Tag: Bern's Winefest
- The Weekend: Enjoy a wine-centric weekend in Tampa. The famous Bern’s Steak House in Tampa is one of the state’s best spots for beef, yet some may argue that it’s really the wine that makes dinner here so perfect. Boasting Florida’s largest wine list, with more than 6,800 options, the restaurant is a culinary experience worth wrapping a weekend around. Or better yet, visit in April for the annual Bern’s Winefest.
Start Here: Check into the Renaissance Tampa International Plaza Hotel. From here it’s an easy drive or taxi ride to SoHo, the South of Howard Avenue dining district, where Bern’s and other restaurants line the streets.
Weekend To Dos:
1. Plan on spending an hour or more at Bern’s Fine Wines and Spirits shop. The store stocks wines that are among the highest rated by Wine Spectator and Wine Advocate’s respected wine critic Robert Parker. A knowledgeable staff makes shopping for wine here not only fun but educational as well. Buy a case of 12 (mixed bottles count) and receive a 10 percent discount.
2. Bern’s Steak House has been an institution since 1956. Make your reservation a month in advance if you want weekend primetime seating (7 to 9 p.m.). With seven dining rooms, the restaurant is buzzing as waiters balance huge trays of sizzling thick steaks, and sides like twice-baked potatoes and black truffled creamed corn. Any of Bern’s three sommeliers will help you navigate the wine list and choose a bottle from the cellar, which holds 5,500 red wines, 1,000 white wines, 200 sparkling wines, plus madeiras, ports and sherries.
3. After dinner take the tour of the wine cellar and kitchen, which is part of the dining experience and offered to all guests. Then head upstairs to the Harry Waugh Dessert Room and slip into one of the wooden dining nooks, designed to resemble a wine barrel, and order a retro Baked Alaska or a glass of Inniskillin Vidal Icewine.
- I spent my weekend hobnobbing with Tampa’s oenophiles at Bern’s Winefest. If you like good food and wine, no doubt you’ve been to Bern’s Steak House, but have you been to the restaurant’s wine festival?