|Dining Style||Casual Elegant|
|Phone Number||+1 404 477 6260|
|Dress Code||Casual Dress|
|Payment Options||AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa|
|Location||914 Howell Mill Rd., Atlanta, GA 30318|
|Price Range||$31 to $50|
|Dining Style||Casual Elegant|
|Phone Number||+1 404 477 6260|
|Dress Code||Casual Dress|
|Payment Options||AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa|
|Location||914 Howell Mill Rd., Atlanta, GA 30318|
Sort through reviews to find relevant experiences
We had a great dinner here !! The food was amazing and the ambience is awesome !!
Wonderful service, wonderful food, but loud and noisy - better for fun evening than quiet romantic dinner
This was our 1st time eating at The Optimist. Seafood was the choice for the weekend and we wanted something different from the ATL Fish Mrkt.\n\nI have to say, we were impressed. The service, food, and atmosphere were all very good. The messy shrimp appetizer that others have mentioned is truly worth it. Some offerings, but not big on shellfish selection. They do have great fish selections and the ones we chose were very much to our liking.\n\nA little pricey for every week dining but I suspect that we will be back.
This restaurant is incredible. Great food. Excellent service. Incredible staff. Would definitely recommend.
This was a business lunch for a client from out of town and they were blown away by the quality of the food. Lucianne was an incredible waiter and hope you get her again the next time we visit.
The food was amazing! Some wild recipes left me wanting to order one of each. Great service. Would definitley recommend and I will be back.
The food was excellent. We started out with the Octopus, which I would highly recommend. For dinner we shared one of the chilled seafood plates. Would have rated it higher if the service was better. Robert was very soft spoken. He was difficult to hear in the lively atmosphere. We had to flag down other servers twice to obtain water refills. He also never pre-bussed our table. We were left with a pile of seafood shells and empty glasses. Luckily I wasn't on a date or entertaining a client. Overall, It was a lovely restaurant however the service could have been improved.
Service & abmbiance were outstanding. Very disappointed in the food presentation! Sides totally lacked (grits & hush puppies) Fresh fish was cooked perfectly. But NO WOW factor here. Certainly need to step it up!!\nWine selection ~~~\nWith all of the Outstanding restaurants in the area... will not go back or recommend to friends.
I took my wife here for our 2nd year wedding anniversary and it did not disappoint! From the time we walked in everyone who greeting us wished us a happy anniversary. The menus on our table were even stamped with 'Happy Anniversary' on the front! The oysters were some of the best I had ever had and really did taste just like they were described. The main course for both my wife and I were fresh, full of flavor, and just all around perfect. Loved the family style sides! Each side was the perfect amount for the two of us so we only had to get 2 sides in total and that was plenty. It was a little pricier than we are use to but that's to be expected with the quality of food and ambiance of the place. We will definitely be going back again for another special occasion!
Me and my girlfriend had a great time and little did we know that we were sitting be side Janelle MonÃ¡e. This was my first visit and thoroughly enjoyed it.
The employee's were very nice and attentive. The Food was great!
Awesome food, great place !:)
Fabulous food and service was enjoyed by all. Portions were generous and everything was fresh. Raw bar was delicious.
This place was amazing! I'm from NY and eat out frequently but this is hands-down one of the best seafood restaurant I have been to in a long time. Can't wait to return to Atlanta so that I can return to the optimist
Great spot, nice atmosphere. It was my first time visiting and service was good. Our food took a long time to come out (almost 40 minutes or so), but they were very courteous and comped with a few complimentary side dishes/dessert.
Usually a reservation prevents you from subpar seating- I/e in a walkway or thoroughfare. Not sure if they were truly that booked, but we were seated at a table where I don't think a full minute went by without a member of the waitstaff squeezing by with less than 6 inches to spare. Truly a damper on date night when you can't have a private conversation. Lobster risotto was good- not great. Shrimp a la plancha was delicious. Pineapple upside down cake a bit too sweet for my tastes but moist
Everyone talks about The Optimist like it's in a league of its own. It's really good, but there's a lot better out there. The food really wasn't memorable. Great atmosphere though. I'd go back, but would just have a lower bar.
Overall a great place for dining whether it is for business or pleasure.
Seated in empty restaurant given 11:30am restaurant at table where the AC is known to blow. We were kindly moved when we requested. Training opportunity.\nThe Seafood stew was under seasoned and there is no salt or pepper on the table. I ate the cup anyway and enjoyed the quality of the ingredients.\nMy Monkfish was tasty but a bit over cooked. Could have been outstanding as I ate it all. \nI will be back as it is clear the ingredients and preparations are quality. Hope to grade 4 or 5 my next visit!
We were really looking forward to a great experience. The food was a mixed-bag. Our entrees were excellent but the appetizers were a disappointment, as was the uninspired dessert. The staff was a bit overworked and we were ignored for a while before being served. I have to say that although I do not blame the restaurant for this, I did get a mild case of food poisoning. But, I did have oysters and that is something that can happen even at the best restaurant. We are on the fence about wanting to go back again at this point. I like the concept and the location and I think that they are trying hard. We will wait to see what others say.
Everything was awesome, it was my husband's 30th birthday, so it was a very special night for us. It was our the very first time there. We've ordered Â«opportunist plateauxÂ», but my husband got a food poisoning. We think that it's happened because of oysters or clams, because we've shared this dish and I've tried just one of them and my husband ate the rest. Maybe one day we'll come again, but not soon. It's impossible to eat seafood after this for awhile.
Good food - they take some chances & did pretty well. \nOctopus was good, a little charred on the ends. \nFried oysters were a little greasy and overly salted.\nCrispy Potato Salad was roasted new potatoes with overly charred chorizo and a little too much olive oil. Not really 'crispy' and kind of odd. \nHush puppies are the best!
Waitress was not very professional \nOnly came by 3-4 times when we were there for almost 2hrs.\nFood came out late.\nThis place was way better 2years ago.
Everything was excellent, portion and price were at both extremes, cost high, food portions low/small
I love going there for lunch business meetings but it can get noisy due to the open layout. Great food, professional staff, fast seating, central location.
Great dining experience! My wife and I thoroughly enjoyed the food and service. Highly recommend to couples!
LOVE THIS PLACE!!! exquisite and fabulous food!!! wish there was one in the nashville area! will definitely be going back!!!
We ordered the duck-fat poached swordfish which came out very dry, which was very disappointing. We've been coming here for a long time and have always had amazing food, but we brought someone for the first time and ended up not as happy with the fish as we normally are. The oysters were fantastic.
The Optimist did not disappoint! We finally made it to The Optimist for a post-Valentine's Day dinner. It WAS FABULOUS! Our server was Mark and he was very attentive and helpful. All of our dishes were just delicious.....starting with the octopus appetizer. It was so tender and flavorful! For entrees we got the duck fat poached swordfish (the best swordfish I have ever tasted) and the scallops (these were epic as well) and brussels sprouts/hushpuppies for sides. We were so stuffed we could not even get dessert! I simply cannot wait to return. This will go onto my short list of favorites in Atlanta.
We were there after work. Great place for a relaxing dinner. Good energy, but you can still hold a conversation. Food and service were excellent.
Food is good. Ambiance is great - still very over priced for what you get.
It was my first time eating here. I was excited as I heard great things. Unfortunately, the potatoes weren't done, even the second batch brought out. The salmon was ok, but definitely not the best I have had. \n\nCool atmosphere and extremely friendly staff, just disappointed on the food.
This was our first visit to The optimist and we really enjoyed the atmosphere. They have an extensive oyster menu and great fish selections. There isn't a whole lot of seafood outside of fish and oysters, but some appetizers featuring lobster, etc. We will definitely return.
Awesome warehouse like space. Great food but not pretentious. Not overly dressy but still a nice place.
Loved it food was fresh and tasteful!!!
Great food! Prepared with a unique use of ingredients that really works. I little pricey but worth the experience.
I've been here a few times now, and have enjoyed each meal. The ambience is just right.
This is my go to spot for out-of-town guest . My group consisted of business colleagues from different parts of the country and they were thoroughly impressed. I scored a lot of points by taking them there. kudos to the optimist!
The shrimp with sopping toast is great. The French Fries are the best I have ever eaten.
Food was fine-- nothing outstanding but everything quite good. Service was a mess-- we were there on a Thursday, so busy, night. But staff should be trained for that. Drinks were late in arriving, twice. We ordered several small plates and there were not staged, but rather brought at all once, even though the table did not have enough room.
The scallops were pretty good but the grits weren't that good.
Excellent service, beautiful setting with great food.
Optimist continues to please! Outstanding entree offerings and top notch Chef preparations. Each item we ordered stood on it's own for perfect presentation, overall taste, and superb flavor. Highly recommend. This is currently our favorite restaurant in Atlanta.
Definitely try the fried oysters app.
The hush puppies were excellent.
Everything was good except for the fact that I walked into a price fix menu and was never told that was the case when making my reservation. So I got stuck spending $300 on a dinner that I thought I was going to maybe spend $100 on. I will not be using OpenTable anymore.
Had never heard of the restaurant before my search for a new Valentine's Day dinner began. (I try to pick a new restaurant for my wife and I every year and have for the last 25 years or so.) My wife said she had heard good things and I chose it because the good reviews I found. The service was good, the food was EXCELLENT; yes, all caps required. There is a decent wine list and several specialty-of-the-restaurant mixed drinks. Since I am a fan of locally filmed movies and TV series (The Walking Dead being at the top of that list), I naturally gravitated to a drink called, of course, The Walking Dead. Stay away from this drink at all costs! It is horrible.\n\nI thought this was going to throw a cloud over the meal but I could not have been more wrong. The meal was prix fixe for the evening. There were four courses and each course was just as good, OR BETTER, than the previous one. The swordfish I had as a main course could may very well have been the best I have ever had. The only exception might have been a Miami swordfish meal I had over 20 years ago.\n\nPrepare yourself for the neighborhood though. It is about two blocks from Bacchanalia, my wife's favorite Atlanta restaurant. The area is improving day by day and is less than half a mile from the Atlanta water treatment plant. It is growing more 'hip' by the day. USE THE VALET PARKING, though. I would not want to leave my car unwatched in this area.\n\nThough this is not the restaurant you want if you are looking for a quiet corner table, if you don't mind a dull conversational roar (high ceilings, no curtains, hard surfaces, but great ambience), this should be your next seafood destination in Atlanta.
Great place. Really enjoyed the food and the great service. Chairs were a little uncomfortable but minor issue.
My wife and I dined here for Valentines Day. We had never been to this place before but based on the reviews we went ahead and booked it. The ambiance wasn't quite what I was expecting...and it was VERY loud, I could barely hear my own waiter...But it was busy so not a big issue. The food however... was less than stellar. They had a 4 course meal that was all that was available 80$ PP. My appetizer was literally.... ONE cracker, with a tiny bit of stuff on it. Seriously. Soup was better and decent size. The main course however... was terrible... I barely finished half, the wife's dish was better but not that great. For that kind of money you would think it would be stellar... it was very very average. I was hugely disappointed.. Oh well lesson learned.
My wife and I went for Valentines day. It was a preset menu as a four course meal for $80 a person. I thought the place was really packed and the food was average. Half of the items on the preset menu was an additional $15 on top of the $80 per person. I thought the food was really overpriced for what you got but I guess that's because it was Valentines day.\n\nI will say that the servers were very friendly and the staff was very accommodating especially when I asked for them to turn down the music because it was too loud for the occasion. Overall I didn't really enjoy it, but I'll probably go back another night to see if it was just overpriced for Valentines.
Went for Valentine's Day, I'll preface by saying I've been here several times and the food has always been great. However on Valentine's they had a fixed price menu. And that wasn't unexpected. What was unexpected was the high cost (80$) and the incredibly meager portions. The soup first course was an espresso sized cup of soup that was barely lukewarm. And since the menu was 4 items that tiny cup was 20$. Furthermore, two items from the entree section had a 20 dollar supplement, which seemed excessive given the already high price of the menu. \n\nOverall I wouldn definitely not return here for Valentine's Day. Instead I'll stick to their regular menu which is much more reasonably priced .
We Make a point of going to the Optimist when we are in Atlanta...excellent food and drink.Terrific service too. ...Shrimp Faro bowl is recommended.
Great Service and food!!
I booked the special Valentine's Day and got the optional flowers. AWESOME! The note on the flowers was hand written which was a very nice touch! Sometimes the little details make all of the difference. Our waiter Shawn was great! He was dressed to the nines and not a pompous Ass like most upscale waiters. The bill with drinks was $210.00 which was good for Valentine's Day. Valet parking was able to be paid inside to include tipping! Great for those of us that don't carry cash anymore. I see why this place has almost 5 stars. Great place! Great staff! Ask for Shawn! Oh and two or three of the staff passed by and congratulated me and my wife for 19 years! What! Who does that. lol. We will be back.
The place overall was probably a lot better than the rating I gave but I took my wife for Valentine's Day and we expected to be able to order off their regular menu which we had already looked at online and had an idea of what we wanted to order. Unfortunately we weren't made aware that the only had a 'very limited' pre-fix menu for the occasion and absolutely no flexibility. We picked this place specifically because they were one of the few restaurants that didn't have the pre-fix menu requirement online when we booked. Pretty disappointing. The waitress self admittedly said that there best food wasn't on the menu for the night and therefore unavailable.
Some of the best seafood I've had in Atlanta, including soups, oysters, and variety of fish cooked as you like it. Excellent, knowledgeable waitress.
Some of the best seafood you're going to find in Atlanta. Loved everything I tried. I'm a big fan of the setting as well. The large dining room makes it feel as if you are a part of a community.
Fantastic food, excellent service. Worth checking out.
Wonderful time. I went with a friend for a casual dinner. Great food, great ambiance. Great service. Food was serve promptly
My husband and I have wanted to try this restaurant for a while, as we've heard its the best seafood in Atlanta and well, Ford Fry. Our food was fantastic and lived up to the hype, however the service was a little lacking - our server was nice enough but seemed rushed and disinterested. When we asked for recommendations for starters, she named off a few side dishes and when we asked about a particular dish, she started talking about a completely different item. Who knows why she was so spaced out, but when you represent this caliber restaurant and when people pay these prices, I expect a little more. The cocktails were creative, the oysters were fresh and delicious, the she crab soup was very flavorful (although a few shells were found) and the fish entrees were creative and some of the best I've ever had. We'd definitely return, but hope for another server.
Great food and nice ambience. Came for an early Valentine's Day dinner and had an enjoyable time.
Packed as expected for a Saturday night before Valentines. Wait with reservation was about 10 minutes. Seating was by the window for 2. Sound was high, but didn't struggle to talk to my wife or wait staff. Started with lobster roll (wasn't present on menu, but waiter said they'd get it ordered) and shrimp la pancha. Lobster roll was excellent, while the shrimp was hard to shell (the sauce was good, but not worth the fuss). Had 3 cocktails total, all were good with East of Eden being the best. My wife had the snapper and I the scallops. As good as my scallops were, I couldn't help but want to steal my wife's perfectly cooks snapper with crispy skin. The roasted brussel sprouts we shared were pretty good too. So for 2 appetizers, 3 cocktails, 2 entrees, and a side we were close to $200 after tip. A good time can add up fast here, but it was for sure a good time.
Everything from the food to service was absolutely superb. I couldn't have been happier with our experience.
Attentive wait staff. Reasonable pricing for a trendy upscale restaurant. Innovative preparations on seafood. Nice experience overall - would go back
My girlfriend and I chose to dine at The Optimist as an early valentines date specifically for the oysters. While the oysters were absolutely what we were looking for, the entire experience was incredible. The atmosphere was very cozy and everyone we interacted with was incredibly nice. Jill was our server and gave us one of the best dining experiences we have had in a while! She was very helpful, very knowledgeable and super friendly. The food was incredible, but the service and overall atmosphere is really what made our night.
My wife and I live in Columbus, Georgia, and came up to eat at the Optomist before attending the Bon Jovi concert at Phillips Arena. We love the restaurant. One of our favorite things is steamed oysters, so we especially loved the way the Optomist bakes them and serves them. They were so good as was our meal. We will definitely be coming back and I totally recommend this restaurant for date night before the show! Thanks for a great evening. And, the service was excellent as well.
Great experience with great seafood and service!
My friend found an ad for The Optimist and we decided to try it. We could not have asked for a finer experience. Our server was outstanding in her sharing of information and suggestions. The food was first rate on each course from the oysters through the desserts. I would highly recommend The Optimist to anyone.
Always a great place with excellent service
Excellent seafood and service. Brought two friends from Connecticut who raved about the food, server and wine. Will definitely return.
Always a great experience going to the Optimist. I had the lobster roll and it was perfect. The roll was sweet and buttery, the lobster wasn't over dressed, and had the perfect amount of dill.
Food was outstanding. The place is very noisy and crowded. The seating is uncomfortable. (just hard wooden chairs) Sometimes that is okay. If you want a quiet romantic dinner then this is not the place.
Great food, very attentive staff.
Superb ambience. Stellar menu. We were celebrating my sweetie pie's birthday. Had a very romantic dinner. Excellent service staff. The food was amazing!!!
A really fantastic restaurant. We have frequented the Atlanta Fish Market for years.\nIt is also a great place to eat. The Optimist was even better in our opinion. Will be back many times.
The atmosphere was amazing and the food was equally amazing. My only issue would be the tables were a little crowed. Definitely plan to go back!
A lovely date night with my wife. Highly recommend the whole-fish preparations.
Went for our anniversary and absolutely loved it. Great atmosphere, great service, great food. Had a really great time as we expected.
A friend and I had lunch at The Optimist....the food was outstanding and our server Lucy was awesome!!! The brussel sprouts were so tasty and I would highly recommend them (even though they are seasonal and about to go off of the menu!). The monkfish was also amazingly tasty....really enjoyed this restaurant if you can't tell....:~))))) Great lunch spot, and I will definitely go back and try it for dinner!!!!
Look, this is one of the finest restaurants I've been to on the east coast.\n\nEach server, each bartender gave such friendly, relaxed, professional service.\n\nThe bartender came to our table to parse the different gins! Our server Emily,\n\nwith her Aussie accent, could not have been more helpful and charming.\n\nThe place has a beautiful interior; not crowded at all; superior architectura! Not \n\nstuffy! Very lively.\n\nWell, let me say it: it's both hip and upscale. The two women and I had the time\n\nof out lives, but then we are in our fifties and sixties; easy to please since we don't \n\nget out neah enuff.
The Optimist does not disappoint! The decor is modern and the food is superb! I had the snapper, and it was prepared to perfection. The roasted Brussel sprouts were delectable! I definitely will be retuning!
My wife and I came and had a genuinely enjoyable meal. The space is fantastic, and the drink choices/quality were solid. While there were improvements that could have been made to our appetizers and desert, our entrees and sides were excellent by any measure. I would recommend anyone looking for an excellent dining experience in Atlanta to try out The Optimist.
I believe The Optimist is one of the top 5 restaurants in ATL. Everything is good there, and love the bar.
Wow, wow and wow!!! I read about this place in a magazine. 1 of the top 15 places in the country for lobster rolls. And boy that was an understatement! Best lobster roll I've ever had! You have your choice of sides I went with the fries which were superior and my sisters had the Brussel sprouts that were roasted with bacon and pepper jelly, oh my goodness! Make sure to order the fab hush puppies, quite unique! Wish I lived closer!
Only thing was good was the bread. Wasn't a fan but seafood lovers. Might enjoy.
We went for my wife's birthday. Everything was excellent. Entire staff, including the guys doing valet parking, were friendly and helpful. Every food item we ordered was delicious. My wife had swordfish and said it was the best she had ever eaten. My fish and chips was delicious and a good size portion. This was our first visit but The Optimist has become our new favorite Atlanta restaurant.
I expected so much more from a restaurant with such good reviews. For lunch, there were basically 5 or 6 entrees on the menu, one of which was skirt steak (it's a seafood restaurant). I don't mind that they offered steak, I mind that the seafood choices were so scarce. They offered mahi, octopus, skirt steak, fish and cups and maybe 2 other unmemorable choices. I ordered the mussels to start which were good and the fish and chips. I had to peel off most of the breaking because it drained out the fish. The fries were thick yummy slices of potatoe fried crispy. It wasn't bad, I just expected more. Our server was extra friendly and nice but had to be reminded to bring things like plates and butter. Plus I had to ask her to refill my iced tea when it was empty--numerous times. My friends ordered salads because they weren't excited by the entree choices either.
We arrived at 6:00pm for our reservation and the restaurant noise level was comfortable. By the time we ordered our meal aroung 6:40pm, the noise level accelerated and became loud. We were seated close to the kitchen and I heard shouting periodically, so this was distracting. Prefer seating away from the kitchen which would likely eliminate this type of loud noise. Swordfish and scallops were tasty as we expected and service attentive. Will return since The Optimist is one of my favorite restaurants, but will request seating away from the kitchen.
Oh my goodness. This place was awesome. Great food, great vibe, everything was simply delicious and left you wanting more of everything. Love, love, love!
Great food and service.
Absolutely wonderful! Service was impeccable. Server was energetic and friendly but not over-bearing. Food was amazing. We had raw oysters to start and their homemade crackers were great. Entrees had a perfect blend of flavorings allowing you to taste the seafood but also their take on that dish in perfect symbiosis. It is evident that a lot of care goes into their menu, food preparation and overall experience. The Optimist is near the top of the list of Atlanta restaurants in my opinion.
Seafood was good quality and prepared in interesting and tasty ways. We shared a side and it was equally tasty. My tuna poke included red onions that were just too raw and pungent. Scallops were very good, but the dish wasn't as hot as it should have been when it arrived at our table. Lighting could be better (for reading menus). Waitress was very helpful and pleasant. We were seated immediately. Nice that they have valet parking, but the silly $3 fee should be comped by The Optimist given how expensive the meal was.
Amazing service! Our 3rd year in a row for my wife's birthday! Fabulous experience each time!
I love this restaurant, one of my favorites. They have a $12 cork fee, and I always bring my own bottle of wine. Waite staff is courteous and attentive without being overbearing. Food is consistently great. I love this place.
Beautiful restaurant, but I thought the service and food were good but not great. Service was friendly, but didn't seem that experienced with the menu. Food was solid but not on par with other great atlanta restaurants
I always forget how beautiful this place is. One of the most stunning restaurant interiors in Atlanta; huge, airy dining room with tons of natural light and a great view of the large, action-packed kitchen. The menu is always changing, always good and the drinks are outstanding. The last night we were there, service was backed up a little, but we didn't care because the ambience was so perfect.
We thoroughly enjoyed our meal. Great selection. Fresh seafood. Great presentation, beautiful bar. We ordered several entrees - all were very good; I liked the 'Dirty Rice' less than the others, but still good. The manager learned I was less impressed with this item and took off my bill - Great Service!! Waitress (Emily) was attentive and friendly. I would definitely dine here again.
Numerous people recommended Optimist, needless to say I was optimistic about the meal. They delivered top to bottom I will definitely dine there again.
Everything we had at the Optimist tasted fresh, delicious and well seasoned. However, I would advice from getting the whole Brazinio fish. Although the presentation was great, they filet the fish table side, the end result was more than desirable. Don't get me wrong, the taste was good. However, the amount of bones found on this filet were to many for an enjoyable experience. At one point, I had to removed myself from the table due to a bone getting pass me and nearly choking me to death. My wife was very happy with her meal, Dirty rice and we both enjoyed the Scallops crudo. On my next visit, I will make sure to stay away from the table side filet of fish and save myself the pain of having to carefully examine every bite I take.
What a fantastic seafood restaurant Ford Fry has created! I will definitely return. The oysters were amazing.
Loved it again!! Crudo are amazing, great bartenders and very cozy bar scene. Always a great experience!
