Ann Arbor Dining Guide




1312 S Main St
Ann Arbor, MI 48104

Location: Downtown

Mélange is a chic Main Street restaurant that had slipped under my radar many times until now. Finally, my wife and I decided to experience what this modern dining spot had to offer on a beautiful summer night, after a day exploring the Ann Arbor Art Fair.

The Ambiance

The aesthetic flare of Mélange draws your attention before ever stepping into the restaurant. Entering through an oversized clear glass door with silver handle, you descend the posh, wooden paneled stairway and through the opaque glass door to the main dining room. Taking its cues from trendy dining spots in larger cities like LA and New York, the vibe of Mélange bleeds cool. The striking, sophisticated dining area is colored with rich red hues and low, diffuse amber lighting. Passing a sleek glass and steel wall displaying the available wines upon our entrance, we were seated at a tall, oval shaped semi-enclosed booth. Music pulsed from the bar area and dance floor, but being that is was set up to be hidden behind the main entrance staircase and glass wine wall, it was not loud enough to interrupt our dining.

The Service

Our server was friendly and helpful. She knew the menu options well and was able to help us with questions we had of the various items. She kept an eye out for our needs and brought all courses and drinks out quickly.

The Meal

The popular pretzel bread with stone ground mustard was brought to our table as we awaited our meal orders. The pretzel bread more than lived up to the praise the waitress gave to it. Warm, chewy and salty, the bread tasted just as you would expect a good soft pretzel to taste. The creamy texture and zesty flavor of the stone ground mustard sauce was a perfect accompaniment for the bread.

For our appetizer, we chose the chicken lettuce wraps. The filling, consisting of grilled chicken, Asian vegetables and peanuts, was flavorful and the oyster sauce was a perfect balance of salty and sweetness. The lettuce leaves themselves were not served quite as cold as we would have preferred, but overall the appetizer was very tasty.

Having a strong craving for sushi, we decided on one of their most popular sushi rolls, the Red Dragon, along with the California and Dragon Roll. While the overall experience and meal thus far had been very enjoyable, we both were not overly excited after trying the sushi. The rolls were not wrapped quite as tightly as we hoped and not as cold as we would have liked. The Red Dragon, consisting of spicy tuna, cucumber and avocado and topped with maguro tuna, a citrus ponzu sauce, dynamite sauce, red tobiko caviar and scallions, had a very nice appearance and slightly spicy kick. Overall, though, the various flavors just did not come together as we had hoped. The California Roll, with a mix of crab, avocado, cucumber and coated with sesame seeds, was passable but not outstanding. The Dragon Roll was the favorite of the three, a roll of crab mix, cucumber and avocado, topped with unagi (eel), eel sauce and sesame seeds. The soy sauce offered with the sushi was also disappointing, as it was more salty than the sweeter kind we prefer, but that is a matter of preference.

For our desert, we chose the raspberry sorbet, which was sweet, tart and refreshingly light, making it an excellent choice to end our full meal.

The Conclusion

While our meal didn't quite live up to the visual aesthetic of Mélange, we still found it an enjoyable experience. Recommended.

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