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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Dining

 
Monday, July 18, 2011

Tastemakers: The Fusion Spicy 3-Way/The Fusion Sake 3-Way

Dining Rick Coates The Fusion Spicy 3-Way
There are several reasons to visit Frankfort, the obvious being the beach in the summer time. If you’re lucky enough to score a tee time at Crystal Downs, consistently rated among the top 10 golf courses in the U.S. that would be another. Charter boat fishing opportunities are plentiful as well. The recently renovated Garden Theater might be another.
Making a day or weekend excursion to the Frankfort/Elberta area has lots in store, and certainly a stop at The Fusion should be a part of that journey. This restaurant makes my very short list of restaurants in the region that. have dined at least a couple of dozen times and not once have I or my guests had a bad meal or bad service.
During a recent visit my family and I had the good fortune to have Flipz (his nickname -- he is the agile one -- his brother not so is nicknamed Slipz) as our server, he was exceptional in every aspect of his service, guiding us through the menu. This was important as my family decided to be adventurous and try some new dishes.
Soup is included with your entree and I opted for the Hot & Sour which was exceptional. For my entree I went with the Spicy 3-Way which features the General’s Chicken, a dish that is listed on the menu as the “staff’s favorite” (the menu is loaded with recommendations including the UPS driver’s favorite). General’s Chicken is found on most Asian restaurant menus though common belief is it was developed in New York in the ‘70s. The sauce is the secret to the success of this dish along with the lightly breaded chicken.
 
Monday, July 11, 2011

Rico‘s of Manistee

Dining Ross Boissoneau It‘s all in the family for Rico‘s in Manistee
By Ross Boissoneau
From the outside, with its log exterior and rather low-slung appearance, Rico’s looks rather like an old roadhouse.
But inside, the restaurant on M-55 just northeast of Manistee is surprisingly bright, shiny and roomy. The warm, glowing wood, bright lights, and welcoming smiles make it clear that this is someplace you can relax and enjoy a meal.
That is a direct reflection of the attitude of owners Gary and Mary Diebel. They want to make sure their customers enjoy the area as much as they do.
Like so many others, after years of vacationing in the area, the Diebels longed to move north permanently. They lived in Ada and worked in Grand Rapids, but the lure of Northern Michigan was strong.
 
Monday, July 4, 2011

Global Wine Pavillion

Dining Rick Coates Master Sommelier Ron Edwards has been busy tasting a lot of wine in recent days. Not for his personal benefit, but rather for the hundreds of attendees at the National Cherry Festival’s Global Wine Pavilion Wednesday - Friday (July 6 - 8) from 5 to 10 pm each night.
Edwards, who is based in Charlevoix, serves as a wine consultant to restaurants and wine events throughout Michigan. He is busy finalizing a wine menu that will feature 90 plus wines from around the world.
“Your exploration can include at least 30 different grapes, and wines from Michigan, South Africa, Portugal, California, Argentina, and beyond,” said Edwards in his blog. “You haven’t tried a Tempranillo, Nebbiolo or Viognier; well come find at least one of each.”
The Global Wine Pavilion is the brainchild of Matt Sutherland, who co-founded The Epicurean Classic and has lent his wine and event planning expertise to several events in the area.
“This partnership was born out of my interest in expanding wine tasting opportunities in the region and the Cherry Festival’s goal of expanding their audience,” said Sutherland. “We have seen this event grow each year and even earlier this spring at sneak preview night under some pretty cold conditions several people came out to get a taste of what is in store for them during the Festival.”
 
Monday, July 4, 2011

Tastemakers:Cherry Pie Whole Beer/Bacardi Arctic Grape

Dining Rick Coates Cherry Pie
Whole Beer

The breweries of Northern Michigan have taken the art of craft brewing to a “whole” new level as of late. Now, Right Brain have taken the cake, uh “the pie” with their latest creation.
Located in the Warehouse District of Traverse City, Right Brain Brewery just released their Cherry Pie Whole Beer, using 50 whole cherry crumb pies from the Grand Traverse Pie Company.
This actually is the second “pie whole” brew from Right Brain which launched the concept this past February with their original Pie Whole beer made with 75 carmel apple pies from the Grand Traverse Pie Company.
When asked why another pie beer? proprietor Russell Springsteen stated, “Why not? It makes sense and it was really fun the first time. Plus, Grand Traverse Pie Company has such a fantastic variety of flavors!”
 
