Day of the Week: Wednesday, 4/17
Total Bill: $167.73 (before tip)
Breakdown: 1 starter, 1 salad, 1 soup, 1 entrée, 1 “appetizer portion”, 2 sides, 4 drinks
This isn’t going to be a whole long review. For starters, we just did a big Bern’s review a few months ago. Perhaps more importantly, there are about a million Bern’s reviews out there. I want to hit the highlights for you.
I got out of class about 9 this particular evening. When I called Hubby, he said he wanted to go to Donatello for dinner. But by the time I got home he had changed his mind to Bern’s. The last seating there is 10 during the week, so we hightailed it to south Tampa. We got there about 5 minutes to 10 and grabbed two seats at the bar. The bartender told us they would be closing the kitchen VERY shortly, and we needed to get our order in.
I knew what I wanted before we got there: whatever that evening’s short rib special was. Short ribs are my new favorite thing and Bern’s always does them exceptionally well. This particular evening it was boneless short rib served with a crispy potato cake, mushrooms, and fiddlehead ferns. I wasn’t especially hungry (I actually ate a big meal before class thanks to my mom, not knowing Hubby would want to go out) so I got the appetizer portion ($14.95). I also ordered a salad to start ($7.50).
Hubby ordered a LOT because he hadn’t eaten since lunch. Lump crab cakes ($17.95) to start, plus his Alaskan halibut ($38.95) came with soup and salad. (Although, since Hubby doesn’t eat beef, he has to forgo the French onion for lobster bisque, which is $12.50.) He also got a side of white truffle mac & cheese ($18.95) and Okinawa sweet potato ($9.95).
You all know how the usual stuff is. Best salads ever, etc. I want to tell you about the specials.
First, Hubby let me try his halibut (which was wrapped in pancetta – OMG) and it was phenomenal. Neither one of us can remember ever having a better piece of fish.
My short ribs were also truly outstanding. Well, not just my short ribs, the whole dish. The short ribs were so tender that when I ate my leftovers the next day I could cut them with a plastic fork (I was at work). The potato cake was super crispy, topped with a little dollop of crème fraiche and caviar. But for me the real revelation was the fiddlehead ferns. I’ve heard people talking about them for years but never encountered them on a menu (or at the grocery store). Until this evening. And let me tell you, I would gladly eat them every single day. And even though this was the “appetizer portion” it was very generously sized (obviously, since I had leftovers).
I have three takeaways from this evening:
1) Our bartender/server, Doug, was awesome. He never made us feel rushed for coming in so late. He made sure he got our order in before the kitchen closed and kept our drinks and water glasses full. Great guy.
2) I love that Bern’s is always introducing me to new produce. The time before that we were in they had some crazy vegetable (forget the name of it now) that looks like celery but tastes like an artichoke.
3) When I tweeted Bern’s the next day to ask them what are these crazy curly green things with my short ribs???, they actually responded! Yes, whomever does their Twitter account took the time to respond. THAT is customer service.
Just to sound like a broken record: if you haven’t gone to Bern’s yet/for a while, please go ASAP. This has been your public service announcement for April 25th.