New Edgewater Café brings a taste of the Mediterranean to Four Winds hotel in South Bend (2024)

Ed SemmlerSouth Bend Tribune

Since the area’s largest hotel opened at Four Winds Casino in South Bend at the beginning of March, it’s become even more of a gathering place for area residents looking for activities that don’t necessarily involve slot machines, dice or cards.

Even though the 23-story hotel contains 317 rooms and suites, it also includes a luxury spa and lots of space for meetings, parties and weddings as well as a ballroom that already has brought live entertainment to the area.

New hotel should boost visitors: A sneak peek inside the area's newest and largest hotel — Four Winds South Bend

All of those amenities are sure to draw additional visitors to the property at 3000 Prairie Ave. on the southwest side of the city, but one of the most accessible options might be the new Edgewater Café that’s located on the third floor of the new hotel.

Edgewater joins two other traditional sit-down restaurants that have been welcoming customers since the casino opened in 2018. While Copper Rock is an upper-end steakhouse with entrees running from $35 to $75, Kankakee Grille offers comfort food with a twist and is more moderately priced at $15 to $25.

Edgewater fits between the two from a price standpoint and is the first of the Four Winds venues ― including New Buffalo, Dowagiac and Hartford ― to offer a Mediterranean-inspired brunch and dinner menu, says executive chef Brandon Smithson, who oversees food operations at the Four Winds in South Bend.

“We were looking for something that was different, but still accessible,” Smithson says, adding that much of the menu leans heavily toward Italian. After making that decision, the chefs at Four Winds then went to work on menu options and testing a variety of recipes.

“Our chef team spent about three months working on the menu,” he says, adding that the group enjoyed the collaborative effort of developing new brunch and dinner options for the 85-seat restaurant, which can seat 58 more on the rooftoppatio when weather permits.

“Sometimes, we were like mad scientists, playing with different combinations,” he says.

From dressings to pastries, nearly everything is prepared each day at Edgewater or one of the other restaurants at Four Winds in South Bend while dry-aged meats and baked goods come from the original flagship Four Winds location in New Buffalo.

And perhaps because the restaurant will likely be providing most of the meals for hotel guests, portion sizes appear generous. “No one should go away hungry,” Smithson says, referring to the brunch and dinner entrees.

Who says tasty, stylish and fresh can’t also be filling?

With an upscale and warmdécor, the restaurant features a fireplace as well as a divider from the bar area so that those with children can also enjoy brunch or dinner at the restaurant. When weather allows, customers can enjoy beverages and food from a limited menu on thepatio, which also has a small, heated outdoor pool and hot tub for hotel guests.

That already has Smithson and Dustin Glaser, Edgewater’s head chef, thinking ahead to warmer months when the doors might be opened so the dining room can flow seamlessly onto the patio. "We’re definitely going to have some special events,” Glaser says.

Already, Edgewater offers a bit of fun and entertainment for its patrons with acoustic performers on Thursday nights from 6 to 9 p.m. and dueling pianos in a corner of the bar on Friday and Saturday nights from 7 to 10 p.m. It’s about entertaining hotel guests but also giving area residents a reason to check out what Four Winds has to offer.

Restaurant hours are 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Mondays through Wednesdays and from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. Thursdays through Sundays. Though food is always served in the bar area, the restaurant portion currently closes for a portion of each day to allow the turnaround from brunch to dinner. So check ahead if you’re planning to visit with kids.

To reach the restaurant, enter into the hotel portion of the complex and ride the elevator to the third floor.

Have you heard

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Email Tribune staff writer Ed Semmler

New Edgewater Café brings a taste of the Mediterranean to Four Winds hotel in South Bend (2024)
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