“A soaring, convivial spot, the Optimist has a hopping oyster bar shaped like a surfboard, a first-rate cocktail program, and seafood cooked with old-school expertise over a wood fire. The term Optimist refers to a type of sailing dinghy used for teaching kids, and is an old moniker for a fisherman awaiting his next big catch. But judging from chef Ford Fry's exuberant cooking, it might also be a reference to his outlook on the world.”

Restaurant of the Year, Esquire

“Readers Pick Best Restaurant To Take Visitors & Best Seafood”

Best of Atlanta 2014, Creative Loafing

“Another of Ford Fry’s restaurants, The Optimist delivers a variety of seafood ranging from raw oysters and smoked white fish chowder to charred Spanish octopus and duck fat poached swordfish. With an excellent cocktail list and well-educated staff, this west side establishment is an exciting place to be for any occasion. Plus, you can play a quick round of miniature golf while you wait for your table.”

5 Best Restaurants for a Celebration in Atlanta, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

“Dish to get: The lobster roll, served on a buttery toasted bun, is the best in Atlanta.”

70 Best New Restaurants in the World, Conde Nast Traveler

“There's more to Ford Fry's nautical seafood temple than fresh Georgia shrimp. Available only at lunch, the squat six-ounce burger (The Opti Burger) is two thin patties made out of skirt steak trimmings ground with frozen butter (for real). Sweet caramelized onions and tangy remoulade add to the burger's intensity.”

#3 Best Burger in the City, Atlanta Magazine

“Try this Brussels Sprouts Gratin Recipe: If you've never been tempted by brussels sprouts, Alabama-born chef Adam Evans, of Atlanta's seafood haven The Optimist, has a gratin that may just convert you. His sprouts come laced with bacon, cream, white wine, mustard, and Parmesan. 'It's based on traditional Thanksgiving casseroles—rich, creamy, crispy on the top—but so much better,' he says.”

Not Your Mama’s Casserole, InStyle

“The Optimist's basmati fried rice evokes the colonial Anglo-Indian dish kedgeree, pairing subtly smoky fish with toasted curry powder.”

Trendipedia: Fried Rice Remix, Food & Wine

“Looking for a place to eat? The Optimist made AJC food writer John Kessler's pick of 50 restaurants in and around Atlanta.”

Atlanta’s 50 Best Restaurants, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

“"You’ll find America’s best seafood [...] also in Atlanta, where seafood meets southern society over oysters and putt-putt at the Optimist."”

Best Seafood Restaurants in the U.S., Travel + Leisure

“Esquire's own John Mariani even called the opening of The Optimist the most exciting of last year...[G]o; just go. Georgia is on my mind, and I wish I could go back tomorrow.”

A Love Letter to Atlanta, Esquire