- Two entrees (up to a $32 value each)
- Two desserts (up to a $3 value each)
- Two glasses of house wine, two glasses of beer, a bottle of beer for two, or two soft drinks (up to a $14 value each)
I had never eaten at Mélange prior to this meal, except once during Taste of Ann Arbor, which is a local event featuring samples from area restaurants. I tried a few bites that I can’t exactly remember, but it did leave an impression on me, because I still remember deciding that Mélange had the tastiest food at the event.
Mélange is lower-level restaurant located on Main Street. To access the restaurant, one must take these stairs down from street level. The cuisine is typically considered European-Asian Fusion, and the décor is very trendy and upscale, featuring rich shades of cabernet, orange, and espresso.
Though it was not included in the Groupon, we also tried an appetizer. We are, in fact, nacho aficionados, so it seemed natural to order the Duck Nachos: “Duck confit glazed in hoisin and served on a crispy wonton chip. Topped with manchego cheese, guacamole, fresh tomato and sriracha sour cream.”
These were a great choice! I loved that each crispy wonton chip was neatly layered to form a pretty little nacho. A cute alternative to a plate haphazardly doused in various toppings (though I’m not trying to imply that messy nachos are bad!). The tender duck confit was very rich, flavorful, and tangy, and the spicy yet creamy sriracha sour cream really took these nachos over the top. I must make my own sriracha sour cream!
Our table for two was situated against a floor-to-ceiling glass wall, within which rows of shelves containing wine bottles was located. A few times, we saw a staff member venture inside to retrieve a bottle or two.
With my dinner, I ordered a glass of Cabernet Sauvignon – very oaky, dry, peppery, and spicy.
I love that the Mélange menu presents its offerings in an uncomplicated manner. In one of two categories, “Rivers, Lakes, and Oceans” or “Forest and Farms,” diners have dishes with simplistic names (“Salmon,” “Scallops,” “Duck,” or “Lamb”) from which they may choose.
My dining companion selected the Beef entrée, which was an “8-ounce filet mignon grilled and drizzled in a red wine demi-glaze. Served with a parmesan potato croquette and roasted asparagus.”
Reportedly, the steak was delicious, juicy, and cooked well. The huz didn’t rave about the steak, but he said it was a great filet. The potato croquette was reportedly fine, but not the most flavorful or exciting. Personally, I had a bite of the steak and thought it was amazing!
Mmm, and now I get to tell you about my entrée, the Sea Bass, “Chilean sea bass seasoned in special herbs, pan seared, topped with cherry tomatoes, capers and drizzled in sweet soy vinaigrette. Served over jasmine rice pilaf and julienne vegetables.”
This was utterly incredible. Foodgasmic. I can’t even explain it. The thick piece of sea bass had the most incredibly-seasoned, savory and crisp outer shell that encased the sweetest, most moist and tender bite of fish one could ever wish to eat. I just swooned at every bite. The sweet soy vinaigrette didn’t do much to pretty up the plate, but my goodness did it add an incredible flavor to both the fish and to the veggie and rice accompaniments. I believe the greens on my dish were bok choy, served atop the Jasmine rice and julienned carrots and zucchini squash. This was just amazing, overall.
The huz’s dessert: a trio of cake pops – chocolate, peppermint, and cookies ‘n’ cream.
My dessert: A mini French toast cupcake – moist, with the most amazing maple frosting! I could have easily eaten a half-dozen.
The only negative to the evening was some confusion with regards to the wording of the Groupon which I realized I misunderstood when I purchased it. I didn’t ask the Melange staff, but we figured out ourselves that the Groupon did not in fact include a gratuity, so we were automatically charged a 20% gratuity on our entire non-discounted meal, which increased the price of our meal a lot (so I spent about $25 more than I thought we would). This is probably more so the fault of Groupon’s wording than the restaurant itself.
I left Mélange with a very happy stomach! Dinner was all-around wonderful.
- The portions were not huge, nor overly filling, but they were an adequate size and I felt full but not stuffed after dinner.
- The service we received was both adequately attentive and nice. I had heard (from others and also from some restaurant review websites) that sometimes the service can be slow, but I didn’t feel that way. In fact, I felt that our pace from course to course was almost perfect. There were brief gaps of time between each course, rather than being bombarded back to back with plates, which made me appreciate each course and enjoy the atmosphere and company, without ever feeling neglected. Our three course meal, plus drinks, probably last about 90 minutes, which made for a nice dinner.
- It’s difficult to think of meals I’ve eaten in Ann Arbor that compare to this one – the food was just so good! (Though I might feel a little ripped off if I had to pay full price – but definitely a great special-occasion option.)
Have you been to Mélange? What did you order?