Energetic jazz music and modern-authentic Cantonese cooking may not at first sound a likely pairing, but owner Mary Li embraces such differences where notes of yin-yang inspiration are found throughout Ginger & Fork, her new Heights-area restaurant.
Take the elaborate dark and light duo-dragon mural that slithers along the staircase leading guests to the private dining room. Or perhaps the Old World Chinese mountain scene vying for attention with the geometric Hong Kong skyline on either side of the main dining room. These focal points, along with other fixtures in the restaurant, were painted by local artist-friends and embody the balance that is central to Li's operations.
Clean, crisp lines in black and white are punctuated by pops of Chinese red tulips and fresh green lucky bamboo resulting in an atmosphere that is relaxed and calming. The restaurant spreads its 142 seats amongst front, bar, back, and patio seating further creating a sense of order.
In a step away from traditional Chinese restaurants, which Li says tend to focus on upwards of 200 dishes, she collaborated closely with Chef Sammy Li (no relation) to curate a tight menu that will have universal appeal. Look for stir-fried ginger and onion lobster, sea bass in soybean sauce, and bone brittle flounder (eat the whole thing!).
The cocktail program, curated by Mary Li, ranges from light and refreshing sips to complicated craft drinks. Try the Dragon Fire, made with fresh dragon fruit, or the Bloody Rye Not, a mix of rye whiskey with blood orange liqueur floated with red wine for a layered effect.
Step inside the recently-opened Ginger & Fork's serene surroundings, and you'll immediately begin to feel a little more balanced yourself.