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Dinner for the night before the Bar Exam in Tampa

  • m

Along with 1000s of others, I am taking the bar exam next week in Tampa. We are going to Bern's after the test, but I was looking for a couple of places to go for Monday and Tuesday nights. Anything not too far from the Convention Center area would be perfect. I appreciate any help in making it through this thing!

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  1. El Puerto in Ybor City on 5th Ave & 17th St. Its an Argentinian place, good steaks and delish Dulce Tres Leche. This is one of my faves. It's good for groups.

    1. Just wrote a review on Cafe Dufrain, an easy walk from the Convention Center. I think I posted it on Tuesday or Wednesday, so check a bit down.

      One of the best meals I've had in Tampa. I do agree with the El Puerto suggestion as well, but its going to be a streetcar ride from the Convention Center and a bit hard to find if you're not accustomed to the area.

      And good luck on the Bar exam!

      1. My husband took the last bar exam and his suggestion is brown bag it Monday and Tuesday stay in your room and go over your notes. Good Luck Juli

        1. Haha, that's prob the best idea but not the most fun:) If you do decide to check out El Puerto you could either take the trolley or try to catch one of the little golf cart cabbies. They run all around S Tampa including the convention center and Ybor, they are free, they just run off tips. I think you can catch them at most hotels in the area.

          1. Mikek,

            I took the bar exam in Tampa in 1989. Of course, the place where I took it has now been torn down and there is a park in its place, but it is still reasonably close to where you are taking the bar exam.

            If I were you, I'd brown bag it and go over my notes. Juli5122's husband is right. However, if you need to get away from the tension for a while, I would recommend Mise en Place. It's continental/French and reliably delicious. It's also close to the Convention Center. As I recall, it has a Kennedy Avenue address, but the entrance is actually in back of the restaurant, which fronts on Kennedy Avenue. It is across the Kennedy from the University of Tampa campus entryway.

            1. Wow, you're brave to be planning to eat out while taking the bar! When I took the bar, all I could hold down were saltine crackers and Tums. That said, I'm sure you'll do great. Wishing you great success!

              1. All I can say is that I have passed two of them on one try each, and I went first class in meals and accomodations for the experience. You should try to make this as enjoyable as possible

                1. I second the motion for Mis En Place!

                  1. Went to Jackson's last night, found it very meh. Today was the Florida part and not terrible. Essays through some people for a loop and no evidence on the Florida MC did as well.

                    To be honest, at this point I have done 1000's of questions, dozens of practice essays. I know I have prepared and did all that I could do for the past 2 months. To a degree I think it is important to allow yourself and your mind to relax and reflect on what you do know rather than try to cram every last second in. I appreciate the help and hope to try Cafe Dufrain tonight after a quick MBE review today.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: mikek

                      Jackson's is better for drinks than food.

                    2. Meant to respond last week but forgot the name of the place where we ate when my hubby took the bar several years ago. I just asked him and I know it is too late but Ceviche - a tapas place. Right near the bay - about 10 min from the convention center.
                      And I agree - you studied hard, don't kill yourself the night before.
                      Good luck!

                      1. So, mikek, did you make it to Cafe Dufrain? How was it and Bern's? What did you have? And how was the last day of the exam?

                        1. Finally back from my post bar trip.

                          Bern's was quite an experience and gave me a new favorite cut of meat (chateaubriand). We enjoyed three amazing bottles of wine and two fantastic vintage rose champagnes. The liquor selection was phenomenal as well.

                          Thought the truffled oil with the oysters was incredible, as was the goat cheese ravioli and the caeser salad. The dessert room was a great experience, though the desserts were somewhat hit or miss. All in all it was a great meal.

                          We did go to Dufrain, and to be honest, were a bit underwhelmed. Everything was ok, but nothing was great. The portions were also a bit small for the price point.

                          Hopefully the exam itself went well (find out on 9/21). I know I studied to the best of my abilities so we shall see.

                          Thank you again for all of your help in making the experience as stress-free as possible.

                          4 Replies
                          1. re: mikek

                            What's the word did you?? Did you pass??

                            1. re: juli5122

                              Passed on the first shot! Very exciting week and some celebrating on tap for this weekend!

                              Thankfully, the next time I am at Bern's will not have to follow a second attempt at the exam! Thank you for asking as well.

                              1. re: mikek

                                Congrats! It seems the scores are processing faster these days

                                1. re: mikek

                                  Yea, For my husband it was like cloud lifted. Congrats