In case you do not get the reference in the title, Ctrl+D is the keyboard shortcut to add a webpage to your Favorites. And although I would like you to go ahead and perform that function, it’s also a sign that this is a Favorite Thing Thursday post!
My Favorite Special Occasion Restaurant.
Before I get into the meat and potatoes of this post (there’s a pun coming up with this), I would like to note that I have only been to this restaurant once. Two years ago. It made such an impression on my life that I still think about it constantly. I know you want to know the name of the restaurant, so I shall waste your time no longer. Secretly, I do not want to tell you the name for fear that the word will get out, and people will start flocking to this restaurant. Even though they’ve been featured on the Travel Channel.
Oh wait. I just wasted some more of your time, didn’t I? Oops 🙂 Anyway, it’s the Bern Steakhouse in Tampa, Florida. And again, I would like to stress that I have only been once, and it was two years ago.
I actually found a picture of the steak from this place. Please wipe your drool. You may damage your keyboard if you are not careful.
To say that this place blew my mind would be an understatement. It changed the way I think about things. First of all, the whole setting of the place is gorgeous; very romantic. They have the most amazing selection of steaks you could ever hope for. Each steak is hand-cut in the kitchen and cooked to even the pickiest of temperatures (“The rare side of medium rare” to name just one). And, unlike some other high-end steakhouses that nickel and dime you for every a la carte menu item they have, the Bern does it right by giving you some amazing sides at no additional cost. With a standard meal, you get some pretty incredible French Onion soup, a house salad (They grow the vegetables for this salad in, IN the kitchen), a fully loaded baked potato with your steak and some roasted veggies on the side as well. On top of that, they have other side dishes you can order for an additional cost. I will now share with you my personal experience.
I had their rib-eye steak cooked medium rare. It was the most luscious steak I have ever eaten. It was cooked perfectly, no juice running out, and a very profound beefy flavor. I believe they age their meat somewhere in the range of 5-8 weeks or something crazy like that. Since they hand-cut the steaks right there in the kitchen, you order the size of steak you want. As a helpful tip, if you ever go here: order your steak on the small size. You will thank me for this later because you WILL want to eat dessert here.
The French Onion soup was killer. My wife was basically licking the cup it comes in, and I was just devouring it myself. The gooey cheese layer on top was thick, and hid the garlic crouton right underneath it, just waiting to attack your spoon with a broth-y barrage of flavor. The more I type, the more I think that this might have been a bad idea. My mind is swimming right now in that broth, and I’m having to constantly lick my lips. The rest of this post will prove to be most difficult.
As an additional side item, I got their Black Truffle Creamed Corn. If I remember right, I nearly passed out upon tasting this item. There was literally a party in my mouth, and that black truffle was on the VIP list. I have never had truffle before, and man, oh man was it tasty. It added this really hard-to-describe flavor to the corn (which was a smooth and creamy as……something that is really smooth and creamy)…it almost had a fruity-type flavor to it, but still fungal and just plain good. It felt luxurious eating it.
After dinner, they offer to take you on the tour of the kitchen, and of course we said “Yes.” They show you their butcher cooler, chock full of aging primals and subprimals waiting to be broken down. You get to see the incredible wood grill they use. And the meat-cutter guy, portioning out steaks and never getting the weights wrong. Then they take you to the wine cellar. Now, it is here where I must mention that prior to this posting, you may have never heard of the Bern Steakhouse. You may have never thought anything prestigious is in Tampa, Florida. But let me tell you, the Bern has the world’s largest wine cellar in the entire world. You might be thinking now, “In the world, Jonathan?” And I say, “Yes, reader. In the world.” Being down there was a totally cool experience, and I’m not even a wine guy. Goodness, I’ve already written a small novel and I haven’t even touched on dessert. I will save that for another time, because that is really worth it, too. I hope you found this enlightening and descriptive. If you ever make plans to go to Tampa, make a reservation for the Bern. You will not be disappointed. Shoot, as an Orlando resident, I would be willing to make a trip out there JUST to eat dinner.Love your life, stay positive, and play with your food 🙂