Located at 544 King Street in the laid back city of Charleston, South Carolina, is “The Ordinary”, a classic seafood bar and oyster hall.
“The Ordinary” is owned by Chef Mike Lata, who won the award for “Best Chef Southeast” for his first Charleston restaurant, “FIG.” The buzz about the seafood and cocktails from “The Ordinary” from The Charleston City Paper and the South Carolina locals make this restaurant one of the city’s best and most popular places to dine. The restaurant is a white brick-stoned building with cathedral style windows on each side of the entrance, directly in back of a palm tree that welcomes guests inside.
There is energy of ancient southern appeal upon walking into “The Ordinary” and the dimly lit, stylish furniture and modern décor of the restaurant brings in an elegant and classy vibe. A pink wine felt appropriate while sitting at the bar awaiting a table, which was a colored wooden bar table, overlooking a bookcase filled with alcohol in a creative fashion. My drink of choice was a glass of Mascalese-Nerello Cappucio, which is a 2012 wine from Sicily, Italy.
Nerello Cappucio is a red and white combined grape from Mount Etna in Sicily, thus making the wine a “pink” color. The Nerello is made up of mainly dark fruits, giving it a sweetened taste. Yet, the Cappucio itself adds “color and structure,” which is where the kick comes in, according to an article from delongwine.com called “The Wine Grapes of Etna.”
After being sat at a corner table towards the back on the first level of the two-story restaurant and overlooking the mouthwatering menu, I decided on a hush puppy appetizer.
There is simply not a more appropriate word to describe this delicious ball of cornbread other than “perfection.”
Deep fried and stuffed with indulging pieces of white shrimp and topped with chives for flavor, this dish is a great start to a full course meal; gratifying yet not too filling!
After polishing off the appetizer, it was time to order dinner. The waiter recommended a popular triggerfish plate and I therefore trusted his suggestion and went with that for an entrée. Lightly drenched in a light, yet tasty, marinara sauce and mixed with caper and raisin, this dish tasted almost too good to be true. A sprinkle of cinnamon and sugar are blended in with this dish, as well, adding an exclusive taste that set this plate apart from any seafood I’ve ever tasted.
To complement the lightly sweetened triggerfish plate, the “Delfino Fizz” looked appealing as a dinner cocktail. The “Delfino Fizz” is combined with Lillet Rose’, blood orange liqueur, grapefruit and topped off with soda water.
This drink tastes just how it sounds: sweet, fruity and fizzy.
To end the evening, I ordered a drink called “The Separatist,” which is made up of bourbon, lemon, sugar and two Italian liqueurs, Amaro and Averna.
This drink is ideal to enjoy after dinner, as it is light, bittersweet to add a tang, and the herbs and roots in the liqueurs acts as a digestify, or simply, a digestive aid.
Despite the combination of drinks indulged, there wasn’t a hangover to endure in the morning, thankfully.
To further enjoy from afar the entire menu of the drinks and cocktails as well as look at the gallery, visit the restaurants website, eattheorinary.com. Even better, visit Charleston and enjoy all the it has to offer! It is a great town for foodies!! The wine, spirits, craft beers, beautiful architecture, and spanish moss covered trees certainly beats Chicago in February (gentle reader, kindly take note of not having to wear an overcoat while strolling down the cobblestone streets in the picture below) !!!