Happy Hour

A weekly snapshot of Happy Hours around the region…


FireFly
Everyday, open-7 p.m., $1.75 highballs, $2.50 house chardonnay, $2.00 drafts, $1.00 off everything else.
310 Cass St., Traverse City

Fred's
Sunday-Thursday, 3-6 p.m., $1 off all drinks.
422 North 5th St., Roscommon

Lulu's Bistro
Thursdays, 5-9 p.m., $3 wells, $2 off drafts, select $5 wines.
213 N. Bridge St., Bellaire

Boyne River Inn
Everyday, 3-6 p.m., 1/4 off drinks.
229 Water St., Boyne City
 
Rendezvous Lounge, Odawa Casino
Thursday & Friday, $2.25 domestic drafts, $3.25 well drinks, $3.25 house wine.
1760 Lears Rd., Petoskey

Choice Bits!

Round-the-region snapshots of the dining scene. 

RUTHIE'S CHICKEN & DAIRY TWIST: Roasted chicken and ice cream, malts and shakes.
201 N. Bridge Ln., Bellaire. 213­-533­-8538.

MONEY'S PLATTE RIVER INN:
Practically an Up North institution, the place to find out the latest fishing or snowmobile news from the locals and visitors who gather for their hearty breakfasts, steaks, burgers, soup & salad bar, & homemade desserts.
10921 Main St., Honor. 231­ 352­6585.

BC LANES FAMILY ENTERTAIMENT CENTER:
When you've worked up an appetite from all the bowling and karaoke that Boyne City Lanes has to offer, you'll find a selection of hearty fare to choose from, including homemade soups & desserts. Cocktails are served at the Lanes,with live entertainment and glow ­bowling nights.
1199 West Boyne Road, 231-­582­-6353.

CHINA ONE:
Open 7 days a week for lunch & dinner. Full Chinese menu, as well as Hunan & Szechuan entrees.  Daily specials, special combination plates,  a lunch & dinner All You Can Eat Buffet. 
616 S. Mitchell St., Cadillac, 231­-876­-8888.

A&W:
Take a trip back to the '50s where chili dogs & frosted mugs of root beer are still served up by carhops at this All ­American institution. Elvis has been known to make an appearance during their annual summer “A&W Cruise Night” in August, as do cars from the 50’s and 60’s that we remember well.
At the bottom of the hill, 21 Lake St., Frankfort,  231-­352-­9021.

BIG BUCK BREWERY & STEAKHOUSE:
From Antler Ale to Wolverine Wheat, Big Buck specializes in microbrewed beers. Offering the usual beef and buffalo burgers, steaks, and ribs, plus more unusual fare, like their portabella sandwich with red onion marmalade and provolone cheese.
550 S. Wisconsin Avenue, Gaylord, 989­-732-­5781.

THE NEW YORK RESTAURANT:
A refined atmosphere, subdued lighting, and an appetizing selection of epicurean treats awaits the diner at this Harbor Springs corner landmark. Menu selections range from their smoked whitefish ravioli appetizer to their Atlantic salmon, baked polenta and eggplant, tomato basil fettuccine, or filet mignon ­ and their brunches include one of the best versions of Eggs Benedict around.
101 State Street, downtown across from Bar Harbor, 231­-526-­1904.

EMPIRE VILLAGE INN: 
Pool tables, a full bar, friendly service and a varied menu make the Village Inn popular with families and locals.  Dinners include Lamb Skewers, Blue Corn Enchiladas, Charbroiled Whitefish, Lasagna and Ribeye.  Also burgers, sandwiches, salads, appetizers and pizza.  Lunch and Dinner.
Just north of the blinking light 116601 Lacorre Ave. on M­22,  Empire. 231-326­-5101.

JESPERSON'S:
One of Petoskey's first restaurants, Jesperson's is famous for homemade pies and fresh turkey. Breakfast and lunch.
312 Howard, Petoskey, 231­-347­-3601.
 
CUPPA JOE:
Located in Building 50, grilled panini's, soups, wraps, baked goods, specialty coffees and teas.
1200 W. 11th St., Traverse City, 231-­947­-7740.

