The December debut of the Ordinary, the new venture from chef Mike Lata and his business partner Adam Nemirow, was perhaps the most anticipated restaurant opening of 2012. The pair 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. The “hot” and “cold” selections offer an array of small plates designed for sharing, running the gamut from pristine Nantucket scallops in a blood orange sauce 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 even steak frites for landlubbers are just a few recent introductions. Bold, ambitious, and fanatical about quality, the Ordinary has already made a big splash downtown, and it seems well-poised to evolve into a must-visit Charleston destination.
—Robert Moss Dish (Winter 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.