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 · Flavorful Fustini‘s
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Flavorful Fustini‘s

Nancy Krcek Allen - July 27th, 2009
Flavorful Fustinis
Oil & vinegar specialists tempt TC & Petoskey

By Nancy Krcek Allen 7/27/09

Lane and Jim Milligan want you to come and have fun with them in their new venture, Fustini’s. If you dream about a certain Iron Chef, read cookbooks instead of novels, talk about dinner before you’ve finished lunch or just like to eat, drop by their downtown Traverse City or Petoskey Gaslight District stores. You’re guaranteed a good time.
The Milligans sell oils and vinegars housed in stainless steel containers from Italy called fustini (or the singular fustino).
“Jim saw a lot of these places in Europe, especially Amsterdam,” says Lane. “It’s common for Europeans to sell things like milk, mustard and wine in the fustini. We had friends in Chicago who were in partnership in a store like ours. They shared how much fun they were having so we went to look. The whole way there I’m thinking, ‘yeah, right’. And we had so much fun we couldn’t believe it. We looked at each other and said, ‘Traverse City!’”
The couple lived for 30 years in St. Paul, Minnesota and raised two daughters. When Jim retired from 3M in November 2007, they decided to move. Lane’s grandparents and father were born in Traverse City so the family has a house there. “We’ve been visiting on vacations for 20 some years,” says Jim. “I tell people that we had a five year plan to come to Traverse City that took us 20 years to execute.”

The Milligans taste and choose every product that comes into the store. (Lane designed the labels from photos of a dance troupe that she traveled with and photographed when she and Jim lived in Mexico in the mid-’90s.) They and their staff will urge you to taste, too. It might seem odd to swish and taste naked oils and vinegars—until you do. The flavors of Fustini’s oils and vinegars explode in your mouth with an honest, congenial intensity. Then you’ll be hooked, and will have to try all 22 oils and 23 vinegars.
“The response from our guests when they taste the flavored oils and balsamic vinegars is fun to watch,” says Jim. “We tell them they can taste everything. They’ll be thinking, ‘why would I want to taste vinegar and oil’, but once they start they open up and want to try more. I’ll be downstairs and hear somebody scream, ‘oh my gosh!’”
“There’s a strong culinary culture in Northern Michigan,” says Jim. “We’re really proud to have Amical, Hanna Bistro and Apache Trout Grill pouring our products at the table for bread dipping and salads. We have relationships with Radish, Crema and several B&B’s. We did three tasting receptions at Hanna Bistro. Chef Christopher Mushall designed a five-course menu using our products from salad to dessert.”

Fustini’s carries nine varietal extra virgin olive oils, an 18-year old balsamic and a 12-year old white balsamic, plus the showstoppers—whole fruit fusion and infused oils and vinegars. Fusion oils, made in Tunisia in California-based companies, or in Italy, are whole fruit and olives cold-pressed together at the mill; infused oils and vinegars are flavor-infused into the oil or vinegar later. You’ll have a difficult time choosing between oils like Blood Orange, Harissa, Basil, Meyer Lemon or Porcini and infused vinegars like Fig, Oregano, Peach, Pomegranite, Vanilla or Sicilian Lemon. After a sold-out wild leek vinegar, Lane is working locally to produce rose petal, purple basil and rosehip vinegars.
The vinegars come from Modena, in northern Italy. The olive oils are from Chile, Australia, California, Spain and Italy. “The Chilean oils are super high in antioxidants: a traditional varietal, when it comes from Chile, is tripled.” says Lane. “It’s amazing.”
“People want to know the difference between an extra virgin olive oil and other olive oils, or what makes a balsamic,” says Jim. “We talk about how important it is to check the date on oil and to store oil and vinegar in dark bottles in a pantry away from light. Ultraviolet light is the enemy of olive oil. The thing that can destroy the flavor of balsamic vinegars is oxidation—don’t leave the cap off.”

Multi-talented Lane is a great cook and continually experiments with her products. Current favorites are Sicilian Lemon White Balsamic Vinegar—she likes it on pasta with leftovers or as a garnish in potato soups or cream sauces. Oregano White Balsamic Vinegar—drizzled on hot potatoes for German potato salad with sour cream. Meyer Lemon Oil—Lane sautés shrimp in it and serves them as hors d’oeuvre. Tunisian Harissa Oil—whisked into eggs for omelets or drizzled on corn on the cob. Peach Balsamic Vinegar and Garlic Oil as salad dressing.
“We’re so lucky to have every single one at home,” says Lane. “I have to catch myself in the store because if a guest is really into it, I start mixing and I can’t stop myself. It’s like mixing colors. We are selling a product, but we like to think that we’re selling a service more. We want to help people learn how to use our products. Our store is a fun event for people while they’re learning. So many people go out of here saying, ‘this is the most fun I’ve had in Traverse City.’”

Fustini’s Oils & Vinegars is located at 141 E. Front Street in Downtown Traverse City and at 209 Howard Street in Petoskey’s Gaslight District. Call 231-944-1145 in Traverse City; 231-758-3575 in Petoskey or visit www. fustinis.com.

  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
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