Great ambiance and food! We will definitely return.
We were in Atlanta for a weekend trip. Me, my mom and two sisters. We really enjoyed The Optimist. Every dish we ordered was wonderful. We all ordered a different fish and each was unique and tasty. The veggie sides were great. We loved the kale salad and the brussel sprouts.
The Optimist always makes for a wonderful dining experience. Great attention to details, wine list is superb without being over priced and the staff is wonderful!
This was my 5th time dining at The Optimist. Clearly my experiences have been positive because I keep coming back. I have hosted business lunches/dinners here, as well as a hosting out of town family. Each reservation has been a 5 star experience!
Food didn't wow me. It was good just not great. Lacked flavor.
Absolutely awesome!!! Even though I am not from Atlanta, I can't wait to go back next time I'm in town
Modern, hip, energetic restaurant. My husband had a sampler of raw oysters, which he really enjoyed. At other restaurants we've been to the waiter usually tells him which oysters are which, but not here. Waiter just dropped the plate off and left. The accompanying house-made crackers were delicious. The hushpuppies were awesome! Our mains were the duck fat poached swordfish, which was stellar and the mahi mahi, which was also amazing. Enjoyed the craft cocktails too. The only complaints I have are that the tables are too close together. I felt like I was having dinner with the couples on either side of us, which I hate. And the place is REALLY loud. It wasn't exactly perfect for a date night.
Service was perfect and food was out of this world! The atmosphere is the kind of place you want to return to as soon as you can. Absolutely phenomenal food, can't say enough great things about The Optimist. A must go eat in Atlanta!
The service was top notch! My server was attentive and personable. The food was really good. Great ambience.
Great food. Also service was good. Best swordfish ever. ð
Great food! Great ambiance! Our server Amy did a fantastic job.
Fantastic! Great food and atmosphere. Only improvement I can suggest would be for more private seating, so your not so close to other patrons for privacy.
The food is just so-so- nothing was fantastic. Every time I go there I am reminded that the food is just okay
Great server (Lou) with excellent recommendations including the incredible whole fish of the day.
Great overall - chocolate roulade for dessert wasn't amazing but everything else was. Waitress was very knowledgeable and attentive.
I dine at the Optimist a few times a year. We usually go for birthdays or a nice date. We love the food, ambiance and service. The food is great if you are looking for seafood. The food is always creative and generally pretty healthy, which we love. Awesome spot!
We eat out 7 days a week and have been here several times, but this trip we were so excited about how good EVERYTHING was! From the perfect oysters, my wife's perfect branzino, my amazing swordfish, dessert & service. Just fabulous!
This is probably the best seafood I've had in Atlanta. They also have a decent wine selection.
The food is exquisite! The service was wonderful! Although certainly pricey, it's a wonderful restaurant!
Nice meal, but one gripe - valet was parking cars in handicapped spaces. Had to make him move (begrudgingly) the Rolls Royce so I could park there.
Our service was extraordinary! I don't remember our waitress name but I wish I did as I recommend her and the restaurant in general for everyone. Loud enough you couldn't hear the next tables conversation but quiet enough you could hear your own. Food super fresh and flavorful. A must visit
AMAZING!!\nWe absolutely loved our evening @ the Optimist! Friendly staff greeted us, our waitress was spot on, and the food! Delicious! \nWe had the mussels,flounder, and tuna ~ all outstanding! Best dining of our week in Atlanta! Go! :)
The fish was merely okay and room-temperature (not hot). The restaurant is WAY too loud to carry out a conversation. Disappointing.
This was our second visit, and it did not compare to our first one. The menu seemed much more limited, appetizers were cold, and we felt hurried to order and complete our meal. I was disappointed in this visit.
This was our first time here and we went for lunch. The environment was very inviting and our waitress was great! It was a bit pricey for lunch but it was an overall great experience.
Great fresh seafood. Clean open space. Fun big bar. Open airy and fun. Great food and wine selection. Optimistic feel
Everything was over the top for no reason. I got fish and chips because potatoes. It was over breaded and the tartar sauce had a punch in the face acidity. The chips were over cooked and dry. Our cocktails were cups of sugar. I looked at the dessert menu and it was just too much. Yall might want to simplify.
I was looking for a place to celebrate my wife's birthday. I knew it had to have great ambiance and the food had to be good. What we got was spectacular ambiance and even better food. Our waiter was knowledgeable on everything on the menu and truly for the first time I can say made me interested in every option. That includes the roasted brussel sprouts...lol. we will be back and we will bring friends this time!!!
Great service. Great food.
Very good meal and great service! Their seafood was delicious.
The Optimist is an excellent fine dining restaurant and we dine there a few times a year. The menu changes slowly and everything on it is wonderful. We especially like the poke and duck fat poached swordfish. Service is excellent. Wine selections are diverse and fairly priced. Ambience is a bit like a warehouse and not suitable for intimate conversation.
I always say, that a restaurant that knows how to cook fish right, has a talented chef in the kitchen. \nThe Swordfish cook with the duck fat was awesome. My wife got the tuna. She was in heaven. Living and growing up on the Outer Banks, we get our share of fish. But, having it cooked right is another matter. \nGreat job chef! Great job to our waiter and the wine expert.
While we had to wait for our table, they brought us a starter to apologize. Service was best I've experienced here. Food outstanding.
Lunch time-Seafood chowder was watery and oily. Hardly any seafood in it. \n\nFish sandwich was flounder; not much flavor to it. Very disappointing.
Service was phenomenal. Food was creative and delicious. Atmosphere was great. A little on the loud side but it did not matter.
Perfect place to take my partner for his Birthday!
Went for the oyster happy hour and then stayed for dinner. Great place, delicious food !
The Optimist was the best meal we had all week in Atlanta, and we went to several excellent restaurants. Wonderful mix of flavors in the kale salad and monk fish entree. Loved the atmosphere and hope to come back on a warmer day when the patio with mini golf is open.
The chicken was not as great as I hoped. The rest of the food items were delicious.\n\nThe service was good, but not exceptional. \n\nThe decor is outstanding!
Have been to the Optimist many times and will continue to eat here. The food is superb and the atmosphere/service is amazing
Service was very attentive. She crab soup & salmon appetizer were very good. Entree of Mahi-Mahi & scallops were excellent. With wine the dinner was expensive but very enjoyable for party of 4.
The food was great, but I felt it was a bit overpriced for the quality. Service was a bit slow. Dark lighting.
The Optimist is heaven for seafood lovers. Fish expertly prepared attentive service, delicious cocktailsââ all in a wonderfully welcoming environment. \n\nPlates of perfection. Go!
I've been here multiple times. 2 years ago I had my birthday dinner here and so once my husband moved to Atlanta I took him here for his birthday. He and I both loved the La Plancha for a starter. We also overdosed on their Brussel sprouts. Who knew they could taste that good. The drinks were phenomenal and a great place to people watch. We loved the ambiance and the service was warm and welcoming. We'll definitely go again.
Excellent all around\nFantastic food, service and quality
Great place. Entrees were delayed but the server recovered quickly sending out an amuse to hold us over. Well done!!!
I took a client for lunch today. The restaurant has a good modern and sophisticated vibe. However, the music was somewhat loud for regular conversation. I could barely hear the client that I was sitting next to. We ordered salads and the lobster roll - they were great! I would have ordered appetizers but there weren't very many items on the appetizer menu that looked good and/or that looked good for sharing with a client so we didn't order them. Service was lacking. Our server was sweet but took forever to greet our table, take our order and pick-up our check. Look I get it - people on a business lunch are talking and you don't want to interrupt them but they're also in for a quick lunch. It took me 20 minutes to get there from my office and 20 minutes to get back. We were there for almost 2 hours. I can't take 3 hour lunches everyday. Its these types of lengthy service times that make people not want to venture outside of their office.
Excellent seafood and oysters with a wonderful atmosphere.
Great seafood, cocktails and wine. A bit too noisy for much convo.
The Optimist is by far my favorite restaurant in Atlanta. I love the feel and the mood as it's relaxed yet upscale. The food is AMAZING, from the rolls to La Plancha-yum! I went here for NYE and was a little taken back by the set menu as some of my fave's were missing but I understand that many restaurants do a set menu for the holiday. The service was great and we enjoyed our time as always.
Good but not exciting
New Years Eve dinner
Perfect patio for people watching and listening to the band. Table was squished in a busy thorough fare. So, the dining experience wasn't as enjoyable as it could have been. Food was delicious and delivered quickly. If the overall customer experience were considered without making the tables too cramped, this would be a 5-star meal option for dates, girly get-togethers or birthday celebrations. Crowds was lively and fun!
Open design of eating area.
Food was outstanding! Waiter was very attentive. Great place for a special night out !
The Restauarant was okay. I was a bit frustrated that we went on New Years Eve and they did not have the entire menu available. We were looking forward to trying items recommended by our friends. Was busy, but an okay experience.
Enjoyed Dinner. Lobster Rolls a must have ! Definitely will come back
Was really looking forward to this dinner, in town with my son for the Peach Bowl. Arrived early and table wasn't ready so we had drinks and a dozen oysters at the oyster bar. Best part of the night. Service was efficient, oyster selection was excellent, drinks well-prepared, prices reasonable. Dinner in main dining room featured overwhelming noise, painfully slow service, and an indifferent waiter. Gumbo good, nothing special, waited several minutes for a spoon. Kale salad was indistinguishable from one you can get from from any higher end restaurant. The cobia tartare was good, the tuna poke was very good. My son enjoyed his smoked fish chowder and swordfish, but he can be effusive in his praise, but was not in this case. Would eat there again, especially in the oyster bar, but would not go out of my way.
We always have the best experience at The Optimist, Shaun was a great Server we hope to sit with him again
Excellent meal and Service as always! I will definitely return.
As an African-American, I was not happy with the seating. They placed is in the back in the dark. The worst time on the house. I probably would never eat there again.
A good way to start New Years Eve; service is always great, nuce
This is the 7th or 8th time we have dined here. I'm done coming at night. The lights were so low that it was next to impossible to read the menu. The place was packed (good for them) including what appeared to be an after-work office gathering. it was simply too f-ing loud. Server said the She-crab soup was new to the menu.....in fact, it has been on the menu ever since they opened. While it may have been off during the summer, it is not 'new'.\n\nWant to sit at the raw bar and have some oysters? Great Place for that. Want a great lunch? Ditto. I simply can no longer recommend it at night.
Great food and service
Love love love love this place! The Oyster Bar is my favorite space but all of the food is amazing. Not to mention the employees are all very knowledgeable and the drinks...oh the drinks...are absolutely amazing!
Great food and GREAT service. Our waitress Andi was FANTASTIC and I was tempted to come back every weekend just to have her wait on us. Haha! Great food and great atmosphere. We loved it!
Fantastic !!! Great experience. The people were great and the food was wonderful. Truly a 5 Star evening.
We took our friends with us before a tech basketball game. The food was all very fresh, very well prepared and presented. Oysters were fabulous. Liked the home made cracker for oysters and for the soup. I had smoked fish chowder and octopus. Loved both. Red fish was really outstanding. Beets too. Our friends had never been and cant wait to return.
We always love the food at the Optimist. There always seems to be something new to try as well as their unique staples that are always on the menu.
My first time at OPTIMIST(JCT is one of my FAVORITES). \nLove the big open space. Food was great.Looking forward to returning.
I love this restaurant. The service, food and atmosphere is great! I am a big fan of oysters and they had run out of the kind I usually get by the time I got there but I still enjoyed another type of oyster. My server was very knowledgeable and helped me make choices on menu options. This is DEFINITELTY a go to for dates or just a night out.
Had a friend in town and when we pulled up to Valet we were told there are no more valet parking. We had to park our own vehicle. When asked how everything was by our waiter I told her everything was ok besides we had to park our own car because no valet. The waiter went and got the manager who came and offered to park our vehicle and to give us $5 off bill. Though this was a nice gesture it was not enough so I decided to post this.
This Restaurant is one of my favs in Atlanta! Delicious seafood with tons of option and not the same fish you see at every other Restaurant.
Service was unusually slow. \nPortions are very small compared to the price being charged. \nGood choices for the oysters \nLiked the oysters. \nIf a friend is looking for good seafood place will recommend it but warn them about price and portions.
First visit to the Optimist. The menu choices were a bit limited but I still enjoyed my dinner tremendously (who wouldn't - had a whole Lobster). Very well done, as were the rest of the dishes we ordered.\nStaff was very attentive and friendly and made you feel welcomed. The manager stopped by to check on us which was a nice gesture. \nOverall, I would recommend the Optimist. It has a young vibe, loft like decor, but guests were of mixed age and seemingly from all walks of life.
Friends and I meet every year there for the holidays. Just wonderful!!
Everything was amazing. The place to be and be seen! Service was fantastic. Food incredible. People watching ah-mazing. Definite must do in ATL
We were disappointed. The food was just okay, except for our desserts which were mediocre at best. Service was slow and inattentive. My wife's dessert was billed as a Heath Bar sundae with malted ice cream. When no Heath Bar was detectable, she asked the waiter about it. At first he mumbled something about the crunchy crumbs on the side, but then said he'd check on it. He came back saying that they had run out of Heath Bar so they had left it out. We didn't bother bringing to his attention that the ice cream was also not malted, since we immediately asked for a refund. While they did grant the refund, this was indicative of the lackadaisical approach they took to our whole meal.
An evening at The Optimist is always something we look forward to when we see it on our calendars. The food, staff and atmosphere are spot on. It was extra special to have our Christmas Eve dinner with friends at The Optimist.
Service and food and ambience. Simply impeccable. I think this is the best restaurant in Atlanta
Craig Ãµur server was most helpful while suggesting alternatives.
Amazing food and romantic atmosphere with low lighting and plenty of space between tables to ensure intimate conversations
I thought the fish and side dishes I got were too salty and a bit over seasoned. I think the chefs could reduce the salt added to the food and it would still be great. I did mention this to our server. Next time I go I will definitely request no added salt. They could also reduce the amount of butter used.
My daughter and I had our third annual Mother/Daughter Christmas lunch on yesterday. As usual the service was great, the food was delicious and the ambience set a wonderful tone for us. Love this restaurant. Dreaming of the fried oysters and gumbo now. Be back soon. \n\nBette Graves Thomas
I've got to sell my house and move closer to The Optimist so I can be at Happy (!) Hour every day slurping down a small village of sweet succulent oysters at $1 each, dropping a smidge of the Blue Point brine into my perfectly cold and sea salt dirty martini.
Good restaurant. Gumbo and Shrimp Burger are great. Lobster roll is the most popular item for lunch. It was OK - wasn't fond of the cool temperature of the lobster roll meal. Cocktail and beer selection is solid. Good ambiance. Often busy with moderate to high level of noise but not overly distracting. Service was great. All in all a good spot to check out and dine at. Will certainly go back.
The optimist was a great experience, as usual. The hush puppies are to die for.
Great food and service, though a little pricey. I love the wood fire grilled fish but find that $30 for an entree that is an a la carte meal makes this restaurant a special occasion only experience for us.
Make reservations as they get fill fast at peak hours!
Great atmosphere! A terrific selection of oysters! The best charred octopus I've ever had! The Brussels sprouts are out of this world and the service was excellent!
One of the best in Atlanta!
One of our favorite places to eat in Atlanta! Love the atmosphere and the unique spine on southern food like sweet potatoes and love that the menu changes for the season! SOOOO good!!
Went for lunch and the Lobster salad was delicious!
One of the best options in Atlanta. My girl and I visit every year for her birthday and it has been consistently awesome every time thus far. Varied selection of oysters, excellent staff, creative drinks and perfectly executed dishes make it an outstanding choice. Special shout-out to T-Dog (Travis) for excellent service and food knowledge. Cheers.
Had an excellent meal and a very good server. The octopus appetizer may have been best I ever had-very spicy and tender. The smoked seafood chowder was real comfort food-thick and creamy without an overpowering smoke. 2 entrees were both wonderful-snapper and swordfish which was cooked with duck fat so it had a very rich flavor. Thought the coffee was overprices at $3.50 but at least it was good coffee. The ONLY mark against this restaurant is the noise level which is VERY high,. Do not go if you want to have an intimate conversation.
Been to the Optimist before and it is one of my favorite restaurants. This time the server had a bad attitude and had a negative impact on the evening.
Best seafood in Atlanta! Great raw bar. Menu is very extensive in options and creative in offering. Became my favorite after one dining experience.
We loved it! Reservation was at 7. Arrived and were promptly seated. food was incredible and the cocktails were just as good. Service was spot on and our server (Adam I think) was great. Polite and very informative. Knew the menu very well and was able to give great recommendations. Thank you!
We celebrated our wedding anniversary and the entire staff made our evening special. The service was impeccable, attentive, but not hovering. I definitely recommend The Optimist!
The whole experience was outstanding. The food was delicious. I would highly recommend this restaurant.
Been here multiple times, food is delicious with a rotating seasonal menu, Osyters are a great appetizer choice and the octopus is spectacular. The real treat is the hushpuppies
My wife return the seafood soup. Everything else was excellent and quickly made up for it.
I love eating here and had waited all week to get over for some fresh fish. Unfortunately, when I attempted to place my order, I was told that the kitchen was out. The waiter recommended the scallops and they just weren't what I had in mind. Very disappointing experience for what is usually an amazing dining experience.
My best friend (who is a foodie and restaurant architect) of many, many years, came to Atlanta for a long weekend visit. We wanted a great foodie place in neo-ATL and chose Optimist. I booked the resv online through OT with a request for a comfortable table 'off the beaten path' so we could talk. We had heavy apps with a moderate lunch. The portion size is big...ordered mussels and a truly amazing Hamachi Crudo for apps. Both were fantastic. The Hamachi was buttery, creamy, and nearly spreadable. The accompanying aioli perfectly complemented the fish...seriously, order this. The mussels were served in a great broth with basil and mint and a thick slices of grilled bread. Again, really well done. Only problem was the portion size - there must have been 30 mussels in the app! Couldn't eat them all. We also had the fish sandwich and fries. The menu says the fish was cod, but it tasted and touched like halibut - no problem, though, if it was...perfectly crusted and served. My entrÃ©e was a combo - - I asked them to mix two together...a very healthy serving of deep fried cod and a side of fragrant, room-temp blanched brussels sprouts marinated in a flavored vinegar and topped with chips of crisp bacon.\nWe were there for nearly two hours - great lunch, great restaurant, and very capable servers. She made great beverage suggestions, and...best of all, my best friend of 50+ years, and I had a great time. No issues here at all.
Food was excellent. Drinks were the best part of the meal. You could tell they used fresh and high-end ingredients. Server was exceptionally friendly and accessible but she never refilled water glasses, which was odd. Also, they originally sat us in a high traffic area where servers had to squeeze past us coming from the kitchen even though the restaurant was pretty empty and spacious. Very accommodating when we asked to move.
The only reason I didn't give an overall rating of 5 was the fact that when I arrived at 4:55pm I was told the restaurant was not open and the hostess said she would let me and my husband know when our tables would be ready. About 5:15pm, the hostess told us our table was ready. As I walked in, I noticed 5 or 6 tables that already had patrons at tables. When she noticed the look on my face she replied I forgot that you were seated outside. \nNot sure If I want to re-visit a restaurant who's hostess forgets that she told guests to wait until their table is ready and forgets about you.
Great food and service one of my favorite restaurants.
Always an amazing dining experience.
Although we had to get our food boxed to go our meals were still outstanding.
we arrived at a deserted restaurant at 9:20 pm, to realize (once again) that is really late for supper around here. anyway, we took the hard decision to go deep into the menu and get the most appealing items there, starting with a very creamy and really hot (temperature) SMOKED FISH CHOWDER, burst with bacon, oysters and crackers, served on crack small pot that always puzzles me (really like the looks of that old kitchenware), then CHARRED SPANISH OCTOPUS with gochujang, a savory, spicy, and pungent fermented Korean condiment made from red chili, glutinous rice, fermented soybeans and miso yogurt, as yucky as it sounds and really going bold with green papaya and lime vinaigrette, which is THE dish that gets âmy viejaâ REALLY going for this seafood trendy shack. Just to get on the mood, manipulating battery and slippery seashells, the MUSSELS on mustard cream sauce, some country ham (which we argue to be a little too white to be ham) and tarragon, made us ask for a second round of toast to dunk it to the last drop and leave the little frying pan clean, making the waiter took away the empty shells preventinig us from sucking those tooâ¦ but enough about the appetizers, the âmotiveâ to be here is the opportunity to share the DUCK FAT POACHED SWORDFISH and braised short rib, steamed beets, watercress and celery root puree wish is the most interesting, intriguing and sexy âpoisson and beefâ I ever had, the fish is not fishy, the meat is not greasy, but there is the duck fat to the rescue, blending all that zoology together with melting veggies that makes this, one of my personal favorites, but for the dish not to get too cocky, bean the only main entry, a side of SWEET POTATO, smashed dates, a little chorizo, coriander vinaigrette was making the honors been the side kick. And justâcause every great meal merits a masterly pour drink, I had a couple of ALPINE RETREATs, while my wife had glass of Manos Negras \nall that because images are not worth a thousand words!
Excellent service and food. Optimal timing between courses. Great staff and vibe. Definitely would return.
Fantastic meal from start to finish. Wonderful food and cocktail choices. Will continue coming back! Wait staff was exceptional.
The greeters and service was very good, but would avoid using the term excellent as when asked to render an opinion they quickly pointed top the most expensive item on each section of the menu without hesitation. The restaurant was noisy and our table was frequented throughout our meal by flies (yes - a continuous guest throughout our experience). The homemade crackers were stale and the oysters at $2.25 a piece were cachectic and not worth the ordering. My main meal consisted of lettuce drown in oil a piece of fish, although perfectly grilled, without seasoning. This restaurant is not worth the drive for the ambience, the food or the price for this level of cuisine. In conclusion, I will not be back for a second taste and for those who have yet to try this spot - make sure some else is picking up the check.
As always, the Optimist did not disappoint. I made my reservation for the wrong day, but they did a great job working me in anyway. Carmen's service was excellent, and as always the food was great. Don't forget the hush puppies!
Fabulous! Our waiter, Doug was professional and helpful. We started with oysters and they were all absolutely the best oysters we have ever tasted. Our choice included offerings from across Canada and the US. Simply the best taste and texture across the board. We both ate one of Doug's recommendations, flounder almondine. The fish was beautifully prepared and delicious. We shared a sweet potato side that was also delicious. Oh, did I mention the cocktails? Perfect combinations of ingredients, not too boozy, but just right. I would recommend this restaurant to anyone looking for fine cuisine with excellent service.
Typical Ford Fry restaurant. Great space. Great energy. Food utterly and completely forgettable.
a very fun evening, oysters were excellent and fairly priced. a bit nosiy for my taste but everyone was well behaved--just kinda frenetic.\nFood was very goo as was service
Food was amazing. Server was attentive but not annoying. Will recommend to others. Great atmosphere. Certainly will go back.
All food was excellent - some favorites were the shrimp appetizer and the fried rice side. Also enjoyed the mussels. We each had different entrees and all plates were cleaned. Will definitely return. Be prepared for a loud environment. Tables are very close together (French bistro style) - when we arrived there were tables on both sides of us and it was hard to converse. Those tables departed and we were able to enjoy some quieter moments.
oysters yes --- regular menu isnt something that made me want to get excited about. just my opinion
Celebrated my 16th wedding anniversary. My wife and I thoroughly enjoyed our night out. We're looking forward to going back to try more menu items.
Very good seafood place. Great for special occasions/birthdays.
I have been there a few times. I go for the food and the ambiance of the building, I just happened to get stuck next to some LOUD tables.
The swordfish poached in duck fat was absolutely amazing! Every entre that each person had had excellent presentations and wonderful flavor and texture. One member in our party loved the whole haddock so much he took his time and at the whole fish.\n\n\nSo good!!
