May 26, 2018


Stella's Perfect Negroni

Bottoms Up
By Janice Binkert | May 19, 2018

It’s not vanity that prompted the owners of Trattoria Stella and The Franklin in Traverse City to include the word “perfect” in naming its proprietary negroni cocktail, explained Stella bartender Andy Betka, but rather, the perfect classic balance of strong, bitter, and sweet components in equal parts. In this case, that means two parts Two James gin (made in Detroit), two parts Contratto vermouth, and two parts amari (Campari & Zucca), served ... Read More >>

Raduno's Butcher's Lunch

By Janice Binkert | May 19, 2018

Andrea Deibler is the butchery specialist among the highly talented trio of chef-owners at Raduno delicatessen and café in Traverse City. “We source locally and humanely raised whole animals, and I make a variety of products from them,” said Deibler. One of her specialties is the Butcher’s Lunch — but like everything on Raduno’s menu, you can get it any time of day, either to eat in or take out. “What’s included ... Read More >>


By Janice Binkert | May 19, 2018

The 16th floor of the Grand Traverse Resort’s tower is a perfect place to enjoy the changing scene that spring is bringing — and not just outside the 360-degree sweep of windows that afford panoramic views of East Grand Traverse Bay and the surrounding countryside from every seat in the resort’s premier restaurant, Aerie. Exciting changes are also taking place inside these days: Aerie is rolling out a new website, new events, ... Read More >>

Mammoth Distilling’s Wooly Rye

Bottoms Up
By Janice Binkert | May 12, 2018

First, let’s get the technical stuff out of the way: Mammoth Wooly Rye Reserve is 92 proof, 46 percent alcohol, and contains 88 percent pure Michigan rye — the rest is brewer’s malt. The elegant (yet if you look closely, whimsical) label on its flask-shaped bottle flaunts handwritten batch and bottle numbers, appreciated by serious collectors. Got that? Now we drink! This rye is definitely on the drier side, but aging it ... Read More >>

Dirty Thirty

Bottoms Up
By Lynda Wheatley | May 12, 2018

You might not expect a lace-curtained tea shop to bring the heat. But the speakeasy hidden behind Traverse City’s Teetotalers does exactly that — once your password gets you permission to step behind the bookcase anyway. Inside the moody, elegant space done up in hyper-detailed period decor (think: small doors befitting the smaller statures of the ’20s, Waterford crystal glassware, Victorian and Eastlake furniture, and more), you’ll find the Dirty Thirty, a ... Read More >>

The Dam Site Inn

Summer’s quintessential classic
By Kristi Kates | May 5, 2018

There’s something decidedly Dirty Dancing about the Dam Site Inn. It’s a fact that co-owner Pam East, who runs the restaurant with her husband, Ray, states with obvious pride. Nestled between Douglas Lake and Burt Lake, the destination restaurant offers a unique ambiance and carefully maintained throwback menu that would perfectly suit the movie’s main character, Baby, and her family as they travel to the Catskills for a wholesome vacation at a ... Read More >>

Moomers' Ice Cream Flights

By Janice Binkert | April 28, 2018

Moomers, situated on a knoll overlooking the Plummer family dairy farm just west of Traverse City, makes over 160 flavors of premium ice cream. Granted, the shop’s display case can only accommodate about 20 of those daily, but still…it’s so hard to choose! The happy solution: an ice cream flight, with five different scoops of your choice. We tried Lemon-Raspberry (sweet lemon base and melba-raspberry swirl), Honey-Cornbread (French-vanilla base, honey ripple and ... Read More >>

Oryana Lake Street Café Smoothies

Bottoms Up
By Janice Binkert | April 28, 2018

“The Ultimate is at the top of our blackboard smoothie list for a reason,” said Oryana Natural Foods Market’s Lake Street Café barista (and all-arounder) Dave Fenlon. “There’s a lot going on in there, which is generally what people are looking for when they order a smoothie – something that not only tastes delicious, but also has health benefits and a lot of add-ins.” This particular concoction combines organic blueberries, banana, peaches, ... Read More >>

Glen Lake's Trattoria Funistrada

St. Louis-inspired Italian
By Janice Binkert | April 28, 2018

Out in western Leelanau County, on the eastern edge of Big Glen Lake, lies Funistrada, a charming restaurant housed in a historic cottage-like clapboard building surrounded by, in summer anyway, by greenery and flowers. Looking at the menu, you immediately think of Italy. But the food that comes out of the kitchen here is actually an homage to St. Louis (that’s Missouri, not Michigan). Curious? Read on …   Holly and Tom ... Read More >>

White on Rice

By Janice Binkert | April 21, 2018

For the past three years, husband and wife team Eric and Amy Kolden have been on a mission to make high-quality sushi and other Japanese specialties easily accessible to a wider audience in northern Michigan. Deftly wielding the appropriate gleamingly sharp-edged Japanese knife from the many he has in his toolbox, Eric Kolden can break down a whole snapper (or any other large fish) in — well, a snap. It’s quite a ... Read More >>

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