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Jan 20, 2013 10:24 AM

The Ordinary [Charleston]

Oh boy. Five of us went to the Ordinary for supper last night. It lived up to high expectations.

We had a 6:45 reservation (so lucky) and were seated immediately. It's in the old bank of America building on upper King. And there's parking. Woohoo. The building is lovely with long arched windows, but the coolest thing? The entrance to the kitchen is the entrance to what was the vault. Chef came by and explained how it was all done.

The menu is small plates, hot and cold, all seafood. We had Oysters Moscow (on the half shell with caviar), smoked trout pate, and lobster caviar. I had the black roux gumbo: smoky, full of shrimp and just enough heat to make me breathe between bites.

It was very busy and full of local people. We walked down King after dinner to have yet another cocktail and many places were full of college students. We did grab bar stools at a new place , the Star Grill Room. The waiters all wore white jackets and black ties. It has a really nice rooftop bar with heaters and a view of the bridge.

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  1. Bless you Sue, we will be there for the first on Thursday of this week.My wife runs from oysters and is not very adventurous.I was going to suggest the daily entree, but they seemed to have dropped off the menu.Were they still available?

    Also, for another "never been too place", we are wanting to try Bertha's Kitchen for lunch, anybody been there?

    1 Reply
    1. re: mollybelle

      Yes, it's a rough job! I didn't see a daily entree on the menu, but there were some nice soups and salads that your wife might enjoy. I haven't been to Bertha's in years.

      We're going to Sea Biscuit for lunch, which is always a pleasure in the winter.

    2. Thanks for the report, Sue. Can't wait to try it.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Jeff C.

        Jeff, I hope you enjoy the Ordinary as much as I do your avatar.

        I also went to Village Bakery for lunch: shrimp salad and the best Tom Kai Gai I ever had. Apparently Sal, who owns all the Mustard Seeds etc. is changing things. He has closed Uno Mas and Sette and Sette will be Pane e Vino (but will always and forever look like a Pizza Hut). VB is open for dinner and I heard Mustard Seed and Boulevard Diner in Mt P will be open on Sunday.

        mollybelle, your wife might enjoy VB. It is far off the track, can get crowded, but the food is good and the people are all neighbors with each other.

      2. Hi Sue,
        I am coming to town for one night next week and wonder if you would recommend one place that is a must try? We like all foods but especially ethnic hole in the wall type places.

        6 Replies
        1. re: amandachef

          I too enjoy ethnic holes in the walls, but if you have only one night, treat yourself to an iconic Charleston gem. Look at FIG, Anson, Tristan, Cypress, SNOB, Hank's. FIG is my favorite.

          1. re: amandachef

            FIG, if you can get in. Macintosh or Grocery, if you can't get in FIG. Enjoy!

              1. re: amandachef

                Definitely not an ethnic hole in the wall (wish we had more of those downtown), but the whole fried lobster with truffle fries at Oak Steakhouse on Broad is hands-down the best meal in the city, for my money. Not everyone's a lobster freak like me though - they also do a fabulous foie gras burger and of course wonderful steaks. Beautiful restaurant, sterling service. I recommend it to everyone I can. FIG is also great, as is Macintosh. Excited to have The Ordinary around, but holding out until I can drop the $$ on a seafood tower...

                As far as ethnic goes, Ali Baba in Mt. Pleasant is awesome. Small place, tucked away between a Starbucks & Harris Teeter. Great little hidden gem. I recommend the dinner for two. Huge amount of GREAT food for the price. And finish up with a Turkish coffee!

                1. re: Absolutpalm

                  I love Oak too- I've had the burger but not the fried lobster. Sounds fabulous. It really is a seriously excellent place.

                  I wanted that seafood tower! But I figured it should be shared (I saw more than one-I'm right) and otthers wanted different things. One of my buddies was thrilled they serve Schlitz. Ha!