Take a peek inside Main Street’s newest kid on the block.
I had a chance to stop by the long-anticipated Vellum for drinks with friends. It was less than two weeks after it opened, and I really liked what I saw. The space has been completely redone and is chic and polished but still welcoming. The staff was attentive and eager to please, as you’d expect from a newly opened restaurant. But what about the food and drinks?
In a word: wow. Vellum’s New American cuisine has a level of sophistication and polish that I associate with much larger cities. The presentation of each plate is stunning, from the dramatic splatter of aged parmesan and tomato sauce accompanying a rich mushroom tart to the delicate garnishes and rounds of poached apple accompanying a luscious game terrine. Chef Russell Bronson incorporates bits of avant-garde and modernist cooking techniques to good effect, and the flavors live up to the expectations set by the beautiful plates.
Head bartender Travis Reeves is presenting a menu of creative craft cocktails. Thanks to friends willing to share sips, I got to try several on my short visit, and all of them were not only tasty, but interesting. My favorite, the Poblano Gimlet, has a brilliant green flavor, savory elements and just a little heat from the poblano chile puree. Best of all, none of the drinks were too sweet. I’m looking forward to exploring wine and beer offerings on a future visit.
I don’t mean to imply that everything is perfect – they’re still working out some opening week kinks, and I expect Vellum to be a work in progress as they figure out how to fit into the Ann Arbor scene. But so far they are exceeding my expectations, and I’m looking forward to enjoying a full dinner there soon. Look out, Ann Arbor – a little bit of NYC just waltzed into town.