Sunday, October 8, 2017

Bistro On the Greens - Michiana's Newest Hot Spot

There is nothing better than celebrating your friend’s birthday! Well, maybe there is something better and that is celebrating your friend’s birthday with great food at a very special place. One that offers all the ambiance and class to make better - spectacular! Such was the case with my friend’s birthday celebration at Bistro On the Greens.
Bistro On the Greens is the brainchild of restaurant entrepreneur John Moultrie. John brings to his newest endeavor not only his love of fine NOLA, Southern cuisine but an extensive background in jazz to the restaurant nestled in the historical Legacy Golf Course, LaPorte Indiana. Moultrie’s clever double-entendre with the use of “Greens” provides a window into his creative flair. In short he has nailed a “whole in one.”

Let me recreate the evening for you; Upon arriving we encountered a few diners leaving the restaurant and asked them how their evening was. Aside from their very happy content faces we knew they were well pleased after asking them about their experience. Their response was, “fabulous!” My friend asked for recommendations and they quickly listed what they dined on and summarized by saying, “all of it is fantastic!” That was a great way to kick off the evening.

We were greeted by a lovely lady who was ready and willing to make our night a special one. John Moultrie’s attention to detail was everywhere from the warm welcome of the hostess to the subtle lighting and overall glow. But, that was only the beginning. Not only were we embraced by a cordial hostess and seductive lighting, but also by the music floating from a baby grand piano and “larger than life” jazz greats. Moultrie’s experience in hospitality is highlighted by the way he strategically placed the music front and center. It is very reminiscent of my favorite places to visit in Chicago and Manhattan. If you want music to be the entrancing spirit of the joint then, don’t put the music in the back as an afterthought let music be your muse. Bistro On the Greens’ has live music five days a week. Mike is the Bistro’s house musician and not only does he play a mean piano, but he is a spot on crooner with a vast repertoire.

Whether you are coming for a romantic dinner for two, or out with friends, just because, or with a large party ready to celebrate birthdays the “Bistro” is a perfect dining experience. The overall layout and seating has been designed to provide a wide variety of options from cozy intimate seating, a private dining room vibe, or a more open dining feel. Additionally, there is a gorgeous, well stocked bar manned by a local favorite Kyle. The bar is located in the back of the restaurant and has a great view of the greens for those who are out for drinks and live music. John Moultrie’s brings his down home sophistication and his love of Louisiana cuisine to Northwest Indiana in a way that very few entrepreneurs could. Do not be surprised when John comes to your table to make sure that you are content and are well cared for. It is his down home charm that really sets Bistro On the Greens apart from other restaurants.
What do I look for when I am out for a special evening and what makes a venue go from a place to eat to a place to remember? It is: 1) lighting, 2) music, 3) personable service 4) timing of food delivery 5) well crafted cocktails and fine wine 6) willingness to make the event special 7) food quality, variety and most importantly 8) an owner that lets me and my party know that our being there is all that matters. Bistro On the Greens earns 8 stars! Now onto the food!
Moultrie’s desire to share his Grandmother’s authentic recipes is at the heart of his menu. You will find all the traditional NOLA favorites like fried green tomatoes, alligator nuggets, jambalaya, gumbo, to ribeye steaks, hand packed hamburgers, salads, flatbread pizzas and more. Everyone in our party was well-pleased with their entrees. I enjoyed fried chicken breasts with greens (superbly done) smashed sweet potatoes and a cheese biscuit along with an appetizer of fried green tomatoes. Sadly there was no room for dessert, that will have to wait until next time.

Bistro On the Greens easy to get to and whether you live in the immediate area, including, Michiana, NWI, or are looking for a get away from Chicagoland, Bistro On the Greens is a must and well worth the drive!

Stop in and tell John that ArtSees Diner, aka, Mary E., sent you.

ADDRESS 299 West Johnson Road La Porte, IN 46350 CONTACT (219) 575-7272 BUSINESS HOURS (central) S-F 11:00 am - 9:00 pm Sa 11:00 am - 10:00 pm

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Dune Billies Beach Cafe: Open and already transforming the Canada Park Area of Michigan City!

