Since its highly anticipated opening in December, the Ordinary has made the type of splash everyone expected, garnering a nomination from the James Beard Foundation for best new restaurant and showing up in every glossy food magazine out there. Chef Mike Lata and partner Adam Nemirow drew upon their decades-long cultivation of local purveyors and farm-to-table techniques at their first restaurant, FIG, and applied them to the classic oyster hall format, and the results are superb. The setting in a refurbished bank building, complete with 22-foot ceilings and high, round-topped windows, is sparkling, stylish, and full of energy. The gleaming white tile raw bar serves impressive towers of oysters on the half-shell from boutique producers, including local delicacies like Capers Blades and Otter Islands (during the colder months). The “hot” and “cold” selections offer an array of small plates designed for sharing, running the gamut from a delicate lobster ceviche to the most insanely delicious fried oyster sliders on the planet. The menu changes daily, and Lata is still expanding it with new creations, like a selection of entrée-sized “mains.” Delicately fried triggerfish schnitzel and a fresh catch prepared steak frites style are just some of our favorites. Bold, ambitious, and fanatical about quality, the Ordinary continues to evolve and is already a must-visit Charleston destination. —Robert Moss Dish (Summer 2013)
Chef Mike Lata dives into seafood with his latest restaurant, serving platters of fresh, cold oysters, stone crab claws, shrimp, and clams plus a menu of fancy seafood.
Hours: Raw bar opens at 3 p.m. D. Closed Mon.