“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

“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

“Chef Adam Evans has a knack for rich, deeply flavored dishes that will convert the most ardent steak lover. Whatever you do, don't skip the sides, especially the corn-milk hush puppies and basmati 'fried rice.' Sometimes the best meals happen when you least expect them to. It helps to be an optimist.”

#7 Best New Restaurant in America, Bon Appétit

“The old-school fish house has been reborn in this outsize seafood emporium, outfitted in sleek white tile and floor-to-ceiling windows. The vibe of the vast, high-volume space is nautical-chic. The seafood-centric menu is built to match, with head-on Georgia shrimp in a buttery chile-lime sauce and clam and lobster rolls that would make any New Englander proud. ”

50 Best New Restaurants 2013, Bon Appétit

“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

“[In Atlanta] a new wave of chefs is creating a uniquely Southern mash-up of regional and international flavors. Where We're Eating & Drinking: The Optimist.”

Editor's Welcome, Southern Living

“Adam Evans has a deep and abiding relationship with Gulf shrimp. This is not uncommon for people who grew up in Alabama. Now he’s one of Atlanta’s best chefs, serving signature dishes such as head-on Gulf shrimp drowning in a sauce of dried chile and lime at the Optimist, a neo–seafood shack routinely packed with local and out-of-town crowds. ”

Anatomy of a Classic: Shrimp on the Rocks, Garden & Gun, Article by Kim Severson

“"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

“The Optimist is just about the biggest, prettiest, first-date-iest seafood temple you can imagine, with the added advantage of offering peel-and-eat Georgia shrimp, which may be the tastiest crustaceans you'll ever put in your mouth. ”

GQ City Guides: Atlanta, GQ

“Named for a kind of sailing dinghy, the Optimist is [Ford] Fry’s best effort to date; I’d even go so far as to say it’s shaping up to to be Fry’s first great restaurant.”

The Optimist Restaurant Review, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution