In its first month, Eggshell Bistro (51 W. City Center Dr., Carmel, 317-660-1616) has already charmed diners with its inventive brunch menu, French flea market decor, elaborate Rube Goldbergian coffee maker, and exclusive deal with the coveted San Francisco roaster Blue Bottle Coffee. Owner Larry Hanes, an avid collector with a background in graphic design and a passion for food, has a few more tricks up his sleeve. Among them:
Wood-fired artisan bagels from The Kessing Haus Cafe in Oldenburg. “They use reverse osmosis water for boiling, and the ingredients are completely organic,” Hanes says. “They do an egg wash with farm fresh eggs. How appropriate.”
Craft chocolates from Mast Brothers Chocolate. In addition to using the chocolates in the restaurant's mochas and hot chocolates, Eggshell will carry Mast Brothers candy bars. “Amazing flavors, and absolutely no emulsifiers,” Hanes says.
An in-house art gallery. “It might not always be art,” Hanes says. “It might be a collection. And it might be informational, almost like what you would see at a natural history museum.”
Prix fixe dinners. Hanes plans to offer two vegetarian dishes and one regular option on performance nights at The Palladium.
French intensive gardening. The small-space, low-water method of tilling the soil results in more of a vertical crop and beds just big enough to reach an arm in to pick. Hanes plans to build his garden on the roof of his restaurant. “Some of the produce would be for sale,” he says. “I guess I was influenced by The Butcher Shop in Boston, which is a butcher shop for the community in the daytime, and then it converts into a restaurant. It’s a similar idea—raise the vegetables, sell the vegetables. But also pull some of them back to the kitchen.”
Rooftop Movies. “I already have a connection with a movie guy who has all of the equipment and the movies—vintage films from the 1930s and ’40s, and a lot of foreign films.”