Moving back to the area after many years of being away. ... I remember that there were some excellent restaurants in Southwest Michigan but don't remember any details ... Can anyone enlighten me in the best bets in the area ?? I will be living in South Bend so the closer the better, but will travel for good food :) Thanks.
This topic covers the better options in Kalamazoo:
There are a few places in the resort areas near Lake Michigan and the Indiana border, but the one I liked best, Jenny's (later called Moxie) is now closed.
In South Haven, there are some good places. Tello's Trattoria has excellent, Italian-oriented food. The Fish Pail (formerly Three Pelicans) is pretty good for seafood. Magnolia Grill (on the boat) is not bad too. However, although they are decent, I wouldn't say that they are worth driving up from South Bend; you have better options at home. More info on South Haven at www.bythebigbluewater.com
I haven't found anything worth driving from South Bend to in Benton Harbor or St Joseph, but maybe others here know of places I don't.
The other option, to travel for good food, is that South Bend is only about 110 miles from the dining mecca of Chicago, which has its own forum here on Chowhound.
For the Jenny's fans Jenny is now back in the area and the head chef at the Bentwood restaurant at the Marina Grand Hotel in the New Buffalo harbor.I haven't eaten there but those that have liked it.
I was on business and had dinner at Butch's Wine Bar in Holland. A very fine wine shop and deli by day, both casual and white tablecloth restaurant by night. A nice menu, not too long, leaning toward European. Very capable and good wait staff and a cool dining room. Plus downtown Holland is quite quaint with a variety of stores and great candy store with lots of retro and fine candies.
Holland is about the same distance from South Bend as Chicago. If you're going to drive 90 miles, you may as well go to Chicago, with thousands of restaurants to choose from. (I double-checked on mapquest and it shows Holland as 90 miles, Chicago as 95.)
Closer than Holland (or Chicago) are places in Northwest Indiana, between South Bend and Chicago. See this topic for recommendations: www.chowhound.com/topics/353846
Trudie - thanks for the tip about Jenny!
I know Brewesters in New Buffalo and Horsefeathers in Sawyer are very good. I have also got good feedback (pun intentional) on The Red Arrow Roadhouse in NB but have never been there myself.
I love the Red Arrow Roadhouse. It's a step up from bar food, with excellent fish tacos and many other things (enormouse salads, good burgers, nice desserts.) The service is friendly. When we spend weekends in Union Pier we'll eat there two out of three nights. The Blue Plate is another fine place, specializing in breakfast as well as baked goods. Only open until early afternoon, though.