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: Art‘s Tavern smelt basket/ Grand Rapids International Wine & Food Show

Rick Coates - November 15th, 2010
Art’s Tavern Smelt Basket
Art’s Tavern in Glen Arbor (corner of Lake Street and M22) has been a longtime fixture on the Leelanau Peninsula. Opening prior to Prohibition as the Blue Goose Saloon, it became known as Art’s in 1934. In 1986 Tim Barr took over the management reins and in 2000 became the owner. Most people assume he is Art. In many ways Tim’s presence and personality are as important to Art’s as the ambiance, food and drink.
Art’s was among the first to get behind the Michigan craftbrew movement by adding Bell’s Beer in 1986 and has continued a long tradition of offering assorted Michigan craftbrews on tap and by the bottle. Art’s menu is rooted in traditional pub-fare. While they have several specialties, the tater tots are always a favorite.
During a recent fall color tour of the Leelanau Peninsula I stopped into Art’s to enjoy my personal favorite from their menu, the Smelt Basket.
Smelt are native to North America’s Atlantic Coast. In 1912, smelt were planted in Crystal Lake and eventually they made their way to Lake Michigan. Smelt dipping is a popular spring activity and because smelt are sensitive to light, this typically takes place at night when they rise to the surface.
Mature smelt grow to 7 to 8 inches and are best enjoyed deep fried, with tarter sauce and a pint of Michigan beer. At Art’s they have mastered the smelt basket; often smelt has a very fishy taste to it when not prepared right.
Art’s Tavern is a Leelanau legend. it is a great place to visit year-round as most Glen Arbor shops remain open. To look over the Art’s menu go to artsglenarbor.com --Rick Coates

Grand Rapids International Wine & Food Festival
Now in its third year, the Grand Rapids International Wine & Food Festival is expected to draw 10,000-plus participants this weekend. The three-day event kicks off Thursday (Nov. 18) and continues through Saturday. It’s the largest food and wine festival in the state and one of the premier gastronomic events in the Midwest.
The appeal of this event is wide-ranging, from the connoisseur to the novice to the industry professional, the Wine & Food Festival has something for everyone. Admission is only $15 per person and includes a sampling glass and show program, containing a detailed list of wines, beers, spirits and foods available for your tasting pleasure. Plus all food, wine, beer & spirits seminars throughout the weekend.
While this is truly an “international” experience, the event also highlights Michigan products. Of the 1,200-plus beers, wines, ciders and spirits to be featured, 200 are crafted in Michigan. Several Northern Michigan wineries and breweries will be attending. Plus several Michigan restaurants participate and top chefs from around the world will be in for seminars and demonstrations. Seminars of note include “Beer and Food pairings,” “Homegrown Thanksgiving... Cooking with Foods Grown Locally,” “The Art of Mixing and Tasting Spices,” and “Get the Best Wines for Your Money.”
Another highlight is the Riverfront Market with several vendors offering gourmet foods, specialty items and high-end accessories. They will even ship items for you if you want to send them as gifts.
The Grand Rapids International Wine & Food Festival is a must attend for those seeking to improve their culinary and beverage expertise. At $15 a person (you must be 21 to attend) it is a real bargain. It is in downtown G.R. at the Devos Place, so make a weekend out of it. Area hotels are offering special rates and there is plenty to do including visiting the The Grand Rapids Art Museum where they have “Diana - A Celebration,” a collection of items once belonging to Princess Diana, including her famous royal wedding dress.
The Grand Rapids International Wine & Food Festival takes place at the Steelcase Ballroom at DeVos Place, November 18-20, 2010. Hours are Thursday, November 18; 5pm - 9pm; Friday, November 19; 3pm - 9pm; and Saturday, November 20; 12pm - 9pm. Get info and tickets at www.GRWineFestival.com, tickets may also be purchased at all Ticketmaster outlets. --Rick Coates
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