Bern’s Steakhouse

1208 S Howard Ave. Tampa, FL33606 • (813) 251-2421 • bernssteakhouse.com

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Of all the restaurants I have ever been to in my life, few can measure up to the kind of experience that this place gave me. Not that the food was really anything special. Décor, was actually quite overdone. Service was very good. But none of that is what I am talking about. It is the production that makes this place so truly one of a kind. It is like the restaurant version of the movie “Titanic.” Nothing special at its core, but impressive as the sum of its massive parts. To help you better understand, please pull up a chair, and prepare to hear about the restaurant equivalent to Disney on steroids.

First, let’s start with the dining rooms, of which there are too many to count. Each with a different theme, each the size of a small restaurant, sprawling throughout several floors of this mansion. This even includes a dessert room. Yes, an entire dining room solely dedicated to sweets. We had the bananas foster, which was really quite good. But that’s not important right now…

On to the wine list, or shall I say, an only slightly smaller version of “War and Peace.” Yes, the wine list is the largest thing you will ever see at any restaurant in the world. This is not an exaggeration.  They have bottles ranging from $30 a bottle to $100,000 and a wine cellar double the size of most houses. But that’s only the beginning, because across the street there is a hotel with the top two floors rented out, gutted and also stuffed with wine.

Then comes the kitchen. Now, I’ve been on many a kitchen tour, but to see this is akin to standing before the Grand Canyon, you simply feel small and insignificant.  Towering in the center of this football field-sized kitchen is a cylindrical lobster tank bigger than you might find at most major aquariums. Steel tables stretch out in every direction with an army of plates lined up for departure. Waiters and cooks and chefs are abuzz with their various tasks as you snake back to the meat locker where countless cuts of aged beef are stored.

If you should ever have the opportunity to dine here, please beg for the kitchen tour. You will never forget it. The meal, maybe. But never the tour.

5 teeth