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The Optimist

The Optimist, Chef Ford Fry’s upscale seafood restaurant and oyster bar in Midtown West, recently caught Esquire Magazine’s Best Restaurant Award for 2012, and continues to reel in the accolades.

Everything about The Optimist lives up to the high expectations we have for a Ford Fry restaurant. Like No. 246 and JCT Kitchen, it’s bright, with modern-rustic decor in an industrial-era Atlanta building, the menu is comforting and inspired in equal measure. And for the kid in all of us, The Optimist features a few holes of putt-putt — just in case you have to wait for your table.

Owner-Chef Ford Fry and Executive Chef Adam Evans, who trained under Top Chef judge Tom Colocchio, have created a menu that features hearth roasted fish and meats, and if you think sushi is the only way to eat raw fish, the Oyster Bar at The Optimist offers dishes that will change your mind.


Lump Crab Cakes with Mustard Dressing

Forget what you think you know about crab cakes, because Chef Adam Evans will blow you away with his reinvention of the dish. Rich lump crab, and just the right amount of bite, dressed with a lightly spicy, tangy mustard.

Georgia Shrimp a la Plancha

This dish is, as the menu admits, “messy but worth it.” Shell on (including the head), all the flavor of the shrimp locked in, and a refreshing hint of lemon. There’s no better way to serve shrimp.

Beer Battered Haddock and Chips

A serving is about enough food for two people. Fish and chips might be a British classic, but The Optimist’s version will remind you that history is written by the winners. Crisp battered flaky white fish and golden fried potatoes that rival anything you’d find in the old country.


914 Howell Mill Road, Atlanta, GA 30318
Monday – Friday 11:30-2:30
Sunday – Thursday 5-10
Friday & Saturday 5-11
Oyster Bar
Monday – Friday 5 till …
Saturday & Sunday 3 till …
Price Range $18-$26
Credit? Yes
Outdoor Seating? Yes
Parking? Lot
Family-Friendly? Yes
Delivery? No
Alcohol? Yes
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