlanta, GA 30318

Additional information

  • Cross Street

    8th Street

  • Neighbourhood

    West Midtown

  • Hours of Operation

    Dinner Mon–Thu 5:00 pm–10:00 pm Fri, Sat 5:00 pm–11:00 pm

  • Cuisines

    Seafood

  • Dining style

    Casual Elegant

  • Dress Code

    Casual Dress

  • Parking Details

    $5 Valet service is offered through the Brady parking garage, located on property. Additional surface street parking is available throughout the neighborhood, as well as additional lots in the area.

  • Payment Options

    AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa

  • Executive Chef

    Brian Horn

  • Additional

    Banquet, Bar/Lounge, Beer, BYO Wine, Cocktails, Corkage Fee, Delivery, Full Bar, Gluten-free Options, Non-Smoking, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Private Room, Takeout, Wine

  • Phone number

    (404) 477-6260

  • Private party facilities

    The Optimist has a variety of event spaces that include bar events, restaurant buy outs, private dining up to 20 guests, semi-private dining for up to 50 guests.

  • Private party contact

    our Private Event Coordinator : (404) 355-5311 ext. 212

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