June 11, 2015
How many restaurants give you a tour of their kitchen to see all the inner workings? How many have a wine cellar (the largest restaurant wine cellar) with a collection of some of the finest wines in the world? Bern’s of course.
Traditions are made and kept at Bern’s Steakhouse – from celebrities to President’s and even the Bailey family. My mom loved Bern’s and I remember her last occasion celebrating one of my nieces birthday. All dressed in her purple nit Chanel suit with a gold nugget necklace my dad gave to her many years before.
Now, due to societies diminished dress codes, you may find men showing up without a jacket or tie, but that would never happen when my mom was around – she was always dressed beautifully, and she made us dress for dinner as well…her boys always in suits and ties.
Their French Onion soup is the best by far topping it with four cheeses (Fontina, Parmesan, Asiago, and Gjetost) – their salad and dressings are oh so fresh, delicate, and delectable…they even peel the tomatoes. The homemade toast served with the soup – and the fresh cut overly large potato chips with truffle chive crème fraiche – are all sublime. We always get an order of their cheese toasts.
And what restaurant can rival their baked potato? It’s the way a potato is supposed to be served, even at home. Do I dare mention the crispy perfectly cooked fried onions?
Their fresh cut ribeye steaks are my favorite, but then there is the Chicken Gert, and the Char Grilled Shrimp – I could go on-and-on…and I do. As you can tell – I’m a fan. When I owned Bailey’s, we use to do an “Homage to Bern’s” dessert room with the “Kim Midas” a take-off on their King Midas with warm carrot cake, homemade Macadamia Nut ice cream, all drizzled with their decadent Valrhona chocolate sauce.
My friend Linda Ward and I bought a few pints of their Macadamia Nut ice cream one time just so we could figure out how to make it – we came pretty close. Call me if you want to taste.
Yes, there are many “high-end” steak houses in Tampa Bay, and some really good ones too; but none with the rich traditions and heritage Bern’s exhibits. Bern Laxer was a master of both detail and finesse – while we miss him – he lives on.
1208 South Howard Avenue
Tampa, Florida 33606