June 10, 2023


On a Roll at The Dojo

Brent Shafer’s journey from dishwasher to sushi chef to restaurant owner
By Karl Klockars | June 10, 2023

“My mom always told me to stop playing with my food,” Brent Shafer jokes while explaining how he got behind the counter at The Dojo, his new space at the Long Lake Culinary Campus where he slices sashimi, shapes sushi, and rolls maki by hand. Shafer opened the doors early last December, and the space immediately became a dining destination for sushi lovers willing to go beyond downtown TC. Shafer’s sushi journey ... Read More >>

The Mill’s Whole Wheat Hand Pie

By Anna Faller | June 10, 2023

Opened in April in Glen Arbor, The Mill café and bakery is a one-stop shop for all things nostalgia, from the charm of its past as a local grain mill to their wildly-popular Whole Wheat Hand Pies. An elegant take on the classic pasty, each pie is baked in a hot-water crust—that’s what creates that buttery crumble—and is packed with locally-sourced ingredients. This month, the PB&J gets an adult upgrade in a ... Read More >>

Old Mission Distilling’s Summer Fling

Bottoms Up
June 10, 2023

Old Mission Distilling opened last weekend, located near Bowers Harbor Vineyard and Peninsula Market out on Old Mission Peninsula. The distillery joins several other businesses—including coffeehouse Mission Proper, a beauty salon, and Tinker Studio—in the newly renovated Seven Hills complex. The sunny weather and bright, airy space of the building shared by the distillery and Mission Proper led us to select the Summer Fling off the cocktail menu. (Could any name be ... Read More >>

The Dig’s Orange Chicken

June 3, 2023

Food trucks are out in force across the North, and we’ve made it a mission to try as many of them as we can. Our first stop for the season: The Dig’s of Gaylord (now also found at The Little Fleet in Traverse City). This truck—easy to spot by its bright red, black, and white paint job—serves up Asian-inspired dishes from potstickers to stir fry to sweetened cream cheese wontons. We recently ... Read More >>

Fingers Crossed’s Lavender Lemonade

Bottoms Up
By Anna Faller | June 3, 2023

There’s something about ice-cold lemonade on a sunny day that just feels right. This summer, find us posted up at Fingers Crossed in Northport, quenching that craving with their newly-released Lavender Lemonade. A kicked-up take on the classic Tom Collins, this drink begins with the citrusy-mellow profile of Valentine’s Liberator Gin, followed by fresh-squeezed lemon juice and house-made lavender syrup. To really up the beverage ante, Butterfly Pea Flower leaves, an herbal ... Read More >>

Introducing The Social

Nittolo’s of Lake Leelanau unveils new venue
By Geri Dietze | May 27, 2023

It’s tempting to call chef Eric Nittolo an overachiever, but perhaps he just channels his enormous energy and prodigious talents into doing what he loves and comes out the other side looking like a visionary. If you know the name—and you probably do—you understand what we mean. It’s the handcrafted pizzas with elevated flavor groupings alongside fine-dining seafood dishes at Nittolo’s Seafood and Pizza. The members-only music and dinner club at Powerhouse ... Read More >>

Market M22’s Reuben

By Anna Faller | May 27, 2023

As the old saying goes, we eat first with our eyes. This week, we’re inviting you to the visual feast of Market 22’s sandwich bar. Opened in 2013, this corner deli and eatery has all the charm of an Up North retreat and more freshly-sliced meats than we can count! Our current obsession is the classic Reuben. Featuring your choice of protein (we love the house-brined corned beef, but you do you), ... Read More >>

Leelanau Bottling Company’s Cherry Unsweet Tea

Bottoms Up
May 27, 2023

Leelanau Bottling Company out of Suttons Bay is bringing Michigan-made cherry drinks to the beverage aisle sans alcohol and sans icky ingredients. We found ourselves looking for something refreshing on a warm spring evening, and their Cherry Unsweet Tea hit the spot and then some. This beauty has only two ingredients, but it’s packed with flavor. Black tea leaves are brewed with tart cherry concentrate…and that’s it. Short and sweet and with ... Read More >>

Bottoms U.P.

Exploring the wines and spirits of the Upper Peninsula
By Craig Manning | May 20, 2023

In the spring of 2020, Northern Express planned the perfect Upper Peninsula vacation for a craft beer enthusiast, plotting a 10-stop itinerary highlighting breweries all over the U.P., from Cedarville to Ironwood. Three years later, we started thinking: Why not bring back the concept of a U.P. sip-and-savor tour, but turn our focus this time toward wineries and distilleries? This side of Yooper drinking culture was considerably more of a mystery to ... Read More >>

Building a Legacy with Patrick Doud’s Irish Pub

Mackinac Island’s newest restaurant (with deep historical roots) debuts this spring
By Anna Faller | May 20, 2023

Fourth-generation Mackinac native Andrew Doud and his wife, Nicole, have always embraced their island heritage. Together, they operate the historic Doud’s Market—aka “America’s Oldest Grocery Store”—which they took over in 2007. They’re also the brains behind The Doghouse (an al fresco hotdog stand) and the Little Luxuries gift shop, which has just entered its fourteenth season. So, when the two were presented with the opportunity to purchase a restaurant, they decided to ... Read More >>

Loading More Stories...