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: Trattoria Stella/ Right Brain Brewery: Tall Ship Manitou Cruise

Rick Coates - August 17th, 2009
Rick Coates 8/17/09
Trattoria Stella
Trattoria Stella opened their doors five years ago in the lower level of Building 50 at the Village at Grand Traverse Commons. They have built their success and reputation on using local products, keeping their menu fresh and putting an emphasis on service. Founded by Paul and Amanda Danielson, the couple entrusted their future on Chef Myles Anton and he has not let them down. Anton remains at the helm of the culinary team that continues to knock out amazing wine and beer dinners as well as a top notch menu of Italian inspired entrees and appetizers.
Despite tough economic times, the Danielsons are reporting their best year yet. They attribute their success to not only fresh and local products but, “seeking out like-minded, dedicated passionate people” to work with them.
As for their philosophy, Anton puts it this way: “We have also cultivated close relationships with local farmers and producers supporting their livelihood while getting the freshest, most flavorful ingredients. We make everything from scratch and we don’t open a box for any of our recipes.”
In another bold move, Stella has put front and center local wines on their wine list. With much pride, sommelier Amanda Danielson boasts about the virtues of wines from the region. “We are very proud to offer you the most comprehensive local wine experience in the state of Michigan. We extend our sincerest appreciation to the winemakers for producing these truly world class wines. What has been a select few in years past, is now a still very select many—the best of the best from our peninsulas.”
Check out Stella where every day is a Traverse City Wine, Art and Food Festival. Stellatc.com or 231-929-8989 for reservations. --Rick Coates

Right Brain Brewery:
Tall Ship Manitou Cruise

A few weeks back record numbers (8,000 plus) attended the 12th Annual Michigan Beer Festival in Ypsilanti (near Ann Arbor). In all, 50 Michigan breweries dispensed more than 300 beers. According to Dianna Stampfler, spokesperson for the Michigan Brewers Guild, which organized the festival, it was two Northern Michigan breweries that stole the show.
“No question about it, Right Brain Brewery of Traverse City and Shorts Brewery from Bellaire were the crowd favorites,” said Stampfler. “They had the longest lines all day and those two breweries definitely sold the most beer.”
For fans of both breweries this should come as no surprise. Both Short’s and Right Brain are among the most innovative breweries in the state. Both breweries have built their success not only on quality but by stretching the envelope when it comes to expanding and interrupting beer styles. Right Brain recently had a Wasabi ale and a couple of years ago Shorts made a Wild Mushroom ale with local mushrooms.
It is this approach that has both brewery operations packed and selling out of beers.
Now, Right Brain is teaming up with Left Foot Charley winery for a wine night cruise aboard the tall ship Manitou on Friday, August 28 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. The evening sail comes on the heels of the first-ever Traverse City Beer Festival to take place on Saturday.
The tall ship Manitou cruise will feature an assortment of beers and wines as both the brewmaster and winemaker will be on board to answer questions. But if you’re thirsty for a cold one right now, check out Right Brain Brewery in the Warehouse District in Downtown Traverse City. Rightbrainbrewery.com. --Rick Coates

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