The Ordinary, the new Charleston restaurant of Chef Mike Lata and business partner Adam Nemirow, has opened.
Nothing about this seafood restaurant looks ordinary, but the name comes from an old English reference to a tavern or eating house serving regular meals to all guests at a fixed price.
Lata, James Beard Foundation Award-winning Best Chef: Southeast in 2009, and Nemirow also are the owners of FIG in Charleston, which has been one of the city's most popular spots since it opened in 2003.
Long before the restaurant opened Dec. 19, anticipation had been building about The Ordinary. Southern Living Magazine listed it as one of "50 reasons we're thankful to be Southern" in its November issue, and also in November, Vogue suggested making The Ordinary the first stop on a night out in Charleston.
In a news release, Lata said he plans to work closely with fishermen and purveyors in the area, including Clammer Dave's, Kimberly's Crabs and Abundant Seafood. Lata will design the day's menu based on what is fresh that day
He plans to feature up to eight different oyster varieties at a time on the restaurant's raw bar, including those harvested around Charleston and others from up and down the East Coast.
The raw bar menu will also include peel and eat shrimp, blue crab cocktail and pickled fish.
Guests can build a shellfish tower of one, two or three tiers, featuring oysters, raw and cooked seafood and house-made condiments.
The Ordinary is at 544 King St. in an old bank building, and the door of the bank's vault was left intact and offers diners a view into the kitchen.