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: Grilled Michigan sweet corn/ Michigan Wine Competion

Rick Coates - August 10th, 2009
Grilled Michigan Sweet Corn
After getting off to a slow start, Michigan sweet corn is now starting to be harvested. The first roadside stands in North Central Michigan are starting to pop up and fresh sweet corn is now making its way to area farmers’ markets. No summer is complete without enjoying several ears of fresh Michigan sweet corn. While there are several ways to prepare corn on the cob, grilled is the best.
There is essentially three ways to grill corn on the cob: in their husks, just a layer of the inner silk, or fully husked. There are several schools of thought on whether to soak corn before grilling; I find that a 30-minute soak works best. As for husk or no husk, it depends on how much else you have going on. Fully husked corn requires less attention while on the grill. My preference is to remove the husks to the final layer and grill that way.
It takes about 15 minutes. turn a few times until tender and simply lightly butter, add fresh ground salt and pepper and it is hard to find a better side dish this time of the year. Of course that depends on who you are as I like to have three ears of grilled corn as my main dish and four ounces of grilled salmon with a cherry BBQ glaze for my side dish.
As for pairing wine with grilled corn, try the Chardonnay from Chateau Fontaine or the 2008 Best of Show Pinot Blanc from Left Foot Charley. As for beer, pick up a growler from your favorite microbrewer; try a pale ale. --Rick Coates

Michigan Wine Competition
Last week marked the 32nd annual Michigan Wine and Spirits Competition. The event has come a long way since its inception as part of the Michigan State Fair. The Michigan Grape and Wine Industry Council took the event over about five years ago after State Fair officials served California Chardonnay at the Michigan Wine Competition awards luncheon. That subtle oversight in many ways was a carryover from the Rodney Dangerfield days (“we don’t get no respect”) of the Michigan wine industry.
But those days are behind the industry. That was evident by the quality of judges that came in for the event including the likes of Doug Frost, who is both a Master of Wine and Master Sommelier, and California winemaker Scott Harvey. Other judges included three Master Sommeliers, and internationally known authors, winemakers and wine educators.
“In my 31 years of judging at the Michigan Wine Competition, I have never seen such rapid growth in the number of wineries and in the exceptional quality of the wines as has been witnessed in just the last few years,” said Joe Borrello, president of Tasters Guild International. “Michigan is really making an international wine statement and it’s all good.”
While wine is being made across the state, it is Northern Michigan that seems to be leading the way:
• Best of Class Dry White: Left Foot Charley – 2008 Pinot Blanc “Island View Vineyard”
• Best of Class Dry Red: Gill’s Pier Vineyard & Winery – 2007 Cabernet Franc/Merlot
• Best of Class Semi-Dry White: Bel Lago – 2008 Gewurztraminer
• Best of Class Dessert Wine: Fenn Valley Vineyards – 2008 “42” Ice Wine
• Best of Class Fruit Wine: Longview Winery – Reserve Cherry Wine
• Best of Class Rosé: Forty-Five North Vineyard & Winery – 2008 Pinot Noir Rosé
In addition, Black Star Farms won a Judges’ Merit Award for their 2008 Arcturos Dry Riesling.
This impressive showing from Northern Michigan points only to good things to come in the future as this industry continues to grow. On August 22 many of these wines will be available at the first-ever Traverse City Wine & Art Festival to be held on the grounds of Building 50 at the Grand Traverse Commons. But why wait? visit these and other wineries or seek out local wines at area wine shops and restaurants. For a complete listing of all the medals awarded at the Michigan Wine Cometition visit michiganwines.com. -- Rick Coates

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