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: City Park Grilled Salmon/Mackinaw Trail Winery

Rick Coates - April 27th, 2009
City Park Grill Salmon 4/27/09

Legend has it Ernest Hemingway frequented the City Park Grill during his youth, where he was seen scribbling what would eventually become his “Nick Adams” stories. Since opening in 1875, the Park Garden Café (which became City Park Grill in 1997) has been at the center of Petoskey’s social scene. It continues to have a vibrant live music scene featuring the best musicians the region has to offer along with the occasional traveling band.
But the secret to its success and longevity is the fact that it has a staff that cares. You can teach people how to make a drink or cook a steak, but you can’t teach people to care -- you have to hire those that do. City Park Grill is one of a handful of places I’ve dined at more than 50 times and never once had poor service.
Oh, and yes, the food is fantastic. Try the grilled salmon with the horseradish beurre blanc. The culinary team has done an excellent job not overpowering the salmon’s natural flavors with this hearty sauce. This dish pairs well with several wines and the City Park has an extensive wine list. Try this entree with a bottle of Grgisch Hills Fume Blanc, or keep things local with a bottle of L. Mawby Crement or Shady Lane’s Semi-Dry Riesling.
For some -- in addition to great service -- a good bread to start the meal and a great cup of coffee to end it are two keys to a successful dining experience. City Park delivers on both counts. They have the tastiest biscuits that are made fresh (it seems like they see you walking down the street and throw a pan in the oven for you) and brought to your table in the pan they were baked in.
Whether you live in Petoskey or plan to visit soon, make sure a stop at City Park Grill is part of that itinerary. For a complete menu and lineup of upcoming entertainment: cityparkgrill.com.---Rick Coates

Mackinaw Trail Winery
Now the Upper Peninsula might be a bit too far north of the 45th Parallel to grow winemaking grapes, but that didn’t stop Raffael Stabile from opening Mackinaw Trail Winery in Manistique. While they don’t grow their own grapes, they buy them from the Michigan Lake Shore region (southwest Michigan) and make a wide variety of table wines and a couple of fruit wines. Last year they opened a tasting room in Mackinaw City and that success had Petoskey calling. Here is what they have posted on their winery website:
“Ok, Ok- We have heard enough requests from all of you wonderful patrons that we are opening another tasting room on 204 Howard St. Petoskey, (Gaslight District). We will have our sign up and our doors open by Memorial Day!”
Since opening nearly five years ago, Mackinaw Trail Winery has taken home a collection of medals at wine competitions. Of note is the 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon, while not the typical big bold California red, Stabile has embraced the softer characteristics that make Michigan reds very food friendly.
Equally impressive are their whites, in particular the North Shore White, made with Vignoles. This wine is excellent with BBQ foods. For dessert try their Blackberrie wine paired with any fruit cobbler.
So the Petoskey area now has two winery tasting rooms (Pleasantview Vineyards). For additional details mackinawtrailwinery.com.---Rick Coates

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