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:Saveur Thyme at the hearth & Vine/ Tandem Ciders Smackentosh

Rick Coates - August 22nd, 2011
Saveur Thyme at the Hearth & Vine
After two weeks of highlighting Chef Mario Batali’s love affair with Northern Michigan in Tastemakers and Bottoms Up, we find the chef still on his self-imposed PR campaign for the region.
Last week Batali appeared on ABC’s Good Morning America program after GMA viewers selected the Sleeping Bear Sand Dunes region as the “Most Beautiful Place In America.” A camera crew followed Batali around earlier this summer as he highlighted some of his favorite places. When the results of the balloting were announced, Batali Skyped the show, answering questions from the host about Northern Michigan. In addition he had his New York culinary team prepare some of his favorite Northern Michigan dishes for the show hosts to sample.
One of the places Batali raved about was the Saveur Thyme at the Hearth & Vine, located on the grounds of the Black Star Farms Winery. Owned by Chef Paul Carlson and his wife Susan, Hearth & Vine is a cozy cafe and wine bar featuring gourmet wood-fired pizzas, delicious soups, salads, sandwiches, and more. Batali told viewers that Hearth & Vine is one of “his go to places” when he and his family visit Northern Michigan. He let viewers also know that he “spends his entire summer in paradise.”
The declaration by Batali and the recognition is already paying off as Facebook and Twitter is blowing up with the news. Several postings and tweets coming from those who have never visited are saying they are planning on it. Some even posted to the Hearth & Vine Facebook page they were coming this weekend.
This bodes well for not only Hearth & Vine but Northern Michigan as whole. Batali is fresh off his raving review of the region in Bon Appetite and now he has stepped up to the plate again. Interesting that another Leelanau Peninsula resident and celebrity Tim Allen was silent in these latest national kudos for the region. Allen is paid big bucks by the state to be the voice of the Pure Michigan ad campaign. Here is an idea -- maybe Travel Michigan should look to hire Batali -- he seems to be doing the job already. To watch the various GMA clips go to abcnews.go.com/GMA and search their site, there are three clips in all. For info on Hearth & Vine find them at http://saveurthyme.blogspot.com --Rick Coates

Tandem Ciders Smackintosh

Much of the focus of this weekend’s Traverse City Microbrew & Music Festival will be on the 35 participating microbreweries. But attendees would be remiss in not trying the hard cider offerings from the six cider makers that will also be on hand. Michigan ranks second in the nation in apple production and while cherries get all the hype in Northern Michigan, apples and grapes are closing in.
Cider makers such as Tandem Ciders are starting to pop up in the region and even some wineries are making fermented ciders.
Tandem, located on the Leelanau Peninsula just north of Suttons Bay, focuses on small-batch ciders that “reflect character of the land where the apples are grown.”
Cider maker Dan Young uses apples from the region that he turns to juice “with a traditional rack and cloth press” and then the juice will “be fermented using standard styles, and the resulting cider will be bottled ‘straight’ or blended with a little Leelanau County imagination.” Currently Tandem is bottling eight ciders and also offers draft ciders by the growler at their facility.
One of the favorites is their Smackintosh made with McIntosh apples (obviously), Rhode Island Greening, and Northern Spy. It’s a sweet and fresh tasting fruity cider. As Dan describes it, “think suddenly you’re a kid eating a candy apple in the fall.”
One of the things Tandem is very good about is letting everyone know where the apples come from. For this particular blend apples come from both the Old Mission and Leelanau Penisula from Wunsch Orchards, Shultz Orchards, and Kolarik Brothers.
Smackintosh is a great appetizer wine and works well with cheeses, especially the Leelanau Cheese Company Raclette. Enjoy with grilled poultry, and with small game season around the corner, try with pheasant with apple chutney.
If you haven’t had a chance to try a hard cider get out to the Microbrew & Music Fest this weekend at the Village at Grand Traverse Commons. Or visit Tandem Ciders at their operation located just north of Suttons Bay. For hours and directionscheck out www.tandemciders.com
--Rick Coates

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