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“It's Hard to Find Anything Wrong Here”

Carriage House Dining Room & Gardens
Ranked #13 of 297 Restaurants in South Bend
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: US$16 - US$50
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Special Occasion Dining, Business meetings, Romantic
Dining options: Breakfast, Dinner, After-hours, Outdoor Seating, Private Dining, Reservations
Description: Indiana's most nationally recognized restaurant - 28 years AAA Chicago Four Diamond and 30 years Wine Spectator "Award of Excellence." Formal Main Dining housed within historical 1851 building featuring the freshest farm-to-table foods and extensive fine wine list. Michiana's premier outdoor fine-dining facility, ALFRESCO FINE DINING & GARDENS, featuring a wood fire oven, patio seating adjacent to outdoor stage exhibiting local musicians every weekend during summer. Two Excellent Venues - One Superb Restaurant!
Reviewed 28 May 2013

We dined here on a balmy spring evening, the lilacs were abloom and their fragrance filled the air. We had intended to dine outdoors but the threat of showers made al fresco a non-event.
We were seated in a cozy alcove with fresh beautiful deep purple irises on our table.
Our server was Sabrina and she has been here several decades.
After I told her about our Michigan wine adventures, she brought a wine tasting to our table.
There were three glasses of red and four of white. No varietal was mentioned. It was a blind tasting. We sampled these wines and settled on a smooth Pinot Grigio.
We started with the baked Brie and Berries appetizer and the R & R salad. The Brie came with hazelnuts. The R & R salad was romaine lettuce with glazed walnuts, raisins, and Roquefort dressing. Both were tasty. We shared and there were 2 thumbs up.
I had the veal piccata and zucchini/potato pancake and grilled zucchini. My BW had the chicken saltimbocca. It came with noodles, mushrooms, and asparagus. The sauce was light but delicious. In fact, both entrees were delicious.
The ambiance was calming and relaxing. We were in no rush and enjoyed ourselves thoroughly. We can't wait to come back for another visit and try their outdoor dining. And hope to get Sabrina again.

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Thank bobemac
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviews (249)
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180 - 184 of 249 reviews

Reviewed 27 May 2013

We live in the South Bend area and have dined at all of the nice restaurants around the Michiana local. We feel that The Carriage House is decidedly one of the best. The food is excellent. The service is wonderful and their wine cellar is unmatched. The owner always makes us feel at home and as if we are very special family.

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Thank Sandra B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 May 2013

We just returned from our Naples, Fl home for the summer and immediately made the
reservation for our anniversary dinner. We have enjoyed this restaurant for over 30 years
and miss being able to eat there more often.

We made the drive from Culver last night expecting the great food, service and atmosphere
we have always enjoyed, and were NOT disappointed.

Upon entering we were greeted by a clean-cut young man of high school or college age who
politely explained that Judy was seating another party and we would be seated momentarily.
(Anyone who has been there knows that Judy attempts to personally seat
each party)

Immediately on being seated our server brought the menus and wine list. One of the young
assistant servers filled our water glasses and our main server returned with the complimentary
pate and pickles and took our drink order. The rest of the the evening proceeded like
clockwork. The food was excellent and the service superb as always thanks to Sabrina and
her assistants.

Judy made it a point to meet us as we were leaving to thank us for coming and to wish us
a safe trip home. All-in-all the beautiful dining experience we have learned to expect.

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Thank Phillip L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 May 2013

I've been looking forward to trying this restaurant ever since we moved to South Bend a couple of years ago, and we finally had the chance last week. With all of the awards it advertises, it had to be good, right?

Yikes. We went on a weeknight, and the restaurant was pretty much full. The only hostess was on the phone quite awhile before she was able to seat us. A little uncomfortable to stand there without being acknowledged at all.

Our server seemed harried. We ordered drinks, then several minutes later, she had to come back and ask what we had ordered. If you can't remember it, write it down!

Overall, we were tremendously UNimpressed with the staff. The main servers were adults (I think there were only two there that night), but everyone else working was high school or young college age. When you are charging the prices Carriage House charges, you should have a top-notch and well-trained staff. Apparently, that isn't a high priority here. They weren't bad, just not on top of their game the way a more experienced staff would be.

Our appetizers (pheasant & crab cake) were great. Unfortunately, the meal went downhill from there. I had brie-stuffed chicken breast. It was moist but flavorless (the sauce mentioned on the menu either wasn't there or so bland as to be not noticeable), and I hate when a fine dining restaurant serves chicken still on the bone. Nothing like trying to be upscale while attacking a chicken carcass.

My husband ordered beef Wellington. The presentation was seriously lacking. It was garnished with an uneven ring of piped whipped potatoes and a tomato carved to barely look like a flower. Taste was OK, but not worth $40+.

Desserts (served by one of the young people standing around the dining room) were OK, but not up to the supposed caliber of this restaurant.

Seems like this restaurant is sitting on its laurels given years ago. Don't waste your time and a week's paycheck. There are much better, more reasonable, and creative options in the area.

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5  Thank DCatherineH
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
judyoody, Owner at Carriage House Dining Room & Gardens, responded to this reviewResponded 21 May 2013

Unfortunately for us and potential guests seeking information on our restaurant, we have this false review. We will ask Trip Advisor to remove. Until then, we will post a response to help counter. This negative review was an exact duplicate of a response given to us on Yelp two years ago. We asked Yelp to remove the bogus review then. Hopefully Trip Advisor does it job and erases this.

Since we haven't had Brie Chicken on our menu for a year, pheasant for 4 years, and Beef Wellington for nearly a month we knew this was all wrong from the start.

BTW, the bone we do serve in our chicken breast is called an "airline breast" which is done for aesthetic purposes. Also, our guests LOVE our junior staff, and make a point to ask them where they will be going to college, how college is going, or what job prospects they have when leaving college. There has been more than one time that jobs have been offered during dinner service!

Again, we can only hope Trip Advisor does their job and removes this bogus review.

Thank you for reading!

Adrian & Judy / Owners

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 May 2013

The Carriage House is the finest restaurant in Michiana (northern Indiana and southwestern Michigan.) The owners have set high standards for every aspect of their establishment -- the grounds and garden are well-tended; the atmosphere is elegant; the quality and presentation of food is superb; the wine selection is unmatched; the team of servers/bartenders/bussers is professional, knowledgeable and exceptional -- and we are always impressed. Beautiful fresh flowers, silver serving pieces, piped butter instead of square little pats, even the way guests are seated so you're not staring into the faces of the people at the next table -- the attention to detail adds to the experience and does not go unnoticed. Many high-end restaurants in Chicago cannot compare to the elegance and quality of The Carriage House. We love The Carriage House and recommend it highly.

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Thank SusanV2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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