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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Raise a glass to TC‘s new Art & Wine Fair

Rick Coates - August 17th, 2009
Raise a Glass
to TC’s New Art & Wine Festival
By Rick Coates 8/17/09

After a five-year stint in Traverse City, the popular Epicurean Classic has moved to St. Joseph, Michigan (90 miles east of Chicago) along the Lake Michigan shoreline. Festival organizers were wooed by sponsors who wanted the event closer to a major metropolitan area. The departure of the Epicurean Classic has opened the door for others to try and fill the void.
The first “replacement” event will take place this Saturday in the form of the Traverse City Wine & Art Festival. It will take place on the spacious grounds of the Grand Traverse Commons in front of Building 50 under a large tent from 5 to 10 p.m.
The evening will feature wines from 22 wineries on both the Leelanau and Old Mission peninsulas and will include culinary offerings from several Traverse City and Leelanau restaurants. The festival will also focus on the arts with a juried arts show hosted by the Artcenter of Traverse City, along with several musical performances highlighted by Thom Jayne and The Nomads, along with Jay Webber.
“The Leelanau Peninsula Vintners Association is excited to be building a major wine festival that will showcase the amazing wines of our region against the beautiful backdrop of the Grand Traverse Commons. We feel that the blend of art, food and wine is a natural combination that highlights three things we do very well in Northwest Michigan,” said festival chairperson Jaclyn Eikey. “With the addition of some really eclectic music and entertainment, I think it will be an experience like none other offered in our area. The proceeds from this year’s party will help us build a festival that we feel will become one of the highlights of summer in the Traverse City area.”

One big difference between the typical wine festivals in the area and the Traverse City Art & Wine Festival will be how the wines are presented.
“Most wine festivals are tasting events, where you get small samples and try several different wines,” said Andre McFarlane, spokesperson for the Leelanau Peninsula Vintners Association. “Here we will be offering full pours of wines from the region. We are going after a different type of experience.”
That “experience” is not about duplicating the Epicurean Classic (which did not focus solely on local but had an international food and wine approach to it) but rather celebrating emergence of the region as the Midwest “Capital of Culture.”
“I was pleasantly surprised during my visit to the area as to not only the quality of wines, but also in the quality of food and restaurant offerings in the region,” said Bill Daley, food and wine critic for the Chicago Tribune. “Equally impressive were the cultural offerings of the area, this region will surely become one of the most sought-out by those who travel looking for quality wine, food and cultural experiences.”
Daley is not alone, as a plethora of California wine critics have visited the region in recent years singing praises for area wines.
“The Pinot Grigio and Rieslings I tasted on the Leelanau and Old Mission Peninsulas were as good and in some cases better than any I have tasted in the world,” said Wilfred Wong, San Francisco wine critic and competition tasting judge. “It never surprises me when wines from there do well and win major awards at international competitions. When my colleagues are shocked I simply smile and tell them I visited and tasted first-hand and met with the winemakers there and I know it is a special place.”
Syndicated wine columnist Dan Berger, whose work appears in Decanter, Robb Report and numerous newspapers, agrees with his counterparts.
“I was the chief judge at a major international wine competition in California when a wine from Northern Michigan took home best of show honors. We were all stunned,” said Berger. “I have visited several times since and Michigan wines are coming of age.”

So for Don Coe, managing partner of Black Star Farms, with locations on the Leelanau and Old Mission Peninsulas, along with a Traverse City tasting room, this type of event has been long in the making.
“We have seen how our industry has went from being somewhat unknown to now being a focal point for the tourism and agricultural industries,” said Coe, who also is a Michigan Department of Agriculture Commissioner. “Since the inception of the Leelanau Peninsula Vintners Association we have discussed the concept of an event that embraces both peninsulas but despite their geographical closeness to each other we always felt that it was not socially responsible to have an event where people had to drive between both peninsulas so this event in Traverse City is something we have been trying to do for several years.”
While festival organizers see the wines from the region as the “headline act” for the Traverse City Wine & Art Festival certainly the art and cultural components for the evening are of equal importance.
“The artists of the Artcenter are thrilled to be part of this exciting festival,” said Jennifer Hutchinson, board president. “It offers an opportunity to display their work and equally afford the community a chance to view the fine artists of the region”
Another highlight of the evening will be the music and headliner Thom Jayne and the Nomads from Okemos, who blend a unique fusion of didgeridoos, trumpets, guitars, fiddles, and African percussion, the Nomads are a hard-to-categorize blend of world music, jazz, and celtic influences. Joining them will be Rojo Loco (complete with Latin dancers) and regional folk favorite Jay Webber. The music will be punctuated by original dance from the Michigan Dance Collective and poetry and storytelling by the Beach Bards.

Tickets are limited and may be purchased online (www.lpwines.com) for $20 per person and will be available for pickup on the day of the event at the festival. Admission includes two wine tickets with additional tickets available at $4 each. For additional information call the Leelanau Peninsula Vintners Association at (231) 256-2829.

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