Happy Hour

A weekly snapshot of Happy Hours around the region…


FireFly
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

Fred's
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.

MONEY'S PLATTE RIVER INN:
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.

BC LANES FAMILY ENTERTAIMENT CENTER:
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.

CHINA ONE:
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.

A&W:
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.

BIG BUCK BREWERY & STEAKHOUSE:
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.

THE NEW YORK RESTAURANT:
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.

EMPIRE VILLAGE INN: 
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.

JESPERSON'S:
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.
 
CUPPA JOE:
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: Gravlax/Michigan Bubbly

Rick Coates - January 4th, 2010
Gravlax (Lox)
This time of the year lots of people reach into the family cookbooks preparing foods in honor of their heritage. We just finished making a year’s supply of pirogues in my family, honoring my wife’s Polish ancestry. One of my favorite ethnic dishes this time of the year is Gravlax, and since our region is rooted in Scandinavian settlers, I always scan the appetizer tables at parties looking for it.
Gravlax (Gravad Lax, Lox) is a traditional method of preparing salmon by coating spices and then covering and weighing down to draw out the salmon flavor. It’s also prepared in Germany, Nova Scotia and Scotland.
There are a lot of recipes, but here are some secrets. First, traditional Swedish Gravlax is made with salt, sugar and dill only (do not get fooled into using anything else, such as other seasonings or vodka, as ultimately these will destroy the wonderful raw flesh flavors of the salmon). Use whole bunches of dill, as chopped dill is hard to remove after the process is complete. Wrap the fish in parchment paper and then Saran Wrap, place in a dish and put a weight on the top. The key is to make it the day before you plan to serve, as Gravlax is best savored fresh (12 to 24 hours after making).
Serve with bagels and cream cheese or as is, maybe with a dill mustard sauce. Enjoy with chilled vodka, white wines, such as one of our locally produced Pinot Grigios or Gewrztraminers.
Punzel Scandinavian, south of Interlochen, serves wonderful Gravlax for lunch. Advance reservations are required, as Punzel needs a day to prepare it. www.punzelscandinavian.com (231)263-7427. --Rick Coates

Michigan Bubbly
Sparkling wine has always been synonymous with celebration. If you ask winemaker Larry Mawby he will tell you there is a reason to celebrate everyday hence sparkling wine may be enjoyed on any given day for any given reason. Heck, there is even a diet that encourages a glass of Champagne every day.
Championed by Larry Mawby of L. Mawby Vineyards on Leelanau Peninsula, Michigan bubbly wines are now the centerpieces to many a celebration. Mawby produces sparkling wines exclusively, using the method champenoise under his L Mawby brand and the cuve close under his M Lawrence label. His bubbly is found on top wine lists not only in Michigan but throughout the U.S. and even in Europe. Seek out his Cremant Classic a brut style made with estate grown Vignoles grapes that pairs perfectly with that Christmas turkey or goose.
Charlie Edson, winemaker at Bel Lago north of Cedar, has an award winning sparkler in Brillanté with notes of citrus and fresh fruits. This is a great appetizer bubbly with cheeses or its semi-dry character will go great with dessert. In 2008 it took home top sparkling wines at the Michigan Wine & Spirits Competition.
We lost a great winemaker this year with the passing of Bruce Simpson of Good Harbor Vineyards near Leland. Simpson was one of the industry leaders and co-founded the Leland Wine Festival and the Leelanau Peninsula Vintners Association. His Moonstruck Brut is made with 100% estate-grown Pinot Noir and pairs perfectly on cold blustery winter nights next to a roaring fire.
On the Old Mission, Peninsula Chateau Chantal offers a triple sparkling treat with their Celebrate, Tonight and Sparkling Cherry offerings. The cherry is very versatile and may be enjoyed with spicy foods or duck at dinner and during the appetizer hour while watching bowl games paired with chicken wings and nachos. The winemaker claims that this is the perfect wine to pair with popcorn.
One of the newest wineries of the now more than 35 in Northern Michigan is Krolczyk Cellars in Freesoil (between Ludington and Manistee). Their sparkling Frothalicious starts out sweet but finishes dry. The Krolczyk’s learned their craft from working for Larry Mawby.
Regardless how you choose to ring in the New Year, look for sparkling wines from area wineries. If you do not drink alcohol several offer a non-alcohol bubbly with Michigan fruits. For more information check out michiganwines.com. --Rick Coates

 
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