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North Country Grill & Pub

Al Parker - July 13th, 2009
North Country Grill and Pub
Boone family brings recipe for success to Suttons Bay

By Al Parker 7/13/09

One of Northern Michigan’s long-established foodie families is offering
top quality cuisine in a comfy cabin atmosphere on the main drag of
Suttons Bay.
Veteran restaurant owner and operator Barry Boone, his close friend Karen
Lautner, and daughter Chelsea Boone opened North Country Grill and Pub
last July, closed in November, then re-opened in mid-April.
They’ve been busy serving a steady stream of hungry visitors ever since
after extensively remodeling the building, which formerly housed the
seasonal vegetarian joint Café Bliss.
The Boones added a comfortable bar, put in a beamed ceiling and opened up
the interior, lining the place with recycled barn wood on the walls,
booths, and tables. There’s seating for 52 inside.
“There are 15 pieces of wood in each chair,” says Chelsea, taking a break
from her day-manager duties to talk about the new non-smoking restaurant
venture. “We want you to feel like you’ve come to a relaxing cabin in the
north woods - really welcoming and comfortable.”
For those who may prefer open-air dining, a sprawling patio area provides
seating for 72.
“It’s been going really well,” says Chelsea. “We’ve had a lot of
first-time customers and quite a few regulars who are coming in most every
day too.”

Lunch is served from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and is highlighted by a hefty North
Country Burger, a half-pound of ground sirloin grilled to order on the
restaurant’s open-flame outdoor grill. With kettle chips and a crunchy
dill pickle spear, it’s a bargain at only $4.95.
“We’re really known for our burgers,” notes Chelsea. “We grind all of our
own beef mixture for the burgers.”
Or try a taste of Havana with a Pulled Pork Cuban Sandwich of
Carolina-mustard-BBQ-styled pulled pork, salami, cheddar cheese, lettuce
and tomato served on grilled ciabatta ($7.95).
Another popular lunch pick is the BBQ Chicken Sandwich, a six-ounce
chicken breast grilled and topped with chef Brian Buckler’s special
Jagermeister-ginger BBQ sauce and swiss cheese ($6.95).
For vegetarians, there’s a Toasted Vegetable Panini, a mound of
slow-roasted ratatouille of sweet peppers, onions, zucchini, eggplant,
sun-dried tomatoes and asiago cheese on focaccia bread ($7.95). There’s
also a choice of three salads – Cherry, Chicken and Walnut ($8.95), Warm
Spinach ($8.95) and a classic Caesar ($7.95).
“We call it American casual with something for everyone,” says Chelsea.
“We try to make everything fresh whenever we can. We’re not just bar
North Country Grille’s dinner menu proves her point.
One popular entrée is the restaurant’s Chicken Marsala, featuring a pair
of pan-seared six-ounce chicken breasts finished with fresh mushroom,
carmelized onions, garlic and Marsala wine ($12.95). Another is the
Grilled Pork Loin, served with a cider reduction ($14.95).
Ask your server about the Pasta Special of the day - usually featuring
chicken or seafood - that comes with a house salad.

Seafood lovers will want to try the locally-caught, fresh Lake Michigan
Whitefish, which is charbroiled, baked or deep-fried according to your
preference ($15.95). Another local favorite is the Yellow Perch,
lightly-battered and fried to a golden hue and served with herb remoulade
and lemon ($15.95). Order the Blue Tiger Prawns and you’ll get a
half-pound of beauties steamed, deep-fried or grilled with Buckler’s tasty
Jagermeister-ginger BBQ sauce ($15.95).
Much of the Boone family reputation is built around their beef entrees,
and North Country Grille and Pub has an impressive selection of those. If
you’re in the mood for a 16-ounce New York Strip Steak grilled to
perfection ($15.95) or an eight-ounce Black Angus Filet Mignon served with
green peppercorn and brandy au jus ($19.95), you won’t be disappointed.
For big appetites, the menu offers a massive 22-ounce Big Boone Cut Prime
Rib ($19.95) and also a 16-ounce version ($15.95)
“The thing that makes some of our guests’ jaws drop is the prime rib,”
smiles Chelsea. “They get so much at a reasonable price. Also, we cut all
of our New Yorks right here. “We take a lot of pride in that.”
The restaurant’s bar features a full selection of liquors, beers and
wines, especially northern Michigan wines. “We really support the Leelanau
wines and wineries,” says Chelsea. “We use local foods whenever we
possibly can.”

North Country Grill and Pub, at 420
Saint Joseph St. in Suttons Bay, is open Monday-Thursday 11 a.m. to 10
p.m., Friday and Saturday 11a.m. to 11 p.m., Sunday noon to 10 p.m. For
takeout orders, call (231)271-5000.

  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
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