Wednesday, March 2, 2016

March 2016 Blog, Stories, Tid Bits, Updates and Did Someone Say Restaurant Week 2016

Happy beginning of March 2016 to all of the YP Blog Readers, Michiganders, and everyone else who is going to ponder over this blog for a few minutes.  This month’s blog will feature updates from around the area as well as some highlights from Restaurant Week, our first Morning Brew, and anything that I believe is important to share.  I believe we are all happy with the outcome of the weather in February especially since last February I am pretty sure we were all frozen for a month like Austin Powers.  But either way, we all still look really good, and I mean really good!!

 We had a few YP events this past month.  Our very first Morning Brew included an amazing breakfast spread provided by Priority Health, which by the way you can always count on me being an attendant when food is provided.  Traverse City Chief of Police Jeffrey O’Brien was our guest speaker and gave an amazing presentation about the very first Wet House in Traverse City called Dann’s House.  He gave us great information on how a wet house can be beneficial to our local community.  We had a good turnout, but come on YP’s, we need more of you to attend and plus there is free food, and I cannot eat it all by myself.

 A few of us on the Marketing Committee decided to treat ourselves during restaurant week and share our experiences letting you know where the best places to eat in Traverse City.  We have so many amazing restaurants in the area, and I believe we are more willing to try a restaurant for the first time if one of our fellow YP’s tried it first with the end result being complete and utter satisfaction exceeding our taste buds expectations.  If anyone of you reading this have any questions about any restaurant in town, please feel free to contact me. 

Dan “the man” Baker and his lovely bride decided to start with Red Ginger.  In the words of Mr. Baker, “Vietnamese caramelized chicken was ridiculous.  I ate it so fast I forgot to take a picture!”  “Also, the Ahi BLT pizza (picture below) was the bomb.  It had wasabi, Ahi tuna, bacon, lettuce, and tomato on a flatbread.  Drizzle a little soy sauce over the top and there is nothing to love.”  So my friends, Red Ginger on Front Street is for sure a great place to go after work for Happy Hour or gentlemen take that lucky lady of yours out on a “HOTT” date.

My lovely wife and I decided to head to the Towne Plaza, which is on the corner of Cass and State.  I also gave Mr. Baker the low down and suggestions before him and his lovely wife went there later in the week.  Kate and I absolutely love their brunch so much and after looking at their restaurant week menu, we knew we had to dine there immediately.  The best part of restaurant week is you get a 3 course meal for $25 a person, which if you look at all the menus, it is a great deal and an opportunity to try several different foods and small plates that we would never make in our own kitchens.  My wife and I ordered Baked Leelanau Cheese in a Puff Pastry with Apple Puree and Risotto Stuffed with Mozzarella with a Smoked Tomato Balsamic Reduction (picture below). 

The 1st course was filled with flavors, which made the taste buds very happy.  The combination of flavors in both dishes was a perfect balance preparing us for the second course.  The second course consisted of Grilled Romaine topped with chunks of pancetta, Parmigianino Reggiano, and lemon vinaigrette, and Wild Mushroom Bisque featuring 3 types of mushrooms.  Once again the flavors in both dishes were incredible leaving us wanting more and excited for the 3rd and final course.  We both ordered the 10 oz. strip steak with whipped russet potatoes, roasted tomato bleu cheese butter, demi glaze and vegetables, but luck would have it they were out of the 10 oz. and the substitute was an 8 oz. tenderloin.  Both of our tenderloins were cooked to perfection with flavors we have not experienced before.  It was a great way to end our 3 course dinner journey.  The Bakers had a similar experience leaving them in complete awe at how amazing their journey was.  It was so good for them that words could not describe it considering all they gave me were some amazing pictures.
 Strip Steak 
Seafood in Tomato Saffron Broth

 As you all can tell, the Towne Plaza does not mess around hooking up TC with some dazzling dishes that tantalize the taste buds.  By the way, best blueberry pancakes I have ever had in my life, and a little fact about me is I am a pancake nut.  We highly recommend spending some time with friends at the Towne Plaza. 
Finally, my main girl Stephanie hit up the Boathouse with her family.  Her experience is said below. 
Allow me to set the scene: You and your husband moved into a new home on Saturday, your parents came to town on Sunday, and you need a place that can actually locate their dishes to make dinner for all of you on a Monday. Thank God for Traverse City Restaurant Week. We were lucky enough to snag one of the final available reservations for the Boathouse on the Monday of TCRW. 

