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 · An Olive With a Twist
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An Olive With a Twist

Unassuming cafe by day; cozy high-end bistro by night.

Ross Boissoneau - April 14th, 2014  

The Twisted Olive in Petoskey opens each day for the breakfast and lunch crowd, but at 3pm transitions to an elegant eatery open at 5pm.

No matter what time of day it is, it adds up to an engaging dining experience.


Twisted Olive opened in May four years ago as a breakfast and lunchtime eatery. That changed a year and a half ago when a liquor license became available. Owner Kirsten Okeefe saw it as an opportunity to expand her business, and added dinner service.

“Liquor licenses are hard to come by,” she said. “The city was granted six new licenses; I was the first to apply.”

The response from diners has made her glad she did.

“Dinner was definitely the right decision,” Okeefe said.

Okeefe was convinced from the beginning that the location, high on a hill overlooking Little Traverse Bay, was perfect for a restaurant.

When it became available, she approached the building’s owner, and Twisted Olive’s take on breakfast and lunch was an almost immediate hit.

Okeefe hired Chef Russell Miller, and together the two created a menu that expanded the restaurant’s blend of Mediterranean and American fare.

The open kitchen, located in the dining room’s middle, allows diners to watch their order evolve … that is, if they’re not too entranced by the view.

“We’re literally in the dining room,” said Okeefe, who takes her turn cooking alongside Miller and the kitchen staff. “You can hear the kitchen conversations.”


Twisted Olive’s Mediterranean-inspired menu uses many of the staples from that region, such as olive oil, pine nuts, feta cheese, and a variety of greens and vegetables.

These ingredients pop up in the restaurant’s traditional American dishes, such as grilled cheese, roasted chicken, and omelettes.

In the morning, diners can order Eggs Monaco, two basted eggs, grilled house-made challah, asparagus, and saffron hollandaise; Croque Madame with hearty bread, French baked ham, provolone cheese, béchamel, Parmesan cheese, and the egg of your choice on top; or sweet treats like vanilla-scented pancakes.

On the lunch (bistro) side, salads include the Green Goat with pine nuts, tomatoes, and goat cheese boule; and Pumpkin Salad, with roasted pumpkin, dried blueberries, candied walnuts and Gorgonzola cheese. Pasta, pizza, and sandwiches like Whitefish Puttanesca or Mediterranean Chicken Salad with pine nuts and golden raisins round out the offerings.

Dinner diners can order roasted peppers stuffed with sundried tomato quinoa, zucchini, yellow squash, snap peas, serrano peppers, and a honey balsamic glaze.

Black cod is pan-seared with the skin on and served with roasted tomato and watercress, spinach and Parmesan risotto.

Starters include Steamed Mussels with herbs, white wine, pernod cream, fire roasted tomatoes, and grilled baguette; or Yellowfin Tuna crusted with a mix of spices, seared rare, shaved fennel and arugula salad, harissa aioli, and mango relish.

Various specials make an appearance during the week.


Miller and Okeefe agree on the best dishes for dinner, though which one tops the list generates some discussion.

“It’s the scallops or rabbit,” said Okeefe. “My personal favorite is the rabbit,” Miller said. “Ours is very, very tender. We braise the rabbit whole.”

“So often rabbit can be tough,” Okeefe added.

To keep that from happening, they braise it in a mix of garlic, onion, celery, carrot, tomato, beef stock, and the secret ingredients: cola and root beer.

Starters such as the tostadas with fava bean, corn, pickled red onion, cilantro cream and the steamed mussels find favor with diners.

“The mussels are a great appetizer,” said Miller.

In the morning – or afternoon – omelettes rule, either with a Bloody Mary or the day’s selection. There are always freshly baked treats as well. If you’re into soup, the daily selection varies, and the lemon rosemary chicken with orzo is always a hit.


The biggest surprise for Okeefe has been how busy the restaurant has become.

“I anticipated keeping it small,” she said.

“Now we have 30-plus employees.”

While the dinner business has taken off even more than she expected, Okeefe isn’t neglecting the other meals.

“It’s our breakfast that brings people in,” she said.

Many of their customers return, both later in the day and later in the week.

“We have a lot of people who come in two or three times a week for lunch,” said Miller.

Miller points again to the setting. “It’s a spectacular view,” he said. “Apart from the entry, there’s not a seat where you can’t see the water.”


Breakfasts start at $7.95. Soup starts at $3.95; sandwiches at $6.95. At dinnertime, small plates start at $11; entrees at $22.

Twisted Olive is located at 319 Bay St. in Petoskey. Phone (231) 487-1230; online visit twisted-olive.com or its Facebook page. Hours are Tuesday-Sunday 8am- 10pm; open seven days in the summer.

  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
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