Tampa Bay - February 28, 2012
Hungry and just having arrived in Tampa Bay, the canadiens.com staff decided to make use of a suggestion made by Mathieu Darche to CANADIENS magazine and head down to Bern’s Steakhouse for some eats. At first glance, the sign out front seemed unassuming enough, making the inside of the establishment and the history that came with it all that much more surprising.
If you have over three hours to eat your meal and are looking for an original experience, Bern’s – listed as one of the Top 10 Steakhouses in the U.S. – is probably the place for you. Pretty much everything we ate was made from scratch by the restaurant itself – likely part of the reason that while touring through Bern’s sprawling kitchens we were explained that the preparation and storage areas of the establishment are actually way bigger than the dinning rooms themselves. To put that into perspective, the restaurant can seat nearly 400 people. Every cracker or piece of bread that came with our dinner was baked in-house; every vegetable organically grown by them, either in the restaurant or at the restaurant’s farm. The steaks would have made Queue de Cheval jealous, and the wine cellar is bigger than anything you’ve ever seen.
Comprised of “only” 100,000 bottles ranging from everyday to extremely rare, we were informed that what we were looking at only represented about 15% of the total collection – the other near-million bottles were stored at a warehouse within walking distance. The collection is the biggest of any restaurant in the world, and it definitely felt that way standing in among the never-ending rows of bottles.