In 2008 I moved into this neighborhood and have loved living here since. One of the fascinations was the building at the corner of Fogarty St., and Center St., in Michigan City Indiana. It is the perfect location and the point at which the lakeside community and the rest of Michigan City meets. I have adored this building and believed that some day it would be the perfect spot for whatever enterprise would snag the "great find!" Well, that moment has happened and after a few months of primping, perfecting and developing, Lisa Murray and crew has brought to this sweet, up and coming neighborhood, the quintessential corner deli. It is the Dunes meets Greenwich Village. Maybe in place of Dune Billies it should have been called Dunewhich. No,Dune Billies suits it just fine, as it is at the base of Bismark Hill, really a collection of three dunes that protects the neighborhood from the fervor and frenzy of Lake Michigan located just on the other side of "them, thar" dunes.
Guests can enjoy tasty sandwiches and wraps inside the quaint cafe, on the umbrella adorned deck, or they can carry out to their homestead or better yet, the beach which is less than 2,000 feet away. Ultimately patrons will be able to get basic staple items,as the menu and offerings expands. Until then the mix of breakfast and lunch sandwiches and wraps are more than to feed the locals and hungry beach-lovers. Current hours are 7a to 3p, 7 days a week. Dune Billies Beach Cafe 201 Center Street Michigan City, Indiana (219) 809-6592

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Shady Creek Winery Becomes The Cabernet with Lahm,Champagne and Rapier

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Shady Creek Winery welcomes back trio David Lahm, Steve Champagne and Mary E. Rapier for a night of wine and music. Guests will be treated to a wide variety of songs ranging from Beatles to Bacharach along with jazz standards and unique medleys. Guests are guaranteed a night of showstopping tunes and superb Shady Creek Wine. The trio is well known for their eclectic blend of keyboards, bass, acoustic and rich vocals. Come to the Cabernet! Tickets are $22 in advanced $26 at the door. Included in the price of a ticket is a glass of wine, small bites and music performed by David Lahm and Steve & Mary E.
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"This trio of professional musicians is an act you do not want to miss!! Their outstanding musical interpretations of a variety of songs are outstanding and a lot of fun, too! I am looking forward to seeing them again at this upcoming event." Jerry 

David Lahm is a jazz pianist, songwriter and accompanist who divides his time between NYC and his second home in Harbor Country. He and his late wife Judy Kreston had a very successful cabaret act in New York, collaborated on three albums and concertized at the Acorn Theater in Three Oaks several times, over their many years together. He has conceived and produced a couple of unique recordings: "Medleyfying: a Centennial tribute to Richard Rodgers" and two CDs featuring "Jazz Takes On Joni Mitchell." 

Over the last six years he has been, in his own words "very happy to have been able to work with some excellent performers in the Michiana area." This chapter of his career takes another step forward in his collaboration with Steve and Mary.

Mary E. has been singing for over three decades. She and her partner Steve Champagne were named Best Acoustic Duo in 2015 by the Kankakee Area Music Awards. For over 20 years, Mary E. has been a guest vocalist with Kankakee Municipal Band. Mary began her career singing standards, light opera, and Broadway. Since forming an acoustic duo with Steve in 2007, they have focused on a wide range of songs made popular between the 60s and 70s, and love bringing their music to the Michiana region.
Steve has dedicated his life to perfecting his knowledge of the Beatles and other favs. Some call him a walking jukebox the way he can recall lyrics, melodies, and overall style. He has been singing and playing guitar since his earliest memory. Together, Steve and Mary E. have hours of pop-rock play list along with standards.

Lahm, Champagne and Rapier -  is the newest endeavor of these three music lovers, and guests will be entertained with a whole new repertoire of jazz standards, new spins on old favorites, and songs that they love to perform. 

Tickets can be obtained through eventbrite or direct through snail mail ( for address.

Contact us 


Monday, June 19, 2017

Fire & Water: A Diamond On the Dune

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Welcome to Michigan City Indiana! Only a select few seem to know of the wonders that this magical place holds for travelers looking for a place to unwind, "create, play and repeat." Let me paint a picture for you...

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After a long work week you want nothing more than to escape the intense "City" heat and get out of the intense traffic that is often the case with Chicago and its surrounding burbs. Where do you go where you can still treat your family to a day in the sun without paying a fortune for fees, parking and food? You head east on the 80/94 corridor and come on into Michigan City Indiana by way of 12, 20 or 421. Michigan City is on the move and no matter which way you careen into the "City by the Lake" you will find at your journey's end the North End of this quaint home away from home Washington Park and sitting on the crown of this natural  resource is North Pointe Pavilion, the home of Fire & Water. 