Even with the weekend, we'd had, I immediately felt relaxed when we entered. The Boathouse feels like a cozy, tastefully designed cottage by the water, where you have been invited to share a meal with friends. My parents had arrived early and there was a beautifully arrayed cheese plate waiting at the table for us. There were a variety of delicious cheeses offered, but the favorite of the table was the quince paste which was a sweet, fruity complement to the spread. 

 I started with the Boathouse Salad which had fresh mozzarella and some of the most flavorful middle-of-winter heirloom tomatoes I've ever had. I'm still kicking myself for not asking where they were sourced from - I thought I couldn't get those until August! For the main course, the rest of the table choose the tasteful Salmon plate, but I decided to go all out and order the Surf and Turf. Restaurant Week isn't for the weak, in my opinion. The lobster tail was rich and delicious, but my favorite part of the dish was the perfectly cooked petite filet. The sides complemented nicely and the bĂ©arnaise sauce pulled it all together. Finally, as if I needed another dish to satisfy, the dark chocolate mousse arrived complete with cocoa nibs and berries. Before I could even think to snap a photo, I had already scraped the interior of the glass it was served in. I at least remembered to apologize to my husband, who didn't get even one taste.

 To no one's surprise, I would highly recommend the Boathouse for future Restaurant Week goers. The atmosphere is lively, the view lovely and the food does not disappoint. Just be sure to make your reservations never know whose parents will be in town next year.

Well boys and girls there you have it some fun reviews of 3 great dining establishments to try before the crazy tourist season arrives.  The Boathouse on Old Mission Peninsula, Red Ginger in the heart of downtown on Front Street and the Towne Plaza at Cass and State.  We have an amazing city with wonderful restaurants, food trucks, and other fun venues.  Get out of the house, grab some friends or your loved ones or even give me a call, and get your DINE ON!!!

As some of you remember from February's Blog, I like to highlight a certain YP.  February's edition featured Dr. Brandon Larabee who has finally opened his doors at his new Chiropractic office overlooking West Bay.  We should all visit Brandon to make him feel more like home and to of course get adjusted, which is an amazing feeling.  

This month we are highlighting Rose Zivkovich who is taking the helm as Director of SCRAP TC.  The following is a great press release for Rose.  Next time you see her, make sure you give her a HIGH 5 congratulating her on her new endeavor.  YAY ROSE!!!

SCRAP TC Continues to Craft the Future of Creative Reuse in Traverse City

Announcing a New Director and a New Direction

Traverse City, MI – SCRAP TC’s advisory council is proud to announce a new director and a new direction. Rose Zivkovich takes the reins as Director of SCRAP TC with vision, creativity and enthusiasm. The community can expect to see her vision become reality beginning with expanded hours in March. More hours means more accessibility for the community. It also means more exciting inventory of colorful and usable art and craft materials and more opportunities for volunteers to share in the creative mission.

 Zivkovich is excited to lead a creative and innovative program here. “This is a great opportunity for me to give back to the community and at the same time teach my young children the importance of reducing waste by creatively reusing materials. I plan to expand our retail store hours, involve new and much needed volunteers, increase awareness of our programs and offer craft classes for all ages to encourage creative reuse.”

 Zivkovich earned her MBA from Walsh College in Troy, MI and brings a wealth of management experience to SCRAP TC. She has hit the ground running with her contagious enthusiasm. She is committed to other TC community organizations including Make a Wish Foundation, Girl Scouts and the Mom’s Club of Traverse City.

She follows in the formidable footsteps of long-time director, Dayna Valpey. Valpey has stepped down to focus on her career as Development Director of the Disability Network of Northern Michigan.

SCRAP TC is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization with a mission to inspire creative reuse and environmentally sustainable behavior by providing educational programs and affordable materials to the community. SCRAP TC takes donations of clean, reusable materials that would normally wind up in the waste stream and makes them available to teachers, crafters, kids, families, artists – well, everyone. Arts and crafts materials, school and office supplies and a treasure trove of creative goodies are available for about 1/3 of the cost at retail.

Located at 821 Garfield Avenue in Traverse City, SCRAP TC has new retail store hours of Wednesdays – Fridays 12p-6p and Saturdays 10a-4p. SCRAP TC diverted 8,700 pounds of usable material from the waste stream in 2015.

For more information, see the website at

Grand Traverse County Update

Crime Mapping Service

Grand Traverse County residents can track crime in their neighborhoods through a new crime mapping service through, a national service that allows law enforcement agencies across the country to upload their crime data.
"Y Central" Fitness Center Open
A new fitness center at “Y Central” at the Civic Center opened on February 1. The fitness center and Easling Pool are both open under Grand Traverse Bay YMCA’s management.

