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“If all four salads are good, which do you choose?”
Review of Cafe Navarre

Cafe Navarre
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Ranked #3 of 308 Restaurants in South Bend
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $20 - $38
Cuisines: American, French
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Late Night, Reservations
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.
Reviewed July 24, 2014

Last night my husband and I (and our daughter and her fiancee') went to Cafe Navarre for a "tasting" of possible menu choices for their wedding reception on August 2nd at The Exchange. (Cafe Navarre provides the food for The Exchange.) We felt like royalty, as we were treated royally. Everyone at Cafe Navarre seemed aware that we were coming in for the menu tasting. The service was impeccable, and we had Nicole, the manager of The Exchange, with us to talk through decisions we needed to make as to menu selection. The most difficult part of the evening was deciding between the various choices, all fresh and so very well prepared. The food pairings were excellent, and though we did finally decide on some items, we all wished we could be back there again tonight to experience it once again. The new chef, Eamonn McParland, has added a great deal of personality and originality to the very competent Cafe Navarre ensamble. Do not hesitate to visit, as Cafe Navarre is a first class establishment.

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6  Thank jmaich
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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218 - 222 of 344 reviews

Reviewed July 23, 2014

My first trip to Cafe Navarre with my wife was a great experience. I knew we were in the right place for dinner being that the restaurant was nearly full just past 6:00 on a Monday night. Both my wife and I are in the restaurant industry and know what a Monday night can typically mean for business. We were seated in a large booth for just the two of us, which was great.

I peeked into the kitchen to say hello to the executive chef, Eamonn, since I had worked with him at a previous restaurant. He gave me a tour of the entire kitchen before I sat down to start the meal. While talking with him, I had asked what he recommended for me to order since he has just begun rolling out his new menu after taking over the kitchen recently. He told me "I think you'll like the salmon".

With that information I returned to my table to sit down with my wife and start the meal. We ordered a pork belly appetizer, an heirloom tomato/fresh mozzarella salad, duck confit salad, filet mignon, and sockeye salmon for dinner.

The menu was perfectly sized. Enough to choose from within each category, and the wine list was concise as well. I was expecting a little larger wine list for a fine dining restaurant in South Bend, however, it did the trick for providing some great selections and even a reserve list at the end of the list that featured some older vintages.

Our entire meal was delicious. My favorites were the confit salad (which my wife had ordered) and my salmon entree. The salmon was lightly seared, topped with chanterelle mushrooms and a chervil butter. It was also plated with a flan; which I enjoyed more than I thought I would upon reading the menu description. One of the best salmon dishes I have ever had. It was so nice for our food to be cooked how we ordered it. Too often anymore, our steaks are overcooked when we dine out, which is always a letdown.

I ended up receiving a birthday dessert as we were out to celebrate my birthday a few days late. We were so full that we had to decline even looking at a dessert menu for other options besides my complimentary dessert.

Overall, an awesome first experience that will definitely be bringing us back. I'm glad I took Chef Eamonn's recommendation and ordered the salmon. We don't get to dine out as often as we'd like, so when we get a great experience like the one we had this month, we remember it for quite a while!

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2  Thank PML86
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 18, 2014 via mobile

We stopped in for the first time to have drinks. The bartender was very friendly & informative about the menu as well. We will definitely return for lunch or dinner in the future.

1  Thank Melissa G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 8, 2014

I went hear with a relative for dinner one night and really enjoyed it. We had to keep pushing out the reservation on a busy night due to some traveling issues but they were very flexible and still kept a table for us. The food was very good and the menu had nice variety. We had a dessert that was a cobbler with ice cream using apricots and it was delicious. My fish was very good. Next time I'm in South Bend, I'm planning to go out for dinner here again. Our food was up very fast so my only question was how they were able to get our food plated and to our table only minutes after we ordered it. Someone else may have ordered the same menu items and left but I can't give them a 5 star rating if they didn't cook it to our order. The food was hot enough.

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Thank rae_wul
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 1, 2014

When visiting a relative in South Bend, a dinner plan was needed. He suggested the Cafe Navarre as he frequents the restaurant often, usually for lunch. We found out why! This unassuming place on a street corner in downtown South Bend is not extremely flashy (quite comfortable, however) but who cares? It does boast some of the best food in the area. That, coupled with friendly service and a pro-active manager who rose to the occasion when a slight glitch occurred, made for an exceptional dining experience.
The brief two-paged menu did not over complicate our options. There was plenty to choose from without being burdensome or confusing. The same went for the wine list which included a sufficient number of labels from moderate to higher end.
Our four diners covered a large portion of the menu with a variety of selections. Appetizers included mussels,asparagus soup, and the French onion soup. The salad selections included the Navarre, caesar, and beet offerings. And the entrees chosen were the sausage pasta, pork chop, lamb shank, and vegan. So what was the group consensus? Not one complaint and many oohs and aahs. I was especially impressed with the vegetables and potato preparation that my pork chop rested on. Everyone raved and said they would order the same dish again on another visit.
Our veteran server could not have been nicer and the bus staff did a great job of cleaning the crumbs and filling the water glasses.
One of my biggest complaints about restaurants these days is the abundance of TV's in the dining area. I am happy to report that the only TV in the place was appropriately placed above the bar.
As we frequent trips to South Bend, we will return often to Cafe Navarre for more pleasurable dining adventures.

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1  Thank Gary R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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