Great service! Its all about the lobster roll!
Each flavorful bite was masterfully done. Fresh seafood paired for flavor explosion. Sadly the delicious homemade ice cream was not available in take home quart size as it was that good!
Was super salty and disappointing. I have had several great experiences in the past but didn't enjoy my meal. Had the halibut and it was so cooked that it was almost chewy. And the octopus was also chewy and had a funk. Even the oysters were just okay. Bummer!
The scallops (lightly pan fried) were the best I've had. I went on my birthday and our waitress was superb! She went out of her way to make sure everything we ordered met our expectations. The food and especially the service exceeded our expectations!
Absolutely delicious! The charred octopus appetizer was great, and our favorite part of the meal.
I've been dying to come back to try their Dinner Menu since my first trip was for lunch; they have a great wine list & a impressive menu, but I was disappointed and a bit underwhelmed with my second visit. My Mahi Mahi was supposed to come in an oyster broth, but came out in some kind of cream sauce which was way over salted. It was also maybe a little over half a filet of any fish I've had at a restaurant. I love brussel sprouts, so of course I had to order one of my fav fall staples. They were over-charred, but the flavor was definitely there due to the harissa & goat cheese. Our server was very nice, but asked how our food was as soon as it was dropped off & never came back after I told him everything looks good, but We hadn't started yet. Overall, it was an ok experience, but not worth the money.
Food was excellent...enjoyed a variety of apps and main dishes. Didn't like the hush puppies..first batch came out cold, second batch had no taste, but we weren't charged for them. They gave us a sample of dessert for our trouble. Really too full to eat but tasted it and was delish!
Wonderful staff and amazing food. I'm sticking to my guns; best Restarant in Atlanta!
My dining experience at The Optimist was Ok..\nThe wait staff was very attentive, and professional\nThe ambiance was vibrant and full of energy but the food was just...\n\nI had been told by several friends, and business associates that the food was over the top.\nI am a foodie and love experiencing various restaurants. But more importantly, I like having a select few as my place for special occasions or key business dinner meetings.\nI was told The Optimist would be on my short list but my experience was just Ok.
The meal was exceptional and the service great. The noise level in the restaurant on a busy night is somewhat challenging
Never disappoints. Food is fresh and wonderfully prepared and the server was friendly and very knowledgeable.\nGreat food & wine. It was a bit loud so conversation was louder than usual.\n\nCan't wait to go again.
The venue was very sophisticated nice ambiance, and the staff was wonderful butt our waiter was AMAZING, friendly and very attentive, I would recommend this restaurant to everyone
Always a hit with my closest friends and colleagues. This was a dinner with a regular business partner and close friend. Then we ended up running into more colleagues while eating there. The food was fantastic, the service is always excellent and they have a beautify room as well. A top spot IMHO.
I always want to love the food here more than I do. The appetizers are excellent, but all the entrees dishes I've had are underwhelming. Fish is dry and all the preparations largely taste the same. Come for the oyster bar and apps but go elsewhere for dinner. The ambiance and service are both fantastic though, which is basically what keeps us coming back.
I highly recommend the Optimist. We live far OTP and I travel throughout the world, so I am not typically interested in driving an hour plus for dinner. I get great food everywhere else and let Atlanta just be my casual comfort food guilty pleasure. I also work with the largest multi concept restaurant operator in the Country. The Optimist is well worth the visit. The tuna poke, ceviche, amberjack, Mahi, several sides - not one miss. All great. Only thing I would change is ease up on the salt on the yeast rolls, and I LOVE salt.
LOVE THIS PLACE - FOOD IS FABULOUS - UNFORTUNATELY, WE GOT SEATED NEXT TO AND RIGHT AFTER A GROUP OF ABOUT 25 CELEBRATING A BIRTHDAY - FOOD SERVICE WAS SLOW AND A BIT UNEVEN - MANAGER NOTICED AND CAME OVER, OFFERED DRINKS BUT IT STILL WAS 1.5 HOURS TIL ENTREES CAME - AND THEN WE GOT 3, NOT 4 - ALSO, SO NOISY COULDN'T HERE REST OF TABLE - WILL NOT KEEP US FROM GOING BACK BUT WILL NOT TRY TO DO A BUSINESS DINNER - AND WILL BE MORE CAREFUL ABOUT WHERE WE ARE SEATED -
Best seafood restaurant ever eaten at and one of the best dining experiences we have had. Came for our 11th wedding anniversary. Alexis, one of the hostesses set us up with a great table and we had 2 glasses of champagne and menus with 'Happy 11th Anniversary' printed waiting for us. Jamie, our server was extremely knowledgeable about the menu and gave great recommendations. She was incredibly sweet and very good. We had octpuss app, brussel sprouts and basmati fried rice as sides. Oysters were awesome. My wife had the Mahi Mahi and I had the scallops. All were amazing. The price for the meal plus 4 drinks was very reasonable. The interior was great, very vibrant but with the perfect mix of energy and privacy. Very cool spot. I would recommend The Optimist to anyone!! Well Done!!
This was our first time here and we will definitely be back! Great food, wonderful service and fun, energetic atmosphere!
Went there for a much needed date night. We ate our weight in oysters. My man is a tequila aficionado, for that he was a tad bit displeased with the selection. But that was the only complaint. I was a Extremely Content with everything that we ordered and the service. We will definitely be back.
I discovered the Optimist approximately two years ago when it first opened. The food then was tasty, if a bit inconsistent. The restaurant hasn't managed its growth well. The din of noise, abetted unecessarily by both an outdoor band and an indoor music track, just wasn't that conducive to conversation. Tables are very close together, presumably to accommodate the restaurant's increased popularity. The waitress we had simply could not keep up with the number of tables she had to attend. As a consequence, we waited unduly long periods for food and drinks. The management has some tweaking to do before success begets failure. Also, to be frank, the lack of upscale options with tasty food in Atlanta tends to lead to over-subscription of places like the Optimist, which in turns makes the latter less, not more, of a desired destination.
I liked it very much, but the level of noise was too high
My husband and I dined at The Optimist for the first time on our first wedding anniversary. It was nothing short of fantastic! They went the extra mile by writing Happy Anniversary on our menus, as well as treating us to complimentary champagne. The atmosphere was energetic and the service was excellent. I highly recommend this restaurant for a date, girls night out, or any special occasion.
Friendly staff, amiable to requests and good food. Everyone enjoyed it.
everything was superb. food, drinks, wine, service, atmosphere. can't go wrong with this one.
This has to be the best place in Atlanta for oysters. They have a wonderful selection and best of all, folks who know how to open an oyster without butchering the meat and filling the shell with mud and oyster shell fragments. \n\nHad an East Coast West Coast sampler and they were wonderful and highlighted the difference in the two oceans.
The sides, accoutrement, appetizers, and majority of the entrees we ordered (there were 4 of us) were delicious, but my grouper was overcooked to the point that I thought they were maybe trying out a new style of preparation. I gave my friend a bite and he was shocked that I hadn't sent my entree back because the grouper was that chewy/overdone, but I looked past this because the oysters were phenomenal, as were the potatoes and beets and all of the other items we ordered.
Outstanding food! Great band on the patio. Excellent beer. Love this place!!
Been a minute since I've been here. Must be a new chef. I remember the octopus being the best ever; poached in port wine and grilled to perfection. Not this time. Overwhelmed with herbs, mushy vs firm but tender, charred ends of the tentacles were actually burned. The she crab soup used to be a very tasty froth. Now it's she crab soup, it's good but not as close to the taste and quality of the froth. The Georgia shrimp were head on and a mess to peel. The meat stuck to the shells. I'd prefer they deshell before cooking. I ordered the snapper for my entre. I expected a whole fish. I got a square filet. It was over seasoned with salt on the skin side but the meat was pretty good. The oysters were great! I may come back for the oyster happy hour but not for dinner.
Everything was great, food, service, ambiance, value, everything was on point. The only reason I didn't give it a 5 is because we were initially seated in front of a door and it was cold that evening. We asked if we could be moved and they quickly accommodated us. The only thing is that we were seated right in front of the serving window. Not bad, but I had to watch and hear a lot of the kitchen activity. Other than our seating arrangement, we had a truly pleasurable dining experience and I would definitely go back.
Our server was amazing. Forgive me for not recalling her name but she was Australian and very knowledgeable as well as on point with her service. We ate with an extremely tired ten year old and never felt judged or inconvenienced for it. The food was fantastic from the bread to the peanut butter and jelly cheesecake. We especially loved the okra and hush puppies. \nThanks for a great experience, we'll definitely be back.
One of the best dining experiences I've had in Atlanta!
Amazing! Lobster roll.
We got caught in traffic and staff accommodated us as soon as they could. We went for a late lunch and enjoyed ourselves a great deal even though we were pressed for time. \nOur server was informative and patient and attentive. I'm sorry I don't recall her name. \nThe Chowder fries are decadent and delicious. We will definitely get them again but you can split them amongst 3 people easily. I had the blackened fish sandwich which was perfect. I didn't care for the straw fries. I prefer some weight to my fries. Definitely helped with my carb control. lol. My wife had the grouper and enjoyed it however she looks forward to the extensive dinner menu because of all the other fish options available after 5. I forget what dish my mother had but she enjoyed hers a great deal too. Our only disappointment was the gumbo. Nothing there at all. I try the gumbo almost everywhere I go and theirs needs a lot of work. Overall though this place rocks. We'll go back for sure.
Food was great, drinks were delish and ambience was good. loved the flounder... would definitely go back again!
Was in town for business and chose this restaurant over the typical chains in Atlanta. Bar and wine selection were great. Food was good but has a little room for improvement. Give it a shot. Very fun atmosphere in dining room.
We visit the Optimist often and it never fails to impress. The food, cocktails and the waitstaff are great. We'll be back soon.
The Optimist is a real treat -- starting with the wonderful bar and talented mixologists, the fun vibe and ambience right down to the appetizers and entrees. It is the full experience of epicurean experience
What a great place, the ambiance is a very warm cozy feeling from the miner lightening, 60's tiling over back kitchen wall, airy, and hints of a rustic feel. If you choose not to sit in the main dining area, the optimist provides a oyster bar that's open seating and offers a small menu but still great for a quick lunch, and if theirs a bit of a wait no worries... Putt putt golf right outside that provides some entertainment while you wait. The food small portioned but fair in price provided me with a beautiful presentation, as well sides that were extra to compliment my meal. The service at the bar was average, drink however great,the wait staff was very on topic my visit and attentive to my needs while dining. I will definitely comeback.
Good bread and salad. Fantastic dessert. Fish main courses just OK.
Had a great experience at The Optimist, was not my first time here - brought business associates in for their first time. Everyone enjoyed the experience.
The food was delicious and the service exceptional. Would highly recommend
Wonderful service and amazing food.
Very hip, very fun, food was delicious, and our server was very attentive. What's not to like? They've created something special, for sure. Loved the band in the bar area. Only suggestion is that it's perhaps too loud for some.
Our experience was great on all levels. I had heard, and read, a lot of great things regarding The Optimist. The atmosphere was hip, the service fantastic, and the food was delicious. Great birthday celebration.
My friend and I came to The Optimist on the recommendation of a friend and were blown away. They have a large selection of oysters on the half shell, which my friend enjoyed while I sampled the fried oyster appetizer -- both were delicious. Our entrees were perfectly sized, perfected cooked, and absolutely delicious, with a slight hint of flavor added from the wood-fired oven. We ended with the salted caramel ice cream and the strawberry sundae; I tried both and can't decide which one is my favorite. Meanwhile, our server provided helpful suggestions and was very attentive. I highly recommend this restaurant.
We have wanted to try Optimist for some time, and were pleased on our 29th wedding anniversary. Special touch was greeting us with glasses of sparkling Chardonnay (very yummy, and special way to begin the evening). My husband had the seafood chowder and tuna poke for appetizer and it was very good. I had the she crab soup which was served cool and non-impressive (but I have trouble finding good she crab soup outside of Charleston, SC). Both of our fish entrees were very good, and hush puppy beignets were truly special. Ambiance and service were great!
Excellent meal and this was our first visit (but won't be the last). We had the mahi-mahi and the salmon and both were prepared perfectly.
The Optimist is simply THE restaurant I choose when I know I have to impress someone!
Great dinner! Vibrant space big bar great seafood towers!
It was our first time here at The Optimist, and we had a fabulous time. I read that the service has had some problems for other reviewers, but we had nothing but a stellar time. Food was excellent and surprisingly tasty. It was our anniversary, and it seemed the whole staff knew it and was congratulatory and kind. We will definitely be back!
The food was amazeballs. My only wish is that there be more gluten free options. Additionally, if legal seafood can do gluten free bread and be cheaper, anyone can. \n\nThe service was great.\nThe tables were a little close together, though, so cleaning a nearby table was sure to make you wear a few crumbs. \nThe bathrooms are easily the nicest in the city. \nThe only thing I would say I did not like is the agresiveness of the valet in reference to tips.
This visit to the Optimist was disappointing. The main courses were very good, as expected, but the appetizers, dessert, and service were not. Our waitress tried to be friendly and it was clear that she was making an effort rather than just being friendly. Our inquiry about a wine recommendation was ignored until we started making suggestions of our own. Typically, the staff here has been excellent, especially with wine choices. This one, not so much. Further, she forgot a birthday candle per my husband's request and seemed flustered and unfocused throughout the service. Our appetizers were just okay. The soup was lukewarm and the salad was fair. The dessert, chocolate bread pudding, was terrible. The carmel sauce was oversalted and the texture of the pudding was not good. We have visited this restaurant many times in the past and been very pleased so this was surprising to us. We probably won't be back....disappointing because there aren't many good seafood restaurants in Atlanta.
Amazing restaurant... highly reccomend the oysters and smoke salmon toast. We are blown away every time!!!
We have dined here several times since the opening and it has gotten progressively less satisfying. As of my last visit, I would compare the food quality to dining at Applebee's. At least the ambiance and oysters are still good.
Excellent lunch. Mussels were fantastic. Blackened fish sandwich also great.
The food is excellent, different and unique. My scallops were a bit too salty, but still excellent. Loved she crab soup. Great service. Atmosphere is louder than I would like, and that was a Wednesday evening. FANTASTIC variety of port wines for after dinner.
We were charged prices above those listed on drink menus. Waitress refused to oorrect them. Ruined an otherwise fine evening.
Very fun but LOUD! Great food though. I am used to living in Florida and having moderately priced seafood. I did feel food was pricey!
Excellent food! The atmosphere was nice. The cost is Very pricey...
Celebrated my birthday here on 11/6. I loved the environment. Good place for date night or celebrating birthdays. My server was amazing, he was very attentive and recommended great wine and food options.
As always, the Optimist doesn't disappoint. My friend and I split a few small plates; roasted oysters, fried rice, salmon toast and Georgia apple salad. Each had a very distinctive flavor; each excellent!!!
We to try a new dining experience for birthday. Ambiance and food selections were . Thank you.
Great place to celebrate. Staff was excellent and flexible. Food great and creative.
Great food, great ambiance. The wait time was unusually long though.
This was our second time dining at the Optimist, and it was every bit as memorable and delicious as the first time! The atmosphere was great, our server was knowledgable and friendly, and the food was again unequaled. Everything was fantastic!
Thank you for a great experience...Our food was impeccable and our waiter was very attentive and knowledgeable about the wine list. I would definitely recommend this restaurant to my colleagues and friends.
Food was uniquely inspired but excellent. I might use the word 'progressive' tastes. The service was excellent. My only comment was that is seemed a bit noisy for one on one conversation across a table.
Everything I have had here is wonderful. I stop in almost every time I come to Atlanta.
We absolutely love the optimist. Shrimp a la plancha is a must every visit.
excellent food and service. we were in a quieter area but very noisy in the main area.
Watermelon and crab meat with a hint of spice from a jalapeno-awesome!\n\nWell fleet oysters-perfect.\n\nAlways good.
Good: \nHonored reservation on time on a busy Saturday night\nFood was exceptional\nService was professional and attentive\nPrices were fair\nBYOB with $12 corkage\nCould be better:\nEntrees took a LONG time to arrive (one of the managers did apologize for this)\nOne of the entrees luke warm\nMenu is limited\nQuite noisy in the front room (better elsewhere)
Rockin'. Always good. Impressive consistency from quality of food and service to energetic and vibrant atmosphere. AND, I love the play lists in all the Ford Fry restaurants.....\n\nLed Zeppelin to Blue Oyster Cult and everything in between.\n\nAlways and I mean always good--been our favorite in Atlanta for years!
Oyster bar and cold seafood platters were outstanding.
Excellent customer service. Great seafood!
Love the Food/Hated the Service -- The Optimist is one of our favorite places to eat in Atlanta and we have had great experiences there in the past. However, on this night, the service was terrible. We had concert tickets, arrived with plenty of time to enjoy our meal and in the end, we had to rush out of the restaurant to make the show. Our waiter would disappear for long period of time and we felt the service was not up to the Optimist's usual high standards. We will be back, but wanted folks to know this for planning purposes.
Great scallops. Exceptional service.
Finally made it to The Optimist. The main dining room and bar is a great space, with a slightly less fancy Raw Bar adjacent. The table service was among the best we've enjoyed anywhere (although the hostesses were oddly clueless on a not-very-busy night). The shellfish can't be beat. The only negative was that, consistent with our word of mouth referrals, the main courses were far too salty. The Red Grouper was especially salty, and frankly, slightly under-cooked. But the presentation, the flavor profiles and the sides were awesome. And the wine list has great value choices on it - though don't expect to find the same Chardonnays that everyone else carries.
Had a terrific meal here, perhaps the best seafood in Atlanta. Service very attentive, food cooked perfectly in seasoning and technique. Will come again and again!
The food was okay and the fish was slightly overcooked for all of us. Server was great but whispered and we all had trouble hearing her.
The lobster roll was awesome. The hush puppies stole the show and I am not a real fan of hush puppies.
Cool place, but the seafood is definitely nothing special. They say they try to give you small portions with no sides to highlight the quality of the fish, but this is just pretentiousness.
our experience at the optimist was excellent - although one of the main dishes were less than expected ( at best average vs excellent), the manager, gabriel, more than compensated with his attention and offer to prepare something different. the wait staff and especially gabriel were highly professional in their care and attention.
The food and service I have no problems with. But with the new apartment building going up, parking is now a nightmare. This will ultimately harm this restaurant. I wish they could pack up and move to a more convenient spot. Even with valet, it is not easy to drop off and pick up your car.
We waited for months to get a reservation on a night that worked. I finally got this one weeks in advance for my husbands birthday. The restaurant was almost empty. They ran out of the dish that both of us were going to order by 7:00 pm. We opted for other dishes that were mediocre. Super disappointed. Won't be back.
We made reservations to celebrate my sons 20th birthday. Service and food was very good! When I called, I requested a table 'off to the side' for a semi-private and quieter evening; we were placed directly in front of the kitchen... very disappointed. Other than it being too loud to enjoy a decent conversation, we had a nice celebration.
The Optimist never disappoints! The food is delicious, and the wait staff fabulous as well.
What happened? the food at the Optimist used to be so great! Now it is too small, too salty, and not cohesive. Too bad, won't be back anytime soon.
The gumbo was watery . I got one oyster and 2 pieces of sausage and broth . No rice and the soup part watery not thick like a stew. Both main courses came out very under cook and the water spilled my wine and broke the glass every wherr
So glad we tried it. New to us. Loved the feel of it and the energy in the place.
The interior of restaurant was superb, but all of the food we ordered were way too salty..!
Loved the food and the atmosphere. Cant wait to go back!!
The food and service was wonderful! We will definitely return!
Birthday dinner for party of 11, could not sit at the same or adjoining table as one was round and the other small square. Meal was excellent all were very happy with dinner.
Birthday dinner for party of 11, could not sit at the same or adjoining table as one was round and the other small square. Meal was excellent all were very happy with dinner.
Food and service off the charts. Needed a lunch spot for a business meeting. They delivered HUGE. Quiet location, server didn't rush us. But when we did want our meal or beverages she was on the ball. Cant say enough...oh, did I mention the Octopus was amazing?! Well it was!
Great food and service
Wonderful oyster bar, delicious signature drinks, fantastic(!) food. But the best part was the friendly attentive and personable staff and management. They made me feel extremely special, and gave me a truly memorable birthday.
Our server was delightfully efficient and despite being very busy paced our meal very well. We started with oysters which we were disappointed that- on an early Saturday night- they were already out of both west coast varieties. We also ordered the poke which the ahi tuna was of great freshness and quality but the poke as a dish was basically tuna in a pool of super salty soy sauce. \nNext we ordered the charred octopus.The Indian/middle eastern flavors of mint and garlic were delicious but the large tentacles were extremely tough and chewy. We also had the toasted baby eggplant with black garlic sauce to go with the octopus dish and found the eggplant to be inconsistent. There are 3 different varieties of baby eggplant in this dish some smaller pieces cooked beyond recognition and other larger ones barely cooked at all. We wanted one more cocktail before our paying the bill were told they just ran out of the gin we like. So, we had high hopes that there would be more refinement with the seafood preparations at the Optimist but ultimate left disappointed in the food.
Everything was good. Great service, gluten free items. All good.
The food was just outstanding! We ordered a variety of oysters from the menu, all of which were very fresh and clearly of high quality. Additional appetizer/meal orders were well-prepared and delicious as well. There are only two areas where I was left disappointed: our server was very attentive to us when we arrived but shortly after our initial orders she was rarely coming to check on us, which I found to be odd . Additionally, the booth seats seem to be comfortable, but I was seated in a chair, which was very rigid and highly uncomfortable. I left the restaurant with an aching back, which took away from the pleasant experience I was having with tasting such great food. That was disappointing, along with the drop in level of service.
One of my favorite places in Atlanta to eat! Food is always good.
One of my favorites in Atlanta! Just a really chill scene with amazing food. If you don't have a good time here...you're a grouch.
Great atomsphere with a midtown oldtown feel. Lunch was great.
Going away party for a family member. Everyone's 1st dinning experience was GREAT \n& I was thanked continuously for making a great selection.
What a surprise! I love this area of town! The food was so good. We had an excellent waiter and he suggested our apps, which were very good. I was interested in the Bass but not sure if it would be a strong fish. His explanation was perfect and the meal was to die for. Our wine selection was perfect. I love the loft feel for this urban find!!
The meal I had was one of the best in recent memory. Everything on the menu looked great, so much so that I wish I could have gone back the next night to try something different. This is a must-visit restaurant if you're in the Atlanta area!
We have been to The Optimist on our last two trips to Atlanta and have enjoyed the experience\nvery much, nice setting, wonderful food and service.
This was very very expensive for boring food. Service was good. I wouldn't recommend it to anyone.
Alexis was an awesome server. She had notable recommendations and was very intentional throughout my wife's and my evening. Great, delicious seafood with an exceptional feel/atmosphere.
Everything was delicious starting with the sea salt topped yeast rolls to the candy bar sundae. The swordfish and scallops were fantastic. I highly recommend this restaurant especially for special occasions.
great night of relaxed dining. not rushed to get an open table for the next customers
I love everything about this place! And the waiter was fantastic! I'll definitely be back soon!
My and I chose The Optimist for her birthday dinner. It was a very unique atmosphere, an open warehouse feel, slightly noisy, industrial very clean. Prices ranged from $20-30 per person. Our waiter was awesome, very helpful and attentive. My wife picked scallops ($30) and had no complaints. I went with fish and chips ($21), which were good but the fish was too heavily fried. I took half the batter off which made it better. Mississippi mud cake was a phenomenal dessert. Overall experience was great, but at $21, my dish was disappointing.
Great first experience with wonderful service and good food. We ordered the octopus app and is was very different but not bad. The wild rice meal with all the seafood was delicious but a lot of work to peel the shrimp. Dessert was the best part of the meal! Amazing!
Hands down the best meal we have ever had! In fact, it was so good, we cancelled out reservations at another restaurant for the next night and came back to The Optimist again!!
Took me three years to get here. Very good meal, expertly prepared but the harissa-spiced asparagus didn't really fit well with the flounder and scallop mains we ordered. The kale salad was inundated with cheese, an ingredient not even listed. Still good, if not a meal in itself. Maybe I don't get out a bunch anymore, but with tip for two people was over $160. Skipping one dessert and two drinks would have saved $35. \n\nAll this said, the food was tasty and I felt worth the price of admission. Couldn't believe how many folks were there on a Sunday night, just eatin'. They must be richer than me!
This had been on my Atlanta bucket list for a while and it was as I expected. The charred octopus and the PB&J Cheesecake were absolutely phenomenal. The oysters were fresh and flavorful and the service was absolutely top notch.
Unique place to go for Oysters and with a changing menu to keep repeat engagement. The food descriptions were more impressive than the actual executions. For example, crispy potatoes as a side dish appeared as no more than a sauced potato skin appetizer. Service is remarkably, understandably slow during a busy Friday night. The seafood menu was not particularly diverse but the restaurant is a good change of pace for local seafood dining. This would be a great place in the rotation for work-related dining as well. However, the noise levels and lack of privacy would preclude great dialogue or first dates. Super glad I went, enjoyed my food and meal but was a bit underwhelmed. I will be back eventually, hopefully to select from the next iteration of the menu.
The Optimist used to be my favorite restaurant in Atlanta. Since Adam Evans left, the food has gone downhill. My last visit I had to send back the octopus (my favorite dish there) which was supposed to be charred and was raw. We were there for over 2 1/2 hours waiting on our food. We had to ask about our main courses. This visit, the food was just mediocre. I had the georgia apples salad and the mahi, both of which I would not order again. In addition, the overall ambiance is not what it used to be. The very loud fire alarm went off for almost 20 minutes (there was no fire) which I realize it out of their hands. I was not expecting anything but it would have been nice for them to offer a dessert or something since we could not talk over the noise. The Optimist needs to go back to its roots and cook amazing seafood properly. Hopefully once they hire a new chef, this will happen.
My brother and I brought our mother to celebrate her 92nd birthday. She is blind so she could not enjoy the decor but she did enjoy the food which was the chowder and a fish filet sandwich. She could only eat half and brought the rest home for dinner. And finally the restaurant treated Mom to a birthday dessert. Very nice! Our waitress also helped us capture the moment with a lovely photo!
The Clam bar in the front was excellent. Everything was fresh and tasted great. The Lobster Rolls were Little expensive for the amount of food you get. The brownie dessert was awesome. We usually don't eat dessert but glad we did.
After 6 restaurants in 3 days I still get excited for the Optimist!
Definitely a cool and energetic place. Somewhat disappointed with the service, though. Hopefully it was only an anomaly.
The food was great . A bit noisy but I guess it is to be expected with such a large open floor plan. Valet parking too
Service was slow and the kitchen seemed to be having trouble keeping up. At our table for four, three of the entrees arrived, and then there was a long pause while those served uncomfortably stared at their cooling plates while awaiting the fourth to be served, meanwhile making conversation as if it didn't matter. The fourth entree eventually arrived and not long afterward we received an additional, similar entree to the late fourth. We didn't ask for the fifth dish, or complain about the fourth being late to the table. \n\nSame thing happened with dessert.
Had a tremendous time dining at The Optimist. It was very cozy and relaxing. Very accommodating and vibrant. The staff was great! Loved the service and enjoyed the food. The experience was memorable and I'd go back anytime!
Had an excellent meal while visiting Atlanta. Portia took excellent care of me. Had the swordfish -- delish!! Thank you!
A wonderful time with great food and service. The octopus ap is wonderful. Our seafood selections were exceptional. A special thanks to our waitress for going above and beyond for my partner's birthday.
Great location for those staying in Downtown Atlanta. Great seafood selections and menu has the extra special unique items that bring me back. Chowder and oysters are great! Scallops the best.\n\nDon't mess them culinary gem!
Dining at your restaurant was a very delightful. My date was totally impressed. I also enjoyed myself. We will visit again.
I love this restaurant. I was disappointed in my last visit basically because my Swordfish was served cold. I love that dish and ate it all - but compared to my past visits, I was not super happy.\n\nI did not bring it to our servers attention because I was in the midst of a business deal and was not going to make any sort of fuss and risk losing a deal. I only pray the other four meals were served hot to my clients!\n\nOur server was fantastic - I know she would have made it right...
The quality and variety of seafood at Optimist was outstanding. The hush puppies were unique and tasty. We tried many of the sides dishes, but the fried rice was the best. My wife and I never eat oysters, but figured this was the place too try. We both agreed that the fried oyster appetizer was the best bite of the evening! We did have a lot of great others bites for sure! The cocktails were expertly done.\n\nA perfect meal for our 40th Anniversary.
Our server Annie was the best! I had the grouper and it was perfect. The Lobster Roll was a treat!
This is my go-to spot for seafood, and home of the best mussels anywhere. Oysters on this visit were quite small so I plan on returning at Happy Hour when there is more diversity. We like to eat at the spacious, friendly bar. I tried a delicious hibiscus-infused gin drink that actually went well with the basil-chorizo octopus entree.\nGreat service and sophisticated menu, with tons of super wines, beers and cocktails.
Recommended by a friend for my 10th Anniversary. The parking fee is ok but very confusing and almost presented a problem as receipt from inside did not clearly state I had paid inside. The appetizer fried oysters were very flavorful and we enjoyed them. Main entrÃ©e the Swordfish was excellent. We had trouble getting after dinner drinks served in a timely fashion. Overall we had a blast as we were in a good mood to begin the evening!
First, it is important to mention the hush puppies here where the best I have had in 17 years of living in the Southeast! Second, this is Atlanta's best seafood restaurant, hands down. Everything was creatively prepared and extremely fresh. The ambiance was lively but not so loud that we couldn't have a conversation. The decor could be described as coastal urban.
The Optimist is always a great spot to eat. Always thoroughly enjoy.
Service was excellent. Lively atmosphere. Great bread, great dessert. Nice wine. Menu interesting, tasty dishes but on the salty side. Chairs are very uncomfortable.
Food was well prepared. Service at our station was lacking. For a seafood specialty restaurant I thought the entree list was also lacking, as there were only about 6-7 offered and two of those were swordfish and amberjack which are not IMO top shelf seafood fare. My friend ordered the swordfish and did not like, but I ordered the flounder which had a great preparation and was a good piece of fish. The fried oyster starter was excellent as was the powdered sugar hush puppies and cane sugar butter. New Orleans got nothing on those two. \n\nNice bar with a good craft cocktail menu.
Great server. Great food.
Such a wonderful experience. I will definitely be back and suggest to anyone and everyone! The staff was friendly and the food was amazing. Cool, hip atmosphere but still had an intimate feel.
Superb oysters, from Massachusetts to Florida! \nThe noise level is quite energetic though.
Love the shrimp burger and fries for lunch. Just yummy. However very disappointed they did not have my Favorite key lime dessert on the menu. I will say that the whole parking situation is a turn off. All the signs and details about paying the garage $3 for parking and 'don't forget to pay the valet also'. It's kind of low rent. I would just suggest raising their prices a bit and go back to the normal tip the valet...the restaurant should work out a deal with the garage and leave the customers out of it. Just saying...
My wife and I visited for the first time. We loved the outdoor putting green and seating area. Our meals were outstanding. Everything tasted wonderful. After dinner, we relaxed on the green and listened to music. Definitely a great dining spot.
The hushpuppies were absolutely delicious. I had the fried haddock and it was ok (no flavor) and the basmati rice had a bit too much curry. My colleagues scallops were just 'ok' and fish and chips were standard. Not impressed with the rave reviews that were mentioned. Service was also sub par.
The Optimist offers the best oysters in town, and the service is always amazing. I've never had a dish there that wasn't amazing - I always over order because I just want to try so much on the menu! A few of my faves from this trip were the chowder, the kale salad, and the duck fat poached swordfish. Delicious!
We are NYers who go out a lot. From the great name of your restaurant to the ambience, food and service, one surpassed the next.\n\nVisiting Atlanta and considering relocation, we had the chance to visit the Westside on our last day.\nI immediately loved the name as I am very positive and can relate. The space is amazing, open and inviting with wonderful service.\n\nWe ordered the Grilled octopus salad and arugula Granny Smith salad to start. This was the best Grilled octopus salad bursting with flavor and the chorizo was a great addition.\nMy husband loved the burger and had the fried rice with peanuts. I had the Georgia peel and eat shrimp which were the best and their special version of remoulade was delicious.\nTo seal the wonderful meal and experience, we had the most delicious ice creams- salted caramel and toasted coconut.\n\nDo not walk, run! I can't wait to move here just for your restaurant.
We traveled from Nashville for a girls' trip to look for a wedding dress and visit family - this was the perfect place to have dinner over the weekend! We even stayed late for a night cap because the ambiance was so great. Their wine selection covered all the bases and their cocktails were also delicious. We had the kale salad, charred octopus, flounder, and scallops and every dish was awesome and the portions were just right. We will be back!!!
The restaurant was attractive and the server was friendly and attentive. Unfortunately, I was just not impressed with the food. I started with a cup of gumbo which was fine, but nothing special. My entrÃ©e was the grilled grouper, which was attractively plated but which had almost no taste. I tried to convince myself that the lack of seasoning was acceptable and was intended to highlight the natural flavor of the fish, but that really didn't work. Each bite was just a disappointment for me. I ordered a side of the beignet-style hushpuppies. Again, the presentation was very nice, topped with the expected powdered sugar, but the taste did not live up to expectations.
We had a great time and everyone really enjoyed their meal. I'm a tough great so no one get a 4 star unless something exceptional happen. Yes, I would return food was good, staff was excellent
Great food! Bit noisy but to be expected. Wish the portions were slightly larger but the food was phenomenal.
Food was not on par with the hype or the name (ford fry). Technique was great (fish was cooked perfectly) but actual flavors were not there. Had high expectations and was let down in that area. Service was ok, but server was a bit awkward. Beautiful restaurant/bar and it was nice to see open kitchen
Great place with a diverse menu. I have eaten at the Optimist on several occasions including business lunch, dinner, and birthday. It's also a great option if you want to eat before or after events at Philips Arena or the Georgia Dome.
I had previously only been here for lunch.\nHad some out of town family who had read about it - so we made a reservation and the meal and experience was FABULOUS. We loved our server and all the food and drinks.\nCannot wait to go back!
The room is very lovely and we were seated quickly, we were running 15 minutes late but called ahead of time and they were very accommodating. We had oysters for 1st course, great but obviously that is more nature than anything prepared. Next courses were octopus ( good flavor, but not nice and charred like I have had it elsewhere, more braised and wet) and a yellowtail appetizer that was awful and we returned, all salty and fishy, server agreed that people didn't seem to like it...take it off menu!!! Main course was duck fat poached swordfish, absolutely delicious ...and salted caramel ice cream also great ...our server was somewhat inattentive ( no side plates, hard to track down when we needed something) but everyone around us seemed to be getting great service, and other servers were happy to help out when we once again couldn't track down ours. All in all very pleasant dinner, one bad dish.
The salmon, scallops and steak that our table ordered were well-executed and delicious. One member in our party ordered halibut only to be told several minutes later that the kitchen had run out. The kitchen was accommodating by removing meat items from a couple of seafood dishes. While our server was friendly and helpful, the wait between courses was too long.
Another amazing meal at the Optimist however our service could have been friendlier.
The Optimist used to he great when it first opened, but alas the executive chef left and the place has gone down hill ever since. The second time we came there were signs of the demise, but this last week-end it was all too apparent.\nArriving at 8.20pm on a Saturday there was NO ONE sitting around the oyster bar and we were seated immediately, even though we had arrived early for our reservation.(We had hoped to nudge up to the oyster bar and enjoy the fun and a dozen before we sat down)\nThe larger of the two rooms in which we were seated was not full, but the volume of the music certainly was. We spent the first half hour trying to shout above the noise;something I seemed to enjoy more than my wife. We eventually moved to another table where we could get our seats a little closer together so we could talk(We had tried texting but that was foolish!!!)\nOysters were good, as was the Shrimp a la plancha, but the main course fish were both terrible. Tilefish substitute for Wahoo REAKED of fish smell, and the swordfish was mealy in consistency as if previously frozen. Both were left almost un-touched. Their vegetable side dishes were, however, delicious.\nNo one thought to question our lack of interest in the fish, even though they call themselves a fish camp!\nSo, farewell Optimist. It was great at the beginning but.................
Great service and atmosphere. Our waiter was very knowledgeable and also provided great service. The swordfish is absolutely amazing. The rest of the food was great as well, but if there is one thing I would say to definitely try at the Optimist, it's the swordfish.
All the seafood was incredible - fresh, well-seasoned, and perfectly prepared. The scallops and haddock were both amazing, and the selection of oysters available was seriously impressive. The atmosphere on a busy Friday night was not overwhelming at all; my party was able to have a pleasant conversation without straining to hear or needing to speak loudly. Our server was attentive, knowledgeable, and made great recommendations about the menu.
Great seafood and interesting flavor combinations. Fun, upbeat atmosphere. Great, very attentive service. The on tap beer list needs some good porters, stouts, and maybe a good sour or Hefeweizen - it was too focused on ipa's.
Love the food! We enjoyed our meal and look forward to our next dining experience at The Optimist!
Just a great lunch with my wife all the way around. She had the fish sandwich (amberjack) and I had the lobster roll. Everything down to the bread was extraordinary.
I always love when I get to enjoy either lunch or dinner at the Optimist! Service is fantastic and every dish that I have ordered has been wonderful!
I was very pleased with the menu at the optimist, but when my food came out to the table I found myself thinking, 'that's it? I paid this much money for half a meal?'
The Optimist is a great place for business lunch it's in a great location as well as the valet parking makes it easy to get in and out. Service has always been great, always quickly seated and the servers are very attentive and the food is great. My favorite menu item is the lobster roll and I change out the shoe string fries for wedge fries instead.
Love the food ... entrÃ©es, veges and oyster menu ... and the ambiance. A bit noisy ... would like to see some 'quiet' spaces ... but great atmosphere overall.
My wife and I had a terrific meal at The Optimist when in town traveling from Philadelphia. Amazing. Our waitress (Alexis?) was great from start to finish. Helpful. No rush. All smiles. The food was imaginative and delicious. One of the better dining experiences we have had and we get out often. The manager (Darren?) came over to our table and we got into a conversation regarding the swordfish dish. Gave us some pointers on trying to make the dish ourselves. It wouldn't be nearly as good I am sure. What a job he did by giving us that kind of time on a Saturday night. My advice to the owners - lock him up. Stellar. Restaurant is first class. Don't think twice. Get here.
The snapper wasn't the best that nivht. I made a last minute reservation so it was close to closing. The snapper was burnt on the outside and raw internally. Still love this place but the Snapper has been wayyyyy better.
Great advice on oyster selection
The Optimist is probably one of, if not the, best restaurants that I have ever been to. The food was absolutely superb, but the meal was made all the more better by our outstanding waitress, who was very knowledgeable and relatable. She was able to help us navigate the amazing menu, and we were not disappointed with any of her suggestions.
I've been here before when in AtL; just a great location. The food selection and quality is outstanding and the service is equally fine. The staff appears genuinely committed to providing a great experience.
Our hostess asked us if the table was ok and my date said 'no'. They happily showed us a different table. The server was awesome in helping us select a wine with our meal. When there was a problem with the oysters that we ordered, they remedied it free of charge. The rest of the service was awesome. The presentation was amazing. The food was off the charts. One of top 3 dining experiences for my date. Thank you
I was never a big oyster person, but the oysters here is so amazingly good. I love the open kitchen. There is a table in the back that has a beautiful view of downtown ATL. Put in your request early for this table because I'm told it's always reserved. Wine list was ok but the beer and cocktail selections were great. Be prepared to pay the $3 parking fee, however it's worth it.
Too often the 'see and be seen' spots seem to expend their energies on pizzazz and the food/service part of the equation is diminished. Not so here. Very high standards upheld on all fronts. We especially appreciated a courteous attention to gluten free necessity. They handled that challenge with aplomb--didn't miss a beat. The food was beautiful and delicious. The only drawback could be a matter of preference; when we are spending for a relatively high end dining experience, we do like to be able to hear each other without a conscious effort. Now, if it's excitement you're after, there is an energy here that might compensate for limited conversation.
The food was excellent and the service sublime!! Will continue to come back and to recommend to others!!
We visited The Optimist on Sunday evening to take our son, a new Emory student, out for a nice dinner. We received numerous restaurant recommendations from friends of ours whose daughter attends Emory. Since The Optimist was at the top of their list last year, we decided to give it a try. It definitely did not meet our high expectations. We have tried a few other recommendations and all have been exceptional. Not saying that the food at The Optimist is bad - it isn't, but it isn't outstanding. That's the reason for the 3 star rating.
Went for lunch with friends. Awful food. Took 45 minutes to get simple food. it was charred.\n\nThe service was below poor. The waiter was offensive and angry the entire time we were there.\nHad to request service for a drink, had to ask where the food is, nothing offered. never brought the check which was fine. had to request it..\n\nglassware dirty.\n\none of my worst experiences with trying something listed on Atlanta's Best. That is a joke, and if that is our best, we are in trouble.
Nice quiet atmosphere. Food was delicious. Service was superb.
The Optimist had been referred to us multiple times. We decided to try it when my parents came to visit looking for seafood. We started in the Oyster Bar area for $1 select oysters and drinks. Then, we went back to the restaurant for dinner. The bread was great! The fish was very fresh and cooked wonderfully. We thoroughly enjoyed our time and meal. We look forward to the next time we have a chance to go to The Optimist!
I really wish notable restaurants would pay closer attention to details. I would love to be served with timed courses. It's not that hard. I don't want my entree to come out before I'm done with my appetizers. By the time I'm done with my appetizer, my entree gets a little colder than is desirable to a foodie. I almost don't want to order my entire meal just so that the timing is right. This is not something I should worry about when dining at a nice place. It's truly frustrating.
We found this place on google top restaurants in Atlanta and them got those and looked at Atlanta Magazine. Highly rated and looked delicious!! So we made reservations with 2 friends who live in Atlanta but had not been and it was simply WONDERFUL !!! From oysters to apps to entres to wine to atmosphere to the valet people to the hostess to our wonderful waiter Daniel.. Expectations were exceeded!! Thank you for a fantastic Friday night!
Good vibe, more casual than expected - very good oysters - service was average, but believe it is generally better. Good place to meet.
We had great food,we all loved the oysters on half shell! Tried both east & west coast to compare. I preferred the size & flavor of west coast. Lobster roll was full of large bits of lobster and oh so yummy!
I absolutely love the variety of raw oysters, they were fresh and oh so tasty. I only got a half dozen, wished I had gotten more.\nI love the Lobster roll full of meat and just enough filler to hold it together, but not to destroy the taste of the lobster.
I have eaten at The Optimist several times and this was probably the best meal for all of us. The food was wonderfully prepared.
Dishes were well prepared and tasteful though seemingly everything had a tad much salt. The servers were great but it seemed the kitchen couldn't keep pace with the surprising number of diners for a Wednesday night.
This place continues to deliver. I have been many times and it's just so good. I love the fried oysters more than the fresh ones. The courses are tasty and well-presented. yum...
Hands down, our favorite dish of the night was the flounder (which is saying a lot since my fiancee is not really a fish kind of guy). The sides were fantastic, the ceviche was phenomenal. Our server Eva was simply outstanding. We'll be back!
Service was great with very good wine recommendations. We ordered squid amd mussels in green curry as starters amd grouper and scallops as entrÃ©es. All dishes were excellent. We will definitely comeback!
It was my daughter's first time at the Optimist. She wanted to go for her birthday and she loved it. The starters were unique and tastefully prepared. the wine and cocktails were great. We enjoyed ourselves very much and definitely will be back.
A well-deserved reputation as an amazing seafood restaurant. The best burger in town. Love coming here for long Friday lunches with friends as I work nearby. Great atmosphere, great service, and excellent food. Highly recommended.
We had a nice lunch here to celebrate a friend's birthday. We got the lobster Cobb salad and the green salad with fried oysters and both were delicious. We split a piece of raspberry lemonade pie which was different and really good. I've been here before when the restaurant was really noisy, but it was pleasant this time. Great dÃ©cor.
Incredible food and flawless service! Also had putt putt outside to play while you wait for a table. Such a cool spot.
Great dining experience in trendy West Midtown. Nice decor and not as noisy as some other restaurants can be. Food was excellent from wine selection, appetizer to entree. Highly recommend.
It looks really cool but the reality of half the restaurant being open air in late July is simply unbearable. The place was so hot and humid. We could not enjoy our meal because we were uncomfortable. I'll come back in October. Skip this place in the summer. Many say this place is 'cool' but there is nothing cool about the air in July.
The food is nice but the server was too pushy. He had to be told numerous times not to take away plates that had food on them. We got the feeling he had been trained to give each table 90 minutes and then do everything possible to get the group to leave.
Great service, our waitress was very pleasant and helpful. The food was absolutely delicious!
This is our absolute favorite spot in Atlanta. We always come here for date night. Your guaranteed great food and the menu is changing all the time to keep it fresh and new. The ambiance is awesome. We always look forward to our date night here.
I've been to the Optimist three times and have been impressed each time. The cocktails are expertly handmade, and all of the food, from the excellent bread through the appetizers, entrees and desserts, is delicious. Having had a chance to taste about 10 dishes, I'm really confident recommending it to anyone. My son, who is a foodie living in NYC, came to visit and said his meal was as good as anything he could get in the city. He's a tough customer, and that's a real rave for him!\n\nBy the way, save some room for the desserts-they're worth the calories.
Outstanding restaurant with great service and incredible food. Our first time here and I was very impressed. The food is uniquely prepared with high quality ingredients. Our server also gave us a dish to try for free. She was very friendly and knowledgeable about the menu and drinks. We tried some cocktails and had wine with dinner. There are many good restaurants, but the outstanding ones bring either a unique experience or flavor to the cooking. This restaurant does both.
Food was excellent as always but service was not attentive except when it came time to clearing plates, at which time we felt rushed. The waiter started clearing our plates while I was still eating my dinner and made no apologies when he realized I was eating but continued to clear everything from the table. \n\nDrinks from the bar were especially slow.
We were greeted warmly and had a great table near the bar. Our waiter was friendly and helpful in describing and recommending menu items (when asked to). The crab leg appetizer was delightful. I had the flounder as my entree, and it was the best fish I've had here in Atlanta. My table shared the rice and roasted potato appetizers, both were unique and perfect companions to our entrees. I highly recommend this restaurant for its friendly staff, great service, and delicious food!
I went alone after a conference, and chose to sit at the bar. I was impressed by everyone who worked there. The hostess was lovely and accommodating. The place was very busy, and it was a Tuesday. The bartender who waited on me, Michael, was funny, professional, alert. He talked me into an excellent version of a classic martini, and steered me toward a wine that perfectly complemented my food. I had some delicious oysters, hush puppies, and grilled octopus. Everything was done with great attention to detail, and with a slightly new twist. I can see why this restaurant is so popular!
Thoroughly enjoyed my lunch of gumbo and lobster roll. Always have a good time at the Optimist.
Some of the best seafood in atlanta and has a great atmosphere!
Delicious meal. Best fish and chips we have ever had and the tuna poke was also incredible. Only complaint is it is noisy. Great place! Will return again soon!
Food was amazing, fish perfect and good sized portions. Our bartender/server William made excellent suggestions and was a charming host making feel so welcome. We will definitely be back!
The food was amazing. I was there celebrating my boyfriend birthday...
The food is excellent and when asking the waitress for recommendations she was right on with her suggestions
I've heard nothing but good things about the Optimist however I was not impressed. The service was great, the hostess were very friendly but the food was a whole different story. I was planning on having my birthday dinner here so I decided to try it out with a couple of friends, we ordered the Fish & Chips, it was too greasy and fried too long and the Gumbo was awful, it tasted like someone poured coffee grinds into the seasoning. However I would like to say the Snapper and Kale salad was excellent. The Decor is WONDERFUL and that would probably be the only reason for me to visit again and maybe try the lunch menu.
The food was unbelievable. We started out with the grilled octopus. Then had the grouper and jambalaya for dinner. All three were amazing but please do not overlook the jambalaya. It's delicious.
The BEST lunch place in the ATL !
The Optimist was soooooo good!! The food was excellent, as well as the service and ambiance. I would highly recommend it to anyone.
I came all the way from PA to try this restaurant and it did NOT disappoint! They were closed when we came for a late lunch, however, I was able to guilt the rest of my party who live an hour away, into coming back for dinner- and it was phenomenal! \nWe loved the ambiance, we loved the food, and we loved our waiter! (Who, as we learned, despite working a 12-hour day, never gave the impression he was even tired, just that he wanted us to have a great time, and we did!)
Given the raves this restaurant has received over the past few years, our expectations were high. We made reservations for three persons in advance, and I arrived with a gift bag in hand. Our seating hostess asked if it was a special occasion and I replied yes. She then led us to a table that was oblong, with awkward seating on three sides only and that directly faced a party of 20. As it would have been very difficult for us to talk and hear each other, I asked for a different table and we were seated at a nearby 'normal' table (there were many other tables available).\n\nOur server was great, although there was never any mention of the birthday event we were clearly celebrating. We found the food to be average, certainly not exceptional. In addition, the meal was quite expensive; we had two appetizers, three entrees, and one dessert (along with a bottle of wine), and our bill was close to $200 without tip. Given these factors, there are other restaurants in Atlanta that we will choose from for our next 'special' meal.
Fabulous Lobster Roll. Don't miss it! Very Prompt Service, Highly Recommended.
Loved eating here. The food was wonderful and the atmosphere fun and vibrant. It's a great spot for a special dinner.
Always a treat. This West Side restaurant continues to provide first rate food and service. I highly recommend a visit, if you can get a reservation.
It was our first time and it was everything I heard it was. Outstanding food, outstanding service, Beautiful restaurant. All-around perfect experience.
Food and service was great. Ordered Grilled octopus, oysters, and swordfish all of which were phenomenal.
In my opinion the best restaurant in the entire city. Hits on all 3 notes ambience , great service and over the top consistent cuisine.
I took my husband there for his birthday and wasn't disappointed : the location was charming with a nice, romantic outdoor lighting. Classy without being pretentious. Everything on the menu seemed really fresh, original and appealing. And I'm very picky when it comes to seafood :) We shared a $50 seafood plate (oysters, clams, crab, shrimps....) that we loved - very good value, and the seafood tasted really authentic, like it came right back from the ocean to my plate. The service was discrete but very efficient, just how I like it. I will definitely go back shortly :)
We enjoyed our dinner at the Optimist. Our service was very good and the food was wonderful! We would have liked seating that offered a bit more privacy/distance from the diner's next to us.
All of my expectations were exceeded. Have heard great things and they did not disappoint. I'm hard to please when it comes to food in Atlanta but The Optimist was great. The octopus app was outstanding and the swordfish entree was great too. They also had raw clams, which are impossible to find in GA. Can't wait to go again.
This was my third time and by far the worst service. Please train your waiters better. the food was decent and the atmosphere was nice.
As always this is a treat to come and have a dinner. Adam was wonderful and service was above par. We enjoyed all the various dishes. especially the lemon shrimp with the come back sauce.
This is my 3rd time to the Optimist and in my opinion, an outstanding place to eat in Atlanta. The service is great and attentive, the seafood, just amazing! Will always recommend to friends and family.
I have been to TheOptimist many times and it is a great place for almost any occasion. It is my FiancÃ© and my favorite restaurant in Atlanta! They have the best raw oysters in town!!
This is one of the best restaurants I have been to in Atlanta. Excellent seafood, great atmosphere, friendly and prompt service and a perfect place to celebrate an intimate, special occasion.
My guest and I enjoyed our meals and the service was phenomenal. As a lesbian couple we felt our server was inviting and engaging. We dined on 9/2 @9pm and we sat on the corner close to the glass windows the looked out at Howell Mill Rd. \nThe only recommendation is that the She crab soup could be made with more lump crab meat. But overall it was a great culinary experience!
The Optimist always delivers on any occasion. Great service, great food. A must stop while in Atlanta
Each time we go to the Optimist, we are never disappoint about the service or the quality of their food. Both were outstanding! This was a lunch meal and the menu variety was great and the service exceptional.
This restaurant came very highly recommended to us and the mean we had at St Ceclia the sister restaurant was amazing. So we held out high hopes for this dining experience. Maybe we ordered the wrong thing... but it wasn't all it was cracked up to be.
The Optimist is an excellent restaurant. Food quality and service was impeccable. Great venue for business casual dinner or romantic getaway. Location is accessible from the airport with a short Uber ride.
Service was a bit slow. And, when the server initially took drink orders, he came back and said that they didn't have a Dewars 'gin' and began to note alternatives. We quickly told him that Dewars was NOT a gin.
Good food, but not Ford Fry's best restaurant, in my opinion. Too much butter for my taste. I would recommend the watermelon and crab appetizer. Good wine list.
This was our second trip to the restaurant. We were visiting from Savannah and had been there about a month ago for lunch and really enjoyed it, so were looking forward to checking out the dinner experience. We weren't disappointed. The staff was exceedingly friendly and accommodating (especially after we changed our minds about where we wanted to sit 3 times!). We settled on grabbing a bite at the bar and it was definitely the right decision. We thoroughly enjoyed chatting with the bartenders and getting to know their stories as we were dining. My date started out choosing a few of the oysters to try...and ended up trying every one on the menu! Though not an oyster fan myself, he assured me they were some of the best he'd ever had. I went with a seafood stew and salad and both were delicious and plentiful, especially with the garlic-soaked bread that came with it. My date also ordered the scallops, which were cooked to perfection. Despite being completely satisfied, we couldn't resist sharing a dessert. Again, a total score on the tres leches chocolate confection. Perfection! I can't say enough good things about The Optimist. We'll be back :)
Great vibe. Excellent food. Pricey but worth it. Lots of good waiters helping our guy out who was kind but seems like his weight slowed him down...like on darvons.
Overall it was an exceptional experience. I would give The Optimist 4 1/2 stars for the food, but the rating system doesn't allow it. Our server was amazing - great recommendations and attentive service, but not overly so. The octopus appetizer was terrific, smoky flavor, very tender. The whole fried fish was huge and cooked to perfection. The only downside, surprisingly, was the duck fat poached swordfish. Overcooked and bit dry, but it still had a nice flavor. The brisket that came with the dish, was a surprise, but it was also outstanding. 2 side dishes: baby eggplant and fried rice were so good that I would dine there again, just for those two items. Sizable side dish portions, easily enough for two. Their dinner rolls are even delicious . Great experience, well done!
Really good, but pretty expensive lunch.
Deliciously fresh fish and excellent cocktails and service. Highly recommend for a treat!
The presentation of the food was beautiful. Fresh rich flavors for the seafood... I was floored
We've dined here several times and have really enjoyed the restaurant. Recently had lunch and ordered the lobster roll which I have had several times before and is phenomenal. I was very disappointed with the lobster roll this time. It was skimpy on the lobster and the roll was cold like it came directly out of the refrigerator and un-toasted. \n\nMy wife had the blackened amberjack sandwich which was very good.
This is a must dine place in Atlanta. Never disappoints.
It's so delicious!
My wife Linda and I celebrated our 41st anniversary, requested a nice table for this occasion and were not disappointed. It was our first visit to the Optimist, but won't be the last. Our starters of She Crab Soup and Mussels were very good, but the main courses were nothing short of excellent. I had the Red Grouper and Linda had the Swordfish. My grouper was perhaps the best tasting fish I've ever had and the swordfish was delicious. We were too full to have a desert, aw shucks. Thank you again for the table selected for us, quite much to our liking in the side be side seating and view of the entire room.
Exceptional service and food. Our server was very knowledgeable about the menu and introduced us to new foods and drinks. Everything was timed perfectly. The only down side was the noise, but the design of the building made that unavoidable. Next time we will start at the oyster bar for the total experience as was suggested by our hotel concierge. This is favorite of the locals as well as chefs from the other restaurants we tried.
I brought my husband here for his birthday treat. Between the waiter and the kitchen it was an interminable wait. This really spoiled the occasion. We spent $140 on two. . It even took us forever to get out of there.. Dont think we'll return altho like food and atmosphere
When our Server Trevor greeted us, he let us know a number of folks were out due to illness and they were operating short handed that night. He thanked us in advance for our patience. Trevor was very knowledgeable about the menu and answered all our questions regarding the dishes and ingredients. However, everything did take far longer than is generally acceptable at this price point. The bar was extremely slow to fill drink orders. We would have enjoyed more wine and spirits had they been available quicker. Our meal took quite some time to be delivered. A manager did visit our table (unprompted) to assure us our order was in fact being cooked. Aside from the inordinately long lead times on the food and beverage, the actual meal and Trevor's service were first rate. One lead time exception was the raw oysters. They came promptly after being ordered. This was our first time visiting The Optimist and we'll give it another go. But the apparent staffing shortage the night we dined did bedevil our overall experience.
The Optimist is the go to date spot for my wife and I. The food is great and so is the service. They just added a ridiculously good jambalaya to the menu and a strawberry ice box pie that has to have been sprinkled with unicorn dust! You can't go wrong with any of Ford Fry's joints!
We have visited all of Ford Fry's places at least twice\nI once thought Optimist was the best\nwent back for a 4th time on Saturday the 1st\nfood just not the same, did the Chef leave?\nService always great but waiter did not tell us the asparagus extras\nwas served cold\nJust not the same as it was \nSorry Ford!
Wonderful place with a vibrant feel, friendly and knowledgeable staff, and excellent food. Best Rusty Nail at the bar that I've ever had. Oysters on the half shell, swordfish starters were tasty. Amberjack and sea bass entrees were just as promised. A light sorbet capped it off. \nWill definitely return. Pricey, but well worth the money if you're in Atlanta.
We were celebrating a birthday, so they gave us menus stamped Happy Birthday! Nice touch. Our server recommended the black grouper, which didn't disappoint. My friend enjoyed the scallops. It can get a little noisy, but great energy overall. We'll definitely be back!
This was my first time dining at the restaurant. I made reservation b/c it was highly recommended. I had high hopes and in the end I was disappointed. We ordered some oysters (which were very good) that came with shredded horseradish (?!), which has no taste or spice, like the creamy version. Then I ordered scallops (which were very good, but overpriced) and a side of baby carrots....I always thought and through dining experience throughout the years I expected the side to be warm...the carrots were cold, some were soft and some were crunchy and they still had stems attached...\nSadly, I don't think I will be coming back.
By far my favorite restaurant in Atlanta
It was my birthday dinner and the food was amazing, per usual! The server was nice. I think his name was Josh but can't remember. I enjoyed myself.
Great food, people, service
Food was fantastic but the service was what made our dinner so memorable. Very professional and classy
Service was very slow...it took forever just to get a glass of wine and the food was over an hour. The food potions are very small for the money you pay. First and last time.
The Optimist is the best seafood restaurant in Atlanta, in my opinion, at this time! Ask for Meka as your server, she did fantastic! Great place for our anniversary. We will be back!
We love coming to the Optimist for special occasions. It gives us a chance to try new foods prepared brilliantly. The wait staff catered to our every wish and made the best recommendations. Love coming here and can't wait to go back.
Amazing! Highly recommend to anyone who loves seafood.
I have had large group dinners and dinner for 2. Service and food are above rest
Over-rated; noisy venue, slow service, and food unnecessarily complicated by conflicting flavors- in particular the compulsion of adding hot peppers to every course except dessert.
Great service! The good was amazing and I love the ambience. Will definitely dine there again.
Ford Fry's idea of an excellent meal is visible through everything the staff attempts to do. Execution of that concept is a bit here and there.
My wife and I recently visited for dinner. Reservations were late so we decided to sit at the Oyster bar. The oysters are amazing. Freshest I have had since being at the beach. The atmosphere was great. The oyster bar was open so you could listen to the live music outside. This will be one of our regular stops from now on.
The food was fabulous! Our group shared several items beginning with the house provided rolls (best roll I have ever tasted: texture, consistency, flavor, etc.) and spanning/including a variety of oysters, octopus, hush-puppies with the cane syrup butter, and duck fat poached swordfish. This has/is one of my favorite restaurants to visit in Atlanta for special occasions. The beer menu and wine list are excellent, too.
We had a disappointing experience at The Optimist. We were there on a Sunday night to celebrate our anniversary. The restaurant was not crowded...in fact there were many empty table. The service was super slow. We had to wait a long time for our drinks and even longer for our food. All of the food was good except for my salmon, which was under cooked. When I told our waitress that she had not asked me what temperature I wanted the salmon, she responded 'the chef prepares it medium rare' and walked off. She never apologized or offered to make it right. This used to be our favorite restaurant. Not sure if we will ever go back after this experience.
The Optimist lived up to all the hype we had heard/read about! It was a great dinner, great ambiance, great food! Three ladies going to celebrate their birthdays and I cannot wait to take my husband! It is definitely on the pricey side, but worth it!
The food was marginal and not a good value for the money. We went for my brother's birthday, and they did nothing to recognize the occasion, so why did they ask? Not going back.
The optimist is one of our favorite restaurants. It has become a go-to when we have friends or family visiting from out of town. The food is always amazing and the service is impeccable. We have never had a complaint.
Food was fantastic.. Get the jambalaya.. Will he going back next time I'm in Atlanta.
Not as good as it has been in the past. The Optimist has been one of my favorites in Atlanta since its opening. On this visit the food was spotty. Gumbo was burned and devoid of any seafood save one small chunk of fish. The charred octopus was very tough and the sauce was overwhelming. I've had this before and loved it. My amberjack was fantastic. Dessert - not even worth mentioning.
Our reservation was for 8:45 but we arrived early and were able to be seated immediately. We ordered a bottle of Sauvignon Blanc with peel and eat shrimp as an appetizer. I loved the spices on the cold fresh shrimp and the bread was warm and delicious. My wife had scallops (which she loved) and I ordered the snapper. We both were very pleased with our dishes. If anything, I think the cut of fish could have been a bit more generous for the price, but we did not leave hungry. We enjoyed watching the servers and chefs hustle in the kitchen. The restaurant seemed buzzing with a positive vibe and happy people.
We had a wonderful dinner here, which was marked by excellent fish. Between the group of us, we got 2 amberjacks, 1 salmon, and 1 scallop dish, and they were all amazing. Our waiter was great too. I would love to return here and highly recommend it for a special occasion.
The food was great...interesting...service was good...but the chairs and the banquettes are so poorly designed and uncomfortable that they are distracting. The table bases leave no place to put your feet except on top of them...bad design. Overly noisy space too.
Service was a little slow for drinks but the food was great. Everything looked beautiful and tasted wonderful
Food and service were outstanding. We were probably the oldest people there but enjoyed seeing the young people enjoying the food and atmosphere.
Great oysters, solid entrees, good wine list. Wait staff, most were fantastic with one or two not conscientious or courteous, had to ask one of them to 'remove their backside hovering over our table' as the view to my dinner partner involved only seeing half of them. Tables are close together but this is not justification for being rude.
A great oyster bar in the middle of Atlanta. And the rest of their menu is great too. If you have the chance you should go try it.
Great dinner out with the family. The oysters, 'opportunities,' mains and desert were all awesome. Great service, great atmosphere and great night out with my girls. Well done.
All dishes were prepared to perfection. The tomatoes with butter beans and peaches was definitely a stand out dish. Can't wait to return.
Dining room was very loud and somewhat distracting. The outdoor area with live music looked very nice though.
At the suggestion of my golfing buddy, we drove the 44 miles to The Optimist to celebrate our 49th anniversary. Thanks to Open Table, our menus were printed with Happy Anniversary in bold letters and the staff was aware of our anniversary. Cooper, our server and knowledgeable guide, was very attentive and helpful. The food was great as well as the service. It was a great experience for my wife and I such that we will return again.
Oyster selection and special chef's choice were excellent.
It was my first time going but really enjoyed it will definitely going back
This restaurant does not accept Open Table Dining Rewards therefore it is on my banned list.
Have ate at The Optimist several times and it is always excellent.
My wife and I were celebrating our 5th Year Anniversary at The Optimist. I had the Lobster Roll and my wife had the fish sandwich with Basmati fried rice and hushpuppies. Our food was better than we could have hoped for or imagined. Excellent all around. We will be going back.
Just wasn't what we expected as far as food menu. Very nice atmosphere and people. Just not for us. Only had appetizers
I can't say enough about The Optimist. It's one of my favorite restaurants in Atlanta (my other favorite being Ford Fry's other restaurant St. Cecilia). The restaurant is so beautiful. It's so open and airy with a subtle nautical feel. I've been for both lunch and dinner and have never been disappointed. The service is always exceptional. The servers are so attentive and very accommodating of any special dietary needs. I love the gumbo soup. Delicious! I also recently had the octopus which was superb! So moist and juicy. My sister, who is allergic to shellfish, orders the burger and says it's the best one she's ever had. (better than Bocado across the street - voted Atlant's #1 burger)\nI always come here for special occasions and highly recommend it. You won't be disappointed!
First off our server was excellent. She was embarrassed a cocktail I ordered took too long and comped it on her own. She was attentive to all in the party and knew the menu very well. We have been here several times and the service, food and ambiance is excellent.
Food was very good with the scallops and flounder excellent choices. Rolls would have been better had they been served with butter. Soups good, kale salad very good, desserts only mediocre.
It was our first time a Optimist, we went to the Optimist for my wife's birthday. And what can i say but the atmosphere was great the food was out of this world and the service was impeccable. From the time we got there till the time we left you could have not asked for better service, the whole wait staff were very attentive to your every need. This will definitely a restaurant my wife and I will return too, the food is out of this world. Thank you Optimist for a fantastic evening.....
Food is good. It is a foodie kind of restaurant. It's a little pricy.
Unfortunately, overall we did not have a good experience. My appetizer, the peel and eat shrimp, was super coated with seasoning, I could barely taste it. The sides we ordered (okra, beet salad and potatoes) were also too salty or over seasoned. I did like the Amberjack and my husband liked the scallops but that was about it. Our server was friendly and personable.
The food and service at the Optimist was amazing! Because it was our first time in Atlanta, our server brought us a complimentary serving of hush puppies. They were to die for! I would love to go back!
Great food and service. Atmosphere was nice. Loved the large round table for our group of 6. Will definitely return!
Interesting environment and menu. Great tasting food. Worth a try.
I do not recommend The Optimist for the food but rather the atmosphere.\nIt all started perfect with two glasses of prosecco after waiting too long to get a table in witch we ofc had made a reservation beforehand. Not very professional by the waiters but handled lovely by the manager after we complained.\n\nThe frozen octopus had a slightly watery texture but was covered with the fermented paste in witch made it a nice dish, but they could have taken the papaya away and given it something else since it didn't add anything to the dish. The yogurt was okay but that was all. \n\nThe best dish was the Hamachi who had been slightly browned and then put on top of a broth of water sea salt and seaweed. I was told the dish came from one of the cooks but that the head chef Wesley stole it and changed it with Hamachi, in witch suits fine because of the delicate meat and flavor. But the lime could have been changed to acidic flavors with more sting and fines.\nThe watermelon was perfectly mature but the chili does kill the flavor. A rater cheap dish sold expensive and does not fit to any fish dish other that to salads and such. Why not a salad in season?\n\nThe Lobster sandwich was overcook and lacked virtue. Nice with dill but nothing to write home about.\n\nThe NY prime strip steak was cooked beautifully but with the beans and Parmesan a rather boring and dry dish since it's all gray and red. But why no sauce? Luckily we had plenty to drink to get this dry dish down.\n\nThe fried snapper was to salty, to dry and was nothing but disappointing since it's all fried and just sprinkled with spring union. Later we all found out that the salmon and scallops were also fried from the table next door. Who was not very happy about the food.\n\nThe desserts childish and more suiting as ice cream topping than sold as desserts.\n\n So if you want your food fried no matter how exclusive the product. Go to The Optimist. The head chef Wesley lacks vision, leadership and virtue.
Look of the restaurant- 10\nService-10, She was the best server we have had in a long time.\nAppetizers- 10, hush puppies, peppers, fries and salads were excellent.\nEntrees- 5, the star of the show which would be the entrees ,unfortunately had issues. My fish was over cooked and dry in parts. Should have sent it back, but didn't. The lobster roll was just ok, I thought it was too much mayo and the bread way too thick.\n\nWould only go back for appetizers and drinks next time.
We reached a milestone in our personal life and wanted to splurge. We have been to The Optimist before and we were craving seafood so this was our choice. We still love the restaurant setting, we had a great waiter. We were disappointed that at a 6:15 reservation on a Sunday two of the fish selections were not available - Red Snapper and Swordfish. We were informed of the absence of Swordfish upon seating; the lack of Red Snapper came after placing our order. We did enjoy our appetizers (Mussels and Fried Oysters). For the first time we ordered the Hushpuppies - not our fav - tasted like beignets - too sweet for our taste.
Very good food - very small portions and very expensive for what you get. Bread is awesome. Service is very good.\n\nBRING CASH!!!!
If you have a lot of money - go to Optimist. Great restaurant - delicious food with average service. But, very expensive. If you have the dough - GO!
It was my first time here. The food was impeccable. The service was great and not OVERBOARD like I've experienced in the past. The oysters were wonderful! My martini was perfect!
It lived up to everything I had heard. Rarely, am I actually impressed with the 'hot spot', 'best restaurant' type of places. I find most of them to under execute and be over priced. Not so here. We started with the Georgia Shrimp la plancha which reminds me of a New Orleans BBQ shrimp. It was juicy and decadent and delish. My wife had NY strip which was topped with mushrooms and Parmesan. We both agreed that was maybe the best steak either of us has ever had. I had the cornmeal crusted snapper and it was perfect. I really enjoyed the okra side which had a slightly spicy sauce. For dessert we had the raspberry lemonade pie which was light and very refreshing. Kyle was our server. He was the perfect balance of personality and efficiency. He did a great job.
Amazing quality and presentation. Chargrilled octopus as a starter was a big hit. The Mahi Mahi main was one of the freshest I have ever had. We will be back as this place is alive with sight, sound and quality. The aroma of the wood-fired oven just adds to the experience. Do yourself a favor and plan an evening with your significant other.
Ambiance and customer service was excellent. Very sexy interior and suitable for a date night. Dishes are small so you want to order an entree and a side. Overall excellent experience.
The service, the food and the drinks were impeccable. The prices are reasonable so if you can, go!
As always, the cuisine was superb - especially the fried oysters. Our server promptly took care of our every want & need, often with no prompting - and got everything we ordered to us FAST. the Optimist is a bit pricy, BUT 'you get whet you pay for'.
two mature couples went to the Optimist for the first and probably last time. the restaurant looks lovely but there is no way to absorb the noise; not just loud conversation but awful percussion music that was way too loud. it was impossible to have a conversation.\nthe menu was lovely; the food delicious, the presentation outstanding, the wine good, the service fine but the noise level could not overcome all the positives.\nspoke with the manager prior to leaving; he said we should have told him and he could have lowered the music level but not sure that would have made a difference.\ntoo bad....
