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: Boathouse Restaurant Wild Game Dinner/ Taste the Passion

Rick Coates - February 1st, 2010
Boathouse Restaurant Wild Game Dinner
In Northern Michigan “wild game” dinners are somewhat common fare in many homes. Venison, duck and fresh fish from area lakes make their way to my table at home on somewhat of a regular basis. Several restaurants in the region offer entrées featuring game from local fields and streams. Now the Boathouse Restaurant located at Bowers Harbor (the actual harbor, not the restaurant) on the Old Mission Peninsula puts the “wild” in their game dinner, hosting their sixth annual dinner this Friday night.
Chef Eric Nittolo and proprietor Doug Kosch have outdone themselves in creating an impressive menu of wild game “oddities” that will give most in attendance a first time opportunity to taste lion, yak, zebra and even piranha. Sourcing such exotic meats is challenging as much research goes into verifying these game items come from legitimate and legal sources. Kosch and Nittolo went to great lengths to insure all menu items came from lawful suppliers.
The evening begins with “Reception and Intimidation” featuring African Lion burgers and Wild Boar on a stick followed by a second round of “oddities”: the Wild Game Charcuterie Plate with Zebra Pate, Alligator Sausage, Smoked Yak Jerky and Curried Camel Kabobs. The fish course includes Piranha with tempura fried bananas and the meat course features Black Bear Ribs with a Short’s Brewery Soft Parade Berry-BBQ Sauce. For dessert, Lion Scat Fosters (flambéed) that Chef Nittolo is simply describing as “flaming balls of love.”
The evening includes wine and cocktail pairings as well as a wild game museum with some pretty impressive mounts including a giraffe, elephant, zebra and lots more. The Boathouse Restaurant offers an assortment of interesting dinners throughout the year including locally themed wine dinners and a fly-fishing dinner that is served streamside (Dining on the Fly) during the summer months.
While dining at the Boathouse in the summer months is a given, it is equally impressive during the wintertime as West Grand Traverse Bay takes on a whole different personality as the winds and cold temperatures and swirling snow create a picturesque setting. For details check out boathouseonwestbay.com or call for reservations at 231-223-4030.
--Rick Coates

Taste the Passion
The Leelanau Peninsula Vintners Association is celebrating its 10th year of hosting wine trail events. These popular weekend events typically sell out with each one offering a unique way to experience the wineries on the Leelanau Peninsula. Taste the Passion takes place this Saturday and Sunday at member wineries. Participants receive a souvenir wine glass at their first stop and a wine and chocolate pairing at each stop along the trail (though while some would argue there is no such thing as too much chocolate, some wineries offer non-chocolate pairings).
Each winery offers a variety of activities from snowshoeing to crafts, as well. Taste the Passion is a great way to experience the charm of the Leelanau Peninsula and the 17 member wineries. The secret to a successful tour experience is to select just a handful of wineries each of the two days and incorporate other activities on the peninsula during your tour including dinner.
On Friday night, at Mountain Flowers Lodge, from 6-8pm, the Homestead Resort and Glen Arbor Artists will be hosting “Art from Michigan’s Wine Coast.” Art will be on display and for sale from local artists. The price is $20 at the door, which includes two glasses of wine and small plates (additional wine available for $4/glass or three for $10). $5 from every ticket will be donated to the Glen Arbor Artists scholarship and free after-school art program for students.
Tickets for “Taste the Passion” are just $30 each. As with all LPVA events, attendance is limited to give participants an opportunity to become better acquainted with the wine and wineries. Additional details for both events are available at lpwines.com.
--Rick Coates

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