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 · Tastemakers: Giovanni‘s...
. . . .

Tastemakers: Giovanni‘s Roadhouse Prime Rib Dinner/Valentine Vodka

Rick Coates - May 4th, 2009
Giovanni’s Roadhouse Prime Rib Dinner
Rick Coates 5/4/09

Giovanni’s Roadhouse in Interlochen is part of the TC Food family that includes Fire Fly, Bubba’s and Grandview Catering. Proprietors Jeff and Trish Wiltse are long time foodies in the region who have built their success on the foundations of quality comfort food and exceptional service. A few years ago they purchased Giovanni’s, and kept some of the original flavor that made the restaurant a popular destination for pre- or post-Interlochen concerts, while adding their magical touch and character to the operation.
The “foodie” movement today has many facets. One is the resurgence of standards. One of those standards making a comeback is prime rib and Giovanni’s Roadhouse does it up right. Thursday night is “Prime Rib” special night featuring your choice of an eight, 12 or 20 ounce portion. Prepared to perfection, this cut of beef calls out for a good bottle of wine and “The House” has an impressive and extensive wine list. The Condesa de Leganza Crianza from Spain hit the spot during a recent visit.
On Sundays, Giovanni’s offers a “Gospel Brunch” from noon – 3 p.m. with plenty of gospel tunes in the background and their top notch Bloody Mary’s. Tuesday night now through October is “Bike Night” and they are offering a pulled pork sandwich and pint of beer special for $5. The Interlochen summer season is around the corner, so catch a show and enjoy dinner from Giovanni’s -- they have food to go for those that like to tailgate. For a look at their menu and summer specials go to tcfood.com or call them for takeout 231-276-6244. --Rick Coates

Valentine Vodka

Michigan is now the state with the second most micro-distilleries and is quickly closing in on leader California with the opening of the most recent offering, Valentine Vodka from Detroit.
Riffino Valentine, who grew up on the Leelanau Peninsula and went to Glen Lake schools, is the owner and distiller. After a successful career on Wall Street, Valentine decided to return to his native Michigan and start making small-batch, hand-crafted vodka, in particular he wanted to be in Detroit.
“I see resurgence happening in this city. I believe -- and so do others -- that Detroit is going to come back bigger and better,” said Valentine at a panel session during the recent Chef’s Challenge at Shanty Creek Resorts. “We wanted to be a part of that and help to contribute to it.”
Currently, Michigan has a dozen micro-distilleries between stand-alone operations such as Valentine’s and several wineries that have stills (Black Star Farms locally).
Valentine likes the cooperative “spirit” that exists between distillers in Michigan. “Kent Rabbish of Grand Traverse Distillery spent a lot of time helping me. He didn’t treat me like a competitor instead he welcomed me as a colleague,” he said.
That collaborative “spirit” has led to a new marketing campaign called ‘The Spirits Of Michigan.”
Valentine Vodka took the honors of Best of Show at the Chef’s Challenge, joining Best Winery, Forty Five North, and Best Brewery, Shorts Brewing Company, in the beverage tasting competition.
So what is Valentine’s secret? Using Michigan products and distilling one small batch at a time. Typically, a bottle of vodka comes from one food source: “wheat, potato, rye,” but Valentine creates a mash made of red Michigan wheat, two-row barley, and locally-grown corn. The end product is vodka that is among the smoothest on the market. In just one month Valentine Vodka has been flying off the shelves and is available at several stores in Northern Michigan that specialize in high-end spirits. It is also starting to make appearances on some restaurant beverage lists in the region. For more information, see valentinevodka.com --Rick Coates

  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5