Food, atmosphere shine at Studebaker Mansion
By Carrie Steinweg
We’ve probably all been to a place where the food was terrific, but the atmosphere may have been lacking - or to a place where the surroundings were stunning, but the food left something to be desired. It’s a treat to see a site that checks off both boxes. Tippecanoe Place in South Bend would be one of them.
Housed in a late 19th-century mansion and with an impressive fine dining menu (and the bonus of a craft brewery on site), Tippecanoe Place is the place to go for a special occasion in the dining room or some casual bites in the upstairs brewery tasting room.
The mansion housed in the restaurant was built for Clem Studebaker, president of the Studebaker Corp, based in South Bend. It was designed by Chicago architect Henry Ives Cobb who also designed the Potter Palmer Mansion on Lake Shore Drive in Chicago. It was completed in 1889, has about 40 rooms and nearly 24,000 square feet of living space, and had an original cost of $250,000.
Outside and inside, the place oozes wealth and luxury. The home-turned-dining establishment has four floors, and you enter the grand hall with a massive hand-carved grand staircase.
The menu is brief, but with all the dishes you’d expect from an eatery of this caliber - steak and seafood and lamb and duck with classic appetizers like crab cakes and shrimp cocktail, a crisp wedge salad and prime rib, which has been the house specialty for more than four decades. And don’t even think about skipping dessert - the creme brûlée and flourless chocolate torte and well worth every calorie. The wine list includes perfect pairings for the starters and entrees.
We dined in the library, savoring every bite and thinking about all the socialites who had dined there in the early days of its existence. Put this one on your foodie bucket list!