Lately, I have found myself apologizing to guests when they ask for recommendations for restaurants in Greenwich CT. I far too often encourage guests to visit the Ginger Man Greenwich. In reality, I should only be apologizing for this counsel if guests return unsatisfied with their meals or the beverage selection there. Of the hundreds of people I have sent, however, I have only received one complaint (and obviously no one’s perfect). There’s no question this is one of my favorite bars in Greenwich, and starting or ending a night here is an excellent way to experience Greenwich nightlife. I always start my evening here for Saint Patrick’s Day in Greenwich as well.
The Inside of the Ginger Man Greenwich
And it’s always easy for me to see why every time I come back. The restaurant instantly reminds one of a traditional New England tavern. Featuring low lighting (possibly to hide the appearance of a need for, in my opinion, a fairly deep cleaning, which could be contrived to remind one of traditional taverns), wooden tables and bar, posters and paintings on the wall featuring advertisements for Guinness and other beers, and grand touches like a refurbished barn door and grand spiral staircase, the beautiful interior of the restaurant easily impresses its many guests.
I visited last week after yet another very bad winter snowstorm. Like Asiana, another mainstay in downtown Greenwich, the Ginger Man Greenwich seems to consistently stay open no matter the weather–something to keep in mind this time of year for the winter-weary traveler (or local). That evening, the Ginger Man Greenwich appeared to literally be the only open restaurant on Greenwich Avenue! Despite the weather, the restaurant was crowded relatively early in the evening and the staff all appeared to be present and happy to be working.The Ginger Man put a lot of effort into maintaining the beautiful old facade of the building in which they’re situated on Greenwich Avenue, and the inside is just as gorgeous.
The Beer Selection at the Ginger Man Greenwich
My favorite part of the Ginger Man Greenwich (and a major reason why it’s so easy to recommend) is the wide array of beers they have on tap and available in bottles. I had the Blue Point Sour Cherry Stout, which is currently available as a Seasonal Draught, but usually the wait staff do not lead visitors astray with beer selections, be the options local or much farther afield. They have also got a great wine list with selections from all over the world.
Then the Food
We started the meal with their signature Sweet Potato Clam Chowder, something I have had before at Ginger Man as well as at the Chowdafest last month. It won the Chowdafest competition previous years, and it’s easy to see why–as any Southerner will tell you, sweet potatoes can make anything better, and the Ginger Man Greenwich brilliantly took advantage of this to make a very different and tasty chowder. The chowder was good with lots of vegetables, though in my humble opinion it could use more clams. The soup was followed by a chopped salad of heart of palm, roasted beets, crumbled goat cheese, spinach, chickpeas, avocado, and chopped tomato, a combination which was delicious.
I usually order the Ginger Man burger when I’m here. It’s a great deal, and is without question the best burger on Greenwich Avenue, though the lamb burger on the menu is nothing to laugh at, either. I also feel I should point-out that the sesame-crusted ahi tuna is good however you order it, as this classic of the menu does appear in different forms throughout the year.
This last meal, I had to have something other than the burger, so we ordered off the special menu for that evening. I had the sea scallops with bacon-braised Brussels sprouts, oyster mushrooms, and lobster truffle pan sauce, which was okay. The black grouper served with jasmine rice, stir-fry bok choy, and ginger sweet chili glaze was so outstanding I remember covetously looking at my dinner date’s leftovers when we were finished, however.
And for Dessert…
We finished-off our meal by sharing a fig-pecan pie. I love pecan pie, and this was a very interesting change to the traditional fare: figs were baked into the pie in lieu of chess, which I think was a pretty innovative idea that turned-out very well. There were other more traditional options on the menu, such as a brownie sundae.
Interested in trying a local favorite since 2002? If you’re reserving a table, I highly recommend asking for either the upstairs dining room (which is beautiful, quieter, and unfortunately often either closed or reserved for private functions) or the quieter back dining room which features a big fireplace. The main area can be a bit loud, especially as the bar frequenters become more jovial. If guests are hoping to go while visiting the Stanton House Inn, we’ll obviously be sure to get you the best spot we can for you. After that, we’ll leave you in the capable hands of the Ginger Man Greenwich’s staff and promise you a great experience.