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Tasteful

Ross Boissoneau - November 5th, 2012  

STONY POINT PUB’S

twisted take on pub fare


A sports staple is pairing the eager rookie with the veteran who knows the ropes.

Extend that metaphor to a sports bar, and you’ve got the beginnings of Suttons Bay’s newest eatery, the Stony Point Pub.

The wily veteran is Mark Waldrup, co-owner of the pub with his wife Julie. He started in the restaurant business as a teen, and worked his way up. “I’ve been in the business 22 years,” he said.

That includes 10 years in Traverse City, where Waldrup became a familiar face at Dillinger’s and Bootlegger’s. From there, he headed west, where for four years he owned a bar in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. “I’m a big snowboarder,” he said.

But while Waldrup loved the mountains, he and Julie, who grew up on Lake Leelanau, also missed this area, and they ultimately opted to return.

NORTHBOUND CHEF

So there’s your veteran. The fresh-cheeked youngster is executive chef Anie Driscoll. The 22-year-old left the University of Michigan during her freshman year, despite the fact she was getting all A’s, and got in her car and drove north. “This is where I ran out of gas,” she said.

She got a job in the coffee shop at Grand Traverse Resort, and within two years worked her way up to sous chef at Aeyrie, the resort’s restaurant at the top of the tower. That’s where she was working when Waldrup offered her a job as second-in-command at his new operation.

Then, after a week, Waldrup sacked his head chef. “Mark asked me to step up,” Driscoll said.

So what have they concocted at the former Gusto! (and before that, Hattie’s) location? Waldrup calls it “pub fare with a twist,” decidedly different takes on chili, nachos, and more traditional fare.

“I thought Suttons Bay could use a gastro pub,” said Waldrup.

So he installed a new bar, ringed with big screen TVs for the games, with the adjoining room a more traditional dining area. There’s Michigan, Michigan State and Detroit sports team regalia, and the staff is encouraged to show their colors as well.

And while watching the Big Game – whichever one it is at that particular time – there’s plenty of fine fare to choose from, though with Waldrup and Driscoll’s twist.

SOMETHING DIFFERENT

Twist indeed. The blue corn chips for the nachos are made in-house, and topped with a cheese sauce made with Shorts IPA. Those looking for fries can find them smothered in a tarragon meatloaf gravy or made from sweet potatoes and served with a cranberry merlot honey mustard. Both are hand-cut in-house, of course.

The burgers might be topped with curry dijon sauce, or for the election season, the red white & blue, with tomatoes, onion, and Swiss cheese with a red wine bleu cheese butter. Entrees include walleye prepared two ways, two kinds of macaroni and cheese (one of which is made with butternut squash and granny smith apples), ribs, and the piece de resistance, Anie’s homemade meatloaf.

Of course there’s a full bar and a hearty selection of wines and beers. And if all that doesn’t fill you up, you can top things off with a totally twisted take on after-dinner sweetness.

We wanted to have a dessert, and we wanted to make it something you wouldn’t find anywhere else,” said Waldrup.

That’s a pretty safe bet. Scan the menus of any restaurant within a hundred miles, and you probably won’t come across a maple-glazed candied bacon donut drizzled with coffee chocolate sauce. Topped with whipped cream, of course.

Since opening July 1, the pub has attracted a loyal following among both locals and visitors.

Stony Point Pub is open 11-2 Monday through Saturday, and the kitchen is open till 10. Sundays they open at noon, and served food till 10. Its late serving hours have already endeared it to the workers at other local restaurants, for whom it’s become something of a late-night hangout, according to Waldrup.

It’s located at 111 St. Joseph Street in Suttons Bay, phone 271-1007. You can get a cyber-taste at its Facebook page.

CUISINE: Eclectic

Price Range: Lunch $8-$9.75, salads & soups from $5.50. Dinner $14-$22

Don’t Miss: Apple Chipotle Pulled Pork Chili, an original concoction of Anie Driscoll, and winner of chili cook-offs. For a true taste overload, add smoked cheddar, onions, and lime sour cream.

 
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
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