Our first experience at South Bend Bistro was so nice we went back with a guest a week later. That first time was excellent: we had the best tuna tartare EVER, served with a bit of crispy potato and sauce of lemon/sesame oil. Mushroom puree (the soup du jour) was also excellent. We both had grilled halibut, served with simple steamed vegetables, and lovely macadamia coconut tarte for dessert. Our server/hostess described it as reminiscent of Southern pecan pie. The wine list is very limited, but adequate.
Our second visit was, alas, disappointing. Service was very slow and they weren't offering the tuna tartare that evening, just a version of scallops. Pear salads were okay, not great; scallops as entrée and duck were adequate. Again, unadorned vegetables like those I'd serve at home.
The interior atmosphere is zip: dim lighting, crowded and claustrophobic. It's much nicer on the patio. The restaurant, because of its size and expense, does not draw the noisy masses of vacationers and children.
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