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 · A Winter Dinner at Nonna‘s
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A Winter Dinner at Nonna‘s

Nancy Krcek Allen - January 19th, 2009
Though Nonna’s sits on Leelanau County’s doorstep, it feels a world apart. As you drive up the winding, snow-covered expanse off M-22 near Glen Arbor that leads to the spacious Homestead resort grounds, it’s even quiet. So different from summer hubbub, it’s almost mysterious. Soothing.
John Kloo, the restaurant’s front-of-the-house manager, is the first person to greet you as you walk through the door into the intimate warmth of fireplace and food. In the background Sinatra sings popular Italian songs. “Nonna’s is Glen Arbor’s hidden gem,” says Kloo. “It’s the perfect little getaway.”
If you’ve lived here long enough you might remember the 52-seat restaurant through several incarnations — its last was as a spaghetti house. “When I first came here in 2005,” says executive chef John Piombo, “Nonna’s was red-checked plastic tablecloths. It just wasn’t my style.” Piombo left for a year to take a job in Miami, but he wasn’t really happy there. After a call from the Homestead, he returned in early 2008. With him came the white linen and sophisticated menu that reflect his sensibility.

Born in New York, Piombo, who speaks Italian and Spanish, moved to Italy when he was two. “My dad, who was Italian, was a pastry chef and my mom was American so we went back and forth a lot,” says Piombo. “At 18 I did 12 months of military service in Italy. After that I came back to the States and worked at tons of restaurants like Tiberio’s in Miami, Coconut Grove and Stringfellows. I hopped around. Between the ages of 20 and 32 I could list 20 places I worked, and probably there’d be another 10 I missed. I was always interested in food — I’m Italian — it’s in my blood. My mom cooked so good. Food was always part of my life — it’s the culture.”
“In the late ‘80s I went to Europe. A customer asked me ‘Do you want to work in Germany?’ The (Italian) restaurant was about 60 kilometers from the East German border. I was there two years. After Germany I hooked up with a guy from Barcelona. My uncle, my mother’s family, is in Barcelona. We probably worked at five different restaurants — through Frankfurt, Luxembourg — to get to Barcelona — we had no car.”
Piombo’s travel and résumé inform of his cooking. Piombo’s passion translates into a restlessness evident in highly creative chefs. Nonna’s menu can change daily depending upon what food arrives. Self-taught Piombo runs a “scratch” kitchen, meaning that he and his staff make almost all of what they serve, from the country paté and pasta to cured meats like duck prosciutto.

Together Piombo and his team serve Nonna’s guests deceptively simple, big-flavored dishes like New Zealand lamb chops with thyme oil, roasted garlic, carrots and celery root or a Ligurian seafood salad with calamari, shrimp and octopus napped with lemon vinaigrette. “My guests drive me,” says Piombo. “I love to cook to people, to make them happy. Cooking is a soul extension of you.”
Piombo’s kitchen crew is locally grown like much of his food: sous chef Rachel Fetterley and pantry chef Jason Popa are both Northwestern Michigan College culinary grads. “I feel confident with my team and my skills,” says Piombo. “I’m fortunate. Everyone brings a different talent. We really have a lot of fun and when it’s time to work we work. I’ve got the best job in town. I have lots of freedom, and support from the owners and staff.”

“On Thursday,” Kloo says with a twinkle, “chef Piombo tells me, ‘don’t give the guests menus’ — we’ll just wing it. We call it the ‘Thursday Thriller’— they get a tasting menu with four or five courses with a matching wine.” A recent tasting menu included Grilled Sea Scallops on Mache, Seared New Zealand Lamb Chops with Sauce Dijonaise and Spinach, Roasted Salmon with Tomatoes, Capers, Taggiasche Olives and Potatoes and Chocolate Mousse with Strawberry Coulis and Chantilly Cream ($30–or $40 with wines).
Along with its food, Nonna’s offers an extensive wine list with Italian whites and reds, sparkling wines and more than a dozen wines of other pedigrees; a full bar, tea selections from Glen Arbor’s Great Lakes Tea and Spice Company and coffee from the Leelanau Roasting Company.
One of three restaurants within the Homestead Resort open off-season, Nonna’s offers fine dining Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m., while Beppi’s, a tavern in Nonna’s lower level, is open for sandwiches, tacos, pizza, salads and live music on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. CQ’s Cabin, an après-ski buffet-style restaurant offers soups, salads, sandwiches and pasta entrees for lunch and dinner. The Homestead will host wine tours this year: Taste the Passion on Feb 7 to 8 and Spring Sip & Savor from May 2 to 3. Executive chef John Piombo presides over them all.

Nonna’s is located in the Homestead Resort, Glen Arbor, www.thehomesteadresort.com ph: (231) 334-5154.

  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
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