Monday, October 31, 2011

Reserve Wine & Food in GR Receives OpenTable “Diner’s Choice Award” for Top Wine List

Reserve Wine & Food in Grand Rapids has been named a winner of OpenTable Diner’s Choice Awards for Top Wine Lists in the United States. The list of 50 winners is derived from more than 10 million reviews submitted by OpenTable diners for more than 12,000 restaurants in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Reserve is one of only two restaurants in Michigan to make the list; the other is Vinology in Ann Arbor.

“We are very pleased to be recognized by OpenTable for our wine list,” says Peter Marantette, Sommelier and General Manager of Reserve Wine & Food. “We have worked hard to create a wine list that fits into our guests’ everyday lives, while also providing selections for those extra special occasions.”

Reserve Wine & Food is home to one of the country’s largest cruvinet systems, holding 102 wines that are served by the glass. This intricate wine preservation system extends the life of wine exponentially, giving Reserve the liberty to offer a wider range of varietals and price points.

“We can now pour bottle wine by the glass, something that other restaurants wouldn’t dream of opening, for fear they wouldn’t sell it before the wine turned,” Marantette says.

An additional 200 wines are available by the bottle at Reserve, including local, domestic and international favorites, as well as many exclusive and hard-to-find wines.

“The sommeliers at the winning restaurants put as much passion into carefully curating their wine lists as chefs put into their menus,” says Caroline Potter, OpenTable Chief Dining Officer. “We’re so proud to be able to honor the winners and their commitment to building wine lists that excite and educate diners seeking the ultimate compliment to their meal.”

Based on feedback collected from OpenTable diners between October 2010 and September 2011, some 50 award-winning restaurants received the highest scores. For more information about all restaurants on the list, visit

OpenTable is a leading provider of free, real-time online restaurant reservations for diners, and reservation and guest management solutions for restaurants. OpenTable has more than 20,000 restaurant customers, and since its inception in 1998, has seated more than 200 million diners around the world. The company is headquartered in San Francisco, CA and services are available throughout the United States, as well as Canada, Germany, Japan, Mexico and the United Kingdom.

Located in the heart of downtown Grand Rapids at 201 Monroe Avenue NW, Reserve Wine & Food offers a world-class menu fully embracing the West Michigan farm-to-table philosophy, paired with over 100 wines available by the glass and 200 wines by the bottle, in an elegant yet casual fine dining setting. (616-855-WINE |

Cherry Tree Inn & Suites in TC Hosts Fall Women’s Weekend, November 11-12

Grab your sisters, mother, aunts and girlfriends for the “November Women’s Weekend,” November 11-12, at the Cherry Tree Inn & Suites on East Grand Traverse Bay in Traverse City.

Featuring a Friday night reception (with a prize-winning game, complimentary wine and massages), discounts to local shopping and restaurants, and multiple classes on Saturday, this weekend is sure to be a hoot for you and your gal pals. Classes will include a variety of offerings from making you sweat to pampering you just right. Best of all, after all this spoiling by the Cherry Tree Family, you'll still have plenty of time on Saturday to enjoy Traverse City's shops, wineries, restaurants, and more.

Rates start at $79 per person for the entire weekend based on four-person occupancy; only $99 per person for the entire weekend based on two-person occupancy.

Reservations are being accepted now, online at or by calling (800) 439-3093.

As a top Traverse City resort, the Cherry Tree Inn & Suites leads in service, cleanliness and comfort. With 400 feet of East Grand Traverse Bay waterfront, the Cherry Tree’s smoke-free facilities provide the comfort you look for while our staff provides the service you need. Amenities include a complimentary hot breakfast, complimentary wireless Internet access, an indoor pool, hot tub, and sauna, fitness and arcade rooms, and kitchenettes and Sony Playstation 2’s in every room.

Cherry Tree Inn & Suites2345 US 31 N
Traverse City, Michigan 49686
(800) 439-3093

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Reserve Wine & Food to Host Signature Wine Auction to Benefit Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital

Autographs from some of Grand Rapids’ most prominent business and community leaders will be “up for bid” during the Signature Wine Auction to be held next fall – Thursday, October 18, 2012 – at Reserve Wine & Food. The auction will raise awareness and dollars for the Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital.

“I wanted to find a way to recognize our community leaders – those who have helped shape Grand Rapids’ future and put this city on the map,” says local radio personality and children’s advocate Kevin Matthews, who first came up with the idea after a meeting with friends Dick and Betsy DeVos. “This exciting fundraiser will not only showcase these individuals and their accomplishments, but it will raise much needed funds and public awareness for the Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital.”

