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South Bend Winter Restaurant Week: Marshall King stops to Café Navarre for a bite

South Bend’s Winter Restaurant Week ends on Sunday.

Have you gotten a chance to get there yet?

I seldom get to as many spots as I hope during such things, but managed to get to a few spots this time. On Friday night, I celebrated a friends’ birthday at Café Navarre. Staff members said they’ve been really busy since the event started Jan. 25.

The restaurant at 101 N. Michigan St., South Bend, was buzzing, and it was fun to watch the staff working in harmony to take orders, serve drinks and food, and clear plates.

The crowd included a bunch of young diners and I could see plenty of specials hitting the tables. Cafe Navarre is offering a pick three for $33, plus the option to get steak or fresh fish for an extra $5. There are also drink specials, including a lovely 1907 Vineyard (the brand not the vintage) Malbec for $20 a bottle.

The entire starter and appetizer portion of the menu is available, as well as entrees and desserts. I love the French onion soup at Navarre, which is rich and laden with bread and cheese.

The roasted beet salad includes baby kale, goat cheese and Marcona almonds, which are a species of almond that have just a bit different texture.

For entree, I got a pork shank, which was like eating really good pot roast. The meat fell apart and the jus was very nice.

Yes, though I’d ordered three things already, I did add dessert. Crème brûlée comes as an option and I got a bite of someone else’s.


I enjoyed the apple tart, which was light and sweet.

Sixteen restaurants are offering specials through Sunday. Hope you get a chance to try some of the great specials being offered in downtown South Bend. And don’t forget to mark your calendars for Goshen Dining Days. Flavor 574 is putting together that event for March 5 to 12.


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