Michiana Cork and Fork has been dining out for Downtown South Bend Restaurant Week since its inception by Eat. Drink. Downtown South Bend. Not only is it a great way to try some fabulous local restaurants without breaking the bank, but each restaurant donates 10% of their proceeds to Beacon Children’s Hospital which is a huge win, win for the community.
Michiana Cork and Fork loves dining out during Restaurant Week every year so we chose three of our favorites for you to see what these wonderful restaurants have to offer. For our first stop, we decided to go old school with one of downtown South Bend’s most celebrated and long standing local restaurants, LaSalle Grill. Their Restaurant Week menu is always one of the best deals. For $33 for three courses, I choose their garlic-steamed mussels for my appetizer, hardwood grilled Faroe Island salmon for an entrée and their delicious buttermilk cheesecake for dessert. Everything was flawless; prepared with amazing detail and care, but we were most impressed by my dining companion’s juniper rubbed double cut pork chop, which was an amazing value.
Our next stop was Woochi Japanese Fusion Bar and Bistro. Woochi is the one of the most elegant sushi restaurant in the region. They offer an amazing cocktail list, fine linen tablecloths and a huge menu with something for every diner. I started my meal with their Restaurant Week specialty cocktail, an Absolut Dirty martini complete with blue cheese stuffed olives for only $5, which was perfection. I choose the coconut shrimp to start the meal, the Lady Gar-Gar sushi roll for my entrée, which was shrimp tempura, spicy tuna & avocado, wrapped in soy paper, topped with imitation crab stick and Japanese mayonnaise, garnished with Unagi sauce & seaweed flakes. For dessert, I got their mango and strawberry mochi, which to some may have a strange texture but I like the pops of cool, sweet ice cream as you bite into them at the end of a meal.
For our last stop, we dined at Tapastrie. Tapastrie offers a new style in The Bend with their Mediterranean tapas and wine bar, which includes nifty wine machines that allow you to choose your own pours. We stuck with the Restaurant Week menu, which was unique – instead of sticking with three courses for $33 concept, they chose to lower their price point to three courses for only $22 then you could choose to upgrade a course for an additional price. For my meal, I upgraded my appetizer to the ceviche, which was made up of swordfish, shrimp, Pepperdew peppers, chimichurri and lime juice. The special menu included many of their best and signature dishes, so I choose the Spanish style lamb meatballs in sauce romesco and rosemary wine reduction for my entrée. This is a tapas restaurant so all dishes are small plates but with 8 meatballs, it was plenty of food for me. Then, to end the meal, one of my favorite desserts in town, their Valencia orange flan with pistachio-rose petel brittle. It has such unique flavors, they don’t seem like they would all quite work, but together they are perfection!
Don’t miss your chance to try these and all the 18 participating restaurants for Winter Restaurant Week (Jan. 22 – Feb. 4) in downtown South Bend. If you can’t make it to Winter Restaurant Week, visit The Bend this summer for Summer Restaurant Week. At Michiana Cork and Fork, we hope you choose to EAT and DRINK LOCAL!