During the Signature Wine Auction, attendees will participate in silent bidding on as many as 50 1.5L magnum bottles of wine, each displaying a custom label autographed by the community’s top leaders in business, as well as state and local celebrities. A live auction will conclude the evening, as guests bid on a bottle to be autographed by all in attendance that evening. The goal is to raise at least $30,000 during the course of the evening.

Tickets to the Signature Wine Auction will go on sale September 13, 2012 and will be $100 each. Space will be limited to 80 individuals. The event will be held from 6-9pm on Thursday, October 18 in the upper level of Reserve Wine & Food.

“We are honored to be the host venue for this inaugural event,” says Peter Marantette, General Manager at Reserve Wine & Food. “We expect this to be the first of many such events, which will bring together those who appreciate good food and wine and who are also willing and able to contribute to such a worthy organization as the Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital.”

About the charity:
Helen DeVos Children's Hospital, a member of Spectrum Health, is a Grand Rapids-based hospital serving children throughout Michigan. A teaching hospital, it includes more than 200 pediatric specialty physicians with specialized training in providing medical and surgical care to children in more than 40 pediatric specialties.

About the venue:
Located in the heart of downtown Grand Rapids at 201 Monroe Avenue NW, Reserve offers a world-class menu fully embracing the West Michigan farm-to-table philosophy, paired with over 100 wines available by the glass and 200 wines by the bottle, in an elegant yet casual fine dining setting.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Michigan Made Harvest Beers Highlight Fall Season

The autumn season brings an abundance of things to the Great Lakes State – like fall colors, harvest festivals and a variety of pumpkin, apple and harvest-themed beer. While the recipes may be similar, there’s always a touch of something unique in each of these fall brews – including the originality of the names. Michigan made harvest brews available for 2011 include:

Arcadia Ales
Jaw-Jacker (6% ABV). Grandma's pumpkin pie never tasted this good. This fall seasonal is a celebration of harvest time and the changing of the seasons. Using only the finest malted barley and a touch of wheat, Jaw-Jacker pours a brilliant orange-amber color with truly unique flavors. Although no pumpkins are actually used, a blend of nutmeg, allspice and cinnamon work with the malty flavors to create a bold flavor reminiscent of pumpkin pie. A light hop note balances out the beer nicely. This seasonal beer, available for a limited time on draft and in 6-pack, 12oz glass bottles, is a favorite for harvest festivals, Halloween parties and Thanksgiving dinner. It pairs well with boiled brisket with root veggies, roast duck or turkey, pumpkin pie or sweet potato pie, with vanilla bean ice cream.

Atwater Brewery

**Blocktoberfest (6.3% ABV). Our interpretation of the German style Marzen. Similar to the Oktoberfest style, but stronger and hoppier. A two-time silver medal winner at the Great American Beer Festival tells you this beer is strong, hoppy and thirst quenching. Brewed with Munich, 2 row and Cara 120 malts, along with Perle and Hersbrucker hops.

**VoodooVator (8.5% ABV). Atwater's Dopplebock. it’s a little drier and stronger than the normal dopplebock and we like it that way. Brewed traditionally in the winter for springtime, but we make it for the fall just in time for Halloween!! This nutty sweet caramelly beer is brewed for six months of the year for your pure enjoyment. Brewed with Munich, 2 row and Cara 120 malts and Aurora and Hersbrucker hops

Bastone Brewery

Rocktoberfest (5.5% ABV) A celebrated beer of the season. Named for Brewmaster Rockne Van Meter, it is Bastone’s most popular seasonal and a World Beer Championship medal winner from 2008 and 2009. This Oktoberfest style lager is light copper in color, with a light tan head and slight caramel and toasty flavors. Purchase Rocktoberfest, or any Bastone beer, in a Limited edition Oktoberfest pint glass for $5 while they last.

Bell’s Brewery

Octoberfest Beer (5.5% ABV). Crafted as a flavorful session beer, Bell's Octoberfest Beer is perfect for a week-long wedding celebration in Germany or the start of the Michigan autumn. As with Bell's Lager Beer, Octoberfest spends a full six weeks maturing in the fermentation vessels. Unlike its cousin, Octoberfest trades in the assertive hop presence for a focus on a light caramel malt note, lending body without too much sweetness. Available on draft and in bottles.

Blue Cow Café

Pumpkin Chunkin Ale (6.3% ABV). Simplistic grain background is accentuated by a few German specialty malts that compliment but do not overpower the earthy flavors that large quantities of 100% natural pumpkin bring to the party. Freshly ground nutmeg and whole cinnamon sticks are added to the boil to give the finished product a more well rounded easily identifiable fall harvest taste and aroma. This is not a sweet beer, this is not a spice beer, this not a niche beer, this is a beer in which every flavor lives in perfect balance and does not overstay its welcome. This is, simply put, a damn good beer.

Cheboygan Brewing Company

Oktoberfest. Created after the Spaten Oktoberfest bier from Munich, Germany, this new introduction will be orange in hue with a notable hops presence and a large amount of German malt. This all gives a rich mouth feel and chewy malty body.

Founders Brewing

Harvest Ale. This liquid dream pours a hazy golden straw color with a white, two-finger head. Your first sip rewards you with a super juicy hop presence bursting with fresh citrus, then finishes to introduce toasted malt undertones.

Great Baraboo

Pumpkin Spice (5.0% ABV). With pumpkin in the mash and boil, this beer also has cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves and molasses added to the boil, giving it a medium body and orange color and an almost pumpkin pie aftertaste. A special batch with vanilla gives that pumpkin pie with whipped cream aftertaste.

Jolly Pumpkin, Dexter

La Parcela (5.9% ABV). OK, so the joke was Jolly Pumpkin doesn't brew a pumpkin beer! Well, now we do – just this one – No. 1 pumpkin beer. With hints of spice, and a gentle kiss of cacao to liven the soul, this oak-aged sour beer has real pumpkin added to the barrels during the aging process. An everyday easy way to fill your squashy quotient. Guess now folks will have to find something else to joke about!

Kuhnhenn Brewery

All Hallows Ale (6.0% ABV). All Hallows Ale is made with 100lbs. of hand roasted Michigan pumpkins per 8-barrel batch, which intensifies the squash character of this beer. That is over 6 pounds of pumpkin in each 1/2 barrel. It has hot cinnamon and pumpkin aromas. This Ale is medium-bodied and only slightly sweet. Its many spices hit the palate first and finishes with roasty pumpkin goodness.

Liberty Street Brewing Company

**Punkin Pie Ale (5.4% ABV). Clean tasting malty ale blended with everything you would expect from pumpkin pie. Our specialty malts give this beer a nice bready balance to make you think there is a crust. This is an easy drinking version of a lightly-hopped amber ale that is seasoned with a specially blended combination of spices. The caramel sweetness and bready character of the specialty malts mingle with the spices, to make you think you are eating an actual piece of pie. Try it at the pub with Guernsey's French Vanilla ice cream (Punkin' Pie ala mode). Available in our tasting room only, through the holiday season or while supplies last.

**Octoberfest Style Lager (5.8% ABV). Brewed with all German malts and hops, we used Munich style water and then lager for months before bringing this delicious seasonal lager to our taps. LSBC will release its Octoberfest style lager on Sunday, October 17 at 12:00 noon in conjunction with Detroit Beer Week.

Michigan Brewing Company

Screamin’ Pumpkin Spiced Ale (5.0% ABV). This amber-colored, spice-packed ale is brewed with three different malts, Michgian winter wheat and real pumpkin mixed in at the boil, which makes it a true celebration of the fall harvest. Often described as “pumpkin pie in a pint glass,” this ale is the perfect combination of comforting aroma and sweetly-spiced flavor that makes it a scream at every Halloween party and the perfect complement to Thanksgiving dinner. Available on tap and in 12 ounce bottles.

New Holland Brewing

Ichabod (5.5% ABV). As fall brings color to our trees, a chill to our evenings and countless aromas of the changing season, we instinctively look for early harvest flavors on our plate and in our glass. Ichabod combines malted barley and real pumpkin with cinnamon and nutmeg in a delicious and inviting brew. It befits any autumnal adventure, including mysterious rides through the hollow, and pairs well with autumnal foods such as poultry and root vegetables. After dinner, try it with your favorite dessert. Available on tap and in bottles through November.

North Peak Beer

**Hooligan (5.5% ABV). Tired of having to decide between your favorite pumpkin beer and IPA? Well fret no more! Enter the Hooligan; your new favorite hoppy pumpkin beer. All the spicy pumpkin goodness one could ask for, brewed with real pumpkin and fresh spices, and did we mention hops!

**Hoodoo (9.0% ABV). Brewed with fresh from the farm Michigan hops for flavor unparalleled. Given its strong malt backed spine we gave this Hoodoo hops to run. Starts hoppy, ends hoppy, and nuthin' but hops in the middle - well OK, a little malt in the middle, too. Just enough to keep this Hoodoo from getting fussy, though, so not to worry - pretty much nuthin' but hops.

