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 Rowe Inn
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The Rowe Inn

Kristi Kates - August 30th, 2010
Bienvenue! A touch of Provence inspires The Rowe Inn
By Kristi Kates
You‘ll find some of Northern Michigan‘s most cherished dining traditions at The Rowe Inn in Ellsworth -- a restaurant that pioneered fine dining, ethnic foods and the “fresh is best“ ideals in the region.
“I grew up in my parent’s restaurant, starting as a dishwasher at the age of 10,“ The Rowe Inn‘s proprietor Albert “Wes“ Westhoven says. “My father was a gifted chef committed to the concept of ‘fresh and from scratch,‘ and I learned my cooking skills from him.“
‘Fresh and from scratch‘ is a tradition that continues at The Rowe Inn today; Westhoven and his crew, including Executive Chef Scott Lyons, have created a unique French country inn dining experience that‘s second to none in Northern Michigan, crafted from the remains of an old chicken-and-burger place in what Westhoven dubbed the “culinary wasteland“ that Northern Michigan was back in the 1970s.

“Obviously the culinary scene in Northern Michigan has changed dramatically since the ‘70s,“ Westhoven says, “and there are numerous fine dining options throughout the North today. But I believe that The Rowe Inn was, at least partially, responsible for this gastronomic revolution. I have been called the ‘Father of Fine Dining in the North,‘ - but as I approach my seventieth birthday, maybe it should be ‘The *Grand*father‘,“ he laughs.
In addition to his father‘s influence, Westhoven says he was additionally inspired by trips to Montreal and Quebec, also in the ‘70s; and that his affinity for the French technique of cooking arrived to him via his idol, chef Julia Child.
“I have since traveled to France many times, particularly to Provençe where the countryside is dotted with small family restaurants,“ Westhoven explain. “The cooking is simple - but simplicity is the hallmark of great cooking. Start with the best and freshest ingredients and don’t mess with them.“

Executive Chef Lyons follows Westhoven‘s gourmet philosophies; and injects a bit of his own moxie into the mix, as well, having set his sights on working at The Rowe Inn after attending a career seminar at East Jordan High School.
“I started at The Rowe Inn as a dishwasher when I was 15 years old,“ Lyons says, “so I grew up at The Rowe. The foods, the preparation techniques, the recipe book, were as familiar to me as video games are to some young men in high school.“
Westhoven and The Rowe Inn‘s staff even brought much of the food to Lyons‘ high school graduation party; and the restaurant itself calls Lyons “The Rowe Inn‘s best success story.“
“It‘s almost every young person‘s goal to ‘move up,‘ which means making more money,“ Lyons says. “In my trying to ‘make more money,‘ I started getting recognition from the other staff about how well I was doing. The more praise I got, the more I wanted to do better. The better I got, the more I liked it. So I went from dishwasher to salads to prep to line cook to sous chef to finally, my goal of executive chef. It‘s creative, it‘s fun, and in many ways I am my own boss. I help keep The Rowe Inn keep from becoming outdated and keep it current.“

Lyons‘ fresh approach to the restaurant fits right in with Westhoven‘s own modus operandi.
“We do adapt to food trends, and have initiated some trends locally as well,“ Westhoven says, “we were the first to do wine dinners, Madrigal dinners, Red Fox chicken dinners, and cigar
dinners. We even did a *Julie & Julia* dinner a month after seeing the movie.“
The atmosphere, much like that of Julia Child‘s own kitchen, is bustling and friendly, and the presentations are “not fussy,“ Westhoven says: “Protein, starch, and vegetable.“
“The menu changes depending on the season and availability of ingredients,“ Westhoven points ou; “usually weekly in season, sometimes even daily.“
For those who have visited Europe - or simply peruse guidebooks planning to do so someday soon - The Rowe Inn might just remind some of your typical French roadside cafe, which is, as Westhoven puts it, “a friend to man, unpretentious and welcoming - bienvenue!“

*The Rowe Inn is located at 6303 C48 in Ellsworth, MI, telephone 231-588-7351 or toll-free 866-432-5873. They may also be found online at www.roweinn.com. The Rowe Inn is open seven nights a week all year, reservations requested.*

  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
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