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.

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Tastemakers: Jordan Inn Chef‘s Challenge/Forty-Five North Unwooded Chardonny

Rick Coates - April 13th, 2009
Jordan Inn Chef’s Challenge
Preview Dinner

With the Epicurean Classic departing, the Chef’s Challenge in one short year has vaulted itself as the must-attend “foodie” affair in Northern Michigan. While the Challenge is two weeks off, organizers came up with a unique way to promote their three-day event (April 24-26 at Shanty Creek Resorts). The Chef’s Challenge this past winter offered non-profits in Northern Michigan the chance to auction off seats at fundraising events for the Preview Dinner on April 18 at the Jordan Inn in East Jordan.
This all-Michigan menu helped several regional non-profits collectively raise more than $5,000. A few seats remain for anyone interested in a unique culinary expedition. First of all, dining at the Jordan Inn is a treat in itself. Chef Joe Krumholz has a unique way of creating his menus at this historic inn located in the heart of East Jordan. Chef Krumholz allows the first havndful of dinners that make reservations to dictate the menu offerings for the evening.
For the Chef’s Challenge Preview Dinner, he has chosen a menu that will feature venison (from the Michigan Venison Company) topped with a wild mushroom (harvested from the woods of Northern Michigan) stroganoff as the start course. Followed by asparagus soup and a Northern Michigan sweet salad while the fifth course will feature local whitefish encrusted with chestnuts on top of wild rice with regional vegetables. The sixth course will be local shaved bison with an assortment of gourmet dipping sauces and the night will close with a special dessert.
The evening will also include presentations and sampling of Michigan wines (including library wines from various area vineyards) hosted by Cindy Curly of 45 North Winery on the Leelanau Peninsula along with a tasting of beers from the Right Brain brewery and a presentation and sampling of the “Spirits of Michigan” with Michigan made vodkas from Grand Traverse Distillery, Valentine Vodka and DiVine Vodka along with fruit brandies from around Michigan. Barb Tholin of Edible Grand Traverse will give an overview on the coming 2009 harvest and food scene in Northern Michigan.
Only a few seats remain for this seven-course Michigan dinner that will serve as a sneak preview for the upcoming Chef’s Challenge. To learn more about this dinner or to make a reservation contact Chef Joe Krumholz at 231-536-9906. For additional details on the Chef’s Challenge visit Chefs-challenge.com.- - Rick Coates

Forty-Five North Unwooded Chardonnay

Winemaker Shawn Walters, a fourth generation Leelanau Peninsula resident, continues his trend of making award winning wines. Last week the Leelanau Peninsula Vintners Association held a tasting of recently or soon-to-be released wines by several of its member wineries. Expect many of these wines to do well in the upcoming wine competitions around the country, especially those from Walters and 45 North.
Tasting young wines is a lot of fun because it is all about potential. The 2008 wines were just harvested about six months ago so when you taste young wines you have to look to their potential and envision how the wine might taste as it evolves in the coming months and years. I tasted a lot of wines that have much potential, but the 2008 Forty-Five North Unwooded Chardonnay jumped out at me as a wine that truly reflects how a cool-climate Chardonnay should taste.
In six plus years of Bottoms Up columns, not once have I featured a Chardonnay. Why? Simple, because I was part of the ABC (Anything But Chardonnay) movement that began in the late ‘90s. Chardonnay was what put California on the map, and before we knew it, we were being inundated. But the varietal (which still remains the top selling wine in the United States) began to lose favor and literally thousands of acres of Chardonnay were pulled in California. Now Chardonnay is starting to make a comeback with its critics. To simplify it, the wine has reinvented itself as more wineries produce “unoaked” Chardonnays (fermented in stainless steel tanks) that makes this wine more versatile to food pairing than its sister style “oaked” Chardonnay.
Now, most wineries in Northern Michigan produce Chardonnays in both styles. Walters’ 2007 Reserve Chardonnay strikes a nice oak balance and is close to being sold out. His 2007 Unwooded Chardonnay flew out the door and sold out quickly. The same should happen to his 2008 Unwooded Chardonnay. Don’t expect this wine to be around long as fruit flavors and aromas that would otherwise be masked by oak bounce around the palate nicely. Buy this wine quickly and enjoy this summer with whitefish and salmon dishes or with appetizers at a deck party. Be sure to cellar a few bottles for enjoyment over the next three to five years, this one shows great cellaring promise.
Forty-Five North Vineyard & Winery is currently open on weekends, located between Suttons Bay and the village of Lake Leelanau. To learn more, visit fortyfivenorth.com. To sample this wine and many of the other great Chardonnays from the Leelanau Peninsula, check out the Spring Sip & Savor event May 2 & 3, details are at lpwines.com --- Rick Coates

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