Happy Hour

A weekly snapshot of Happy Hours around the region…


FireFly
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

Fred's
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.

MONEY'S PLATTE RIVER INN:
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.

BC LANES FAMILY ENTERTAIMENT CENTER:
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.

CHINA ONE:
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.

A&W:
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.

BIG BUCK BREWERY & STEAKHOUSE:
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.

THE NEW YORK RESTAURANT:
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.

EMPIRE VILLAGE INN: 
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.

JESPERSON'S:
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.
 
CUPPA JOE:
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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Monday, February 15, 2010

Tastemakers: Bourbon 72 tableside flambe/Beer is back

Dining Rick Coates Bourbon 72 Tableside Flambé
I was having a conversation recently with an employee from Turtle Creek Casino in Williamsburg who asked if I had been out to the casino lately. I responded that I am not a casino person and that gambling is just not my thing. He chuckled and said: “No, you mean gaming is not your thing; but there is so much more to do than just gaming, you should come for dinner and one of the shows.”
So I went to dinner at Bourbon 72 at Turtle Creek Casino and was impressed with every aspect of my experience. It started with the attention to detail from our server Aaron. He guided my wife and me through our entrée selections and even recommended a great bottle of wine for us.
 
Monday, February 8, 2010

Tastemakers: Phil‘s on Front Chocolate Lounge/ MYNORTH Passion Brew Brew with Benefits

Dining Rick Coates Phil’s On Front Chocolate Lounge
Chef Phil Murray has been on the cutting edge of the culinary scene in Northern Michigan for the past 25 years. His Window’s restaurant was a popular destination for years on West Grand Traverse Bay and while the entrées and service were always exceptional, so were the homemade confectionary creations.
A few years back he opened Chocolate Exotica in Traverse City, featuring an array of chocolates and desserts. Recently he opened Phil’s on Front (across from the State Theatre), and Murray has picked up right where he left off when he closed Windows.
 
Monday, February 8, 2010

Giovanni‘s Roadhouse

Dining Danielle Horvath Giovanni’s Roadhouse
A taste of Italy upholds its tradition in Interlochen
By Danielle Horvath
Giovanni’s Roadhouse in Interlochen received a makeover when new
owners purchased it just over two years ago, but it remains true to
its roots – serving good comfort food in a cozy and friendly
atmosphere.
 
Monday, February 1, 2010

Meet Chef Carrie Trogan

Dining Rick Coates Meet Chef Carrie Trogan
She brings a touch of Chicago’s style to Hanna Bistro
By Rick Coates
Executive Chef Carrie Trogan of Hanna Bistro in Traverse City left her home in
Saginaw to pursue a psychology degree at Western Michigan University. Growing up, she had not given much thought to becoming a chef, but after college graduation she moved to Chicago where she found herself helping friends cater parties.
Trogan caught the culinary bug and headed off to chef school. After working in a variety of positions at kitchens in Chicago and out west, her parents suggested that she move to Traverse City (where they had recently retired) and try to get a job working for Amanda Danielson at Trattoria Stella (their favorite place). Lucky for Rob Giffer and Hanna that Stella was not hiring.
Chef Carrie took time after a busy Tuesday night dinner rush to share some thoughts:
 
Monday, February 1, 2010

Folgarelli‘s

Dining Al Parker When you’ve been voted the No. 1 sandwich maker in Traverse City for
eight years, you might get a little complacent.
But Donna Folgarelli is as energetic, optimistic and excited as if
she’s opening the doors on a spanking new business instead of
operating a TC landmark that has been dishing up delicious eats for
more than three decades.
 
Monday, February 1, 2010

Tastemakers: Boathouse Restaurant Wild Game Dinner/ Taste the Passion

Dining Rick Coates 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.
 
Monday, January 25, 2010

Tastemakers: Hanna whitefish cake & bittersweet chocolate cake/ Acustic Draft Mead Cherry BZZZ

Dining Rick Coates Hanna Whitefish Cake & Bittersweet Chocolate Cake
When Executive Chef Carrie Trogan took over the kitchen at Hanna from proprietor Jim Milliman (also of Hattie’s fame) she had some pretty big shoes to fill. But Chef Carrie took a different approach: She decided to bring her own shoes and create a name for herself. Along with new proprietor Rob Giffer (long-time manager for Milliman at Hattie’s and Hanna) Chef Carrie has taken the popular downtown eatery into a different culinary direction.
She has energized the menu with her creativity by blending local favorites with classic recipes. For example, her Whitefish Cake is a play on crab cakes.
“Everyone has a crab cake -- I wanted to give it a different look and to use whitefish,” she says. The Whitefish Cake has been a big hit, especially with visitors to the area. The presentation is impressive and the chunks of whitefish blended with smoked corn, smoked portabella, sautéed and roasted, make for a tasty gastronomic experience and a welcome change from the traditional planked, broiled or blackened whitefish.
Chef Carrie finishes off the Whitefish Cake with a topping of watercress and apple slaw and places the cake on a bed of rice and greens and serves it with a roasted red pepper sauce. This entrée or appetizer pairs nicely with several wines from the wine list that Rob Giffer has carefully crafted from a variety of unique boutique wineries from around the world.
 
