For those that know me, they may be thrown off by the title of this post. I stopped eating red meat in the eighth grade so for me to recommend a steakhouse might be somewhat of an oxymoron. Anyhow, if you go to Tampa make a reservation at Bern’s Steakhouse! You won’t be disappointed, it’s truly an experience. I can’t tell you if the steak is good, but there certainly are tons of options and they teach you how to order. What I can say, the French Onion soup is superb! I would go back just to eat that and drink the wine, seriously!
When you enter, you’re immediately engrossed by the eclectic and almost medieval decor. Think red walls, framed portraits and velvet high back chairs. While you wait to be seated, you’re invited to have a drink in the parlor. Once seated, you become engrossed in the story of Bern’s. The waiters are highly trained, they have to go through an 18-month training program before setting foot on the floor!
After your meal, you settle the bill and from here you have a few options:
- Option #1 – pay your bill and leave.
- Option #2 – head straight to the dessert room. yes, they had a separate room just to eat dessert.
- Option #3 – take a tour of the restaurant.
My recommendation? Take the tour and then head to dessert. I mean you can burn a few calories walking around before indulging in those tasty morsels. Sounds logical, right?
On the tour, you start off in the lobby and then work your way to and through the kitchen. Bern’s is pretty much self sufficient and extremely efficient. They have everything from their own farm, to stations where people literally take steaks off the grill and place them onto plates for the entire night.
The true gem of the tour is the wine cellar. The owner of Bern’s is one of, if not the largest private collector of wine. Our waiter told us they stopped counting at 500,000 bottles, yes 500K that’s not a typo! They had wines in their cellar from the 1800’s and I believe their most expensive bottle was $30,000. Because of their extensive collection, they actually sell some bottles at the market price from the year they were made. So, you could potentially go in and order a bottle of wine from the year you were born for only 10 bucks. How cool is that?
After taking the tour, I recommend heading up the stairs and experiencing something you might not do anywhere else – eat dessert in a wine casket! The dessert room is full of mini pods where you can partake in the pages of desserts, coffee and aperitifs. I had the pineapple upside down cake and pretty much devoured the entire thing. I’m not really a cake person, something about the texture. But, this one was moist and very tasty to this non-cake eater.
Enough of my babbling, go check it out for yourself!