“As I ate the oysters with their strong taste of the sea and their faint metallic taste that the cold white wine washed away, leaving only the sea taste and the succulent texture, and as I drank their cold liquid from each shell and washed it down with the crisp taste of the wine, I lost the empty feeling and began to be happy and make plans.” – Ernest Hemingway, A Moveable Feast

Ford Fry’s The Optimist brings a classic seafood experience to landlocked Atlantans. From Maine sea scallops and whole-roasted Georgia trout to garlicky clams and fresh oysters flown in from the East and West coasts, executive chef Adam Evans serves high-quality and sustainable seafood from the country’s best suppliers. An extensive selection of beer, wine, and handcrafted cocktails pair with hickory-roasted fish and raw oysters alike. Beach-food classics like hush puppies and lobster rolls will transport you to your favorite spot along the coast, and the dining room’s custom woodwork and nautical touches preserve the integrity of the ham-aging house the building once was.

Chef-Owner Ford Fry

Houston native Ford Fry’s chef-owned and operated restaurants focus on seasonal cooking with high-quality ingredients that let the food speak for itself. After graduating from the New England Culinary Institute and serving as a fine-dining chef in Texas, Florida, California, and Colorado, Fry settled in Atlanta to open refined Southern restaurant JCT Kitchen. The Italian-inspired No. 246, a partnership with chef Drew Belline, followed in 2011. Now he shares his love for seafood with The Optimist and Oyster Bar at The Optimist.

Executive Chef Adam Evans

Though he has years of experience cooking different types of cuisine in Alabama, Louisiana, New York, and Atlanta, including Tom Colicchio’s Craft and Craftbar, executive chef Adam Evans has always loved seafood. He’s worked alongside Ford Fry from The Optimist’s conception, creating seasonal and beautifully prepared dishes with the best possible ingredients. Both a fisherman and chef, Evans has a passion for sustainable cooking.