Monday, June 27, 2011

Spice Harbor

Dining Kristi Kates  Having just passed its one-year anniversary, Sarah Moglovkin’s kitchen
store, Spice Harbor, is doing great and spicing up the culinary lives of
Harbor Springs and Petoskey residents.
Inspired by two of Moglovkin’s favorite retailers, Sur La Table and
Williams-Sonoma, Spice Harbor is like a miniature version of the kitchen
stores seen in bigger cities, with all of your cooking necessities, and
plenty of quirkly, smartly-designed kitchen accessories that aspiring
chefs probably didn’t even know they needed.
 
Monday, June 27, 2011

The Manor

Dining Ross Boissoneau The Manor. Sounds kind of stately, which it is. And kind of pretentious,
which it decidedly is not.
Overlooking Glen Lake beyond M-22, The Manor is both a testament to days
gone by and to today’s fine cuisine. A family heirloom, it looks toward
both the past and the future, with white table cloths and class, yes. But
there’s a decidedly welcoming, casual vibe to the place as well.
It starts with the setting among tall trees overlooking Little Glen Lake’s
southern shore. The porch, which runs the length of the restaurant, can
host drinks or dining.
 
Monday, June 27, 2011

Tastemakers:Harrington?s By The Bay Pork Involtini/Michelle?s Miracle Tart Cherry Concentrate

Dining Rick Coates Restaurateurs John McGee and Glen Harrington were struggling to come up with a name for their new restaurant. Taking over the former Freshwater Lodge location on West Bay in TC last fall, everything was set for a winter remodel and a spring opening except the name.
“We were tossing around about 100 potential names and it was to the point where we couldn’t move forward with several things without a name,” said McGee. “So I wrote two names on a slip of paper and put one in each hand. I asked Glen to pick a hand, he had no idea why, and he did and I opened the slip and it was Harrington’s, so that is the name we went with, of course the other slip had my name on it.”
 
Monday, June 20, 2011

Grand Traverse Pie

Dining Ross Boissoneau When Mike and Denise Busley announced plans to open a second Grand
Traverse Pie Company store in Traverse City, the reaction from most people
was twofold: That’s a great idea, but won’t it take sales away from their
existing store?
Mike Busley said they had the same thoughts, but thought the two were far
enough apart, with one on each end of downtown Front Street, that it would
work. And a month in, he said they are pleased with both the direction of
the store and the fact the existing location doesn’t seem to be
experiencing any downturn.
 
Monday, June 13, 2011

Port City Organics

Dining Ross Boissoneau Port City Organics:‘Real Food’ and a healthful message in Manistee
By Ross Boissoneau
If you’re looking for a magic potion, a fountain of youth, you’re pretty
much out of luck.
But if you’re looking for the best that man can currently offer in the way
of healthy foods, even massage or meditation, you’re in the right place.
That right place is Port City Organics Real Food Market & Wellness Center,
located at 321 1st Street in Manistee. There you’ll find organic and wild
foods and supplements, familiar names such as Food for Thought, Stone
House Bread, Pleasanton Brick Oven Bakery, Higher Grounds coffee.
“We call it a real food market – there’s no real definition of a natural
food or natural product,” said Joe Dumas, who along with his wife Lori
owns the operation.
 
Monday, June 13, 2011

Boone Docks

Dining Ross Boissoneau On Deck at the Boone Docks
By Ross Boissoneau
People in Glen Arbor know where to go for the action. And for twigs and a brush pile too.
Those are actually two of the items on the woodsy-themed menu at Boone Docks. If the twigs (toasted black bean spring rolls) or brush pile (French fries with bacon, cheese and tomatoes) aren’t for you, then maybe you’d prefer the battered bear toes (mozzarella sticks), or a pile of wood chips (a.k.a. nachos).
That woodsy theme extends to the décor, with knotty pine and stone predominant in the friendly, casual interior. 
And if you’re looking for live music and a lively atmosphere, then the exterior is the place to be. You can join the revelry from the deck nightly in the summer. 
“We’ve got live music every night,” said Boone Docks owner Bob Ewing, between serving drinks and watching out for the little ones scurrying around the deck.
That combination – lively music, festive food, and a family atmosphere – encapsulates Ewing’s philosophy. 
“We’re a fun, family restaurant,” Ewing said. “You look at the deck, and you’ll always have eight or ten kids running around. 
“Some places might not appreciate that, but that’s what we’re all about. In some restaurants, the kids get antsy. We love it.”
 
