Pasta with wine on a table
photo by Amy Payne

Restaurateur Chris Evans Opens Tre on Main in Carmel

Restaurateur Chris Evans is no stranger to opening new restaurants. He is the chief executive officer and creative force behind Sangiovese restaurants. Evans purchased the restaurant in 2007. Since then, the wildly popular restaurant moved from its original location to Ironworks, and a second location opened in The Yard at Fishers District. He recently opened his third and final restaurant, Tre on Main, in Carmel. The Italian fine-dining concept for Tre on Main is a little different than Evans’ previous restaurants. The menu is smaller than Sangiovese’s, offering more upscale items.

“The menu is a little smaller, which allowed us to get a little more creative with what we’re offering,” Evans says. “I get frustrated when I go to a restaurant where the menu is a huge book. It’s overwhelming, and I wanted to do something a little simpler.”

Evans chose downtown Carmel as the anchor spot for Tre on Main because he lives in the city and knows it can support higher-end dining and design. He says he loves what is happening in downtown Carmel and thinks it’s one of the best, if not the best, suburbs in Indiana. Italy native Francesco Settanni serves as the director of operations at Tre on Main.

“The space became available around two and a half or three years ago,” Evans says. “When my broker brought me to see the space, I knew I had to make something work there. It’s such a vibrant location, and that corner is probably the best area available for a restaurant. That building is timeless.”

While contemplating names for the new concept, Evans initially set his sights on Brunello. The name is a play on the Italian wine Brunello, made from the Sangiovese grape. He says he liked the way it related to his other restaurants, but he wasn’t sure everyone would pick up on the nuance. He settled on Tre on Main, give that it’s his third restaurant and is on Main Street.

The thoughtfully designed space is 4,800 square feet, and has seating for 112 inside, 15 bar seats and 50 seats on the patio. Evans was highly involved with the design of the restaurant’s interior and exterior. He says he loves to take inspiration from his travels to other cities.

Inside of a fancy restaurant with a bar
Tre on Main interior (photo by Amy Payne)

“I wanted something design-wise that was very high and sophisticated,” Evans says. “So I worked with Kaitlyn Deter with Parallel Design Group. She’s awesome. I worked with her on the design for the Fishers Sangiovese location and my home remodeling. We went with a color scheme of creams and rich, almost chocolate browns.”

Evans wants customers to feel like they’re walking into an art gallery when they step inside the restaurant. As guests approach the restaurant, they’re greeted by a large statue in front of giant, blue double doors. Artist Jason Myers created a high-end art package to adorn the restaurant’s walls.

“I want our guests to be enamored by all the senses, from the lighting to the design to music to the artwork, when they come to Tre on Main,” Evans says. “They may not recognize the artist, but the intent is to make the customer feel a certain way. When they sit down at the restaurant with a glass of wine and food, we want people to have a two-hour vacation from the stresses of their daily lives.”

Pasta with clams
Antipasto with clams (photo by Amy Payne)

The menu is distinctly Italian with a flare of sophistication. Executive Chef Oscar Perez created menu items such as Osso Buco, a braised veal shank in a hearty wine and root-vegetable-based sauce served with creamy polenta. The Gold Risotto Carbonara will delight even the most discerning taste buds with its saffron risotto, pecorino, egg yolk and 24-karat edible gold leaf. Tre on Main even offers an 18-ounce, dry-aged Prime Rib-Eye Steak.

More traditional pasta dishes with a creative twist include Pappardelle Sunday Sauce, including fresh pappardelle, short-rib ragù and tomato sauce; Fettuccine al Tartufo, which comes with fresh fettuccine, truffle butter and fresh seasonal truffle shaved table-side; and Penne Tre Viso, including penne pasta tossed in radicchio, pancetta, and creamy tomato sauce topped with smoked mozzarella.

“We only brought two things over from the Sangiovese food menu, and that includes the marinara sauce, which is the base for many of our menu items, and the tiramisu recipe,” Evans says. “Other than that, everything is still Italian but completely different.”

Evans worked with his head bartender at Tre on Main to create an intriguing cocktail menu. The award-winning Live and Let Die cocktail was also brought over from Sangiovese. The recipe, which includes pineapple-infused Woodford Reserve, Campari, fresh lime juice and pineapple syrup, was too good not to share with Carmel residents.

Martini lovers rejoice – the Miseria e Nobilta includes Monkey 47 gin, dry vermouth and pasta water, with caviar-stuffed olives upon request.

“All of our cocktails are easy to drink and visually stimulating,” Evans says. “With the Miseria e Nobilta, the caviar-stuffed olives just take it over the top. Hunter Hawkins has created such a fun and well-balanced cocktail menu.”

Tre on Main is located at 10 East Main Street in Carmel.

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