Happy Hour

A weekly snapshot of Happy Hours around the region…

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.
Located in Building 50, grilled panini's, soups, wraps, baked goods, specialty coffees and teas.
1200 W. 11th St., Traverse City, 231-­947­-7740.

Home · Articles · News · Dining · Martha‘s Leelanau Table
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Martha‘s Leelanau Table

Nancy Krcek Allen - March 9th, 2009
Everywhere you look, Martha Ryan’s new restaurant, Martha’s Leelanau Table, has a personal touch. Walk into this house-converted-into-restaurant on Suttons Bay’s main street and you’ll feel as if you are walking into a hip auntie’s home. Sunlight pours into the glassed-in sunroom, the walls are bright with color and a curio shelf on the dining room wall shows off a collection of mementos Ryan has gathered in her travels.
“This house had a family history before us,” says Ryan. “We built the wait station with a set of original drawers. The daughter of the previous owner, Ray Priest, came in and recognized her dad’s initials on them.”
Fond of European cuisine, Ryan features bistro and continental food with wine and beer. Her home-cooked dinner menu entices with dishes like chicken piccata, chicken Parmesan, braised hanger steak, roasted mussels, pasta, polenta, risotto, French onion soup and fondue.
The former head of food service at Leland Public Schools for 20 years, Ryan retired in 2001 and went on to manage Stonehouse Bread in Leland. Friends wanted to back Ryan in a restaurant, but it took three or four attempts before the right property came along. “Bruce and Judy Balas bought this building in July 2007,” says Ryan. “It’s a 107-year-old farmhouse. It took from July until January 2008 to start construction. Judy and I were responsible for planning, design and color. We finished in July 2008.”

The restaurant opening was daunting. “The business was like a tidal wave for the first few weeks,” says Ryan. “We ran out of food and had to close for a day. People in Suttons Bay walk, so everyone in town had watched the work all winter.”
Along with breakfast and lunch daily, dinner on Friday and Saturday and Sunday Suppers, Ryan hosts luncheon meetings for local groups. “I want to be a neighborhood place—that’s why I’m open Friday and Saturday,” says Ryan. “It’s hard to go somewhere in Suttons Bay before or after a movie.”
Ryan’s son, Matt and daughter-in-law, Rachel, work at the restaurant. Longtime friend and pastry chef, Susan McConnell, who worked 10 years at Hattie’s and five years at Thyme Out, does the baking. “Susan and I get along,” says Ryan. “Her favorite saying is ‘waste not, want not.’” Friends Jim Milliman and Becky Reynolds offer advice. Eric Arpagus and Ty Curley work as weekend chefs.
Ryan aims to feature as many local foods and wines as she can. “It’s a food and wine explosion up here right now,” she says. “It’s fun to see it happen. We offer Bardenhagen chickens, Shetler’s milk, Duerksen’s turkeys, Leelanau maple syrup, Mawby’s sparkling wine and Leelanau Cheese raclette. The niche I’m hoping to establish is a European style café using the riches that Leelanau has to offer. Like France and Italy—you drink the wine and eat the cheese of each town—it fits in here.”
Ryan travels often—she hosts tours—so she gathers ideas as she goes. She likes to experiment: “I want to do mashed potatoes with Cantal cheese from Auvergne. I took a group to Paris last November and a restaurant in the neighborhood where we stayed served them. I hosted a trip in December to Budapest, Prague and Vienna. I wanted to check out the cafés. I was most taken with the strudel.”

That’s where the European-trained McConnell comes in. “Martha will have a certain flavor or have eaten something and we discuss it,” says McConnell. “But I’m very spontaneous—I like to use what’s on hand. I like European and classic American desserts. Some desserts the clients might not have seen before, so we put out a tray of “bites” for a quarter each. It’s very popular.”
McConnell offers seven to 10 desserts each day. Don’t be shy. Try her luscious work: pecan rolls, pecan pie bars, English butter tarts, lemon cheesecake tarts, snowball cupcakes (lemon curd-filled white cake with buttercream and coconut), apple pie with almond oatmeal streusel or chocolate-glazed banana cake filled with chocolate ganache.
Breakfast has Martha’s touch, with offerings like bacon and egg sandwiches on sourdough with cheddar ($5), blueberry oat flapjacks ($4/$6), the Happy Rooster—bacon and egg sandwich with pesto, tomato, arugula and Parmesan ($9) and the St. Joseph’s Scrambler—three eggs with ham, white cheddar and green onions ($9).
If breakfast is distinctive, lunch is uncommon with tasty items like the daily soup and sandwich specials, classic Caesar salad ($5/$8), muffuletta sandwiches ($9), roast pork loin with fruit chutney on sourdough ($8.50), Croque Monsieur—ham and Swiss cheese on focaccia ($6.50) and tomato, pesto and mozzarella on Italian bread ($8).
Ryan’s next tour is to Tuscany and Umbria, then in November to Spain. “When I retired I thought my traveling was over,” says Ryan. “I had chaperoned five high school tours. But the company has about 40 percent adult tours. They asked me if I wanted to host them. Now the trips are part of my business.”
Martha’s Leelanau Table is located at 413 North St. Joseph Street in Suttons Bay. They are open Monday through Saturday 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Sunday 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday and Saturday dinner 5 p.m. to 9 p.m., Call for Sunday Supper at 231-271-2344.

  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
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