Monday, January 18, 2010

Take a break at Breakers in Topinbee

Dining C.J.Ray Take a Break at Breakers in Topinabee
By C.J. Ray
At the crossroads of good times and good food, sits a rustic, lakeside tavern loaded with history, dating back to 1940. The Breakers Bar & Grill sits across the street from Mullet Lake in the small town of Topinabee. Antique photographs from the area cover the knotty pine walls.
“The Breakers is a local watering hole for everybody,” says owner Derrick Schittekat. “It’s gone through several changes since the 1940s. The horseshoe bar, and kitchen were added a few years ago, and we just finished our exterior patio, offering outdoor dining with a spectacular view of beautiful Mullet Lake.”
 
Monday, January 18, 2010

Tastemakers: Homemade food on the fly/Dutchess Vodka

Dining Rick Coates Homemade Food on the Fly
The Flying Bowl is located at the entrance of Centre Ice just off of Hammond Road. It is a tough location because of traffic, so getting in an’ out is somewhat of a challenge (I know, I have been doing it for years taking my son to hockey) as Hammond seems to be the Autobahn bypass for Traverse City. But battling traffic is well worth the trip to The Flying Bowl even if it is just for a bowl of their Sirloin Chili. I do not know if this chili has ever been entered in any local chili competitions but I see it challenging the best chili around.
We all have our favorite dish and mine is pot roast with mash potatoes and gravy. I learned the art of this meal from my grandmothers so when I had it for the first time at The Flying Bowl I was wondering if they too had spent time with my grandmothers in their kitchens.
 
Monday, January 18, 2010

The spirited life

Dining Rick Coates The Spirited Life
Good times flow at speakeasy cocktail bash this Saturday
By Rick Coates
Party like it’s 1929, well minus Prohibition, there are some things going
on lately that are remarkably similar to the start of the Great
Depression.  
 
Monday, January 11, 2010

Tastemakers: 2010 Restaurant/beverage trends

Dining Rick Coates 2010 Food/Restaurant/Beverage Trends
The world of food and beverage is changing quickly and with the start of a new year, and even a new decade, it is time to talk trends. Concerns over food safety and health-related issues (using your diet to combat influenzas, disease and new world viruses) are two driving factors in a changing food world that has consumers seeking out local and organic foods. Look for similar books to Dr. John La Puma’s popular 2009 ChefMD’s Big Book of Culinary Medicine: A Food Lover’s Road Map to: Losing Weight, Preventing Disease, Getting Really Healthy.
But with that said, the hot menu item is fried chicken. But look for healthier versions of this classic popping up on menus with free range—skin off—oven-baked fried chicken leading the way (traditionalists will beg to differ). Lamb dishes are also hot, pork is not, and burgers are getting mixed reviews (but does anyone think that a good burger will ever lose favor?).
 
Monday, January 4, 2010

A Conversation with Chef Ted

Dining Rick Coates A Conversation with Chef Ted
By Rick Coates
Executive Chef Ted Cizma epitomizes the modern day chef—“this is not a
job, it is a lifestyle”—seven day work weeks, 15 hour days and
believing that being a great chef is more than just about the food, it
is about creating a “memorable experience.”
He took time from his busy schedule to answer a few questions.
 
Monday, January 4, 2010

Tastemakers: Gravlax/Michigan Bubbly

Dining Rick Coates Gravlax (Lox)
This time of the year lots of people reach into the family cookbooks preparing foods in honor of their heritage. We just finished making a year’s supply of pirogues in my family, honoring my wife’s Polish ancestry. One of my favorite ethnic dishes this time of the year is Gravlax, and since our region is rooted in Scandinavian settlers, I always scan the appetizer tables at parties looking for it.
Gravlax (Gravad Lax, Lox) is a traditional method of preparing salmon by coating spices and then covering and weighing down to draw out the salmon flavor. It’s also prepared in Germany, Nova Scotia and Scotland.
 
Monday, December 28, 2009

Guiseppe‘s Italian Grille

Dining Kristi Kates Charlevoix’s Italian Connection
By Kristi Kates
Opened in December of 1998, Giuseppe’s Italian Grille transformed the previous building’s occupant - the American-cuisine restaurant Alexander’s - into an Italian restaurant, “something we thought the town would like,” says Giuseppe’s Robbin Moffat.
Over 10 years later, Giuseppe’s is still going strong, and is a favorite of both Charlevoix residents - where the restaurant resides on the outskirts, north of town - and Northern Michigan visitors alike.
 
Monday, December 21, 2009

Tastemakers; Christmas Dinner/ Traverse City Winter Microbrew & Music Festival

Dining Rick Coates Christmas Dinner
Bob Dylan was right, the times, they are a-changin’. It started with grocery stores offering pre-made holiday dinners years ago. You could pre-order dinner and simply warm it up and relax and enjoy the holidays. Many hotels for years have been offering meals during the holidays as well for the traveling public.
Now restaurants are joining in and with good reason. More and more families are on the go; and going out to dinner on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day makes sense for many. As one friend told me “it takes the stress out of the day for us and it is less expensive.”
 
 
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