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Dining

 
Monday, August 29, 2011

Free for the Homies: Local Fest TC

Dining Kristi Kates “Local Fest TC 2011” is what Christopher “Wink” Winkelmann calls it - and fun is what both locals and visitors alike call it. It’s a free festival on the way to you and yours this Labor Day weekend - that’s right, free - and it’s set to be chock-full of music, food, vendors, and did we mention fun?
“This is a fantastic way to close out your summer and support your community at the same time,” Winkelmann enthuses.
Founded and put together by Winkelmann - who also fronts the local band Soul Patch - and friend Ryan MacManus (of TC’s Loading Dock), the event was conceived as a free festival “for the locals,” as Winkelmann puts it.
“At the time, I owned and operated Home Grown Organic Eatery and was doing the Soul Patch thing as well,” he explains, “so I told Ryan I would talk with my friends in the food/music/festival scene and put a lineup together of all Northern Michigan and greater Traverse City talent, and get everybody on board for food vendors. Ryan then added to the list and the idea. We put the final touches on and had a great all-day, free event for the community, by the community, in a very central location in our beautiful city. Every single musician, sound engineer, food vendor, and craft vendor is there on their own time and merit.”
 
Monday, August 22, 2011

Healthy Alternatives

Dining Kristi Kates “I think that sometimes people just buy an item because they saw it on television,” chuckles Healthy Alternatives founder/owner Wade Kelso, whose store has become a beacon of - as indicated by the store’s name - healthy products for people in the Petoskey/Harbor Springs area and beyond.
But these products aren’t things you’ll see hyped on the cable channels, with candy-colored sugar coating or questionable artificial flavors or additives; Kelso’s inventory consists of products aimed at keeping body and mind fit and well through the store’s selection of organic food and beverage items as well as vitamins, supplements, teas, and even beauty/cleansing products.
“The most common thing that I see people coming in for are simply too-aggressive promise of cures seen on commercials or read in articles,” Kelso says, “while what we are selling is really just improved nutrition and better quality of life.”
 
Monday, August 22, 2011

Tastemakers:Saveur Thyme at the hearth & Vine/ Tandem Ciders Smackentosh

Dining Rick Coates Saveur Thyme at the Hearth & Vine
After two weeks of highlighting Chef Mario Batali’s love affair with Northern Michigan in Tastemakers and Bottoms Up, we find the chef still on his self-imposed PR campaign for the region.
Last week Batali appeared on ABC’s Good Morning America program after GMA viewers selected the Sleeping Bear Sand Dunes region as the “Most Beautiful Place In America.” A camera crew followed Batali around earlier this summer as he highlighted some of his favorite places. When the results of the balloting were announced, Batali Skyped the show, answering questions from the host about Northern Michigan. In addition he had his New York culinary team prepare some of his favorite Northern Michigan dishes for the show hosts to sample.
One of the places Batali raved about was the Saveur Thyme at the Hearth & Vine, located on the grounds of the Black Star Farms Winery. Owned by Chef Paul Carlson and his wife Susan, Hearth & Vine is a cozy cafe and wine bar featuring gourmet wood-fired pizzas, delicious soups, salads, sandwiches, and more. Batali told viewers that Hearth & Vine is one of “his go to places” when he and his family visit Northern Michigan. He let viewers also know that he “spends his entire summer in paradise.”
 
Monday, August 22, 2011

The Metro

Dining Ross Boissoneau The Metro blends Greek & Coney Traditions
By Ross Boisonneau
To paraphrase Dorothy, “We’re not in Arby’s anymore, Toto.”
That’s for sure. The former Arby’s at Chum’s Corners in Traverse City has
been transformed into The Metro, and about the only thing it shares with
its former resident is the building. But even that has been transformed,
to a more funky, urban vibe.
 
Monday, August 15, 2011

The art of wine/N.M. Wine & Art Fest

Dining Erin Crowell California winemaker Robert Mondavi once said, “Making good wine is a skill; making fine wine is an art,” a statement that is reflected by the award-winning wines of Northern Michigan. These masterpieces will be featured, along with actual art from local artists, at the 3rd annual Traverse City Wine & Art Festival, held on the front lawn of the Grand Traverse Commons, Saturday, Aug. 20.

MORE THAN WINE
“When we were seeking an identity for the festival, we talked about the other things that our area is known for,” said Andrew McFarlane, director of the Leelanau Peninsula Vintners Association. “While there was no question that food and music would play a huge role in the festival, we realized that our region is home to some incredible artists of all kinds and felt that we could work to promote these artists and their work.”
Artwork will be on-display and for sale at individual booths, ranging from paintings and sculpture to fiber art and functional art.
Participants will have the opportunity to become part of the art, as well. A new element to the festival this year is the Fashion is Art contest. Judges will circulate the area looking for the most creative, the most flashy, bold and dramatic wardrobe. The grand prize winner will receive an overnight spa package from Crystal Mountain Resort & Spa as well as a welcome gift from the wineries of the festival.
 
