Wrapping up an inaugural year which brought best new restaurant nods from GQ, Esquire and Bon Appetit – as well as a James Beard nomination in the same category – The Ordinary this week was picked as The Daily Meal’s Restaurant of the Year.
To qualify for the website’s prize, based on the votes of two dozen panelists, restaurants had to have opened this year and received stellar reviews. Weirdly, contributing to the echo chamber nature of restaurant assessment, “they had to have made a major splash” was also a criterion.
Mike Lata’s The Ordinary qualified handily, winning twice as many votes as its nearest competitor. Other Southern restaurants under consideration included Nashville’s Rolf and Daughters; Atlanta’s King + Duke and New Orleans’ Mariza (if I’d been on the panel, I would have backed Peche.)
“Lata, who opens a new restaurant every 10 years without fail (his last restaurant was Charleston’s perennial favorite FIG), has created what’s nothing short of a temple to seafood inside a historic bank building,” the website raved, specifically citing the restaurant’s seafood towers; oysters; smoked trout pate; fish chowder and amberjack schnitzel.
The Ordinary still has almost two weeks left to win more 2013 awards. Stay tuned.