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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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!
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
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.
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.
I'll be there tomorrow night! I'll let you know if there is anything new or notable.
My husband and I were there last year around this time and it was just as amazing as always. We did the kitchen/wine cellar tour and then up to the dessert room. The difference last year was that we ended up in the same room with the pianist instead of in a private room. It was actually fun to see him answer the request phone and he was quite personable.
Also, it was the first time my husband and I were there alone and not part of a larger family party so he asked our waitress for advice on the steaks. He told her exactly what he liked and she translated that into the cut and temperature. I don't remember the cut, but I remember her saying she told the kitchen to cook it "Pittsburgh style, char, char, char" because he likes it quite rare but with a good exterior crust.
Here is another person's opinion.
One skip the onion soup, while free it is filling and so-so, quite salty.
Two skip the baked potato, in alum foil and OK, again save room.
Maybe get the lobster bisque to share, ver rich but wonderful.
Get the salad with blue cheese and blue cheese chunks, very good
Maybe, get the Caesar salad, costs, but done tableside and excellent rendition.
Their truffled mac and cheese is excellent and huge, get it for the table.
Agree Delmonico or strip on bone is way to go and more people the better, thus steak for three better than steak for two, etc.
l will be there three times in November and as said before, l go for the wine, all else is gravy.
Reading this thread led me to Bern's website, which led me to the menus... which makes me want to take my wife to Bern's at our earliest opportunity. It will have to be for a REALLY special occasion because we live in Orlando, so we'd have to go there for another purpose and spend the night out there. But she earns her PhD in January or February, so maybe then.
We have Christner's (formerly Del Frisco's) here in Orlando, an excellent upscale steakhouse that we love for Valentine's Day or birthdays, but Bern's seems even swankier, with so many more options. The salad dressings alone seem incredible (vanilla bean vinaigrette!?! maple dijon?!?), and the dessert menu is truly staggering.
Has anyone tried the smoked fish appetizer? I'm a sucker for smoked fish, and it doesn't even seem that expensive (compared to their other stuff).
We went for the first time recently, I was so impressed with their service. It didn't matter if they were serving a group of 4 30-somethings (us), a big extended family of 12, an older obviously wealthy couple; they made you feel like you were their only table. It was extradorinary. I did like that the steaks came with the soup, salad and sides. I find most steakhouses force you to order large (expensive) ala carte sides. This allowed us to order the fanstastic sauces - we all got Châteaubriand and a differnet sauce so we could sample. The Pinot sauce and gorgonzola beat out the au poivre and horseradish. I do feel that the dessert room and tour are part of the Berns experience. 4 desserts were all delicious. Go with what you like or sounds good- you won't be disappointed.
Would like to go back and try their short ribs, altho the ones at side berns are pretty good so I may stick with those.