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 · The Cook‘s House
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The Cook‘s House

Rick Coates - September 21st, 2009
Cooking up Something Good

The Cooks’ House finds culinary success in downtown Traverse City

By Rick Coates 9/21/09

When chefs Eric Patterson and Jennifer Blakeslee opened their restaurant The Cooks’ House in downtown Traverse City a year and half ago, they had a vision that they felt would take five years to accomplish, instead they find themselves ahead of schedule and helping to lead a culinary revolution in Northern Michigan.
“We are a lot further along than we expected to be at this point,” said Patterson.
“The area has quickly grasped our mission of using foods from local growers and producers and our vision focusing on the seasonality of what is available to create our menus. We had hoped to release a cookbook after three to five years of being open but have already accomplished that goal as well.”
Their cookbook, appropriately titled Cooks’ House: the art and soul of local sustainable cuisine will be released in November by Traverse City based publisher Spirituality & Health Books.
“This is not your typical boring open the book, follow the recipe cookbook,” said Patterson. “That is not how Jen and I cook. What we want the amateur cook to know is that first they are probably a lot better cook than they realize and that this book is to serve as an inspiration to help you create your own recipes, to experiment and to explore.”
Patterson and Blakeslee have a passion for cooking and encouraging the non-professional chef as well.
“Last winter we offered some amateur cooks’ dinners where some of our customers hosted a dinner, with two seatings and came and spent the day with us preparing each course,” said Patterson. “These were a big hit and we plan to do them again starting in January.”

The Cooks’ House finds itself full most nights with regulars knowing they need to make reservations well in advance. With only 18 seats, guests have inquired if Patterson and Blakeslee plan to expand.
“We have, we just went from 18 seats to 20 seats. We figured out how to make one of the two tops into a four top,” said Patterson. “Look, we are not in this for the money. We are in it for the passion of cooking. I think the recent light being shown on the greed in our society from corporate to individuals is driving a new culture of living simpler. Life is way too short to be greedy. Jen and I both have the philosophy of being happy with what we have. Bigger is not always better and I think if you look at the world today people are starting to realize that.”
Patterson takes his point further.
“I cook because it helps me to understand the world view of things,” said Patterson.
“For both Jen and me this is a passion, a celebration. When you celebrate the things you have you realize that you have more than enough. So our focus is filling the 20 seats we have, putting for a memorable dining experience, celebrating the passions of region and being happy with that.”

Both Patterson and Blakeslee feel there is a lot to be happy with from the region.
“We chose Northern Michigan because there are world class products here, from the produce to the cheeses, to the wines to the people who grow and produce things,”said Patterson. “We are both so excited because we know that in ten years from now when the critics write about the top culinary destinations in America, Northern Michigan is going to be mentioned in the same paragraph as northern California, Las Vegas and New York. We are going to see and explosion of great chefs and restaurants coming to the area, more than we already have.”

Are they concerned that the competition of the future may squeeze them out?
“No, the more the merrier, we are happy to be a leader with others in the area encouraging local products. We are excited to see more restaurants jumping on this bandwagon,” said Patterson. “Our goal from the start was to create a culinary movement in the region. We plan to be a part of it in the future as well and we will support others in the process.”
They did expand their business a year ago by opening the Wellington Street Market a block away, though their original concept has changed.
“I would say more like evolved into what the customers wanted. We had this idea of a year-round farmers market with fresh produce but what the customers were looking for was ethnic cuisine,” said Patterson. “We have Indian and Lebanese offerings currently and we are looking to expand from there.”
To make reservations at The Cooks’ House, located at 439 E. Front Street in Traverse City, call them at 231-946-8700 or check out their menus thecookshouse.typepad.com. If you are interested in hosting an ametuer cooks dinner contact them soon as they are currently planning their 2010 winter series. To reserve a copy of their new cookbook visit their restaurant or purchase one online. Spirituality & Health Books is offering a pre-release savings of $10.00 ($5.00 off the cover price and free postage to send the book out before the holidays). To learn more about the book and to order a copy check out spiritualityhealth.com

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