Right Brain Brewery

Pomona Pumpkin Ale (5.5% ABV). The Pomona Pumpkin Ale is certainly a no brainer, right brained, seasonal brew. It’s mashed with locally sourced fresh pumpkins and a secret blend of harvest spices. This isn’t your Grandma’s pumpkin pie! The base is a deliciously-smooth amber ale with a flavor the highlights the wonderful fall harvest. This brew should hit our pub in early to mid October depending on the harvest. How long it will last is up to the thirst of the people!

Short’s Brewing, Bellaire

Funkin Punkin (5.6% ABV). A seasonal blend of pumpkin, spices, and carefully formulated ale. Notably aromatic of pumpkin pie, and the color of a light pastel brown, this brew is especially true of ale and comfortably consumable. Brewed with real pumpkin and real spice, it’s still very much a beer, but beautifully engineered with spice, pumpkin and beer balance.

Michigan’s thriving brewing industry contributes over $24 million in wages with a total economic contribution of more than $133 million. In terms of overall number breweries, microbreweries and brewpubs, Michigan ranks #5 in the nation – thus supporting its claim as “The Great Beer State.”

The Michigan Brewers Guild exists to unify the Michigan brewing community; to increase sales of Michigan-brewed beer through promotions, marketing, public awareness and consumer education; and to monitor and assure a healthy beer industry within the state.

For more information about the Michigan Brewers Guild, including a dates of upcoming events and a list of member micro-breweries, log on to

Join us later this month:
3rd Annual Detroit Fall Beer Festival
Saturday, October 22 (1-6pm)
Eastern Market – Detroit

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Street Dance for Zombies: The Traverse City "Monster's Ball"

Ever heard of a Silent Disco?

Well, you wouldn’t actually hear it. It’s silent, right? But you could watch one on Oct. 29, when Traverse City adds yet another entry to its list of eldritch fall happenings: the first-ever Old Town Halloween Carnival and Monster’s Ball. And it’s a spooky sight to behold.

In a Silent Disco, dancers are issued wireless headphones through which music is broadcast via an FM transmitter. It’s the perfect eerie effect for a Halloween street party, since everyone appears to be moving to no discernible music at all. (An added benefit is that non-dancers don’t have to shout at each other over the music, and the neighbors don’t call the cops to report you for making a public nuisance.)

Already known among Halloween cognoscenti for its ghoulish 5K Zombie Run footrace, where shambling “zombie” runners chase down normal-looking “survivors,” and the unspeakable cuteness of its kid-friendly Downtown Halloween Walk, Traverse City seems determined to make itself the Halloween capital of the Midwest with yet another event.

Billed as “the largest Halloween event in Northern Michigan,” the Oct. 29 Halloween Carnival and Monster’s Ball is being assembled by Porterhouse Productions, which runs the successful Traverse City Microbrew & Music Festival in August. As the name implies, it will be held in the city’s historic Old Town district, on Union Street between 7th and 8th streets.

"It's going to be so out of the park!" says promoter Sam Porter. "We tested this idea at the microbrew festival, and it caught on like wildfire -- we know we've got something really exciting here."

The “daylight” portion of the carnival starts with a Saturday morning “Monster Pancake Throwdown” – a contest among local chefs in this bastion of culinary competitiveness for the title of Best Pancake in Traverse City. Pancakes will be served out with a host of other locally-produced sausages, eggs, jams, syrups and ciders. Family-style fun continues from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., with a kids’ costume contest, a haunted bouncy castle, old-school carnival games, Halloween creatures, a pneumatic “virtual hearse ride,” a pumpkin pie-eating contest, performances by local bands and dancers and other fun.

But things really begin to happen after dark, when the streets are taken over by the Monster’s Ball, with local food, wines and microbrews, and music from live bands and DJs. Entertainment will include the last live performance of Michigan dance-rock group Ella Riot (this will be the band’s farewell show), a costume contest featuring premium prizes, and an all-night Silent Disco dance party featuring DJ Body Rock and Wally Sparks (of Ella Riot), DJ Dominate and others.

Tickets for Porterhouse Productions’ Old Town Halloween Carnival & Monsters’ Ball can be purchased online at . Admission for the Monster Pancake Throwdown and Halloween Carnival is $8 for attendees 13 and up and $ for children ages 3-12. Children ages 2 and under are free. Admission for the Monsters’ Ball is $20 in advance or $25 at the door (if not sold out in advance). The Monsters’ Ball is open to attendees ages 21 and over only – no exceptions.
For more information, visit or find them on Facebook at

For help with lodging and dining options, and to learn about other adventures, activities and attractions in the Traverse City area, contact the Traverse City Convention & Visitors Bureau at 1-800-TRAVERSE or on line at