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Tongue N' Cheek restaurant seeks funds to open doors

If all goes well for Matthew Ewing, Tongue N’ Cheek won’t be just a figure of speech anymore.

A new tapas-style restaurant idea for northern Indiana is in the works – but needs funds to get started.

Ewing, executive chef at Main St. Grille in Mishawaka, is the one behind the project. He is looking to raise $15,000 for Tongue N’ Cheek through an Indiegogo fundraising campaign. The 60-day fundraiser opened June 30 and has garnered $365 as of Thursday afternoon, July 3. All funds raised will cover the cost of kitchen equipment.

Tongue N’ Cheek will focus on nose-to-tail cooking, a concept that uses as much of every animal as possible, with a small-plates menu based around seasonal ingredients, according to the Indiegogo page.

Ewing was inspired by a restaurant he went to in Chicago several years ago; he wanted to localize the dining experience. His passion for nose-to-tail cooking began with meals he would share with his childhood best friend, who is Vietnamese.

“These dishes were things very simple like herb salads with noodles; grilled meats; my life-long obsession, pho; and the one situation that will be with me for the rest of my life, blood soup,” Ewing said. “From that day forward, I have always had an open mind towards food. I urge people to try new things. With proper technique the ’odd’ ingredients can be delicious.”

The restaurant will plan to carry craft beer, fine wine and high-end spirits. Ewing doesn’t have a set location yet, but will be looking to open in the South Bend/Mishawaka region.

Contributors to the cause will receive a perk determined by the amount they donate:

  • Donors who give $25 can sign the restaurant wall after opening
  • $75 will earn the right to create a signature cocktail
  • Membership in the beer, wine or fine spirits club, with a custom glass, is $120
  • At $500, donors will compete in “Chopped with Chef Mat,” receiving a basket of secret ingredients to create a judged dish that rivals Ewing’s.
  • Anyone who donates $750 will develop a dish with Ewing that will be featured in the restaurant for a day
  • The largest contributor – at $1,200 – will get a private dinner for up to six people with courses that preview Tongue N’ Cheek’s dining experience.

Future plans for other events and fundraisers are in development.

“The current campaign is geared towards raising the funds…to create some capital, and to hopefully show the big investors that the people in our area want this restaurant to open,” Ewing said. “The sooner we can provide the experience that has stuck in my memories, the better. I cannot wait to give people the opportunity to try something new.”

Visit the Indiegogo page for more details, and check back with Flavor 574 as we follow Tongue N’ Cheek’s progress.

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