restaurateurs John and Peter Roumanis have crafted a restaurant unlike any other in town.
When we entered, Vellum's staff graciously divested us of heavy winter coats and immediately led us to our table without the bar wait still common at many places. Looking around, we marveled at how the Roumanises had renovated both floors of the old Full Moon bar into a restrained, elegant restaurant, with wood floors, fabric-lined brick walls, luxurious banquettes, and gracefully curved light fixtures.
Attentive service continued with immediate queries on water preferences--sparkling bottled or tap poured seemingly perpetually from uncommonly long, narrow pitchers. The waiters were friendly and warm, knowledgeable about the menu and the bar, and the management hospitable, anticipating our needs and desires. Beautifully balanced cocktails whetted our appetites, and the extraordinary wine list, dotted with unusual finds across a wide price range, confounded our ability to select just one or two bottles. The images we conjured from the terse menu descriptions rarely matched the dishes that came to the table, but the food presented was nearly always intriguing. And the prices for the quality and ingredients offered seemed quite low--low enough to make me think eventually they will have to increase.