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Fire & Water is the brain child of entrepreneur and Michigan City's social guru, Mohamed Mroueh. Moe as he is lovingly called has brought a taste of his homeland Lebanon and has enriched us all as a result. From the first time you meet him, you just know that this guy knows customer service. It is not unusual to see Moe walking around meeting and talking with his customers. 

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Fire & Water is located at 6 on the Lake and offers an upscale sandwiches, Moe's traditional hummus (the best you will ever taste), grape leaves, Baba ghanoush along with hamburgers, gyro's, fish tacos, pulled pork, jerk chicken and more. For those looking for an specialty cocktail or craft beer, you will find a full bar with professional bartenders ready to serve you up in style. 

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Beautiful views of Lake Michigan and breathtaking sunsets.  
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Perfect views from the rooftop invokes the photographer in you. Look for a perfect view of the Chicago skyline and see a sunset like you have never seen it before. Many who come here from tropical places say they never saw a prettier sunset. 

Keep your eyes on Fire & Water's facebook page for weekly events and specials. It is not unusual to have something extraordinary on Thursday nights so as to usher in the weekend in grand style. Additionally, every Sunday night there is *live music "Up on the Roof" ready to put to sleep a long weekend and kick off yet another amazing week here at the "City By the Lake." 

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*Sunset Sundays features local musicians Steve Champagne and Mary E. Rapier, known as Steve and Mary E., every Sunday night from 6:30 to sunset singing songs from the 60's, 70's and assorted light rock, guaranteed to make you smile. 

A few things to keep in mind: Food is ordered on the lower level which also offers comfortable seating. Food runners are on hand to bring food up to your table after ordering. There are also rooftop servers who can take your food order, you will pay upon ordering and availability varies. 

A couple things to keep in mind: Local residents have access to free parking by obtaining a parking pass. LaPorte residents who are outside the Michigan City city limits can obtain an annual parking pass for $25. (More information here)  There is a $7 fee to enter the park and utilize the secure parking and all amenities that Washington Park provides the recreational enthusiast. This charge is not imposed by Fire & Water. The North Pointe Pavilion is a part of the Michigan City Parks Department and as a result the fee is necessary to maintain the overall upkeep of one of the finest parks in Northwest Indiana and surrounding areas. For those coming from the Chicago-land area the $7 parking fee is a very affordable one when compared to the cost of parking in the city.  The Fire & Water staff has done a phenomenal job at keeping the cost of food and drink way below the normal fees found found at outdoor venues which truly does help offset the inconvenient parking fee that some tourists are charged to park. 

For more information go to Fire & Water and keep up-to-date about all the amazing things this venue and the North Pointe Pavilion at Washington Park provides you and your family.  
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Fire & Water : A Diamond on the Dune! 
6 On the Lake 
Washington Park, Michigan City Indiana 
#MyMichiganCity can be #YourMichiganCity.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Zorn Brew Works; Don't Expect the Typical

Sometimes all it takes is for someone to look beyond the crumbling bricks, overgrown weeds and outdated properties to see opportunity and then put their ideas into action. So is the case for John Van Prooyen proprietor of Zorn Brew Works, Co.

His vision and enterprise have brought to life a historic landmark in the heart of Elston Grove, Michigan City Indiana. Zorn Brew Works Co., It is the brain child of John and his entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well. In many ways one might say he is channeling that same spirit that was found in the original owner of the business Philip Zorn a 19th century immigrant from Bavaria.

Guests to Zorn Brew Works can expect small batch brews, small plates (with the promise of a full kitchen in the near future) wine and new to the offering is local winery, Shady Creek. Zorn Brewing is unique in that it offers more than just their own brews on tap.

This wonderful addition to the North End of Michigan City brings to life an area that has suffered economically over the past couple of decades and is an important part of the Michigan City revitalization efforts of this bustling community. Not only does Zorn provide the perfect "third place" it provides opportunities for professional networking, live musicians and more to come.

Way to Go Zorn! We are so glad you are here.