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“Delightful find” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Cafe Navarre

Cafe Navarre
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Ranked #3 of 292 Restaurants in South Bend
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $20 - $38
Cuisines: American, Soups
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Business meetings, Bar scene, Special occasions, Large groups, Romantic
Dining options: Dinner, Lunch, Late Night, Full Bar, Outdoor Seating, Private Dining, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Cross street: Washington
Description: A warm, inviting atmosphere best defines Cafe Navarre. Clearly one of downtown South Bend's most attractive buildings from the exterior, and the view from inside Cafe Navarre is nothing short of breathtaking. The fusion of Old World style architecture with natural light and the finest interior furnishings, the ambiance of Cafe Navarre is truly one of a kind.The style of food offered by Cafe Navarre includes French, Italian and Spanish. Cuisine distinguished by simplicity, full flavor, and healthiness describes the overall style. Cafe Navarre's menu also offers more fresh fish options than what other local restaurants typically offer.Dishes created with farm to table sources are unmistakable in flavor and quality. These are regularly featured at Cafe Navarre, along with an array of top shelf wines at prices that our customers return frequently to enjoy.Private Rooms: For your special event or business meeting, Cafe Navarre can seat up to 20 guests in each of three private meeting rooms.
Warsaw, Indiana
Level Contributor
37 reviews
24 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Delightful find”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 19, 2014

I made reservations here thinking that it was a higher end Italian restaurant, and was slightly surprised by the menu. My sister and I arrived a little early and sat at the bar a few minutes. The ambiance was lovely and the crowd sedate. No horribly loud music to interrupt conversation. That was a blessing. The very knowledgeable bartender recommended a sauvignon blanc that was excellent. We were seated in a comfortable booth and attended by a very personable and proficient waiter, Adam. When we asked to split the starter and salad, there was not even a hint of hesitation on his part. We chose the gnocchi small plate, which was excellent with sage butter sauce and ribbons of zucchini and squash and the duck confit salad with small bits of delicious duck, shaved brussels, blue cheese, chunks of Parmesan, in other words, delightful. The special was a Arctic char (which is a good environmental choice for many reasons) with goat cheese infused polenta, grilled asparagus and haricot vert . It all sounded wonderful, except that I'm not a fan of polenta. Adam then went to confer with the chefs as to what would be a proper alternative and came back with the mushroom risotto. Excellent. My sister ordered the bouillabaisse which was loaded with giant shrimp, scallops, etc. and was also excellent. We shared the apple tart for dessert, and had to take home much of our dinners, as we of course had ordered too much. But the atmosphere was perfect for talking, catching up, enjoying our food and wine and being waited on by a very experienced waiter, who was helpful, friendly and offered just enough service and suggestions.

  • Visited February 2014
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank Pastiche46580
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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283 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    184
    74
    19
    4
    2
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Japanese first
  • Any
English first
lafayette indiana
Level Contributor
23 reviews
18 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“So disappointed.”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 15, 2014

After reading the reviews here, I was so excited to try this restaurant. As I write this review, my husband and I are sitting at a quaint upstairs table overlooking this lovely space. But unfortunately, our experience went south from there. We just had the worst service I've seen in a very long time. Our server complained from the beginning of being tired of climbing the stairs to care for us. She was virtually nonexistent through the course of our meal - constantly forgetting us ( my husband's potatoes, water, etc, separating the alcohol from our bill due to an expense requirement of my company). Our salad was delicious as was my husband's steak. My mussels were tasty until I noticed a large oirtion were unopened. Unopened mussels should not be eaten a a restaurant of this caliber should know better than ti serve them.

  • Visited February 2014
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
2 Thank allirae65
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Michigan City, Indiana
Level Contributor
18 reviews
11 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“A Fine Dine !!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 13, 2014

Superior service. The waiter was perfect. He was extremely pleasant. He was not excessively hovering, but gave us his utmost attention. As soon as we were done with a plate, the staff would swoop in and remove it. The food was excellent. It was served piping hot as if it was brought immediately from the kitchen. A little pricey, but what the hell.

  • Visited February 2014
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank Super_Explorer_Man
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
South Bend, Indiana
Level Contributor
183 reviews
75 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 67 helpful votes
“A Touch of Class in South Bend”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 10, 2014

Last night was our first trip to Cafe Navarre, which has an excellent reputation in town. Now we are kicking ourselves that, in the several year we've lived in the area, we haven't been there before.

As for ambiance, if one could lift up the Cafe Navarre and relocate it to Indianapolis, Chicago, New York or San Francisco, etc., it wouldn't be out of place! Located in an old bank building, the inside architecture combined with the fine restaurant appointments make the decor classy and sophisticated. The decor is a cut above anywhere else in town (although we haven't seen the newly refurbished Sorin's at Notre Dame.) Then there is the food! Our masterful and engaging server told us all the restaurant's chefs were trained at either Cordon Bleu or the Culinary Institute of America--and it shows. The food was scrumptious and beautifully presented. My husband had the gnocchi appetizer and the fresh fish of the day (Mahi Mahi) and both were excellent. ((I had a sample of both and I totally agree!) My Navarre salad and salmon with the pinot noir sauce were wonderful. (I gave my husband a taste of the salmon and he's going to try it next time.) The vegetables/sides served with both entrees were cooked to perfection. We finished with dessert and my husband loved his Creme Brulee, The only drawback to the meal was my Berry Crunch. Although it was good, it was pretty watery even before the vanilla bean ice cream (yummy) melted and needed more "crumble" and fruit. The Cafe Navarre participates in the downtown "Restaurant Week" and one can save significantly--but although that prompted us to visit for an early Valentine's dinner (we never go out on that day--too crowded no matter where you are), we certainly won't be waiting until the next "Restaurant Week" to come back!

  • Visited February 2014
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank JustaHoosier
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dayton, Ohio
Level Contributor
19 reviews
15 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Wonderful downtown find”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 9, 2014 via mobile

This was a delightful dining experience. We were in South Bend, for a sporting event. As it turned out, the city was celebrating Restaurant Week. Lucky us!! Our meal was great. We had the short ribs and the lamb shank. Both did not disappoint. I had the gnocchi, with squash ribbons in sage brown butter, for an appetizer. It was SO good, I wish it was my meal! My companion had the mussels, which were a bit bland. We both had the Pumpkin and Squash bisque. It was very good and beautifully presented. We are both martini drinkers and the pour did not disappoint!
Our server was excellent and we never had to ask for a thing. The only observation about the restaurant would be the noise level. Because it is in an older, multistoried building, it can be a bit loud. Still, this is not a reason to stay away. It is a great dining experience.

Visited February 2014
Helpful?
Thank longport
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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