In December 2012, a historic King Street bank building found new life as an upscale oyster hall. The Ordinary — second child of Adam Nemirow and chef Mike Lata — opened with soaring 22-foot ceilings, the promise of locally sourced seafood, and lots of buzz. Today such concepts are a dime a dozen (on the half-shell, please). But The Ordinary was the first of its kind, and, I would argue, still the best. While regularly packed and filled with an upbeat ambiance, the high ceilings diffuse the jovial noise to a pleasant buzz. Along with six daily varieties of raw oysters on the half shell, the house-smoked oysters are not to be missed. Presented in an oil and vinegar-filled preserve jar and spiked with slices of crisp pickled celery, the six oysters are so gently smoked that they are still raw. As a result, each is tender and juicy, the delicate hint of ocean flavor touched with woodsy smoke. Served with fancied-up saltines (brushed with butter and Old Bay), rich, cold creme fraiche, and vibrant hot sauce, the combination is outstanding: cool, crisp, and smoky all at once. —Vanessa Wolf (Dish, Winter 2020)
Chef Mike Lata dives into seafood with his latest restaurant, serving platters of fresh, cold oysters, stone crab claws, shrimp, and clams plus a menu of fancy seafood.