Monday, August 15, 2011

Tastemakers: Mario Batali Arrabbiata Sauce/ La Mozza Aragone

Dining Rick Coates A recent visit to some of the farmers’ markets in Northern Michigan produced everything I needed to make fresh pasta sauce. We are so fortunate living here with our agricultural diversity and for the next couple of months the harvest is on which bodes well for all sorts of canning projects. Making homemade salsas and tomato sauces are easy and not as time consuming as one might think.
During a recent interview with Chef Mario Batali he emphasized that every “great recipe and meal starts at the store.” He took it a step further about getting the freshest ingredients as possible and knowing where your food comes from. Batali, in addition to being a celebrity chef and owner of several top restaurants, is also a bestselling cookbook author. Many of his cookbooks have an Italian theme with plenty of pasta sauce recipes.
While making homemade pasta sauce is relatively simple, it is not always convenient. Unlike many celebrities who lend their name to just about anything, Mario Batali does not. He is hands-on at all of his restaurants as well as his Italian winery (see Bottoms Up) and so when you see his name on a product, you can expect that it meets his high standards. A few years back he released a collection of Mario Batali Pasta Sauces.
The collection of sauces include Pizza, Marinara, Alla Vodka, Arrabbiata, Cherry Tomato and Tomato Basil. My personal favorite is the Arrabbiata because I like spicy foods and this has some zip to it. The sauce is made with crushed red pepper and San Marzano tomatoes with a nice balance of capers and fresh garlic.
 
Monday, August 15, 2011

Xylo

Dining Ross Boissoneau It’s not often that death immediately confronts you when you enter a
restaurant.
But there it is, in the dessert case just inside the door at Xylo
Bistro/Cafe: Brownies to Die For.
Not that they’re really lethal or anything. But the huge, rich, flourless
brownie (“It’s more like fudge!” excitedly says waitress Jackie Kohl) is
ample evidence of Xylo’s commitment to creating interesting foodstuffs
that are a little off the beaten path.
 
Monday, August 15, 2011

Mi Farm Market

Dining Al Parker Scotty Bruce is one of those uber-creative guys who just seems born to be
an entrepreneur.
His creative mind, coupled with a strong work ethic, thrives on generating
money-making opportunities. At his 2004 Ellsworth High School graduation,
much to the chagrin of school officials, Bruce sold advertising space on
his graduation gown.
 
Monday, August 8, 2011

Spaghetti Jim‘s

Dining Ross Boissoneau The name may be a bit misleading, as Jim Abfalter makes more than just pasta at his market and café. There’s gazpacho, caprese salad, grilled cheese, even Thai sesame peanut noodles.
But you can bet that at Spaghetti Jim’s, the pasta will be fresh and tasty.
Abfalter, his wife Ann, and their partner Laurie Fletcher are determined to take their creations to the next level at 1133B South Airport Rd., Traverse City, the former site of the Pizza Hut restaurant across the street from the Cherryland Centre.
“We make everything from hand here that we can,” said Ann. They also take pride in using as many local ingredients as possible.
And though they’ve only been open two months, they say business is good and getting better, as more and more people find out about the restaurant. “It gets better every week,” said Jim.
While they want to become as successful as they can, Fletcher and the Abfalters say they want to make sure the growth is controlled and they don’t get too big too soon.
“We’re kind of tucked away. We want to let people get really nice things at a nice price,” Jim said.
 
Monday, August 8, 2011

Tastemakers: Mario Batali on Northern Michigan

Dining Rick Coates Mario Batali sightings around Northern Michigan have become as common as cherry pie and t-shirt shops. Ever since the celebrity chef of Food TV Network fame began summering in Northport 10 years ago (he now owns a place there and spends Thanksgiving and Christmas there as well) he has actively embraced the Northern Michigan lifestyle. Batali has been spotted at area wineries, farmers’ markets, restaurants, golf courses among other attractions.
Batali has not kept his love for Northern Michigan a secret, often sharing with the national media his summer exploits and even allowing journalists to visit his home.
Most recently he discussed with Bon Appétit magazine some of his favorite things in Northern Michigan (Google the Bon Appétit Blog to see the postings “How Mario Batali Escapes New York” and “How Mario Batali Gets His Drink On In and Around Traverse City, Michigan”).
 
