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Tampa: Bern's Steakhouse

I haven't been to Bern's in many years. A meeting in Tampa gave me a chance to revisit and I'm very glad I did. This photo of the entrance shows you the theatrical nature of the restaurant. The service is impeccable, gracious and welcoming. And the food is very well thought out and extremely well made.
My meal started with a cup of French onion soup and bread. The soup was full of umami from both cheese and broth. The textures were a lot of fun and a big contrast to the steak to come.
Next came a salad which I ordered with bleu cheese.
My main course was the Delmonico, 14 ounces, rare. The steak came trimmed of fat, a welcome luxury. The dry-aged steak was very flavorful, extremely tender. The side vegetables were excellent and just enough to complement the meat. I didn't drink but the wine list is huge and legendary. After the meal, all guests are treated to a tour, starting in the kitchen. The tour goes onto the wine collection, which they consider the largest private collection in the world. I, of course, inquired as to their air conditioning system and its redundancy, which was itself impressive.
I next went upstairs to the dessert room. Each set of guests is given a booth that I guess is supposed to model a wine cask. This area has its own extensive wine list.
I ordered this banana cream cheese pie, a house specialty. Cream cheese makes the pie less obviously sweet and gives a much more delicate presentation for the bananas that sat sliced on top. This pie was extremely good; I hope to try to figure out how to make it at home. Bern's has been around for well over a half century. In my opinion its reputation is very well deserved. I greatly enjoyed my visit and look forward to another visit some day.

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