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
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.) Continue reading
The Ordinary, which has already been anointed a “best new restaurant” by Conde Nast Traveler, Southern Living and Bon Appetit, today earned the same designation from Esquire magazine.
Critic John Mariani’s southern-leaning list (if I was still working in Seattle, I’d have been obliged to note there isn’t a single Pacific Northwestern restaurant represented) also includes Atlanta’s King + Duke; Nashville’s Rolf and Daughters; New Orleans’ Mariza and two Dallas entries.
Praising chef Mike Lata’s deliberate restaurant-opening pace, Mariani writes, “a decade after opening Fig — still one of the best restaurants on the Eastern Seaboard — he has unleashed the Ordinary, whose name belies the canny intelligence that went into making it a bellwether American seafood house built within the stately lineaments of a historic bank building, with sixteen-foot Palladian-arch windows and a backlit skylight.” Continue reading