Monday, June 13, 2011

Tastemakers:Palette Bistro Seafood and Sausage Paella/Copa di Vino

Dining Rick Coates Last summer’s Paella (pie-AY-ya) in the Park was a major hit; not only did it sell out days in advance, it was also the talk of the town. Certainly the Porterhouse Productions event will be one of the most sought-after tickets this summer as well (August 5 at the former Clinch Park Zoo and tickets go on sale soon at www.porterhouseproductions.com), but must we wait once a year to enjoy paella? 
Thankfully this Spanish/Mediterranean inspired dish is available daily at the Palette Bistro in Petoskey. Prepared in a “personal sized” paella pan the Palette Bistro Seafood and Sausage Paella is an exceptional dish reflective of its Spanish origins. Perfectly seasoned shrimp, scallops and andouille sausage blended with rice and peppers this paella has a hint of zip to it and pairs nicely with a Gewurtztraminer or summer wheat style beer (it was nearly 90 degrees so beer was the best pairing on this particular day and I dined outside on their street-level patio) 
 
Monday, June 13, 2011

Picnic Picks The Top 10 for Charlevoix & the Little Traverse Area

Dining Kristi Kates With its many open spaces, parks, waterfront destinations, and nature trails, it’s no wonder that “Up North” is thought to be the perfect spot for both al fresco restaurant dining and picnicking. Scott Herceg, executive director of the Harbor Springs Chamber of Commerce, perhaps says it best:
“We’re so fortunate to live here, you can be ‘on vacation’ five minutes away from your house.”
We asked Herceg and several other local experts from north of Traverse City which places they’d choose “Up North” to take a blanket and a picnic basket - and these were their picks. 
 
Monday, June 6, 2011

Tastemakers: The Cook‘s House; Circa Estate Winery

Dining Rick Coates When chefs Eric Patterson and Jennifer Blakeslee opened The Cooks’ House in downtown Traverse City four years ago they did so under the premise that their patrons would be able to BYOB (bring their own bottle of wine or beer). The formula worked at first, with an 18-seat eatery The Cooks’ House was too small to obtain a liquor license under Michigan law. 

The Cooks’ House quickly climbed to the ranks of one of the best restaurants in the region and reservations were often needed a month out. Their success was built around a menu that features local ingredients along with the BYOB advantage. 

Everything seemed to be perfect until someone complained about the BYOB. Now Michigan laws are cloudy when it comes to BYOB and events that have complimentary alcohol at them (last fall the Express ran a three part series on the issue). Just over a year ago The Cooks’ House was told by the Traverse City Police they could no longer offer the BYOB despite the fact that other local businesses were actually giving away free beer and wine at various events during the year. The decision hurt their business and they lost nearly 50 percent of their reservations over the past year. 
 
Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Tastemakers: 20 years of Northern Michigan‘s culinary scene/ A toast to our beverage industry

Dining Rick Coates The culinary scene in the region has really blossomed over the past 20 years. It is really hard to pinpoint exactly when and who was responsible for it taking off. I like to think that the agricultural community essentially the farmers and producers from 150 years ago were responsible. Whoever planted that first cherry tree and the others who saw this region as an agricultural goldmine really deserve the credit.
When the Northern Express launched in 1991 the emergence of a new restaurant scene was underway. Places like Tapawingo and Rowe Inn in Ellsworth were two restaurants at the center of moving the Northern Michigan palette away from oversized Midwest meat and potatoes portions
 
Monday, May 23, 2011

Cooper‘s Pub & Grill

Dining Kristi Kates There’s a new restaurant in town - well, city, that is, and Boyne City, to be specific. That restaurant, Cooper’s Pub and Grill, has taken over the old 220 Lake Street locale courtesy of its founder, Patrick Schaller. It’s already made a big splash among locals, and is poised to be an even bigger draw for this year’s crop of tourists old and new.
Schaller, who was a restaurant investor in the past, says that actually owning and running his own restaurant is a new venture to him; his prior work was mostly in advertising and other unrelated projects.
 
 
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