Monday, August 1, 2011

Tastemakers: Hor D‘Oeuvres On The Porch Chef Jim Voltz/ Black Star Farms Leorie Vineyard Merlot/Cabernet Franc

Dining Rick Coates The cottages and cabins that line the shorelines of the lakes of Northern Michigan have many stories to tell. These summer homes often host some of the best social events of the summer, where people from all over gather to enjoy great food and drink. I grew up in that environment with my grandparents having a place at the end of the Old Mission Peninsula and each night around 5 pm was “cocktail hour,” My grandmother would prepare hors d’oeuvres and we would nibble and talk about the happenings around the world. Often those from neighboring cottages would wander the beach with empty cocktail glasses and make their way to our porch to fill their glasses, enjoy a few nibblers in exchange for contributing to the conversation.
When I stumbled onto the cookbook “Hors d’oeuvres on the Porch” published this year by Chef Jim Voltz I was immediately transported to my Old Mission days. Voltz lives on Crystal Lake near Frankfort, a former petro-chemistry industry executive, Voltz now has a second career as a chef and more importantly, plays host to the best cocktail and dinner parties on Crystal Lake. He has captured the recipes and stories of these parties in a collection of cookbooks from “Sunny Shores,” the name of his cottage. “Dinner on the Porch” and “Brunch on the Porch” were released in 2009 and 2010 respectively and both are in at least a second printing.
 
Monday, August 1, 2011

The Manitou

Dining Ross Boissoneau You never know when you’re going to run into a surprise.
Like in the middle of the woods between Empire and Frankfort on M-22.
Travel that stretch on a summer evening and you’ll come upon the Manitou
restaurant.
While the outside of the restaurant may look small, it’s spread out more
than you might think, with the result that the restaurant feels intimate,
not tiny. In fact, with the four cozy dining rooms and the patio, they can
seat around 100 diners at a time.
 
Monday, August 1, 2011

The Manitou

Dining Ross Boissoneau You never know when you’re going to run into a surprise.
Like in the middle of the woods between Empire and Frankfort on M-22.
Travel that stretch on a summer evening and you’ll come upon the Manitou
restaurant.
While the outside of the restaurant may look small, it’s spread out more
than you might think, with the result that the restaurant feels intimate,
not tiny. In fact, with the four cozy dining rooms and the patio, they can
seat around 100 diners at a time.
 
Monday, July 25, 2011

Making a Flap A dining tradition gets a makeover in TC

Dining Ross Boissoneau The Shack is back.
Shuttered last year, the Flap Jack Shack on US 31 in Traverse City across from Meijer reopened just over a month ago. And according to co-owner Scott Parkhurst, the reception from customers has been a very warm one.
“Every week has been bigger than the last,” said Parkhurst following a day’s busy lunchtime. “We’re really pleased.”
Not that anyone should be surprised at its success. Parkhurst and his partner Jeff Lobdell have established a solid track record, with several successful restaurants in both the Grand Rapids area and the Traverse City area. That includes the Omelette Shoppe restaurants in TC and Boone’s Prime Time Pub in Suttons Bay.
It was when the pair purchased the Omelette Shoppes six years ago that Parkhurst moved north. They had such success with the popular breakfast eateries they exported the concept to Grand Rapids, where they’ve since opened two more.
“It’s been very successful for us. We’re proud to grow the brand,” said Parkhurst.
 
Monday, July 25, 2011

Tastemakers:Siren Hall Oysters/Michigan Mojito

Dining Rick Coates Selecting oysters is a lot like selecting a great bottle of wine. As with wine, point of origin is equally important for oysters as the marine plants they feed on determine appearance, texture and flavor. For the oyster novice, tasting oysters from some of the best harvesting areas of the Atlantic and Pacific coasts is best accomplished at Siren Hall in Elk Rapids. Even the connoisseur will be impressed with selection of fresh oysters on the menu.
Freshness is probably the most important quality to an exceptional oyster. Seawater is the magic ingredient so the longer an oyster has been out of the ocean (usually after two weeks) the less flavorful. Good thing that Siren Hall proprietors Michael and Rebecca Peterson have East and West Coast connections and get fresh oysters flown in regularly.
 
 
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