If I ever had the misfortune of being on death row, my last meal would consist of edamame, sushi, and a Red Dragon martini, all from Red Ginger. Seriously. Having grown up in Traverse City, I have become a frequent customer of this restaurant, which specializes in Asian cuisine. The majority of the food here stems from China, Vietnam, Japan, and Thailand. It is difficult to find a restaurant in the Traverse City area that serves authentic Thai food, making Red Ginger a real gem.
Owner and Executive Chef, Dan Marsh, opened Red Ginger in November of 2007 and is extremely passionate about Asian cuisine. He strives to make every customer’s dining experience a great one and prides himself on hiring only the best staff. The atmosphere in this restaurant is always energetic and customers are able to see their food being prepared by the chefs stationed on the side of the main dining room. The wait staff always sport nametags stating which city, state, or country they are from, adding to the restaurant’s friendliness and diversity.
Located on Front Street, just next to The State Theater, Red Ginger offers fine dining, bar seating, and private dining for special events. Happy Hour is delightfully from 3-6:00 in the lounge, Monday through Saturday (closed on Sundays). I dare say that it is indeed the happiest of hours. Signature martinis are a mere $5 along with specials on appetizers and sushi. It is far too easy to get caught up in sampling everything in the energetic, sociable atmosphere.
Other than their signature cocktails, which include amazing martinis and a variety of different flavored mojitos, Red Ginger also has full wine and beer lists. Bottled exclusively for Red Ginger are a dozen wines from local wineries on Traverse City’s peninsulas. Sake is yet another specialty specific to this Asian inspired restaurant. Sake is actually quite similar to the brewing process of beer and made from fermented rice. It originated from Japan and adds to the authenticity of Red Ginger’s atmosphere.
Red Ginger’s sushi, dinner, and dessert menus are all available on their website. The dessert menu states that “desserts are aptly portioned to allow you to enjoy the taste of something sweet without the guilt.” What a lovely idea.
The Lotus Room can be reserved for business meetings, birthdays, rehearsal dinners, and other exclusive occasions. Up to 48 people can be seated comfortably and there is audio and visual set up for presentations and slide shows. Reservations can conveniently be made online or by calling 231-944-1733. Their Facebook and Twitter pages are also a great way to see daily specials and stay up to date with menu changes.