Geoff Rhyne Leaving The Ordinary for Leon’s; Mike Lata to Step In UPDATED

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Larry Hoffman

Geoff Rhyne, who’s served as The Ordinary’s chef de cuisine since the seafood hall’s opening, is leaving the restaurant to become sous chef of Leon’s Oyster Shop.

The eagerly-awaited restaurant from tonic man (and former FIG general manager) Brooks Reitz and Tim Mink is scheduled to open later this month. Although the pair hasn’t yet released a menu, Reitz has previously hinted raw oysters, fried chicken and fried fish would form the core of the offerings.

“I worked closely with Geoff opening The Ordinary, and was consistently wowed with his creativity, leadership and team building abilities,” Reitz says. “When the opportunity to work together again arose, I considered myself very lucky, and was honored to have him be a part of our team.”

Ari Kolender, another alum of The Ordinary, will serve as head chef. Kolender was chef de cuisine at Los Angeles’ Red Medicine before returning to his hometown of Charleston. Continue reading

The Ordinary Lands The Daily Meal’s Restaurant of the Year Title

theordinaryWrapping 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.) Continue reading