Entree is overwhelm with sauce. We had the Octopus, which is tasty. But the Crispy Snapper is overwhelm with sauce and bit too sweet to my liking.\n\nThe Fish and Chip's fish was too greasy and large. No freshness in the fish. Definitely will not recommend it. \n\nHowever, the fresh seafood session looks very good that we will come back to try it.
We had a wonderful dining experience staring with our appetizer and the main entree was superb. Service was outstanding, extremely friendly and a pleasure to be served. Kevin is terrific waiter and the entire staff went out of their way to make you feel comfortable while serving afresh and easy meal. Like the beer selection. The hostess grabbed us a cab. We would certainly go back and also recommend this to our friends fora lovely dining experience.
We had the mussels, Mahi & Scallops along with the fingerling potatoes & brussel sprouts. Everything was cooked and seasoned perfectly! A wonderful experience for an early Valentine's dinner.
I dined with my wife and daughter and all three meals were excellent. We started with a dozen oysters on the half shell which were very fresh and tasty. They had a very interesting take on Jambalaya with flavorful wild rice topped with two large scallops. I liked the open and casual feel of the restaurant. Service was attentive without being overbearing.
Always good. The lobster roll was my first disappointment. Bad choice on my part. Will stick with what brings me here. Fresh clean seafood.
Great seafood and energetic ambiance. The by-the-glass wine list (especially whites) is remarkable.
Delicious, as always! The menu was well thought out and servings were generous. My husband and I were able to find several menu items that appealed to us and we tried them all. We also tried three cocktails - one of which has become a favorite! Just perfect.
Two persons had dinner and the tab was almost $200.00! One appetizer and one entree with a glass of wine! The food was not good. Fish was too seasoned and mussels had a taste of bacon...do not want mussels to taste like bacon! One small dessert and it was hard as a rock...\ncould not really eat it! This was a birthday celebration and the restaurant knew this!
My first visit sat at the bar greeted with drink menu ordered bottle of rose champagne placed a selection of oyster order when they arrived they where dropped off no mention of which one was what , why order selection if you do not know what you are eating also no mention of what the sauces where. Ordered lobster roll and asked if I could have the roasted potatoes instead of french fries Bartender said ok Also said I was allergic to onions Guess what I got on my lobster roll and potatoes ONIONS So another 15-20 min go by till my order comes out correct But on the good side the bartender saw my champagne glass was empty and poured another glass for me from my bottle. Lobster was sweet and alot the bun was grilled perfect the potatoes where seasoned with cream and i think ham all good\nAll the bartenders seemed to huddle at the other end at the service bar service seemed to stop did not get any more glasses poured for me from my bottle But I did get my bill I was charged for the potatoes ok no big deal. But for 1 person to dine well bill was 120.00 and that ok but to not do anything because of the mistake by the kitchen and charge for the potatoes and not pouring a $75.00 bottle of champagne thru out the meal .Ok Any restaurant can do these type of experience I just expected more from this restaurant group.
The Optimist is one of our favorite Atlanta Restaurants. The Oyster selection and presentation are outstanding. The Bisque is hands down the best I have ever had. Love the grilled Octopus and the Hushpuppies. Great seafood & an energetic environment.
I found The Optimist on OpenTable while looking for a dinner spot while in town for a business trip. I started with the watermelon, tajin and crab appetizer. The tajin gave a spicy flavor to the fresh watermelon that was refreshing. The crab was a delicious combination to the watermelon. The duck fat poached swordfish, in combination with pork belly lardons and fresh local peaches, was delightfully moist and tender. For dessert, Malted ice cream was combined with Heath bar bits and a salted caramel blondie served in a chocolate dipped waffle bowl. Every item was delicious and the service was excellent.
The valets are overwhelmed. The main dining room, if busy, is VERY loud. And the bartenders were condescending and inattentive.
Great burgers for lunch!
Chef Adam Evans and the team at The Optimist are delivering big with unique and delightful culinary creations! \n\nSet in Atlanta's west side of town, the space at The Optimist is cathedral, and open, creating great views of kitchen, bar, and fellow patrons which enlivens the whole visual experience.\n\nWe started with a sampling of the raw oysters to jump start the taste buds (fantastic!) and then had the octopus with the perfect amount of spicy heat. Off the chart flavor. \n\nOur server was brilliantly knowledgeable of all that was going on with food and wine options, and struck the ideal balance of being present and entertaining.\n\nAny of the seafood entree options will delight you, and each of them break the mold of 'usual' in preparation style! Cobia and simple roasted flounder were our entrees, and evoked actual groans of joy. \n\nA deep and wide selection of wines, and consider sampling a few by glass as paired by your waiter with the progression of tastes you order.\n\nBravo, Adam Evans & Co!!\n\nDoug Dean\nBirmingham, Alabama
Great place for a 'special occasion' or for 'date night'! The service was excellent, and menu was great, with enough options for those who just aren't in the mood for fish.
Overall the experience was average. Bread was not offered. Had the she crab soup which was the best ever. Entree was mahi mahi. It was well-prepared and tasty, but was over a bed of sweet peas and pea pods ( I cannot eat corn). The peas were under-cooked and tasteless. Had a nice server but had to beacon him for pepper for soup. Not sure I get why this restaurant is highly rated. I've had better.
Everyone we know who has been to the OPTIMIST had been recommending it to us. We finally were able to go for dinner (with friends) and LOVED IT. From beginning to end our server, AJ made our experience memorable!
I have been to the Optimist before and loved it, but I had an experience worth reviewing last week! I have been dreaming of the grilled octopus for weeks so I decided to bring some visiting family for lunch. To say we enjoyed ourselves is an understatement. The food, as always, was divine. Holy smokes! The lobster roll really is as good as everyone says it is! And, don't even get me started on that shrimp la plancha sauce! But, our service was what made our visit truly special. Chris made sure our every need was met, was engaging and oh so helpful. He knew when to stay and chat and when to leave, when to make a recommendation and when to let us navigate the menu. He really was fantastic. I can't wait to return and my family has requested another visit when they come back to Atlanta! Thank you for another fabulous meal!
This place has wonderful food. For the most part the staff was friendly. The waiter was skepitcal when he saw four African Americans not knowing this wasn't our first Optimist experience; slightly nervous but everything turned out great on both ends.
Love this place but think it a bit pricey. Try the charred octopus and any of the soups. Ask for the lobster roll even if not on the dining room menu.
Had a top notch meal at the Optimist, the swordfish cooked in duck fat was moist and delicious. Service was knowledgeable and attentive. We will definitely be back!
Everything we ordered was excellent, the waiter was very helpful and the cocktails, awesome. Oysters and mussels were so so good!\nThe only thing, was construction going on next door which was a bit discerning at first but not a real big deal though because we would definitely be back in a heart beat.
This is our favorite restaurant in Atlanta. However this evening our waiter was way off. Not sure what was going on but we had to call over the manager. We ordered the she crab soup (always yummy) but had to ask our waiter for spoons. It took him (no exaggeration) 10 minutes. We finally called over another waiter who got the spoons in 3 seconds. The service went downhill from there until the manager stepped in. The food was delicious as always.
I love this restaurant. Its a bit pricey but never disappoints. Great seafood. Try to octopus appetizer. Don't know why they charge a $2 fee for parking.
I come to Atlanta for conferences and stay downtown and have always hated the downtown Atlanta food scene. I read and article on the food blog Goodfoodstories.com about 2 restaurants in Atlanta that you must eat at. Well, one of them was The Optimist and I must say, it was absolutely fantastic. I traveled all over the world and this place knocked my socks off. Everything was great. I can't wait to come back to Atlanta to have another meal there.
Loved the food and the ambience. Would definitely go back.
The atmosphere and friendly staff are always top notch! Of course the food is the best part of the experience. We enjoyed a variety of oysters on the half shell from the Optimist oyster menu to start our evening and then moved on to the starters. The fried oysters, Octopus and Salmon Toast were all outstanding. Our entrees included the NY Strip, Grouper, Monkfish and Swordfish. Hard to choose a favorite but my swordfish was incredible!! Our server AJ was very informative, personable and attentive without being intrusive. Can't wait to return!
The oysters were good but not great. I expected great. However overall we loved the restaurant and would return.
The Optimist is one of our favorite restaurants in Atlanta along with many of the other Ford Fry restaurants. The oysters are awesome, and all of the flavors are unique and delicious. We will be back soon.
The oysters were delicious as was the smoked fish chowder and the hush puppies were unreal. The ambience was laid back and relatively quiet. A great place for dinner with a special someone or a girls night out.
Went there for Valentines with my wife and the experience could not have been worse. The food wasn't good, service may have been worse and it was very expensive for what we got. I've been to his other restaurant and had a pleasant experience. I'm not sure what is going on here. Perhaps Valentines threw them off that night. I'm not taking another chance. My 2 cents.
I went here for dinner with my wife to celebrate our 20 year anniversary. Everyone was so friendly and they even gave us one of the Opportunities to try on the house. Everything we order was fantastic! But if you go, you must try the grilled octopus. One of the best meals I have ever had.
Everything is always delicious and the service is always great. Love the vibe and atmosphere.
We have been to The Optimist a number of times since it opened and have always enjoyed the food and good service. This was a special occasion with some out of town guests. We had 5 people in our party, so needed one of the larger tables. I had made the reservation several weeks in advance. I arrived early and checked in. A round table that would easily seat 5 was available at our reservation time. However, we were seated at a 4-top with an extra chair added to the end of the table. I have noticed at several restaurants lately that we are seated at less desirable tables if we booked on Open Table. If I make the reservation directly, we seem to get seated at better tables. What a disappointment to have a special evening tainted.
Ambience, energy, staff, food - everything was perfect. Laid back yet efficient, our waiter created a lovely experience with advice, information and personality. We enjoyed a sampling of raw oysters and agreed that the menu's description of each was spot on. Our appetizers of seared and marinated octopus and a lovely broth of mussels in the shell were perfectly prepared and we ended up ordering extra bread to 'sop up' the broth. The cornmeal encrusted snapper was a lovely entree as well as the swordfish. Great wine and beer. Informally comfortable but also a great date location.
The Optimist used to be my wife's favorite restaurant, and we have eaten here often. Tonight, for the first time, we have noticed a significant decline in quality and service. Regular dishes which we have had often were disappointing. The fired oysters were a shadow of their former wonderful selves. It happens to most restaurants, especially in chains which expand too quickly. Combined with lackluster experiences at several of Ford Fry's other restaurants recently, I can only conclude that they have grown to large too fast. What a disappointment that we have to find a new go to restaurant.
Great food, great service! Love this place
Decided to try The Optimist to celebrate my husband's birthday. The food and service were both excellent! A bit pricy, but great for special occasions. We'll be back!
Absolutely loved The Optimist! Celebrated a one year wedding anniversary there and the waiter brought Prosecco on the house and also included a candle with our dessert - the caramel salted ice cream was AMAZING! Very attentive service, great ambiance - will definitely be back!!!
Some of the other reviews had us skeptical about the service, but everyone we encountered were amazing and nice. It's definitely a hip place, so don't expect a quiet old school restaurant. We loved it, great beverages & save room for the dessert!
I had the lobster Cobb salad. Pieces of claw meat over limp lettuce with a half of a hard boiled egg? Not so good. My wife had oysters and gumbo. She said the the oysters were small but tasty and the gumbo was filled with seafood. Dessert was chocolate bread pudding that was a very sweet ending to our meal. The waitress was efficient and friendly. She made the meal.
We went to the Optimist for my birthday dinner and it was spot on perfect. The service was outstanding and every dish that came to the table was delicious. Our server Chris also mentioned the butter burger they make for lunch. So I came back with my Mom and in laws for lunch, that week. Again they hit it out of the park. We got s lobster roll (one of the best in Atlanta) 2 burgers (with and without cheese) and a blackened fish sandwich. Let's just say I can't wait to go back! Keep it up guys!
Had been here before and enjoyed it so went back to celebrate daughter's 20th birthday. Went on a weekday night. Restaurant not full. Able to sit immediately but are offered the worst table in the place even though plenty of others available. Changing table is possible but not without seeming like the request is unheard of.\nFood was fair. Chef was using pepper like it's a substitute for protein. Portions are nice but definitely not generous. Other tables got a complimentary birthday dessert but not us.\nAs far as drinks, my draught beer came in a 10 oz glass...really? Wife's bottled Corona had 2 oz of beer left in bottle after same glass was filled.\nMaybe they just had an off night but for those prices I can go to a restaurant that more than likely won't.
Outstanding! We celebrate my Daughter's Birthday. This is one of her favorite restaurants.
Tried to hard to be fancy with the food and it just ruined the taste.
Our reservation was for 10:45 PM, following a concert by the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. The food was excellent, but the service was somewhat slow, probably due to the late hour.
I had the scallops. Seared to perfection & presentation was beautiful.
We've dined here several times. This last time out server wasn't so great, but typically, they have exceptional service. Excellent food, but all Ford Fry restaurants do.
It was difficult to enjoy the meal because it was so cold in the restaurant. I can't imagine staying and enjoying drinks or dessert. Disappointing.
Great fresh seafood and really fun atmosphere. Have been many times...if you like oysters it's a must!
Great food, attentive wait staff, nice atmosphere. Even saw a couple of celebrities! Overall a great restaurant. It just took 2 weeks to get a Friday or Saturday night reservation.
I have been trying to have dinner here forever. Its a bit difficult to get reservations and I moved away for a while. However, it was worth the wait. The oysters and fish dishes were outstanding, the service was excellent, and the atmosphere was nice and relaxed. Will definitely return.
The restaurant has a very unique atmosphere and the food is fabulous! Our server had a great personality and he knew the menu well. Attentiveness to our table was lacking, however it appeared that our server was given a very large party, which required all of his attention. I had a difficult time hearing all of the menu suggestions due to the noise level. Overall, a great experience!
Everything is right about this restaurant--the vibe, the food, and the service. Every time I come back, I can't wait to come again. I have never been disappointed. Parking would be it's only slight downside--valet for a fee.
Dined early before an event downtown. Chose to sit in the bar/outside area on a nice evening. The oyster happy hour was wonderful. As well, we were able to order the lobster roll for the first time, as you can only get it from the bar menu. Really good! Also, could not pass up the octopus appetizer as it is always a good. Really a good start to a wonderful evening! This is one of our favorite restaurants.
Dined for our anniversary. Our server Eva was spot-on in her recommendations. Tried some fresh oysters homemade saltines are great) , the octopus appetizer (amazing), the kale salad and the she crab soup. The soup tasted great but they could actually put pieces of crab in the soup to step it up a notch. For entree we had the grouper and swordfish. Both were excellent. Eva gave us a complimentary order of their hushpuppies - so different but sooo good. Ended our meal with their homemade ice cream. Perfect night!\n\nThe only drawback is that it was such bad weather and their Valet is so far from the front door, you have to stand in the rain waiting on your car. The need to work it out with the hostess stand for them to call for your car first before you go out in bad weather.
Amazing food and great atmosphere! One of my fav places.
Outstanding food and service! The Optimist team really cares about their customers and their overall experience.
We had a great time, the food was excellent, and the service was exceptional. Ian did a great job!!!!
It's not cheap but I've been there twice and both times I felt like I got my money's worth. A lot of restaurants have dishes with various ingredients but they just don't play well together or are just weird... not so here. The balance of flavors is terrific, the dish knows exactly what it wants to taste like, nothing is overpowering anything else, they all work together. The wine by the glass selection is very good also.
Fish and chips needed a side other than fries. Very little meat and too much breading.
First time at Optimist - friendly staff, seated right away. Read about the Lobster Roll online. It was good, lots of fries and good portions of lobster.\nMaybe could serve a basket of bread while waiting for meal to arrive? We will be back!
Love going for lunch to enjoy their lobster roll. It's fantastic. I always change the fries for another side dish for modest up charge. Always worth it. I have dined here several times and have always had a great experience.
I went for a quiet birthday dinner with my husband and could not believe how amazing my experience delivered beyond any expectations I had! \nFirst of all, I am hardcore vegetarian (no fish, no chicken) and thought I would have the usual plate of sides. Well I had a 5 course meal with several options- so tasty and fresh! My husband had delicious plates with some very fine seafood, some of the best he has ever tasted. The wine and draft beer lists have an amazing selection. The service was very attentive but not suffocating, the whole staff was super friendly. Thank you Opti! We will be back!
The Optimist, with its seafood bar offers a great selection. I especially like the card they bring to the table that has a selection of raw oysters to choose from. The food is nicely presented, although the fish has been too overcooked and dry every time I have gotten it...three times, now.
Portions are small but tasteful. It was ok. Alot of the same lookjng/kind of people. You may like it buy I am not sure I will go back.
Our server was great, very very funny. Food was good. The lobster roll wasn't that good but we had a great time and will be back for sure
Best in the city hands down. Great service and great food and I am never disappointed. The bar has a daily special of half price oysters but only 5-6 PM and at the bar. apps and side dishes are superb
Great seafood, excellent service... I wanted to try everything on the menu. We started with the mussels (which were exceptionally delicious) and fried oysters. They alone set the tone for what turned out to be a fantastic dinning experience. I can't wait to go back!
5-6 PM weekdays and 4-5 on weekend the bar serves a selection of $1 oysters. The main dining room food is excellent al best pricey. Cocktails are superb (very strong) and some of the cocktails will donate proceeds to a charity so you can get drunk for a good cause. She crab soup is a standout as is the duck fat poached fish and seared scallops
Trevor. Trevor. TREVOR!! EXCELLENT SERVICE!! Great recommendation on the salmon toast and the spring pea salad. So fresh and wonderfully simple. \n\nMy friend who's never been to Atlanta came to town, so of course The Optimist was on our list of places to go. We had the shrimp a la plancha and the octopus- 2 dishes that NEVER disappoint. My guest was already a believer, but then came the hushpuppies with cane syrup butter. She literally cried. So good.
Great menu, great service. I was in town on business and ate at the bar.... you cannot go wrong with the crudo, the octopus, the bartenders making you what you crave. Delicious!
Arrived in time for happy hour at the Oyster Bar! Started off with $1 oysters from a great selection from PEI; MA, SC also some great FishCamp Punch.\n\nWe moved on to the dining room and shared an awesome appetizer of WHOLE GA SHRIMP A LA PLANCHA, âsoppingâ toast, arbol chile butter, lime / 15. (messy, but worth it!) And it was worth it!!\nThe dinner rolls are also awesome topped with butter and sea salt then toasted.\nJack had a wonderful snapper with fried potatoes laced with sour cream and chives.\n\nI had an a wonderful SKUNA BAY SALMON, almond meuniere, corn puree / 29. All was prepared to perfection!\n\nKyle did a great job and the manager took great care to see that we had a great experience. Thanks to all for a total experience! You don't have to be an optimist to enjoy The Optimist!
Wonderful as always!
Oyster bar was excellent for oysters and happy hour drinks! Dining room was great too we had great seafood entrees and a view of the open kitchen!
What an amazing experience! The food was spot on and the sides were delicious! Be sure to try the kale salad with he chorizo sausage in it. Also the fingerling potatoes were awesome! Delicious seafood is rare to find but this place definitely steps it up!
Got seated very quickly, food was served quickly and was very good. Can't wait to go back again!
We ate at The Optimist for my birthday. The whole evening was very nice. We could talk at a normal level and be understood. The wait staff was excellent and so was the food. Great place we will return.
Dimly lit, noisy, inane pounding music ramped up on the sound system. Plenty of time to enjoy all of this because of the glacial service.
Amazing meal as always! The Optimist never disappoints. Our server was knowledgeable and personable. Every dish was tasty ... The peel and eat shrimp were messy but worth the effort.
We had an excellent experience. Our waitress, service provider, was excellent. Her name was Pica, she was knowledgeable, made honest recommendations, was friendly, knew the difference between being overly helpful and just helpful. Ask for her
Service, service, service, Mr. Topher met it to a tee.\nThen came the food. One word, YES.\nThere will be many return visits and friends brought when we come.\nThanks for a very nice dinner and evening. The valet was well versed in what the restaurant served and what was nearby for later.
Very nice for entertaining visitors. Our visitor from Japan was impressed ... and amazed at the siz of the portions!
Loved the Chincoteague oysters - not easy to find. Loved the octopus appetizer. \nDrinks were meh - moscow mule and bloody mary. \nLittle gems salad was most tasty if you are OK with anchovy. \nScallops were ok, but asparagus served w scallops were awesome. \nSkip the oatmeal cookie ice cream sandwich. \nAttentive service.
The waitress had amazing service, evening providing four extra oysters free of charge from a very minor mistake she made when telling us about the menu. Great thing is that this is my second visit and both times were equally as enjoyable. I'm looking forward to going there again! Also makes great wine recommendations!
Loved the mussels! We had the special of the night, redfish, which was cooked perfectly. Great cocktails and wine list.
I love The Optimist. The food is always perfect, the bar selection is awesome, the ambiance is lively and hip. Just a perfect gathering spot. Going back next week for lunch!
When we were seated, we had joined another couple celebrating their anniversary. Then after they left, another couple sat next to us to celebrate their anniversary. It's a cool, hip place for that, but the seating wasn't very intimate at all. The swordfish was incredibly thick and tender and the fingerling potatoes were a upscale version of potato skins appetizer. We were pretty much upsold by our server on champagne, the entree (she switched my choice) and finished it off with cappucinos, so we probably spent another $30-40 over what we thought we might, but we went with it. All in all, a good evening.
While I've been to the Optimist a number of times, I need to chime it because it never fails to impress and our dinner was amazing. Food, service, etc... all top notch. I can't wait to go back for the Oysters.
If you like the freshest of the fresh seafood, look no further. This place is hands down one of my favorites in Atlanta now. Get the soft shell crab and the George's Bank scallops. Incredible!
I don't understand why this place is so 'hot' it just is not that good. The food is mediocre at best. The place is so loud that it makes conversations a yelling match. \n\nThere are many better options in Atlanta than this place.
Energetic, fun, lively, noisy, great oysters, fair wine list (they were out of Napa Chenin Blanc!), good wait staff, delicious entree - scallops. Orders were taken promptly and food arrive hot and on time. Definitely will return
Great fresh fish in Atlanta
of our party of four, three of us have delectable and wonderful servings but the fourth found the fish and chips both too dry and without expected flavor and appeal
We feel very welcomed at this restaurant. The space is clean, open and refreshing and the food has never disappointed. The only problem is the parking. We feel the 'landlord' has not given the restaurant a thought, which we feel is a crying shame! We have never had a problem getting in and out, but do feel this a negative. RESTAURANT - one of the BEST in Atlanta! FOOD - YUM!\nSPACE - Open and Refreshing!
Tried the Optimist for the first time this past weekend. The dining area is large but despite the full-house the noise level was manageable for a conversation. Server was professional and friendly. The oyster selection was very good albeit a bit high on the prices. Whole haddock entree was excellent. Swordfish was slightly overcooked. Refills on cocktails and wine took too long to be delivered. This is a common problem for restaurants that do not have a separate service bar for the waiters to use for the guests seated at tables.
Another hit by Ford fry, great experience, Great vibe, great bar, great food.
My wife and I celebrated our 23 year anniversary - waitress was excellent and attentive.\nFood was excellent as well - certainly recommend restaurant at my Hotel.\nThanks again for a memorable dinner
The duck fat swordfish was AMAZING!!!
Amazing food! The shrimp were messy but so good. The grouper and scallops were great
The meal was amazing! Our server was outstanding in helping us select each course and she never once rushed us. We all commented that was the best, most relaxed and enjoyable dinner at a restaurant we have ever had!
Rarely write anything negative about any restaurant. Food was decent, Hush puppies were excellent. Remainder of food was average, which is not good for the associated prices.
I love the ambiance of the place. I started with the smoked fish chowder and it was excellent. Unfortunately my Mahi was burned, but it wouldn't stop me from coming back and giving it another try.
3 of us went for lunch and all got the burger. I made the right call and got it without the 'special sauce'. It was delicious. All of us agreed. The fries were almost too shoestring and my friend got a salad instead and it came out WAY overdressed (IMO, dressing should always come on the side anyway). We also got the strawberry icebox pie for dessert. A little oversweet, but good. The plate on which it was served came with a piece of paper (a cut up portion from an old menu), which was very unappetizing. \nGo back for the burger!
We had a lovely dinner at The Optimist. Started with the hamachi and tuna crudos - light and refreshing. The quality of the fish was absolutely top notch. Mains were the duck fat poached swordfish - it was good, but we liked the cornmeal crusted snapper I had better. The pepper jelly is delicious! We also had the crispy fingerlings, which were good. It was the beignet-style hush puppies that stole the show though. Oh - and craft cocktails were to-die-for. Appreciate the art!! We'd definitely go back!
I have been to the Optimist many times and would recommend it to anyone looking for great service , delicious food and a great atmosphere. \nMy last visit was very special since my boyfriend asked me to marry him at the restaurant!!
We attended a Women's Leadership conference in Atlanta this week. We had dinner at The Optimist on the first night in town. Our waiter Craig recommended several selections from the extraordinary Oyster Bar, the Cornmeal Crusted Snapper, and a wonderful Sauvignon Blanc for dinner. Looking back on this trip, dinner at The Optimist will be one of our favorite memories.
This was my first time dining at The Optimist, the ambiance was great, the food was great, but our service was very lackluster. When we first sat down a young lady came by and provided the drinks and took our orders while giving great input about the menu. She said our waiter Kyle would be right with us. So Kyle finally makes an appearance refills our water but does not speak. Then he provides us with bread, still no dialogue. We observed him as he waited on other tables and he was very chatty and attentive. Finally after our food arrives he asks how it was....ok. Food was great, service not so much.
Took the wife for an anniversary lunch at the Optimist after hearing lots of things ranging from great to overrated. Everything we tried was extremely good, but standouts to me included the shrimp a la plancha and the lobster roll, that had a ton of fresh lobster meat on it. Everything is made in-house, from the crackers for the soup to all of the condiments. Service was helpful and polite, couldn't have asked for better recommendations without being pushy. My wife is not into seafood and had an awesome time, has already told me I need to take her back. Prices are pretty expensive, but it is a quality experience that is worth the splurge.
The food was excellent
Had dinner with a coworker and had appetizer plus entree. We were very pleased with the food and service. I have been to The Optimist several times and it is consistently good.
Fantastic experience as always at the Optimist. Great food and service.
I had dinner at the Optimist on Monday, September 14th. The ambiance was great and perfect for a small or large group. The servers were very friendly and helpful. The menu (which changes weekly) was fantastic. We absolutely loved the oyster selection. We had them steamed (chef's choice of assortment) and they were incredible. The presentation of the meals was great. I had the flounder almondine and it melted in my mouth. We also had the smoked fish curry fried rice. While the combination sounds interesting (or possibly weird), the balance was incredible. There were no flavors that overpowered the dish. We look forward to the next meal there.
My second time to this restaurant and didn't disappoint. The bread with olive oil and kosher salt is delicious! Overall great dining experience.
The food was everything and more than we could've ever hoped. My husband and I started with the Shrimp a la plancha and boy did the description fit it to a tee...'messy, but worth it.' The shrimp were delicious but the bread underneath soaked in the spicy sauce might've been the best part. My husband ordered the duck fat poached swordfish and needless to say he left nothing on the plate. He was nice enough to share some of the pork belly and oh my goodness, it melted in your mouth and finished with the most familiar and scrumptious bacony, pork flavor. I ordered the New York Strip, which was as melt in your mouth good as the pork belly. All of our food was divine and the service was top-notch as well.
Had a great time. However, when we checked in the table wasn't ready which wasn't a problem for us. We had a drink at the bar but 30 min past our reservation - still no table or update. Went to check with the front door and they said they had sent a text that our table was ready...??? No text received. 15 more minutes and still no table. We ended up at the bar and had a great dinner... Still, no great from an operations point.
Excellent, attentive, & knowledgeable staff.\nOutstanding menu w/ items prepared perfectly!
Food is amazing and the service was just as great.
We loved our experience at The Optimist. Great food and even better service. Craig was our server and made great recommendations! Top notch night.
Love the Optimist! Love the setting, the food and the location. I'm a 'frequent flyer'!!!
Eat at the OPTIMIST often, and love it! Love the food, the atmosphere, the great service. Never let me down!
My boyfriend and I visited the optimist for our first anniversary. It was an incredible experience with a casual atmosphere, knowledgeable wait staff, and outstanding seafood! We can't wait to go back!
Our son suggested The Optimist to celebrate my husband's retirement and it was perfect! We were seated by a window and had a beautiful view of the neighborhood. The service was on spot and I can't find the best 'epicurian' words to describe the food! It was amazing! I would highly recommend this restaurant to any out of town guests you should have or to celebrate a special occasion. Fabulous!
Amazing dinner! Great seafood. Lobster roll was really good. Gumbo was fantastic too. Nice ambience. Must valet.
Went there to celebrate a friend's birthday and had a great time. It was the first time for both of us. Service, food and atmosphere were all wonderful!
I ordered the salmon, it wasn't cooked to my liking and once I notified our waiter he had no problem taking it back and having them cook me another piece. He also notified the manager and the manager came to me and acknowledged it. They brought another order cooked to perfection! Also as we were leaving, a two man band was outside performing. We chose to order another cocktail outside and listen to the band. We thoroughly enjoyed!
Our table was the first one close to the kitchen. There was a very tall, male, white employee who seemed to be in charge of looking over some of the dishes before the servers brought them to the customers. I saw him writing, taking notes as the dishes were served. At one point, there were 2 salads in front of him and he reached down with his hand,( that I also saw him rubbing his face and his hair with that same hand), he started picking up lettuce and parts of the salads and rearranging the food on the plates. EWEE! Then later I saw 2 male servers waiting at the kitchen counter for dishes to serve, one was thin, with a huge amount of tattoos, the other man, both white I think, a little heavy set man, reached into a plate that was placed on the counter by a cook, I saw him moving his fingers along the edge of the inside of the plate and then he placed something into his mouth. Although our food was delicious, I could never think of going there again.
Our party of four had not previously dined at The Optimist. Among the group we had three different entrees and two different sides, and everything was outstanding.
We received a gift certificate for this restaurant, we had restraints of when we could go on the day we had decided to use our gift card. Was very quiet when we arrived within the half hour of opening dinner schedule. Very popular and got quite busy before we left. Pleasant atmosphere, Food was absolutely delicious, Service was superb. We look forward to returning.
The mussels and half chicken were absolutely phenomenal!
The service was indifferent and people seemed bored with their jobs.\nI was expecting a special occasion vibe but it did not deliver.\nThe food was good but at that price, it just met expectations.\nI will not be in a rush to go back.\nA big letdown from my previous visits.
Oysters and Jambalaya were superb. Great dinner and highly recommend to anyone
Overall, the service was great and so was the ambiance, but the menu selection is limited unless you're an oyster lover. If you love oysters this is the place for you. If not, I am not sure how much you would enjoy it!
Nice place to meet folks for dinner. One of my favorites.
My boyfriend and I really enjoyed our dinner at The Optimist! He took me out for my birthday and it was a great experience. He had the Shrimp a la Plancha and I had jambalaya. Both were delicious and filling. Our server, Craig, was great and attentive to our needs. Also, try the Cloudy Daun!
The optimist served me the best meal I've eaten since my 3 years living in Atlanta. From oysters, to apps, to cocktails, to the entrees, to dessert, everything was a 10!
My son and i had dinner before a concert. It was our first time dining here. The food was excellent, the service was great. We will definitely return.\nIt would be nice if valet parking was free.
Sat at the bar and soooo glad we decided to do so. James was very attentive, helped us navigate the menu and showed us his great skill with a signature cocktail. Highly recommended.
To start it off with a positive note, the oysters are some of the freshest in Atlanta, I would go back for just raw oysters. The craft cocktails are great and the appetizers are delicious. If I ever go back, I'll stick to the apps, our main courses were very disappointing. My mom had the fish and chips, she said there was a lot of thick, doughy breading, she barely touched it. I ordered the mahi mahi with lemon and olive oil for $26, and it was just a piece of fish, absolutely nothing came with it, you have to pay for your side! Waaaaayyyy over priced. So we ordered some appetizers and a main course for just 2 people and it took 3 hrs on a Monday night! If I ever do go back, I'll stick with the oysters, they were fantastic.
Excellent place to eat. Atmosphere is spot on and the food is top notch. The Swordfish is excellent and the fried rice was like seeing the hand of God...
I researched and found The Optimist on Yelp after searching for nice restaurants near the Four Seasons where my dining companion was staying. We were both very impressed with the ambiance, the friendly and knowledgeable staff, and the excellent meal. I don't eat oysters, but my dinner companion was likewise very happy with the selections recommended by the staff.
Food was delicious, service was spot on, atmosphere was fun, and they even remembered it was our anniversary and did a little something extra. Great experience.
Everything was great except for the service, making the experience less enjoyable. The server was neither attentive nor friendly. She must be new or needs to receive more training. She was not familiar with the oyster menu. We asked for our beer at the time of the oyster tray, but the beer was delivered way before. Before we could finish our beer, she took away our beer glasses. We had to ask some dinner rolls, when we saw the next table had bread. When we were done with our dinner, another server had to take our dishes away. We had to ask for water refill, and then dessert menu. She did not utter a word to offer a dessert recommendation. Disappointed with the interaction.
We went here for our anniversary celebration. My husband had 3 different kinds of oysters on the half shell which he enjoyed very much. I had the Kale Salad that had a punch of crushed red pepper. Although I would not order that again, I did enjoy trying it. For a starter though, the portion was a bit too much for me.\nMy husband and I both had the Whole New England Haddock. It was presented beautifully and was excellent!\nOur server was adequate but a bit aloof and not friendly.\nAlthough we may not rush back, The Optimist is definitely worth trying.
This was our first time at the restaurant and we had a good experience. The food was good and the portions were right. Service was good and we would definetly go back.
Very good food, excellent service and fairly quiet ambience - I'll come back.
Food was wonderful, service was outstanding! Justin was knowledgeable, friendly and attentive. It was my second trip to the Optomist and will certainly not be the last.
The Optimist is my self-proclaimed favorite restaurant in the neighborhood. Kenya (hostess) was courteous and accommodating when my guest pushed back his time of arrival. She went so far as to adjust our reservation while still allowing us a choice of seating options. No, it wasn't busy, but it was a thoughtful gesture. \nOur server, while courteous, was borderline robotic - not something I'm used to at this restaurant. No suggested favorites (for my guest on his first visit), no highlight of any menu changes or additions, and no question on what our preferences may have been for the evening (be it seafood, veggies, or other proteins). \nConsistently good cocktails (our server did agree to replace my first bad choice). \nBoth fish entrees were overcooked. I knifed through my almond fish; but the mahi-mahi had to be sent back (which was done without a question or hesitation by one of the managers.)
Not the best mussels, but otherwise, very nice.
Planned a business dinner at the Optimist. SO LOUD with background noise and music, that talking was difficult. Seating was practically shared table in the section we were seated, which again inhibited conversation. Was glad to walk out the door! Food was average at best.
My only recommendation is to expand the list of red wines.
A cool and contemporary restaurant with quality food and service to match its impressive fit out. They have a selection of fresh oysters that are really worth the $3 a pop, an extensive wine list from all over the world and their food tastes as fabulous as it is presented. The service was also impeccable.
Our server was not friendly and seemed to have attitude. \n\nThe salad was nothing special. Lettuce in a bowl with ordinary dressing. Our table had two different types of salad and both seemed to be the same, just different lettuces and dressing. \n\nThe other meals were over salted otherwise could have been very good. I have eaten there before many time and always loved it. This was disappointing.
I ate here for dinner and got the fish and chips. Luckily I split with the hubby as it was MASSIVE. Chips were more like potato logs. It was very good. We also got the hushpuppies which had powdered sugar on them. They were not bad at all, but as a Southerner I am still more of a traditionalist when it comes to that. They had some delicious homemade saltines for the oysters and the rolls were very tasty as well. The server was very friendly and overall service was prompt. As all new restaurants these days, the noise level can get unbearable for us old folks that can hear well with background noise. I definitely would go back and might try to eat in the outside bar area as the lobster rolls looked delicious.
Had a wonderful experience from the time we arrived til the time we left.
From the hush puppies to the fish chowder to the peas and everything else, it was absolutely amazing. I enjoyed every bite of the dishes ordered. I almost licked my plate, but I'm a lady and ladies don't clean their plates. Lol\n\nA must do if your are a seafood lover!
Amazing food... Went 2 nights in a row because it was so good!!
Big range of fresh oysters to choose from. We really enjoyed the seafood dishes (octopus, swordfish, snapper) - all delicious and creative combinations (e.g. swordfish with peach salad went really well together). Service was friendly. What we loved most was the laid back, beachy but classy vibe of the venue.
We frequent The Optimist because it is consistently a great place to eat. The menu is never the same, the cocktails are always fantastic and the service is impeccable. Our server this time was on point. He gave my wife something that was not on the menu which was fantastic and he provided great, clean and quick service.
So inspiring. One of the most memorable experiences. Every interaction is perfectly designed.
This restaurant has a great atmosphere- clean, modern, beachy and welcoming. The server was very knowledgeable and overall the service was spot-on. Great wine list. The food was excellent. We had oysters and octopus for starters- very tasty. The main courses didn't disappoint. I would definitely visit again next time I'm in town!!
This is at least my third trip here over the last year coming in from out of town. As always the oyster appetizers and then seafood entrees were fabulous. While the wine list is not super extensive, I am 3 for 3 in selecting delicious Chablis to pair with the seafood. It also seems reasonably priced (I have wine cellar so I pay particular attention to the quality of the wine). \n\nPortions are plenty large such that I never have room for dessert. \n\nSince I have had such good luck with the seafood I look forward to returning and enjoying again.
This was our second visit to the Optimist and we were not disappointed. We both ordered the whole fish and it is absolutely amazing. Will definitely go back.
Putt Putt in the outside. Fabulous cocktails, and amazing oysters in the inside. Very trendy place with a classy menu to go along with it. Great for long meals to share and do a tasting flight of oysters. But the main course options are good too. As is the wine list. Its a win all the way around.
Fantastic food, great service, beautiful restaurant. Highly recommended.
Its not a quiet place, but don't let that persuade you. Food is fantastic. Wine list isn't bad.
This restaurant was highly recommended by a friend and colleague who had brought his family the previous week for a Graduation celebration. There was a variety of food to chose from on the menu and all of our choices were outstanding from the appetizers to the main course. We regret not having dessert, but we did have fabulous wine and cocktails. We will definitely make reservations again.
delicious seafood, great service and cocktails were perfect
I really liked The Optimist. I took my wife there for our anniversary and was not disappointed. I had the swordfish poached in duck fat, and it was great. Our server, Topher, was very professional and enjoyable.
The food was great. The hush puppies are divine and the seafood gumbo is great. It was breezy where we were sitting. Like, my nose was running from being cold. The server explained something about the hoods in the kitchen pulling the air exactly where we were sitting. Other than us freezing, the food was great.
I took my daughter who just had graduated from college with honors as a special treat. She eaten at the Optimist but I had not. The food was very good and the portions were large. The grilled bread to go with my mussels was totally burnt as in a piece of charcoal on one side. Everything else with our meal was well prepared and flavorful. The staff was friendly and efficient but the hostesses could be friendlier and more inviting in greeting guests .We hope to return and see how things have improved.
Perfect as always.
Great place good food/service/ppl/ the mix drink need to be much better for that price too water down
I am not a fan of raw oysters but I really like them fried and the ones at this restaurant are spectacular.
We went for lunch, had the octopus and the shrimp a la plancha for appetizers, both were fantastic. The fish entrees were amazing as well. The shrimp was one of a kinds dish, yes messy but totally worth it. For entrees we had red snapper over a bed if cauliflower purÃ©e and butter caper sauce, it was really good. We also had the flounder over a Peruvian chili sauce, very good as well. Totally recommend this restaurant for fish and seafood lovers.
Overall food was good. Oysters fresh. Entrees in some cases way overpriced. Ambiance good, but noisy. Would go back for oyster bar.
Liked very much the ambiance and the style of the restaurant.
Amberjack (reef donkey) was delicious!
My absolute favorite place for lunch. Blackened amberjack with huge mound of irresistible shoe string fries were out of this world good.
This is my new favorite place in Atlanta. The scallops are always awesome, and the bread is warm and yeasty. We almost ordered another serving of rolls for dessert -- but only almost. Personally I loved the cilantro-lime sorbet, although apparently, my dinner companions informed me after tasting it, it is not for everyone. The caramelly ice cream that comes with the apple donuts is also yummy.
Exorbitant prices. The food was just so-so.
Went there for a birthday celebration. Had the octopus and it was very delicious. All my friends enjoyed their meal. The service was also awesome. Traffic can be hectic getting there during rush hour so plan ahead.
I booked this on a suggestion from a friend and it was delicious. I'm picky about seafood (I'm from New Orleans) and loved this place. Extensive selection of wines by the glass. Modern atmosphere. I was a little nervous when we first pulled up because it seemed overly casual for our business dinner, but everyone loved it. Service was great and high end despite the outdoor vibe. Super cool place.
Good food. Very nice space. Our waiter was very knowledgeable and friendly. The food came out fast and was very tasty. If you like oysters then is a good place, they have a great variety. Good for date night.
Food & service were top notch. The oyster selection was really impressive & very fresh!
Amazing food and atmosphere coupled with phenomenal service.
Great space, always great food!
My bestfriend and I share a birthday. We were looking for a decent place for dinner with a few friends. After asking around, we settled on The Optimist. I will admit to being skeptical of the hype. That all went away the moment the valet opened my door. He was friendly, welcoming, and enthusiastic. It only got better from there. The ambience, service, food, etc are all worthy of the highest praise. I'm a fan and I will return whenever I'm in town.
Great spot... Yummy food and drinks!
Lou, our server, was outstanding. He was one of the best things about the experience. When I go back I will probably just drink wine and eat oysters because both are outstanding!
Went for a special celebration and the food was fantastic! One of our absolute top three favorite restaurants in Atlanta.
Excellent food, great cocktails. Perfect experience!
I have eaten at The Optimist once before and was blown away by the entire experience. 2 years later and the delicious fresh horseradish serving was a fraction of the size before. The oysters were spectacular. Our server was not very attentive and kept disappearing for long periods of time. The restaurant was not that busy so it gave us the impression he just didn't care enough. Be warned, that whole haddock is deep fried and very difficult to navigate through all the bones. The rest of the seafood was delicious.
If choosing the Optimist for a date night, especially if relatively new date and trying to get to know them, then make sure you specify no booth seating. Those seats are so close and you can hear your neighbor's entire conversation. But overall it really is a beautiful restaurant, very clean. Wait staff was very nice, although they wore jeans which I thought was different for that type and price range of a restaurant.
In all, I was underwhelmed. The octopus appetizer, described as a specialty, was just kind of average - I didn't particularly like or dislike it. The smoked whitefish chowder, on the other hand, was outstanding. For the entree, I had the flounder with almond meuniere. It was rather bland, dry, and browned a little too much (hard to cut through). The beet salad with carrot-cardamom yogurt and wheat berries was pretty good, but unremarkable. Ditto with the dessert - a sour cream bundt with blackberries and lemongrass ice cream. Sounded amazing, but was just OK. I'd been looking forward to visiting this restaurant for some time. I'd be willing to give it another try - maybe I didn't order the best dishes (though the flounder was described as a favorite). The service, on the other hand, was above average.
Had to wait 30 minutes past my reservation but the bar was great so I didn't mind. The apps were fantastic! Food, drinks and service were all A++++++
Thoroughly enjoyed whole meal. Great service, ambience, food, the works. Best seafood meal I've ever had in my life.
I had been to The Optomist for dinner and it was delicious and the food fabulous! This was my first trip for lunch. I put on my Open Table reservation that we were celebrating my mom's birthday. When we arrived, they brought out menus that had been especially printed for us that had 'Happy Birthday, Mom!' at the top. My mom noticed immediately and was so excited. The Optomist never disappoints with food or service, but this was truly a special touch that elevated our experience. And Adam was a great server! Thank you!
I've been her 3 times over the last 2 years, and while still an enjoyable place, it's lost a bit of its original luster.\n\nThe she crab soup is what I traveled hundreds of miles to eat again. I used to be in love with this frothy, delicate bisque, but it is nothing more than a ubiquitous cream soup now lacking in the original sherry flavor-- did they change the recipe? Also, the yummy shrimp toast that accompanies it has changed -- and not for the better-- too. Sad panda.\n\nFor dinner we had the amberjack with pea purÃ©e -- not good, not good at all. My dining partner had the flounder which was prepared very well, but the recipe was not a standout.\n\nI think the best part about this place is the bar scene in the summer, just my two cents.
Catered to some in our party with special food needs, great service, Wonderful meals, fun for all in our group.
Had 9:00 reservation for 4 on a Friday night, arrived at 8:00 to have cocktails at bar, let hostess know we were there. At 9:15 I checked with hostess- was seeing a lot of people getting seated. The hostess was like, 'oh right! Sure, we have a table for you.' I got my guests and we waited for another hostess to return to take us to table- the table was in a dark corner by the service station (drinks, napkins, etc). I had requested a special table for our birthday celebration, so we asked if there was anything else available. They were clearing off a booth near by, so we waited a couple minutes and then sat there.\nThe booth was great, the food and cocktails were absolutely delicious! I was disappointed about the hostess situation- it was like we were forgotten, I'm not sure they would've gotten us if I hadn't gone to the hostess 15min after our reservation time.
A friend and I went here for oyster happy hour ($1 oysters from 5-6pm) and dinner. Our server suggested the swordfish and we loved it!\nWe go to the Optimist at least once a week and have a great time every time.
The overall experience was excellent. Our server Ben was the best his knowledge of everything from the drinks to the scallops to the dessert was spot on. It was my wife's birthday and she love the place. Will put The Optimist on our 'A' list.
The lobster roll was the best I've ever had. Paired with the chowder fries? I know I'll be dreaming of this restaurant for years to come!
Found this restaurant online and it blew my expectations away! Great ambiance and even better food. My wife had fish and chips and they were the best I've ever had! I had the flounder and it was fantastic as well! The only complaint was the price of one lobster roll. I had read that someone recommended it as an appetizer but when I went to order it was not on the menu. The waiter told me its on the bar menu but assured us it was an appetizer. Once the bill came I saw that it was the same price as my entree..... Won't be getting that again.
We liked it a lot. It has a great vibe.\nMy scallops were slightly undercooked - I like my scallops browned on the outside. No sides are included. The hush puppies were not crispy but they were tasty. My white wine could have been a little more chilled. We will go back and try again.
Great lunch spot. Excellent food for $10-20 pp in a great atmosphere. $3 valet fee was a bit annoying, but parking is otherwise limited.
Unusual, but extremely well balanced flavor combis
Fried Rice, Kale Salad, and the Oysters blew the main courses out of the water. Later reservations seem to get neglected from good service as the servers seem to rush and ignore guests in order to leave right at closing.
The entire staff is attentive but not hovering. We had a 5 star lunch with drinks and can't wait to come back.
