24460 Adams Rd.
South Bend Indiana 46628United States
Midwest Living Recommends
Tucked in a restored church, Carriage House is destination dining, serving up artistically executed classic French dishes in a gracious setting.
Its address in a residential neighborhood belies the high-style dining at Carriage House. Behind double doors is a cozy dining room with a soaring ceiling topped with the original exposed beams. The furniture is antique, the art is museum quality, the service is attentive and the food is excellent. We made a short stop in the tiny bar to sample one of the cocktail specials the Adam and Eve, flavored with apple and an edible hibiscus flower that added rich color and a raspberrylike taste. Once seated in the dining room, we studied the 20-page wine list -- choosing one of the most affordable bottles, a Meiomi Pinot Noir at $54. With so many options, the Carriage House's owner and licensed sommelier, Judith Cote, is glad to make recommendations. Dinner began with a Carriage House liver pate and pickle plate and an escargot appetizer ($15) that was rich, tasty and served with a delicate, buttery bread for dipping. Next up, the house salad: mixed greens with endive and oranges topped with a honey-glazed pear and pecans. For entrees, we enjoyed filet mignon with artichoke hearts and Bearnaise sauce, served with crispy waffle cut fries ($49 for a 12-ounce cut), and the signature veal Baltimore, lightly breaded veal cutlets with shitake mushrooms and onions, lump crab and a velvety cream sauce. Amazing! The dessert cart features mile-high lemon meringue pie, apple cake and triple chocolate cake, among other temptations. We chose chocolate (layers of chocolate mousse covered in chocolate ganache with a side of raspberry sauce), a serving large enough to share. It was a perfect ending to a meal that included attentive, but not intrusive, service. If we loved Carriage House this much on a snowy February night, we can't imagine what it would be to sit among the 10,000 blooming peonies in May. A distinctive alfresco menu includes wood-fired pizzas (from $12), Maine lobster roll ($28) or even burgers ($12). The dining room is open Tuesday through Saturday evenings. Reservations preferred. Consider dressing at least business casual for the dining room.