Results 1-8of 8 Reviews
June 29, 2007
Bern’s lived up to its reputation as a world-class steakhouse and fine eatery. I had been once before almost 15 years ago, but it’s an experience that sticks with you. The steak is unsurpassed and the wine list, which comes out of a cellar of several hundred thousand bottles, is one of the features of this eatery. The wine we had was a 1983 Mayacamas Zinfandel, only $40 as many of the most unusual oldest wines in the cellar. With over 10,000 selections to choose from, it’s not an easy task.It’s a very unusual restaurant, having grown building by building over the years. It is quite large and features a number of different dining rooms. In addition to the fine dining that you will experience at Bern’s, one has the opportunity to visit the kitchen and the wine cellar and partake of the desserts in an upstairs special area. It’s more than just eating; it’s a dining experience.One unusual thing we discovered was that with the steaks, there is a fixed menu. If you desire any of the other, more interesting and special appetizers, you pay fully for them and get no credit for the standard appetizers and vegetables that you don’t want – one of the strange things about the restaurant.
From journal Snorkeling and Dining in Florida's Gulf Coast
December 27, 2003
After dining you go upstairs to the dessert room into your own booth with TV or music and enjoy an extensive dessert and after dinner drink menu.
The meal is on the expensive side, but the tab will still be less than many other "name" restaurants, and you will never forget the experience.
From journal St Pete Beach early December
by Andrea H.
Parsippany, New Jersey
October 30, 2003
I shared the Chatebriand for two and it was marvelous. This restaurant is costly but it is well worth it. It is much better than Morton's or the Capital Grill because it is an orginal.
The decor is garish but that makes the place even more intriguing. To become a waiter in this restaurant you must start out on their farm where they grow their vegetables. After a year of doing that, you get to come to the restaurant and begin your journey, but that is how it is with everything in this restaurant. They believe that to do things right takes time and is always a constant learning experience.
After dinner, definitely have dessert. I guarantee you will enjoy it.
From journal Tampa, The Real Florida
Clifton, New Jersey
July 11, 2003
Bern's is the creme de la creme of Tampa dining. If you are a conisseur of steak, you will want to make a place in your schedule (and wallet!) for Bern's. The steak is incredible and the rest of the meal is on par. Quite simply: Bern's is an experience.
The focus at Bern's is on steak. The steaks are offered by weight and thickness and in various cuts. The sides included are the standard baked potato, salad, and a nice touch--French onion soup. For appetizers, try one of the varieties of caviar or the steak tartare. Whatever you select, it will be delicious! Be sure to save room for dessert which, at Bern's, is offered in a separate room on the upper floor of the building. The dessert room at Bern's is enough to lure any gourmand to the restaurant.
Located in the Hyde Park section of Tampa, Bern's has a non-descript exterior which belies its classic decor of red velvet, antiques, and dimmed lighting.
More than just a great steakhouse, Bern's also offers one of the largest selections of wine in the world. The wine list is a thick book and the restaurant owns somewhere on the order of 600,000 bottles. The restaurant prides itself on its organic produce, attention to detail, and wine selection. Take advantage of the kitchen and wine cellar tour for a behind the scenes look at the operation.
Bern's is definitely a 'special occasion' restaurant. While I have frequently seen children, the ambiance and menu do not lend to families and I would advise younger children especially to be left at home.
From journal Thanksgiving in St. Petersburg
June 26, 2001
Chef Jeannie Pierola (who also serves as Culinary Director/Executive Chef of Bern's) has created another masterpiece! The decor is modern with geometric shapes in light aqua, pale yellow & olive with red brick floors. The food is an international blend of fusion cooking, Thai, Indian, Asian, Pacific Rim. While I haven't eaten there yet, menu items of Coconut Chicken Soup & Wok Seared Tuna Mignon have my mouth watering. The entree "Homage to a Steakhouse" filet mignon, wild mushrooms, maitre'd montpellier butter, Bordeaux essence, truffle scented triple baked yukon gold, a trilogy of onion rings - honors the mother restaurant. Seats 150 inside plus 6 tables on the patio when the weather is nice. My bet is this is the proud offspring of its parent in both quality service & great dining experience.NOTE: Jeanne Pierola has left Side Bern's. Check my new Side Bern's entry for an update on this restaurant.
