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The Optimist

914 Howell Mill Rd. NW (Ninth St. NW) Send to Phone
404-477-6260 | Make Restaurant Reservations | Menu
Comprising a restaurant and an adjacent raw bar, The Optimist is all about seafood.
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Local Deals: 120 * 90

Cuisine
Open
Lunch Mon.-Fri., Dinner nightly
Bar open late
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The Optimist, Atlanta, GA

The Optimist Restaurant Review

: Inspired by the classic fish camp, although substantially upscaled, The Optimist offers a sophisticated yet casual ambience. There are two operations: a restaurant and an adjacent raw bar that stays open until all sated guests have departed. Stop here for a late plate of raw or wood-roasted oysters. We forgo the fancy fixing’s and stick to lemon wedges. The bar's noise levels are friendlier than in the main dining room, whose high curved ceiling reverberates sound. Start with the smoked fish chowder, with chunks of potato and creamy chive-flecked richness, or the sherry-accented, devilishly rich she-crab soup. Classic fish 'n' chips is a cut above the crowd in every respect, with torn fried pieces of potato accompanying the fish. Duck fat-poached swordfish is moist and still slightly pink. Side dishes based on veggies will compose a vegetarian plate. Soft-shell crab are served in season. The "beignet style" hush puppies dusted with powdered sugar and served with a cane syrup butter leave us perplexed. And the fried oysters have a too heavy coating for our tastes, plus come with a white barbecue sauce that does little for them. For dessert, go for the house-made ice creams and sorbets, which are lighter than the primary sweet offerings. Wines selections seem seafood appropriate, and there’s a raft of rosés and plenty of Pinot Noirs for the grilled fish. We like the outdoor dining area, with contemporary Adirondack chairs and a putting green (putters available).

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