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“Not just a steak house, it's a dining experience”
Review of Bern's Steak House

Bern's Steak House
Ranked #8 of 2,384 Restaurants in Tampa
Certificate of Excellence
Cuisines: American, Steakhouse
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Large groups, Local cuisine, Romantic, Business meetings, Special occasions
Dining options: Late Night, Dinner, Full Bar, Parking Available, Private Dining, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Valet Parking, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible
Vienna, VA
Level Contributor
220 reviews
137 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 135 helpful votes
“Not just a steak house, it's a dining experience”
Reviewed September 19, 2013

As a food first person, it takes a lot for me to rave beyond excellent food. Bern's distinguishes itself with no detail left to chance. Beyond the succulent, dry-aged prime beef, Bern's is the pinnacle of service as an art. The kitchen tour, wine cellar tour, and Dessert Room are unmatched anywhere and not to be missed. The Bern's experience is meant to be savored. Those who rush in, eat and rush out are sidestepping genuinely special dining. Reservations are a must.

Ambience: the French Provincial design theme upon first entering and being seated can seem a bit over the top and more fitting for another era such as the 40's or 50's. But, it grew on me as the evening progressed. If you arrive before 6 PM, you will be rewarded with quiet. The restaurant can fill up with people and attendant noise during the prime dining hours. I loved the booths in the dessert room that evoke a wine barrel.

Food: the melt-in-your-mouth succulence of the beef and the fresh-picked flavor of the vegetables are top-notch. Nice char on one side of the meat. Bern's has been doing farm-to-table decades before it became trendy. If you love dessert, avoid appetizers and a large portion of meat (your entree order complete with soup, salad, vegetable sides, and a baked potato). The menu is huge; take your time to appreciate the breadth and quality. The fault I could find was the somewhat average cabernet sauvignon vinaigrette (should have gone bleu cheese).

Service: servers are approachable, thoroughly patient (big, informative menu and wine list), knowledgeable about every aspect of the menu, professional in demeanor and conduct, at times humorous, and take pride in their profession; servers are rigorously trained for over a year and stay for decades (ask about the training and the colors of the ties). Staff in general have an almost reverent attitude about working at Bern's.

Cost: totally dependent on the weight of beef you order; my 9 oz. Chateaubriand and a glass of wine was about $48 total. Dessert is paid separately in the Dessert Room. For the total experience, the cost was reasonable compared to other fine dining that is expensive or very expensive.

  • Visited September 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Oski_Bear_DC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
    Food
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    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
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English first
Tampa, Florida
Level Contributor
230 reviews
127 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 217 helpful votes
“Helpful TIps for Berns”
Reviewed September 19, 2013

This place is a Tampa Landmark - famous with travelers all over the world and if you have never been here you should go. The atmosphere is awesome and to be honest I am probably being too harsh by rating is 'only' a 4 because everything about Berns is a 5 - except the food.
I have been here more times than I can count and overall I am always pleased but if we're being honest then I have to admit that the food is certainly good, but not great. Here are my tips
1) They have multiple different dining rooms - all are decorated differently. My favorite is the red velvet room but you may like another so go on their website and find which one you like and request that before you go
2) Their wine list is second to none - Mr Berns built a world renowned collection. If you are a wine lover you will find wines here you wont find anywhere else - it's amazing
3) First TImers - be sure to get the TOUR - they will take you all over the kitchen and even into the wine celler. really cool
4) The meal - most entrees are not ala carte like so many other steakhouses - this is really cool because you'll get a salad, soup, and side dish as part of your basic entree. that makes Berns a good value. That said, be prepared for easily $100/person. And if you go with expensive wines it will go a lot higher. This is a total splurge meal for special events
5) The Main Dishes - regardless of whether we have had seafood or steak, the main entrees are always good but not great. It's like this every time and we just accept it now because we go more for the 5-star experience than a 5-star meal. It is what it is but that doesn't stop us from going. If you go in with that mindset perhaps you will be pleasantly surprised. At least you wont be disappointed and you can still enjoy a great meal
6) DESSERT ROOM - this is an absolute must. if you miss out on going to the dessert room after your main meal you are missing on 50% of the experience. The dessert room is amazing and my favorite part of Berns. Your table is inside a hollowed out giant wine cask - so cool. THere are more desserts, cheeses, liquors, etc than you can imagine. You must go here. THe desserts are always tasty
7) Service - always TOP NOTCH

SO there you have it. Berns is a 5-star experience and if you have never been, do yourself a favor and go. You will have a great time.

