The center of our Charleston weekend of tours of homes and gardens was a Saturday full of activity. We had already spent the morning experiencing Diggity Doughnuts and the afternoon having lunch at 82 Queen followed by a tour of “architectural gems.” After taking a break, we made a reservation for dinner at the Ordinary, and arriving there, were seen to a table in the middle of the dining room.
I had heard of this restaurant before the weekend. But what brought it to my attention and made me pick it for our Saturday dinner was that the previous night, at 167 Raw, the couple with whom we shared our table had mentioned it. So I figured, instead of combing through the list of excellent restaurants in Charleston and trying to pick one, why not just go with what we were just talking about?
I wondered what the meaning of the title was. Of course we all know the phrase “out of the ordinary.” And from my experience singing the Latin mass, I know that in that case, the Ordinary is the part of the mass that never changes. A waiter pointed out to me that in this case, it means basically the special of the day (or the catch of the day).
That mystery solved, it didn’t take long for us to decide what we would have for dinner. In a restaurant whose specialty is seafood, why not share a tower filled with it?
Spending the next half hour munching and slurping our way through a medley of oysters and clams and lobster and crab and shrimp and so on was a delight.
When we were almost done eating, I noticed that two tables away from us was none other than famed cellist extraordinaire Yo Yo Ma. We had seen him recently celebrating his birthday performing on the Late Show with Stephen Colbert, playing a section of a Bach Cello Suite as accompaniment to a newly-choreographed dance by prima ballerina Misty Copeland. I would’ve like to tell him how much we enjoyed that, but my inclination was to leave him be and let him enjoy his dinner. He was in Charleston to do several performances that weekend, and I figured, let the guy have some time off. As it was, a bunch of people came up to him, many who seemed to be musicians that he knew, to shake his hand and occupy his attention.
Our tower of seafood dispatched, I finished my meal in typical dairy free style, with a nice bowl of sorbet.
We had already had so much fun in Charleston, and you know what? We still had one more day to go!