eve - Ann Arbor
At the recommendation of some foodie on a recent Ann Arbor thread, MW and I had supper at eve this past Friday night. As we entered, the place was abuzz with diners, gourmands, and bon vivants, creating that warm inviting hum of conviviality.
eve has an open design with exposed brickwork, and ducts overhead. There is a front room with a bar and tables, and then there is a main room, in which we were seated. We were sandwiched in between a couple and a group of about eight, an arrangement that offered us no privacy but, then again, we didn’t need any. My chair was remarkably uncomfortable, and I did remark on it to MW. As she was on the bench along the window, she offered to switch with me but I declined.
We were started off with a very tasty bread and three spreads – butter/herb, salmon, and a third one I can’t remember. We both had a bowl of incredibly rich cream of mushroom soup with about 100 different varieties of mushrooms in it. It…was…delicious but almost too rich. MW decided to go light, and ordered the gulf shrimp salad sautéed with chilies and fresh lime. There were, in our opinion, a paucity of shrimp, but they were perfected cooked. In light of the beating I took on a recent Ann Arbor food thread in which I had recommended The Earle, I decided to order a meat and potatoes dish very similar to the last meal that I had at The Earle. I ordered Beef Tenderloin with Accoutrements. Here is eve’s description - Medallions of beef tenderloin topped with caramelized onions and warmed Stilton served with port-macerated dried fruit and gingered potato gratin. We married our dishes to a very reasonably priced Château Haut Bernat Puisseguin 2000. At $22, the wine was definitely value for dollar, and it made my seat very much more comfortable. The beef tenderloin was a rich dining experience, as one would expect for $32. The Stilton, IMO, came close to overwhelming the tenderloin, whereas The Earle’s Roquefort-based sauce seemed to better enhance the tenderloin. It’s a small thing, but The Earle’s potato gratin was a better presentation. For dessert, we shared a triple chocolate pots de crème which was beyond description – I’m still thinking about it. MW can take chocolate or leave it, but I had to fight her for spoonfuls. As an aside, the meal left me with a slight case of indigestion – it was very rich.
On next visit to eve, I think that I’d like to try a fish dish. On the menu (evetherestaurant.com), they have what they call the simple fish where you can choose from a selection of fresh fish and seafood. On next visit to The Earle, I will try a fish dish there, just to have something to compare to.
Our server was exceedingly friendly and attentive and unobtrusive. The maitre d’ was very charming and fixed us up with a glass of a different Bordeaux which was also very drinkable. All in all, MW and I had a very enjoyable night out.
Summerfield, next time you are at eve, try the appetizer that is I called INSPIRED NACHOS - they are fried wontons generously topped with black beans and melted goat Gouda, Jack and Cheddar cheeses, sliced avocado, cilantro-lime salsa and finally,crème fraîche. I have only had fish there or appetizers and have been consistently impressed. I like the wine.
I was at Eve with my wife and her family just 2 nights later!
My sister-in-law ordered the nachos as her entree, but being that she's a vegetarian she has the meat and beans (they're cooked together) left off. Even without that they were quite tasty.
We shared the curried mussels, and they were wonderful.
My mother-in-law ordered the scallops, which aside from being huge, were nicely seared and still plenty soft in the middle.
My wife ordered the same entree as you, Summerfield, and while it was tasty, I MUCH preferred the lamb sirloin I ordered for myself. We'd been to Eve before, but I think this trip - and that dish - confirmed it as my current favorite restaurant in the Ann Arbor area. The only thing that disappointed me was not receiving the same candied mint leaves they gave us with the check on our first visit. I'll need to work on making my own, I think...
Reservations: ja, on most nights. Might get away without one, but with something going on in town it gets good crowds. Suit and tie, no. this is a pretty informal town these days. I wouldn't walk in dressed in shorts, but they might seat you even like that. I might add that at Eve I've had a curry seafood pasta dish that is both daring and delicious.