The Optimist is a recent player in the Atlanta restaurant scene, and has quickly risen to the top of the “must eat” lists around the city. The great part about the Optimist is that it actually lives up to its reputation. Settled in on the West side of Atlanta, near Howell Mill and 10th st, the Optimist seems more like an urban oasis than a restaurant. I’ve eaten at the Optimist now a few times, and I am yet to be disappointed. The first time I went, my eye immediately caught the miniature golf course, and yes I have seen people playing. Once inside, the atmosphere feels like a beach-side restaurant, and the windows beset the dining room on all sides, which gives The Optimist its outdoor feel.
Whether you are going to The Optimist for drinks with friends, or a fine dining experience you will not be let down. The appetizers are great, and I highly recommend the She-Crab soup. The soup possesses a great flavor which is enhanced by a slice of fried shrimp bread. The shrimp toast reminded me of something I might find on my weekly trip to dim sum, and accentuates the soups flavor perfectly.
I would definitely recommend the Oysters or Clams for appetizers as well.
As far as the main course is concerned, I have tried both the meats and the fish. With the latest visit, we ordered the Skirt Steak, and the Amberjack. The steak was delicious, and the Amberjack was pretty good. We also shared an order of the Hush Puppies, which are some of the best in town.
The only reservations I have about eating at the Optimist are that it is very expensive, and the service is not ideal. I am not sure it’s quite worth the expense. The atmosphere is great, and the food is great, but I was not extremely impressed with the entree accompaniments, and our server seemed like they had no idea what was going on.