Mediterrano Restaurant, Ann Arbor, Michigan

An adventure in healthy and delicious cuisine

When John Roumanis was served his first plate-sized American steak, he was shocked. “It was enough food to feed six or seven people in my home village in Greece,” he recalls.

Mediterranean food in dish with three spoonsJohn, owner of the popular Mediterrano Restaurant in Ann Arbor, Michigan, says his naturally healthful Mediterranean menu wasn’t something he planned; it was simply food he grew up with. “We didin’t eat for health. We ate what we had — fish, vegetables, olive oil, whole wheat bread baked in a wood-fired oven. We didn’t have butter and red meat was used more as a condiment.”

Grilled lamb chops on yellow rice

Mediterranean style grilled lamb chops.

Mediterranean style eating is not only delicious, it’s really good for you. John and his chef, Rob Underwood, have brought the simple, healthy foods and intense flavors of the Mediterranean and North Africa – from South of France to Greece, from Spain to North Africa– to his menu. At Mediterrano, they combine the best ideas from each region, creating old world dishes with new twists and the results are delectable.

When realfoodtraveler visited, we began our meal with an appetizer of Medjool dates stuffed with chorizo sausage, applewood bacon, and a touch of romesco sauce (the delicious Catalonia sauce made with almonds). The soft, sweet dates were countered by the smoky sausage-bacon flavors for a rich treat. The next appetizer was a plate of creamy hummus with just the right amount of garlic and a deliciously salty tapenade of puréed olives, anchovy, capers and mustard served with freshly baked pita bread. Then we dove into a roasted winter squash soup, creamy and orange with a little kick at the end.

Scallops on top of greens

Scallops at Mediterrano are perfectly cooked — moist with just the right sear on the outside.

Next came my favorite dish, perfectly seared scallops. Large and meaty, with just the right amount of crust encasing the delicate centers. They were followed by little grilled lamb chops, medium-rare and juicy. The chops, marinated with preserved lemon, cumin, coriander, and fennel, had just a little smoky sear at the edges, and were on a bed of saffron-scented couscous. Delicious. —BH

Mediterrano Restaurant
2900 S. State Street, suite 7
Ann Arbor, MI

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Bobbie Hasselbring, RFT Editor

RFT co-founder Bobbie Hasselbring has been a travel junkie her entire life. An award-winning writer and editor for more than 25 years and author of the regional food-travel bestsellers, The Chocolate Lover’s Guide to the Pacific Northwest and The Chocolate Lover’s Guide Cookbook, Bobbie is editor-in-chief at

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