Top 10 North American Wine Destinations
#10 – Bern’s Steak House
A good friend of mine, Glen Frederiksen, nominated this Tampa, Fla., restaurant for this “Top 10” list.
“It’s on my list of ‘Wine Destinations I Must See Before I Die,'” Glen told me.
I was lucky enough to dine there a few years ago, and it remains on my list of “Wine Destinations I Must See AGAIN Before I Die.”
What a place. First of all, it’s huge. Yet despite its size, and the size of its staff, each customer is made to feel welcome. That’s no small accomplishment.
Of course, the steaks are marvelous. They’re dry-aged, hand-cut to order, and then charcoal-broiled. Order medium-rare, and you’ll get medium-rare.
Bern’s also takes cheese seriously, which explains why there are TWO temperature- and humidity-controlled cheese caves on the premises.
There’s even a separate dessert room where guests can adjourn and enjoy a more subdued atmosphere – not to mention handmade sweet treats.
But the star of the show is Bern’s wine list. Here’s the box score:
* 6,800 unique labels
* 5,500 red wines
* 1,000 white wines
* 200 sparkling wines
* 300 Madeiras, Ports and Sherries by the glass
* 200 table wines by the glass
And the most impressive, awe-inspiring… and slightly intimidating… statistic of all:
* More than 500,000 bottles
If Bern’s isn’t a “wine destination,” then I don’t know what is.
My friend Glen hasn’t even been there, but he understands why Bern’s is special.
“These are people who take their food and wine seriously,” he observed. “The homage to wine is why I want to go.”
And why I want to go back.
Tomorrow: The countdown continues with #9.