Address: 103 W. Colfax
South Bend, IN 46601
Phone #: (574) 232-9200
Tapastrie first caught my interest as I scanned their menu online, where I found several vegetarian options which looked delectable. Customers with dietary restrictions will find that the restaurant’s menu labels which dishes are vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free. As their name implies, this place served tapas, which are comparable to appetizers in size. Typically, one buys several tapas to constitute a meal.I went with two other people, and when we arrived at the restaurant, I briefly wondered if we ought to have made a reservation earlier. They seated us anyway, but once we sat down and opened our menus, I realized with embarrassment that we had entered the wrong building—Lasalle Grill, the restaurant next door. We apologized and went next door to Tapastrie (at which we also did not need a reservation).
Food: Everything that I ordered at Tapastrie was delicious—house marinated olives, ricotta stuffed peppers, paella, Valencia orange flan, and a cannoli trio. My friend Dakota ordered albondigas—spiced lamb meatballs—which he said were “real good.” The peppers were filled with tabbouleh, shallots, pine nuts and vinegar, while the olives, though pitted, were still enjoyable for their variety. The paella was a smorgasbord of ingredients: Spanish rice, bell peppers, oregano, paprika and garlic—make that vegan and you get chorizo-spiced tofu, tomato and an assortment of mushrooms. I shared the plate with the others, and still had plenty to eat. Though I found the tofu flavorless, the mushrooms made up for that in full. Lastly, both desserts were terrific, particularly the flan and the maraschino-garnished cannoli.
Atmosphere & Service: The atmosphere was pleasant, but not overly fancy: Spanish music played lightly and the restaurant was well-lit with plenty of windows because of its placement on a street corner. Tapestries adorned some of the walls. The staff were well-dressed and polite, but not talkative—perhaps because we looked like college students, casually dressed. My party of three also hadn’t ordered many dishes, nor did we order drinks (which is probably how Tapastrie draws much of its clientele). Overall, we likely did not appear as the big-tipper sort. Additionally, service was slow, and we found ourselves waiting between courses. Perhaps ordering more tapas would have provided more food to sample while we waited for the paella (which the menu forewarned would take 30-45 minutes to prepare).
Price: Tapastrie ranks among the more expensive places to eat in South Bend. Individual tapas were not that pricey—some as low as $4—but the entrée (the paella) was $16 for the vegan option. The desserts were $6 each, but well worth their price. Though dining here may not be easy on the wallet, the food is worth the price paid.
Overall: I would advise going to Tapastrie if you’re looking for a classy yet casual place to eat—maybe on a date or after attending a concert. Just make sure your party is dressed well for the occasion, since that might ensure better service.