My date and I were quickly sat and closely attended to by our waiter. He did an excellent job going over the highlights of the menu and providing suggestions. The favorite for my date was the smoked fish chowder which was exquisite. We also enjoyed selected fresh oysters which was a fun tasting experience. Another highlight was the apple cider donuts with salted caramel ice cream for dessert. Overall, it was a great dining experience and I would highly recommend it.
We love the Optimist! It's consistently outstanding! One of our favorites!
Consistently a great experience and wonderful food.
Took the boss and a potential client to lunch this week. Excellent food and attentive service. Good looking place too. Hip without being too over the top. Planning on taking the wife there for date night soon.\n\nOne complaint (hey, no one's perfect...). If there is no choice to self-park (which, with my ancient, giant Ford, is actually my preference), then valet should be complimentary.\n\nCheck back in with you after that date night.
It was our 2nd time there, enjoyed it! I love the set up and it has a nice ambience. Food was good, only thing is that they ran out of the fried grouper (which was what I really wanted to eat) so ended up ordering something else.
The food drinks and staff could not have been better
Like the raw bar.
Everything was awesome! Trevor was our server and he is always amazing!
If you are a seafood lover, this place is a must do! The seafood is fresh and well prepared, the drinks are inspired. Put this one on your list!
This is a good spot for special occasions or a romantic date night. It was my first time here and I was meeting a friend from out of town that I haven't seen in months. The service wasn't anything out of the ordinary. The food is delicious but you're going to pay an arm and a leg for it, and not that much of it either. The name the Optimist must be in reference toward your attitude of feeling full after finishing the meal. But I'm more of a glass half empty kind of guy.
My wife and I went here for our 5 year anniversary and we had an amazing time. Everything we ordered was simply delightful. Our wait staff was phenomenal. We also enjoyed the atmosphere because it was alive and vibrant.
octopus app and oysters were awesome! house made saltines were a nice touch. waitress filleted our fish at the table for us. wine list wasn't anything special but the cocktails were great. lastly, desert: the cider donuts and caramel ice cream were super cute and delicious. romantic enough for our one on one date night but we also saw groups of friends eating out together and larger family parties.
The Optimist offers a great range of dishes (mostly seafood) that capitalizes on freshness and flavor. One does not usually think of seafood as âfull-flavoredâ but the Optimist menu features dishes that successfully capture both delicateness and bold flavor. The roasted octopus evoked the heartiness of the southern Mediterranean, scallops were elegant with a hint of Iberian smokiness, and the halibut preparation allowed the nuanced richness of the fish to shine through. \n\nHaving lived on the east, west and Gulf coasts, we appreciated the opportunity to enjoy world-class seafood away from home.
Overall the food was very good. Although, my amberjack was slightly overcooked and a bit dry.
Loved the Kale Salad and the Brussels!!!
We live in the neighborhood and have been wanting to go for a while. I'm glad we finally went, but probably won't go back.\n\nOur reservation was at 6:30. We were seated right away at one of the banquet tables next to the bar. It was incredibly crowded at the bar and there were people gathering and chatting right near our table. We were there to have a nice meal to celebrate something special and there was just no privacy. The atmosphere was very bright, lots of light and openness. Would be nice for a brunch or a lunch - not very conducive to an intimate dinner.\n\nService was great and the food came out in a timely manor. I had the amberjack with mussels. I typically really enjoy mussels, but these didn't really have a lot of flavor. The overall dish was pretty fishy. I was disappointed in the lack of depth in flavor and don't feel like it really followed through on the promise of fresh fish and ingredients. Not a complete miss, but definitely not worth the price.
We love this restaurant. Sit at the bar if just 2 people, great service at the bar and tables! Love the oysters and octopus!
I like quality food that is unique and served in an impeccable manner. My expectations were exceeded!!!! We have added The Optimist to our list of favorites!
Food is great. Service is ambivalent at best. Servers are not particularly attentive and I think not particularly interested. We were seated and sat for ten minutes without nary a word or visit from anyone. Even my wife, who has the patience of Job, was ready to throw a glass to get someone to offer a menu, glass of water, or drink order. When server finally appeared she had a ready made excuse: 'I saw you guys were talking so I didn't want to interrupt.' She had a similar excuse for forgetting my wife's coffee: 'oh, we were making a new pot.' \nServers need to serve and stop coming up with facile and silly excuses.
Former culinary student who visited The Optimist on a weekend getaway. The Optimist offers a great selection of seafood pleasing the senses. The service is top notch which made the entire experience worth repeating. Our server's name was Ben. He was well versed in every detail about the menu, friendly and accomidating. We enjoyed a variety of small plates. They offered a large selection of alcoholic beverages. I no longer drink but was delighted to find a delicious non-alcoholic beer on the menu imported from Germany. I've had oysters in various 5 star restaurants but these well surpased the quality and taste of any. I will be back and will go well out of my way to return here!
Great dining! I highly recommend it. Quickly becoming one of my new favorites in ATL. A bit pricey but otherwise no complaints.
From the moment we were escorted to our table, to our fabulous waiter, every element of our meal was delectable. The savory She-Crab-soup, the hush puppies, whole, GA shrimp a la Plancha!!! Talk about a dinner to remember in a lovely setting! My friends and I will absolutely be back for more!!
Tables are too close together/not comfortable seating. I love love love the menu, but again, you often feel like you're eating with the neighbors!
Dinner here was excellent. Great variety of oysters as an appetizer, wonderful wine list to choose from, and excellent array of entrees.
An absolutely wonderful experience. Was in Atlanta for 21 hours and had a coworker with me who wanted to go somewhere fun for her birthday. I of course relied on my friends for suggestions and every one said 'The Optimist'. Well they surely did not disappoint. The atmosphere, the ambiance, and the food! Top notch. Even the service was exemplary! (ask for Kyle) can't wait to go back. Thank you for the WONDERFUL experience!!
Fantastic atmosphere and excellent diversity in the menu for being themed (seafood). The bar scene is energetic (both spirits and oyster) and service was great. Our waiter happily accommodated easy requests. Quality of food was fantastic; portions were more than satisfactory--especially for seafood.
I had family from out of town visiting Atlanta for my birthday, and I wanted to go to a place outside of the norm. I hadn't heard of The Optimist before reading the reviews in the Atlanta Magazine. Upon arrival, we were promptly seated (had reservations), and when we requested to move our seats due to the air vents, the host kindly seated us in another section. I will admit, I noticed that the service was slow overall, but the waitress acknowledged this without my prompting and comped our desserts (fabulous!).\n\nThe menu is somewhat limited, but what is offered is rather tasty. Also, my husband is a fan of oysters, and The Optimist has a listing of a variety of oyster combinations that you can mix and match. He loved it!\n\nI would visit again. Great way to spend time with out of town guests!
I have enjoyed the Optimist for years. It has been a solid choice.
We had the steak tacos with a plate of nachos. The portions for the nachos are huge so we split them. Also ended up splitting the tacos. Eat the tacos while they're hot or the tortilla will cool and crack. Waiters were very friendly. Good atmosphere and music! My girlfriend is Mexican and she thought the food was top notch!!
Really great oysters and really good fish. I will definitely be going back.
Loved it! Thanks for helping me make my friends birthday special!
The service was excellent. The food and drinks came out very quickly. Everything was flavorful and the presentation was awesome.
I don't normally do reviews but I had to after dining at The Optimist. It was absolutely fabulous. The octopus app was the best that I've ever had and my main course of duck fat poached swordfish was amazing. Only disappointment was the rocky road bread pudding which was very dense and dry. Don't get me wrong it tasted excellent but I'm use to the more traditional moist bread pudding. I would highly recommend it to anybody. Looking forward to coming back in the future.
I was very impressed and enjoyed everything we ordered. All the fish is so fresh. The fish and chips is among the best I've ever had and I have eaten this meal all across the UK. Definitely worth a try.
I have been to The Optimist a few times, and decided to surprise my girlfriend with dinner there for her birthday this year. I was extremely disappointed and dissatisfied, the food was burnt, and under temperature. Our waiter was unattentive and disinterested, definitely wasn't the experience that I expected from a restaurant that usually provides an elevated dining experience...
Love this spot for Lunch, easy to get a table or seat at the bar. Dinner is another subject, hard to get a reservation in the dining room and the menu at the Oyster Bar is very limited.
This was our first visit to The Optimist. We celebrated our second anniversary of our first encounter, and you made our night memorable. We both enjoyed the food and the ambiance and plan to return. Thanks for the great food and service!
Greeters / seaters were just curt and borderline rude the way they were talking to guests as if it was our privilege to be there. I would not go back if that was the only impression. Fortunately the food was awesome and the server was one of the best I have ever had.
Three of us had fish and chips which were highly recommended. The fish was overly breaded and the chips were not chrispy. The other meals were also average.
Restaurant and servers get a 10! Love it. However, it was raining and the valet attendants were far from the entrance. Maybe a radio for the hostess to give the ticket number to the valet? We got soaked walking over to valet... Not good.
Perhaps it was the menu items we tried, but I was not impressed with out entrees. The drinks were very good. I had the tilefish. I can't remember the dish my wife had, but it came with mussels which I tried. The drinks were good, the mussels were okay, but the fish was not flavorful.
I'm serious. Get one of every oyster (for each person, no need to cause a ruckus) and go to town. Those things are legit, and those homemade saltine crackers are no joke either. Treat yo'self. \r\n\r\nAlso, listen to the staff. They know what's up and what they're about. Every recommendation was solid and me and the lady had a great time out on our special night.
Fantastic food and service... Great place to celebrate our anniversary...
Food and service are very good. Wine list is good. Atmosphere not so good. Cold feel with nothing to absorb sound of talking or music. Seating not even comfortable. Did not feel intimate, elegant, cozy or romantic.
This was my second visit to The Optimist, and having set the bar so high on my first visit, I knew it would be a safe bet for a Valentine's Day dinner. Of course The Optimist did not disappoint. Everything about our experience was great. Our server was very attentive, our food was delicious, and the drinks were very good.
The Optimist is one of the most consistent and reliable establishments we frequent. We have literally never been disappointed.
Dining on a Wednesday evening, we started at the raw bar. The oysters were impeccable and were presented nicely. Service was a bit slow even though the bar was only 1/3 full, probably due to orders from the dining room. Service in the dining room was terrific. Our server was helpful and attentive without being obtrusive. The food was excellent, but two things to keep in mind. First, the spice pallet for all of the entrees and sides was decidedly Asian/ North African. Delicious, but no place to run if that's not your bag. Second, all of the sides are a la carte. They are well priced and tasty, but they dishes in their own right and aren't really designed to compliment the entrees. Your overall meal will feel less composed than typical fine dining, but if you enjoy strong flavors and a little mix-but-not-match the food is great.
One of my favorite restaurants in Atlanta. The food and service never disappoint. The grilled octopus is excellent as an appetizer. We followed with the kale salad, yummy! The flounder and amberjack were both incredible entrees. We love the Optimist
Recommended by a friend who lives in the area. We were a group of 3 men attending Wilco concert that evening. Excellent across the board including food/drink/service. Will absolutely be back.
A little noisy and door opened next to table, letting a cold draft from time to time. Wood smoked seafood and oyster selections were awesome!
Was disappointed in my tilefish. Dry and not overly flavorful.
First time here. Wonderful ambiance. Really nice food! Will definitely go back.
We met family there for dinner. The wait staff were very helpful and food was very well prepared.
Huge fan since they open but,lately they been lacking on the food that onceade the great.\nOctopus an old time favorite... Lately it's over grilled and not seasoned well,gumbo soup extremely spicy and yes..they got rid of their home made crakers.\nPay attention
Was able to have a quick girls luncheon with a friend and we both enjoyed our meals. The atmosphere was lively and the service was quick. I've gone for happy hour also and the place has a really cool bar scene, especially in nice weather.
Waiter was semi attentive. Gave him our cocktail order then he disappeared observing him making talk with several tables of women. It took over 15 minutes to get two cocktails. Not a good way to start dinner. Number one rule get the customer seated get them cocktail so they can enjoy the ambience, enjoy conversation and decide on the meal. Food was great
The biggest problem here may be sky high expectations after hearing everyone say how great it is. Yes the seafood is quite good, the service is fine, it's got a casual, edgy vibe and is a lively place, if not a bit noisy, most of the time. But I could also name 3 other premium seafood places in B'head and Vinings that seem equal to the task at this price point. We'll return seeking what others are waxing poetic about, but we won't miss the Optimists hard wood seats when we're at more comfortable, if a little stodgier spots.
We first tried this restaurant for lunch about a year ago, and thought the burgers were exceptional. We Live in Savannah and come to Atlanta several times a year, and have made a point to go back to The Optomist on every visit. My partner proclaims the oysters to be the best he's ever had, and whether I'm ordering a full entrÃ©e or just a soup and salad, the food is phenomenal. The bartending staff in particular is extremely friendly, and we've just sat at the bar and had our dinner several times, enjoying their conversation. They're also incredible mixologists and we always are excited to try their new concoctions. The bright and chic decour during the day becomes a warm cozy atmosphere at night. You can't go wrong with this restaurant!
Food was not good. Very salty and seasoning wasn't good.
I took my husband here for his birthday. I called a head to ask them to do anything special for him that they could and boy did they. They seated us in a cute little booth that was the perfect size for a couple. It also had a view of the whole restaurant. We came at night, so I can't say exactly how the decor looks, but the ambiance was fantastic for a date-night. It was low lighting with the perfect amount of light throughout the restaurant. They also space the table far enough away so that it was quiet even though the restaurant was packed. They printed 'Happy Birthday' on our menu (which they let me keep). If you love seafood, you're going to love this place. They have some more exotic options like octopus and swordfish (which is my husband's favorite). The only reason I didn't give them a 5 on the foods is because I like shrimp, crab and tuna which were not offered. And although we enjoyed the beet salad, kale salad and fingerling potatoes, their side dish options are a little limited. I would like to see something else that is a green option other than the brussel spouts. But everything that we did order was delicious. We finished up with a dessert, and they brought it out with a single birthday candle. Overall, the restaurant was great and the service was impeccable. We would definitely go here again and recommend it for a friend.
My wife and I have been twice on her birthday, and we have had a great experience! Everyone is very friendly, the food is great, and the atmosphere is really neat! Great place for a special occasion!!
The food was delicious. Morgan was absolutely the best and we will be requesting her whenever we go back in the future. Love the atmosphere. Much better food and larger portions add up to a greater value than similarly priced competing seafood restaurants in the area.
Amazing dinner and birthday for n!
Wow.. Service was on point .. Even down to swapping out white napkins for diners with black pants..\n\nFood was creative and waiters actually had an opinion about their favorite dishes.. None of the 'it's all good'\n\nWine list was broad and value priced.. \n\nI will go here again.. And again..
Took my daughter and family for special occasion. Based on friends and online reviews wanted to try it out. Found it very. Noisy, so much so we couldn't chat comfortably across the table. Server was not efficient or customer focused. Long lag times between check ins. Food was ordinary in general. Highlights were the shrimp a la plancha and the little gems salad. Was hoping for a better outcome. Definitely did not stand up to the price point.
Really love The Optimist and the food, but I literally left hungry. I ordered the scallops and my girlfriends and I split some sides. There were 3 scallops on the plate and I could have eaten both of the sides we ordered myself with out splitting them with my girlfriends. It should be noted that I a gluten free, so couldn't eat the bread that was served while waiting for dinner (it looked delicious)....maybe that would have helped make me feel more satisfied with my meal.
We had dinner at the Optimist for the first time to other night. The place is great!! Great food, great service, good cocktails, nice ambiance. Our waiter gave great recommendations on food and cocktails. Can't wait to go back...
Our dinner reservation was at 6:00 and the restaurant was mostly empty when we arrived. They sat us right in front of the kitchen even though there were plenty of open tables to be seated at and when we requested another table the hostess ignored us. Food was delicious but the price paid for the amount of food was ridiculously high. Our server was somewhat condescending almost to the point of being arrogant. We will not be dining there again and will not recommend this place to anyone else.
Dinner for 2 at the bar: a great show, great service and great food. Other than the overpriced oysters (which are fresh and tasty but expensive) nothing will disappoint you. The grilled octopus and the fish chowder were well-portioned and perfectly seasoned. The occasional bit of pork belly in the chowder made it hearty and with a generous amount of sea creatures could have made a meal all by itself. But who can stop there? An appetizer plate of fried oysters (a bargain) followed and rounded off the meal. My guest shared the octopus which was bite-through, not chew-through tender and made a great second plate. The chocolate bread pudding dessert put us in a food coma that a great cup of regular old american coffee provided enough of a recovery to take Uber home. The bartenders are talented and genuinely interested in what you think of dinner. We've always enjoyed The Optimist and it maintains its place as one of Atlanta's top two seafood restaurants.
Good food would like to try more items.
Food is delicious. Great for date night or groups
Great service by Elissa!
We made reservations to the Optimist before a show on a recent Friday night. Valet parking when you arrive and the place was hoping even for our early (5:45) reservation.\n\nThe waiter we had was terrific and led us through the menu wonderfully. We ended up having a selection of Oysters, Kale Salad, and Octopus to start. All were terrific but the Octopus is the best I've had in Atlanta. Maybe anywhere. So Good!\n\nFor dinner we both had the swordfish which was really good.\n\nOne of the best restaurants in Atlanta.
Our girls night out was made so much better at The Optimist! Our waiter was amazing! He knew the menu and believe me we quizzed him good! All of his recommendations were delicious!! We decided to forgo the entree and simply split a few starters and sides!! It was a great call, though the waiter had me convinced on ordering the flounder if we decided to go that way! The Brussels sprouts are definitely something to write home about!! The bar was wonderful and put up with my picky drink order, which turned out perfect!!! A++
The food was nothing short of amazing. The hostesses were extremely and quickly accommodating after we missed out reservation time, and the wait staff was very knowledgeable about the menu. Love the open space and outdoor mini golf area.
We were looking for a special place to celebrate my husband's 50th birthday together. We wanted trendy yet romantic with the perfect splash of ambiance. The Optimist was a perfect combination of exquisite food and dynamic atmosphere. We highly recommend it to any and all who desire a night out to remember.
Start at the oyster bar then to the restaurant for dinner. Open space but cozy feel. Interesting menu and yummy yeast rolls on the table.
I had heard how great Ford Fry's restaurants were so we made reservations at the Optimist. Service was outstanding as was the food. Unusual, fresh fare that changes with the availability of the freshest ingredients and it makes a difference. Can't wait to go back.
Fantastic atmosphere and service. The food was great. Only knock would be how salty the fingerling potatoes were.
I took my mom here for her birthday dinner. She has a severe gluten allergy and our waiter Sean was very clear about what could be done without cross contamination. We were pleased to find that almost everything can be be prepared gluten free. My mom particularly loved the kale salad- Actually, she was raving. She also loved the brussels and the crab claws. I got the scallops entre, which was also amazing. perfectly cooked. They were kind enough to bring out several ice creams (you have to try the caramel sea-salt) for her birthday. Overall, it was a big win. If any of you sons out there want to earn some points with mom, this is your chance! I'd recommend this spot to anyone
The ambiance was great but I found the food the be standard and pricey for the portions.
Fried oysters were too hot due to cooking with chili oil (not shown on menu) and were sent back. Peel and eat shrimp had texture of mashed potatoes and also sent back. Chef subsequently trashed entire batch and offered his apology. Hush puppies were Luke warm and spongy, (by this time we were too embarrassed to say much more). Dinner roll was cold and stale. Crab fingers were very small but the only good item we had. Overall this was one of the worst dinning experiences we have had.
Service with just the right attention and timing for our Anniversary. Extensive bar. Great descriptions of the fish main courses that helped my wife decide. My guess is that any choice would have been excellent, because our selections, the Cobia and Grouper, were so fresh. Don't miss this excellent seafood spot!
Great food, service and ambience, could just as well belong inside Ponce City Market but with a more relaxed atmosphere, cool and hip place, when you dine here don't go in a hurry, you want to relax and take it all in, think for example a European long lunch with a good wine.
Our server was top notch. She knew the menu well and recommended an appetizer and wine that I enjoyed. The grilled octopus appetizer was devine! I had the scallops which were excellent and my date had the hanger steak which he thoroughly enjoyed. Our server recommended the basmati rice as our side and again we loved it! Fantastic food and excellent service! A little expensive for every day dining but an experienced you must try every now and then!!!
Our initial experience was a mixture of chaos & neglect, but once we were seated the dining experience was quite good.\n\nThe chaos: We arrived 10 minutes early and sat at the raw bar to wait for our table. The server for that area brought us drink menus but never returned, so after 15 minutes, we decided to move to the main bar where we had a hope of getting a drink. I told one of the four people at the host stand that we were moving to the main bar so they wouldn't have to search for us. After being at the main bar for 20 minutes (with great service from the bartender), we noticed several empty 4-tops, as well as 2-tops that could have been put together, in the restaurant, and once it was clear no one was coming to get us, we inquired, at which point we were seated. Aside from the lack of service in the raw bar, I think the real problem was that there were FOUR people working at the host stand, and I don't think the left hand knew what the right was doing. The only system that seemed to be in place for keeping up with guests was memory, and without communication among the numerous hosts, our initial impression was, well, you know how you'd feel.\n\nThe very good/excellent: Our server, Cooper, was attentive, engaging, responsive with compelling advice, and essentially made up for the initial impression. He asked good questions, he made good recommendations, and he was both enthusiastic and genuine. Were I to run a restaurant, I would definitely want servers of Cooper's talent. The support staff (busboys) were also great.\n\nThe star: The food was excellent. Everyone thought his/her entree was the best (Mahi, Haddock, Fish & Chips, & Cioppino) while also agreeing that each other's food was great. We eat out a lot, and it's rare that *everything* is delicious.\n\nThe skinny: We'll absolutely go back.
My wife and I enjoyed our dining experience. The food was thoughtfully prepared and the oysters were out of this world. Our server was knowledgeable in all areas and suggested a wonderful wine that complemented the food. We had a great date and look forward to dining there again.
Everything about our experience was fabulous!
Overpriced entrees with no sides included. Disappointing.
This place is great! My foodie friends have been telling me to check this place out for ages and I finally made reservations. The food did not disappoint! I can't remember our servers name, but he was excellent as well. We had the octopus appetizer (unique and tasty!), the gumbo appetizer (yum - it hard to find a good Gumbo, but they do a great job), and the scallops (cooked to perfection). The food presentation is fantastic and each dish's ingredients compliment each other perfectly. TIP: $3 valet parking only - you can ask your server to add this to your bill or pay the valet in cash upon leaving.
Our second visit to Optimist just as great as first one. Our waitress was very smart and attentive and tried to accommodate all our needs. Love their fresh sea food. Pulao and sides just as great.
To say I was disappointed was an understatement. I have been begging my boyfriend to go here for awhile. We decided nye was the perfect time to try it out. We were excited for the set menu, and the atmosphere we have heard about through word of mouth. My first compliant would be that we ordered a bottle of champagne and when the waiter opened it at the table it spilled a very good amount all of the floor. While I know that bubbly has tendency to do that, some acknowledgment, a discount or something would've been nice. He spilled at least a glass worth and when spending $50/bottle I expected a little more. Secondly, the starter was literally a shot glass of soup. A SHOT GLASS. For $75 a person I was absolutely shocked that I was served a 'tasting' of soup in a shot glass. Lastly, and my biggest concern was that we had to rush out of the restaurant and cancel our nye plans after because my boyfriends stomach was very upset. He spent the rest of the night in pain, in and out of the bathroom. We have had seafood a ton together so it was nothing new for him. Something he ate at this place really hurt his stomach. It completely ruined our night and nye. I might get this place another chance, but I can tell you he will never return. So disappointing.
The optimist never let's me down. Great service. Delicious food. Get environ