Visited September 2013
Helpful?
2 Thank thehelpfuldad
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tampa, Florida
Level Contributor
8 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Tasty food, tacky ambiance”
Reviewed September 19, 2013

There's no denying how good the food is, but it has the feel of an old French cathouse; gaudy. It's a special experience with the pretentious waiters who make no qualms about the grinding road of experience they've attained. Don't go starving because you have a long wait for food; though worth it! We've never been able to visit the desert room.

  • Visited May 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
2 Thank emilymae85
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Savannah, Georgia, United States
Level Contributor
8 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Berns Seakhouse Tampa”
Reviewed September 17, 2013

Went to Bern's Sept 15 ,2013 Fantastic service, started with California Sturgeon Caviar served with Bern's condiments and traditional style next time I will forgo the traditional the Bern's condiments were refreshing and different several flavors of crème friache that went well with the caviar, we then had Foie Grais Torchon with Cystalized Ginger and macadamia nuts again a very beautiful and different presentation of this classic dish that was outstanding, the Bern's steakhouse salad with Bleu Cheese is included, also French Onion soup both were fantastic, we opted for a 36 ounce aged Porterhouse steak with grilled root vegetables, it was huge but the best steak I have ever had. My wife and I split this large steak because I wanted to experience the best cooked example of their expertise. I also had a wine pairing from the 150,000 bottle wine cellar that was superb. We took the kitchen and wine cellar tour on the way to the second floor Harry Waugh Dessert Room, we were seated in a private booth where I was presented a wine list and desert menu, I opted for an 1855 Taylor Fladgate Tawny Port that I must say was one of the highlights of my entire life I was drinking wine that was pressed when Abraham Lincoln and Ulyesses S Grant were alive two barrels of this 150 year old wine was found and aged perfectly marketed under the name Scion, the wine cellar at Bern's had everthing for all tastes and budgets from $30. to $30,000. they also have another 100,000 bottles stored offsite making this one of the most varied cellars in the world. We had the taste of Bern's for desert which was four of their most popular items my favorite was the carrot cake , if you are looking for a special dining experience and enjoy esprit de cusine this is one of the finest establishments in the world for steaks and wine, the waiters serve a one year apprenticeship in the kitchen before they are allowed to train as a server, All service ,food and wine were second to none.

  • Visited September 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank WilliamEdith
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Manhattan, Illinois
Level Contributor
170 reviews
85 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 114 helpful votes
“A Total Experience...with Fabulous Steak”
Reviewed September 17, 2013

Don't judge a book by its cover, right? When you drive up to Bern's, you will wonder what all the hoopla is about; a plain, white, nondescript building. But the magic starts with the valet service. Enter and find yourself in a darkened entrance, with rich colors. A small, elegant bar is to the right...that's where we started, with a glass of champagne recommended by our server, along with complimentary melted cheese toasts. Then to our table, where Roger became our guide for the evening's meal. We quickly agreed to the kitchen and wine cellar tour following dinner, and to the upstairs Waugh Dessert Room. Then we settled in for a glorious meal. We wanted a Super Tuscan for our wine, gave a price range, and were delighted with the sommelier's choice. At $135, it was magnificent and made the evening even more special. For our dinners, we had a 10 ounce filet and the three-meat special (3 ounces each of three types of steak), each about $60. The price may seem high, but unlike other steak houses, the price includes made-on-premises French onion soup, organic salad, an amazing organic vegetable (we had carrots in an almond sauce) and a potato. The potato is prepared to your liking at the table. Service is impeccable; the servers undergo a lengthy training process, and Bern's becomes their career. After dinner, the tours...then up to the Dessert Room! We chose the Banana Cheese Pie and the the Key Lime Pie, served with illy Cafe espresso. It could not have been a better evening. We were there about 3 1/2 hours. It was packed, so reservations are a must; as we were leaving, we heard a couple without reservations being told it would be a two-hour wait. Don't take a chance! This is an amazing experience, not just another steak house meal.

  • Visited September 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank Suzy B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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