Bern's : What to order?
You told us to stay overnight in Tampa just to have dinner at Bern's.
So, now that we have the reservation please tell me what to order. There will be 4 of us. I'm overwhelmed by trying to figure out the thickness and type of steak! Any suggestions regarding sides, salad dressing, wines, and desserts would be most appreciated.
We're very excited about this dinner. So thanks in advance for your help.
Everyone seems to agree for the most part on the steak part. Chateau or Delmonico. I know it is excessive but I have to order the Foie Gras à la Plancha appetizer because so few places serve it and I love steak and eggs for breakfast so a few leftovers are great. Also on the dessert
menu I like the german chocolate cake or the chocolate peanut butter truffle.
My recommendation is to get a steak for three or more and split it amongst your party. I find the bigger steaks to be superior at Bern's (and most everywhere else for that matter) and much easier to prepare to your desired temperature. I've had the Chateaubriand, Delmonico, New York Strip (with and without bone) and Porterhouse. Whatever cut you like will be just fine.
All the steaks are excellent, but I'd go for the Delmonico (a "ribeye" to those of us who hail from the Midwest). Order a sauce to go with the steak. It is absolutely unnecessary, but they produce great sauces and it adds to the experience.
The sommelier really knows what he is doing. Describe the characteristics you'd like the wine to have: for instance, a big, bold, dry red or a dry, crisp, light white. Tell him what you want to pay and he'll come in with a wine under that price.
Take the kitchen tour and the wine cellar tour. Reserve the dessert room at the beginning of the meal. I almost always go for the Bananas Foster, which may or may not be done tableside, depending on where you are seated. People keep talking about the Macadamia Nut ice cream on these boards (and not just in the present discussion), so it must be excellent, although I've never had it.
1208 S Howard Ave, Tampa, FL 33606
Agreed on the extensive menu. I didn't know about it when I arrived the first time. It was confusing, but a rare treat. I also recommend the Delmonico, due to the fact that it is trimmed and looks like a Picasso portrait on your plate. Only at Bern's!
DON'T Miss the Wine Cellar Tour. The kitchen tour made me feel like I was at an Army base, but the Wine Cellar was truly impressive!
Someone in the know, please explain to me the glass case around the stair rail, if that is still there?
Have a blast!
Bergerman and Dr. Todd are on target. Don't over-order. You won't need an app. The following come with meal: soup (get the onion) salad (get the Cleopatra dressing), baked potato and several litle vegetables as well as some dynamite onion strings. The steak is closely trimmed, and I would definitely recommend the ribeye (Delmonico) as it has much more flavor than a filet and is just as tender.
Although I would get the 14 oz. (I am after all, the "Steakman"), you may find a 10 or 12 oz. adequate. By all means ask for the sommelier and he will get a great bottle of wine. Last time I gave him a range of 75-100 for a big red, and lo and behold, he got something in $55 range that was wonderful. Failing that, their wines by the glass are the same price per ounce as a full bottle. You won't find that anywhere else.
Only thing you won't find there is a bread basket, and you won't miss it. They will even bring out some little cheese toasts for you, gratis.
For dessert, I would get the King Midas, which is carrot cake with macadamia nut ice cream. If you feel the need, get a glop of hot fudge on it. Plain black American coffee for me, a single malt Glemorangie, and that is it. Finis. Remember there is a tip (?12%) added automatically, but I always bring it up to 20% and remember the sommelier as well. Enjoy.
Order whatever cut you are most fond of, or ask the waitstaff what the kitchen's specialty is, I've had a great chateaubriand there. When my wife and I go, we split an order of caviar (they have some very affordable ones), a soup (usually french onion, their bisque is like drinking butter, which is delish but too filling for me), a steak (chateaubriand or delmonico, cooked pittsburgh), a bottle of wine (see if they still have any of that 60's Charbono?), and dessert upstairs (not to be missed). That way you get to try everything, you're still stuffed to the gills, and you can get out for $75 per person with tip.
The filet for 2 or more sliced tableside is nice, if a couple of you like it cooked the same. The sauces are extra but worth it. I recommend a side of mac & cheese for all to share, it's a large portion (as it should be for $17!). Upstairs, the macadamia ice cream is excellent, even better on an individual size apple pie.
The Delmonico is my favorite cut at Bern's; it's the most flavorful, imho. The size and thickness are up to you, but I usually try to restrain myself with an 8 oz cut to save room for other dishes, such as the excellent steak tartare, the outstanding lobster bisque (even though onion soup comes with the meal, along with a salad, where I usually go for the garlicky Cleopatra dressing) and, of course, a visit to the dessert room, where I lean chocolate. I usually try to work in some Turkish coffee at the end, partly because it's something you don't find at many restaurants. Be sure to take the tour!