From journal Tampa Bay Treasures
Make reservations, dress your best and prepare to enjoy a great meal! Opened in 1957 by Bern Laxer, this restaurant serves as the place to entertain business clients, for special occasions including the romantic setting for many marriage proposals (including mine), and as a tourist attraction. My husband refers to his favorite restaurant as a 'temple to wine'. It is that as well as to good food and superior service.
On my first visit I remarked that the lobby looked like a cross between the Haunted Mansion and a bordello (as did St. Pete Times food critic Chris Sherman). Except for that, everything is first class! Wine is the star and well worth the extra bucks to order some of their premier vintages. Winner of many Wine Spectator Grand Awards, Bern's has 90,000 bottles in the main cellar. That's only 15% of the restaurant's entire collection. Only Tour d'Argent in Paris runs a close second with more labels.
The cheese topped crackers served with wine are divine! While the food prices seem high, they include soup, salad, entree, potato and vegetables which are grown on their own organic farm, and fresh baked micro breads. Bern’s onion soup is better than any I've had in France. The secret - the stock is made with veal bones. There are 62 steak cut choices and steaks are cut, weighed and trimmed only upon ordering. There are three 1200-gallon tanks to hold the fish and you can pick your 'catch'. There are several entrees of chicken, veal, lamb, lobster and even buffalo to choose from. After dinner, don't miss the amazing must-see kitchen and wine cellar tour to see the huge operation and all those wine bottles.
Then it's upstairs to the Harry Waugh Dessert Room, named for a long time friend of Bern Laxer. Dinner at the Waugh's home, where dessert, coffee and after dinner drinks were served in the 'drawing room', was the inspiration for the creation of the dessert room. Each of the private 'rooms' is encased in walls made from oak wine casks (casks also serve as doors on the restroom stalls). All desserts are made on premises - ice cream, sorbets, pies, pastries, fresh-ground coffees. The Brazilian Frost is a personal favorite. There is a large selection of Madeiras, ports, sherries, brandies, cognacs, scotch and other liquors; some dating back to the 1800s. Web site: link.
Kansas City, Missouri
May 8, 2001
We had reservations - you might be able to get in without them on a weeknight, but I would recommend calling ahead. We were dressed nice business casual, but I got the sense that on the weekends it went mostly to jackets. Again - call ahead; they may not require jackets in the summer.
Features of the restaurant:
- The "World's Largest Working Wine Cellar." Something like 85,000 bottles on premises and another half million bottles stored in a nearby warehouse. (If you are interested, ask your waiter for a tour of the cellar. Don't be shy...it's a pretty normal thing to do at Bern's. It's like the Library of Congress - for wine!)
- An amazing "by the glass" wine list. Something like 200 choices.
- An extensive caviar list. I know nothing about caviar, but this place offers a couple dozen varieties.
- Just about every cut of steak imaginable, in any size you like.
- A separate area of the restaurant devoted exclusively to dessert, after dinner drinks, and cigars. You will migrate to this room when you finish the main meal. The booths in the dessert area are partitioned so that you don't have to share smoke from other tables.
- Thousands of after dinner drink choices. I've never seen such an extensive selection of single malt Scotch. (Try the 15-year Laphroig.)
- A modest humidor - about 15 selections. (If you are partial to a specific smoke, you may want to bring your own. Or you can try what they have to offer.)
From journal Tampa area hotels and restaurants
October 16, 2000
The service is supurb, food unbelieveable. Open 5pm to 11pm daily. I try to call for a reservation prior to flying to Florida to make sure I can get in. When you book, ask for driving instructions. Very hard to get into during 'high' season. They also have vegeterian cruisine, I'm not kidding about this--they grow their own vegetables. No place for kids as far as I'm concerned!
From journal Clearwater's white beaches