The Food and Wine Hedonist

leave your inhibitions at the door

Ann Arbor Eats – Revisiting Vellum

A little over a year ago, I wrote a gushing post about the newly-opened Vellum where I raved about how they were bringing a much-needed level of elegance and artistry to the local restaurant scene.   Secretly, however, I had some concerns over its viability as it may be too far “out there” for these damn Midwest sensibilties.  Outside of Chicago, the Midwest is still a couple years behind the coasts in just about any trend – food, fashion, music.  Sure there quite a few adventurous, hip types here but I don’t know if there are enough of them.

More disconcerting are tales of inconsistency coming from friends who went there.  One friend sent me a text saying that the appetizer she ordered was terrible.  Yet one week later (she loves the drinks there) she sent a text saying a dish that was one of the best they’ve had in years.  Another friend found inconsistency in the course of one night – some things described as absolutely sublime, while others completely inedible.

So what’s the real Vellum?  I went there with the Pieholes recently…

v2 hamachi

Hamachi with pureed apple, jalapeno, and pickled pineapple

 *

corn tart

corn tart

*

Pork belly skewer with tzatziki

Pork belly skewer with tzatziki

*

v2 burger

Vellum burger with egg and bacon jam, mushroom sauce, and pickled jicama

*

Seared tuna salad

Seared tuna salad

*

v2 lamb

Braised lamb shank with confit heirloom carrots

*

Cherry tart with balaton cherries and pistachio ice cream

Cherry tart with balaton cherries and pistachio ice cream

*

Madeleine & Tea – Earl Grey foam, crushed madeleines, and honey jellies

Madeleine & Tea – Earl Grey foam, crushed madeleines, and honey jellies

* 

What I Drank

Although my dinner companions were my kids, it didn’t stop me from ordering a bottle of Zantho Zweigelt.  For all of you ready to call family services – relax, there’s a wonderful law here that lets diners take home any unfinished bottles of wine.  I’m not sure how I landed on this wine, but it was nice.  It’s an easy-drinking Austrian red that had aromas of cranberries and cherries with nice pepper and earth on the back side.  It was a good tweener – something between a pinot noir and a Rhone.

*

The Verdict

So which is the true Vellum?  Is it the restaurant that I went to that had lofty goals that they mostly achieved?  Or is it the one with inconsistent execution with some complete bombs on the menu?

The corn tart fell a little flat, but everything else was outstanding.  The hamachi was perfectly balanced and the belly skewer was as decadent as it sounded.  The Vellum burger completely fit their MO – recognizable menu item prepared in a completely unexpected way. The jicama pickle was a great add as well as the “egg” which came in the form of a yolk spread. It was terrific and I plan on going back just for that.  The lamb shank was also unexpected in its expectedness (if that’s a word).  There weren’t any twists or novel interpretations like the burger – just a straight-up braised shank with beautifully prepared carrots.  It was perfect.

I know that only two visits a year apart don’t make a great sample size. There’s always a possibility that I will eventually encounter one of those wildly inconsistent moments. Maybe.  So how about you send along some cash donations and I’ll go there weekly?  Cool?

*

*

 
Vellum on Urbanspoon

*

*

Advertisements

About thefoodandwinehedonist

I don't know everything about the world of food and wine, but I'm not going to let a small detail like that stop me from blogging about it.

5 comments on “Ann Arbor Eats – Revisiting Vellum

  1. Heather @ Sweet Precision
    February 26, 2014

    I’ve only been there for happy hour a couple times… I might have to try the Vellum burger next time!

  2. Liza M.
    February 26, 2014

    I can’t believe how long it takes them to pour a glass of wine. I was there at the bar recently, ordered a simple glass of Albarino, and it was like I’d ordered the most complicated item on the cocktail menu. I almost walked out as I watched them saunter around the bar, not particularly busy, in no hurry whatsoever to get my drink. I think they’re a little too cool for their britches but I’ve never had the food.

    • thefoodandwinehedonist
      February 26, 2014

      That’s too bad as bar service has always been good for me. As for too cool, can see that. Unfortunately that’s a trend in a lot of places.

  3. reversecommuter
    February 26, 2014

    LOL – cash donations.
    Sounds like Vellum has still got you captivated…twice yearly at least!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Information

This entry was posted on February 26, 2014 by in Ann Arbor, Dining and tagged , , , , , .
%d bloggers like this: