Tag Archives: Cafe

Eggshell Bistro

20 Feb

I’ve been staring at the brown canopy reading Eggshell for quite some time. I knew that I would visit sooner than later, but with my parents in town over Super Bowl weekend, I thought it would be the perfect time to try it out. From what I had heard, I knew Eggshell was focusing on espresso and caffeinated drinks with a European and slow brew philosophy. But, I didn’t know much about the food. We made our way into the restaurant and were lucky to be able to grab the last open table.

Located in the Carmel City Center, the Bistro is a small venue packed with character. The tables are a work of art, looking like tree branches supporting the small tabletop. The chairs (according to the website) are imported from France and have the charm of an outdoor cafe. A nice touch, but I’m not sure if it is necessary to have imported them. There is quite an eclectic collection of items giving the overall feel of an antique garden with rustic charm. We had a good view from our table in the back of the room, and the clientele matched the mood and feel of the restaurant that morning. The server greeted us with her iPad, ready to take our order.

I was all over the place in a good way where I think my parents were all over the place because it was something new for them to try. They opted with the quiche and crostini – both which they really enjoyed. I had ordered a variety of items to share with hubs. The main dish was the sweet potato hash. I love sweet potatoes and was anticipating some great things knowing it would be a fresh, artisan taste. The sweet potatoes were shredded rather than cubed adding a different texture than what I was expecting. It made the taste a little subdued, so you could taste the combination of the spicy chorizo and jalapenos in the mix. The spice of these items was subtle though, not overwhelming the sweetness of the potato or the rustic black beans that were in the mix. On top, two perfectly poached eggs that when cut into, delivered a smooth, rich creamy yolk ‘dressing’ for the hash. Some tomato relish and creamy goat cheese was a nice accompaniment as well. I  make things like this at home all the time on the weekend, and this was exactly what I wanted out on Saturday morning.

In addition to the hash, we also had a cup of fruit, grits, and lamb bacon. The fruit was the best fruit cup I’ve ever had. A collection of fruit that you wouldn’t normally see, a lot of vibrant and tart fruit. I especially loved the pomegranate. The order of lamb bacon from the Smoking Goose was a bit more greasy and fatty than I would have liked. But, it had the deep, satisfying flavor that only the Smoking Goose can deliver in their meats. My favorite side was the Anson Mills stone ground grits. They were cooked perfectly, creating a wholesome and filling creamy base heightened with the sharp cheddar cheese. I loved every bite as I was scrapping the small taste bowl I ordered.

Overall, the plates seemed small. But in reality, they were all one serving – what we are supposed to be eating but just don’t see at everyday restaurants. I was completely satisfied with what we had ordered, both in flavor and in size. However, it was a bit pricey for what we were given as our total bill was close to $60 for the four of us, prior to tip. I loved the environment and could see having a quite lunch with my friends. If you are looking for something of large satisfying proportions after a late night binge, this won’t be where you want to go. But, it is a great brunch spot for a light, global inspired meal and an amazing cup of coffee.

Eggshell Bistro * 51 W City Center Dr * Carmel, 46032 * 317.660.1616

Note: the website is out of date, but you can view the menu and up to date information on facebook

Eggshell Bistro on Urbanspoon

La Mie Emilie

17 Jun

I’m a Groupon and Living Social junkie.  Whenever I see a restaurant up for purchase, the internal debate begins….”will it be worth it?” and the typical rebuttal of  “It’s okay if it isn’t worth it, you paid half price and at least you tried something new!”  My rationalization usually wins out and I click ‘purchase’ like it’s my job.

I’ve been sitting on this Living Social ($20 for $10 worth of food) deal for La Mie Emilie’s for quite sometime.   Buying this one was a no brainer.  Not because I’ve dined there before, but because I have walked by it numerous times.  On Main Street in the Arts District, it is only half a mile from my house.  I have no excuse for not trying it since it is a mere few minutes to bike there.  So, hubs and I grabbed our bikes with the deal in hand, hopped on the Monon and made our way to the French cafe for a mid-week dinner.

The weather was perfect, sunny but not overly hot as we were in the final stretch of the day.  Many of the restaurants on the street were bustling outside…all but La Mie Emilie.  So, we took it upon ourselves to be the first (and we ended up the only) to sit outside for dinner.  Just a note, there were people inside, quite a few.  They also had some sort of art project going on for a group (I don’t have more info on this – sorry to those who are curious.)  We each ordered a drink (hubs a Stella and myself a glass of Freynelle Blanc) and looked over the menu.  I thought they may have a dinner menu available, but instead, they featured 3 dinner entrees and their daily menu of brunch items, salads, sandwiches and crepes.  I wasn’t anticipating this, so I quickly changed my frame of mind and shifted to to the lighter fare.

Hubs decided on the Croque Madame.  The croque is a classic French sandwich, crusty bread sandwiches with savory meats and finished with broiled cheese on top.  Hubs consisted of ham, gruyere and a fried egg.  I had one bite and it was just what I expected.  A crisp layer of gruyere, lending the perfect cheesy flavor to the ham and cheese sandwich that it is essentially was.  The egg was a little overdone for my taste, but hubs wasn’t complaining about the fried egg on top of his sandwich.  My preference is to really make it a fork and knife sandwich with the runny egg yolk being sopped up by the crusty bread.  But alas, it wasn’t my sandwich and he was the one was eating it – so it worked for him.  He ordered chips with it and they were your standard bagged chips – nothing special.

I ordered the croissant a Jambon & Brie, aka ham and brie croissant.  The croissant itself was buttery, flaky and delish.  There was a healthy portion of ham that was subtly sweet and a standard portion of melted brie.  My first bite screamed mustard – dijon mustard.  It was a little more than I would have liked on the sandwich, but it was a good compliment to the sandwich ingredients.  I was expecting a bit more onion flavor (the mustard was a dijon onion mustard) but didn’t get any of that.  Mostly, I tasted the buttery croissant.  I have to admit, I would have liked this sandwich much more it had a crunch to it.  Not the lettuce crunch that was on the plate, but green apples would have been perfect and really would have made me like the sandwich a bit more.  My side was the cucumber salad – French style.   Sliced cucumbers with onions were mixed with a yogurt and sour cream sauce.  It was lighter than I anticipated, refreshing as the sun was beating on my fave.We ended the night with some desserts (note: if you are a Foursquare user, check-in and show them for 50% off a slice of pie.)  The menu says the pies are from The Pie Safe – I haven’t ever heard of it so I’m not sure if it is a former restaurant, former or current bakery, etc.  If anyone has any insight, I’d love to hear.  Hubs ordered the chocolate coconut pie a la mode while I opted for the Tarte Tatin slice after some encouragement from the server.  Hubs wasn’t overly impressed despite his love for German chocolate bakery.  I took a quick nibble and the coconut was really fresh tasting and it was rich with chocolate flavor.  But, it was a little dry, both the crust and pie filling.  Mine was a little too sweet, which I should have anticipated.  The apples were caramelized on top due to the baking process of butter and sugar seeping through the apples.  The apples had a bite to them, how dried apples are, but much more tender with the pull of caramel on your teeth.  I would have replaced the dollop of whip cream with ice cream if I thought more about it.  And the crust wasn’t much – it crumbled too easily and I was expecting more consistency to it to really be a base for the apples – the apples ended up being a base for the crust.

Overall, with drinks, sandwiches and slices of dessert, hubs and I spent about $40 (prior to our discount).  I don’t think I would dine here for dinner again – maybe a light lunch, but probably more for a quick slice of pie and coffee drink after perusing the art galleries of the district.  They do have many coffee drinks available for purchase and their pie menu is quite extensive.

La Mie Emilie * 15 W.Main Street * Carmel, IN * 317.816.1200

La Mie Emilie on Urbanspoon