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

$35 Three-Course Daily Special Debuts at The Ordinary

bildeThe Ordinary has been lavished with love since its 2012 opening, but the perpetual complaint about the upper King Street seafood restaurant is “too pricy.” Starting this Sunday, though, eaters will be able to feast on three courses for $35.

In a salute to the genre of old world taverns which lent its name to Mike Lata’s second restaurant, The Ordinary is adding a prix-fixe, three-course daily special. The meal, which will change nightly, will be available until it sells out. A press release describes it as “fun, accessible and value-oriented.” 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

The Ordinary Surfaces on Another Best New Restaurant List

ordinteriorThe 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

Clammer Bristles at Southern Living’s Rock Star Comparison

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Benson Kua

In a release announcing The Ordinary‘s coronation in Southern Living‘s current issue as one of the region’s best new restaurants, Travel & Features Editor Jennifer V. Cole implied it was no coincidence that the honor went to a kitchen with a seaward orientation.

“Mark my word,” Cole’s quoted as saying. “Fishermen will be the culinary rock stars of 2014.”

While not disputing Cole’s prediction, Dave “Clammer Dave” Belanger — who supplies clams and oysters to restaurants including The Ordinary and Husk — pleaded with shellfish groupies to go beyond worshiping producers and help to protect their livelihoods.

“For sure fishermen will have at least one thing in common with rock stars in the future,” Belanger says. “There won’t be many of them.” Continue reading