Tastes of the sea highlight restaurant openings

REGION – Three area chefs with three different takes on seafood are adding to the local restaurant scene over the next month.

Red Ginger will open the week of Nov. 5 in the former Kurtz Music building on Front Street next to the State Theatre. Offering upscale Asian cuisine, Red Ginger will feature a sushi bar and a menu celebrating fish, said owner and executive chef, Dan Marsh. He will be joined in the kitchen by executive sous chef Mikeil Morris, who comes from the Grand Traverse Resort and brings expertise in Japanese cuisine.

Before returning to his family's automotive business here eight years ago, Marsh was out in California, where he gained most of his Asian culinary experience and last cooked professionally at Hawthorne Lane in San Francisco. Marsh is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America and also worked at several restaurants in New York City.

"I knew if I ever opened a restaurant this is where I wanted to be," Marsh said, who co-owns Red Ginger with his wife, Pam. "With what's happened downtown in the last several years, there isn't any other place I'd do it."

Red Ginger will be open Monday through Saturday for dinner. Plans are to add lunch service after the first of the year, Marsh said. The restaurant seats approximately 130.

Just around the corner, Kurt Fischer's new Catch Island Grill may warm up downtown TC a bit when it opens in mid-November. The Caribbean-inspired restaurant will open at 120 Park Street, former home of Pete's Pub & Grille.

The mid-priced menu will emphasize an island flair and will feature seafood and steaks. Most recently, Fischer worked for Stony River Legendary Steaks in Dublin, OH. Since graduating from Traverse City Central High School, he has spent the last 25 years in the restaurant business.

Catch Island Grill will be open seven days a week for lunch and dinner with seating for about 100 and offers a casual dining atmosphere. Outdoor patio seating will be available by the time warm weather rolls around again, bringing that open-air seafood dining experience of the islands to northern Michigan, Fischer added.

Catch's seafood dishes will highlight the simple, fresh flavor while adding a little sauce or spice, said Fischer, adding that his menu will be a contrast to the more formal preparation of seafood in other area restaurants. Catch Island Grill will also offer a full bar, including a "small but unique" wine list, family-style dining options and an extensive kids menu.

Fans of Lulu's in Bellaire will get a chance to check out chef and restaurateur Michael Peterson's newest venture next month. Siren Hall is slated to open in early December in downtown Elk Rapids. The restaurant's name was inspired by the restaurant's proximity to the harbor, Peterson explained.

Open for lunch and dinner, Siren Hall will also specialize in fare from the sea. Peterson will divide his executive chef duties between Lulu's and Siren Hall. The restaurant can seat 120 guests inside and has an outdoor patio with another 35 seats for the warm weather months. BN