Zika Virus

Traverse City Area Public Schools Update

 TCAPS Preschool and Kindergarten Enrollment for 2016-17—Enroll Today!
TCAPS is currently enrolling students in its preschool and kindergarten programs. As a TCAPS preschooler, children will engage in Spanish and music instruction, arts and crafts, creative games, science and nature projects, computers, productive play, and rest. Children will also receive social, physical, emotional, and intellectual stimulation throughout their day. You can learn more by visiting: TCAPS elementary schools are also hosting kindergarten enrollment meetings for families interested in learning more about our schools, programs and how to enroll. More information is available at:

TCAPS Board of Education Expected to Make Decision about Low Enrollment Buildings—March 7th

On January 25, 2016, the district made a recommendation to the TCAPS Board of Education to close three elementary school buildings with K-5 enrollment of less than 200 students. TCAPS has been exploring redirecting the overhead expenses of maintaining these buildings as a potential option to help preserve TCAPS’ comprehensive and award-winning academic and extracurricular student programming, while remaining financially responsible with the community’s investment in its schools. The groundwork to put together a recommendation and to gather community input began more than five months ago. The process included holding parent and community meetings at the three elementary schools to share information and answer questions, and involved the creation of a focus group at each of the three schools to identify possible options for TCAPS and the Board of Education to consider. The Board of Education is expected to take action on the district’s recommendation at its meeting on March 7, 2016 beginning at 6:00 p.m. at the Tompkins Boardman Administration Center (412 Webster St.) Learn more:

West Senior High School Presents Once Upon a Mattress—March 4th-13th

Traverse City West Senior High School’s Music Department will present Once Upon a Mattress from March 4th-13th. The musical includes smart humor, amazing dancing, and songs you will leave the theater singing! Loosely based on Hans Christian Anderson's fairytale The Princess & the Pea, Once Upon A Mattress tells the story of a prince searching for his true love. Come see the show, and watch how this musical comedy unfolds like you never expected! Tickets are available now at

TCAPS Alumni Network Crosstown Campus 10K/5K Run—May 7th

Mark your calendar for the 3rd annual TCAPS Alumni Association’s Crosstown Campus Run to be held on Saturday, May 7, 2016, at 8:00 a.m. This year's event includes a 10K run and a new a 5K run/walk. The 10K course will begin at Traverse City West Senior High School (5376 N. Long Lake Rd.) and the 5K run/walk will begin at TCAPS Montessori at Glenn Loomis (1009 Oak St.). The Crosstown Campus is a great opportunity for TCAPS alumni, staff, families and the community to come together to enjoy a fun event. You can participate as a runner, volunteer or event sponsor. All proceeds will benefit TCAPS’ Students in Transition Empowerment Program (STEP), which helps hundreds of area students each year who lack fixed, regular and adequate housing. Visit to register, volunteer or review a course map.

 City of Traverse City Update

 Upcoming March 8, 2016 Election – Don’t forget, the Presidential Primary Election is scheduled for Tuesday, March 8th. If you’re unsure of your polling location, visit Get out there and make your voice heard!

Employment Opportunities with the City! The City of Traverse City has the following employment opportunities available: Human Resources Specialist and Engineering Aide. Visit the City’s website at for more details.
The City is continuing recruitment for various Traverse City Boards and Committees! Currently, the District Library Board, Election Commission and the Local Officers Compensation Commission have vacancies waiting to be filled. The Traverse City Light and Power Board and Joint Planning Commission have expiring terms, giving interested individuals a chance to interview for the positions.

Individuals who would like to learn more about these boards, or would like to apply should visit or contact the City Clerk’s Office at 231-922-4480.

Elections Inspectors Needed! If you are interested in being a part of the Election process and working in a precinct on Election Day, please contact the City Clerk’s Office at 231-922-4480. Election Inspectors typically work from 5:45 a.m. until roughly 10:00 p.m. on Election Day and are paid for their time.

Overnight Parking in Traverse City – As a reminder, folks should not park overnight on the streets of Traverse City during the winter months, through April 14. Those who do park on the streets overnight may be towed at their own expense. 

TC Chamber Happenings

Thursday, March 10:  Leadership at the Movies 7:30-9:00 am – Bijou by the Bay

Wednesday, March 16:  Small Business Celebration 2016 – Candidate’ Showcase 5:00-7 pm – NMC’s Hagerty Center

Thursday, March 17:  YP Morning Brew 8:00-9:00 am – Traverse City Area Chamber of Commerce

Tuesday, March 22:  YP Volunteering at the State Theatre – 5:15-7:15 pm