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, 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.
 
Monday, May 23, 2011

Wishbones Coffee Shop & Cafe

Dining Ross Boissoneau Desperate times call for desperate measures.
That’s one way of looking at Wishbones, the coffeshop and café located smack dab in the middle of Cedar Creek Interiors furnishings and design store on Union Street.
Or you could look at it as a unique innovation, something that’s in vogue in some of the trend-setting areas of the country.
Kim Hooker says they’re both true.
“It’s something they’re doing in other places,” said Hooker, half the team at Cedar Creek Interiors, prior to the café’s opening. 
She also says that seeing other companies and stores going out of business locally and across the country gave them the impetus to try something different.
Hooker, an accredited designer, said she and her partner, owner Kevin Graves, were seeking a way to lend some new cachet to their store.
At the same time, Mark Fowler, one of the former principals at another local coffee shop, was looking for a new location. 
Opportunity, meet necessity. So Graves and Hooker began brainstorming with Fowler and his partner, Sarah Montgomery. “It’s about two couples who live together and work together – you’ve got to love that,” said Hooker.
 
Monday, May 23, 2011

Cheboygan Brewing Company

Dining Glen Young Not content to relax in retirement, Jamie McClurg, a retired Proctor and
Gamble executive who called Northern Michigan home in the 1970s, turned to
a buddy while sunning on a Florida beach in 2009, asking, “Do you want to
open a brewery in Cheboygan?”
McClurg laughs about the memory, but the result is the new Cheboygan
Brewing Company, set to open this weekend at the corner of North Main and
Pine Streets, a few blocks from where brewing first began on the banks of
the Cheboygan River in the late 19th century. Construction began in
October, with brewing commencing in mid-April. Now McClurg, his partners,
their investors and their employees are prepared to deliver their first
draught.
 
Monday, May 16, 2011

Bungalow Inn

Dining Ross Boissoneau There’s no pretension at the Bungalow Inn. But if you’re looking for
service with a smile and excellent food – award-winning food, according to
various surveys – then you’re in the right place.
Owner Dave Gunia is justifiably proud of his restaurant. After
consistently winning awards from local publications, including Best Prime
Rib and Best Burgers from the Express, it’s easy to see why.
While the Bungalow Inn has been guarding Manistee’s southern border for 20
years, it didn’t start out as an award-winning restaurant. In fact, it
didn’t start out as a restaurant at all, but as a bar catering to
nightlife, with live music and DJs.
 
Monday, May 16, 2011

Tastemakers: Lochenheath Classic Wedge/ Chateau Fontaine 2010 Gewurztraminer

Dining Rick Coates The restaurant at LochenHeath Golf Club (just north of the Grand Traverse
Resort) might just be the the region’s best kept secret. The golf course
closed its doors a few years ago as a result of financial difficulties and
since reopened just last week. Returning to the fold is Chef Joseph George
who was the chef at the time LochenHeath closed. George eventually took
over the executive chef responsibilities at the Grand Traverse Resort a
year ago but jumped at the chance to return to LochenHeath. With George at
the helm, guests can expect a first class dining experience. 
 
Monday, May 9, 2011

Tastemakers:Boyne City National Morel Festival /Cupcake Vodka

Dining Rick Coates Despite recent unseasonably cold temperatures the often elusive morels are popping up all over Northern Michigan. That is good new for the 51st Annual National Morel Festival in Boyne City. The four-day festival begins this Thursday May 12 and continues through Sunday May 15 and is loaded with several events.
Here are a few highlights for the weekend. On Friday May 13 the MorelFest “Wine & Dine” will take place at the Beach House Restaurant at Boyne Mountain from 5 - 7 pm.  Tickets are limited and can be purchased at the Boyne Area Chamber of Commerce for $40 per person.  Ticket holders will enjoy assorted gourmet hors d’ oeuvres paired with assorted wines. Here is a sampling of what is being offered: Morel, Grilled Ramp and Gruyere Quiches, Marinated Morels served in Belgian Endive Cups with a Port Wine Vinaigrette and topped with Toasted Pine Nut and Morel Meatloaf Sliders.
 
Monday, May 2, 2011

Stone House

Dining Ross Boissoneau One the Rise: Stone House: Café offers two locations and statewide reach
By Ross Boissoneau
There are now two cafés and a host of pastries and beverages available, but making the dough at Stone House Bread is all about, well, making the dough.
And it should be no other way. “It’s all about the bread,” said Toni Spearing, the owner of Stone House Bread.
With a café in Traverse City and one at the original location in Leland, plus the loaves on the shelves of grocery stores throughout the region as well as downstate, those looking for “an honest loaf of bread” have more opportunities than ever to find one.
 
Monday, May 2, 2011

Tastemakers: Mother‘s Day Brunch Stafford‘s style/Early Times Mint Julep

Dining Rick Coates Mother’s Day Brunch Stafford’s Style
Looking for that perfect spot to take Mom this weekend? Try one of the restaurants from Stafford’s Hospitality; each of their four locations will offer their annual Mother’s Day Brunch this Sunday. However, this year they will all have a little different “flavor” as Stafford’s Hospitality founders Stafford and Janice Smith will appear at each of the four brunches.
The Smiths will be signing copies of “Stafford’s Hospitality: Fifty Years of Historic Lodging and Waterfront Dinning.” Typically Stafford takes the position behind the carving station at Stafford’s Bay View Inn for Sunday Brunch during the summer months but this year the Smith’s, who winter in Arizona, returned early to help the company they founded 50 years ago celebrate. The couple will stagger their visits to each the restaurants with a schedule of their appearance times on their website. Of course this is a loose schedule as many patrons will want to share their memories of Stafford’s Hospitality while getting their books signed.
 
Monday, April 25, 2011

Grain Train

Dining Kristi Kates The Great Grain Train Turns 40: Petoskey co-op has stuck to its ideals
By Kristi Kates
“The Grain Train Natural Foods Cooperative was born in 1971, when a group
of Petoskey area residents joined together to obtain quality foods at
reasonable prices,” explains Grain Train General Manager Bob Struthers,
“food that was not overly refined and was free from unnecessary
additives.”
 
 
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