Bern's as solo diner [with update]

Tasting notes, varietals, grapes - anything related to wine
Message
Author
User avatar
RyanC
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 3344
Joined: June 2nd, 2009, 4:20 pm
Location: Houston, TX

Bern's as solo diner [with update]

#1 Post by RyanC » February 21st, 2018, 2:46 pm

I'm in Tampa on business and have a free night tomorrow. I'm planning on getting a meal--solo--at the Bern's bar.

I assume they have good .375s and BTG offerings? Or should I buck up and get a bottle?

Any other tips?

[Edit: I'm an idiot and see that they have a list online.]
Last edited by RyanC on February 23rd, 2018, 11:54 am, edited 1 time in total.
C@ughey

User avatar
Robert.A.Jr.
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 21290
Joined: January 28th, 2010, 5:03 am
Location: Orlando, Florida

Bern's as solo diner

#2 Post by Robert.A.Jr. » February 21st, 2018, 2:58 pm

Do it, Ryan! I do that exact thing regularly when I head to Tampa for business. Ironically, I'm at the Tampa airport for a 2 PM meeting, was debating to Swing by, but now have to be back for a 5 PM meeting in Orlando, coincidentally with a potential client from Houston.

Get there when the doors open as Thursdays can be busy. Hustle straight to the bar, you can get full meal and wine service. Grab something BTG while you peruse the huge list. They always have some mature offerings BTG. Last time I was there, they had a Cornas and a Mondavi Zin from the 1970s. The Zin was $4.99! I would have been happy sticking with just that. But, always gotta grab a mature 375 of Bordeaux. Ask one of the Somms or bartenders on recommendations on a mature 375 that is drinking well. They always have something. Last two times I was there I grabbed a 375 of 1964 Leoville Poyferre for $145 and a Delas Hermitage (cannot recall price but over $100), both excellent. Had a 1961 Pavie another time that was excellent, and it was $185 I think, which is not far off current retail for the Perse era Pavies that are nowhere near is good.

"@lf3rt was clearly raised in an outhouse in the Loire. . . ."

Kenny H (circa 2015)

User avatar
Matt Latuchie
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 3437
Joined: February 24th, 2010, 5:16 pm
Location: Las Vegas, NV

Bern's as solo diner

#3 Post by Matt Latuchie » February 21st, 2018, 7:14 pm

I’ve done solo dinners there twice. You’ll have a blast!
CellarTracker: tooch
Instagram: mattlatuchie
philadelphia eagles football

User avatar
RyanC
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 3344
Joined: June 2nd, 2009, 4:20 pm
Location: Houston, TX

Bern's as solo diner

#4 Post by RyanC » February 21st, 2018, 7:20 pm

Well now I'm emboldened. I'll report back.
C@ughey

User avatar
Robert M yers
Contributor
Contributor
Posts: 2377
Joined: March 10th, 2010, 8:24 pm
Location: Cleveland

Bern's as solo diner

#5 Post by Robert M yers » February 21st, 2018, 7:22 pm

Save room for Madeira.

User avatar
Robert.A.Jr.
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 21290
Joined: January 28th, 2010, 5:03 am
Location: Orlando, Florida

Bern's as solo diner

#6 Post by Robert.A.Jr. » February 21st, 2018, 7:34 pm

RyanC wrote:Well now I'm emboldened. I'll report back.
And take pics!

"@lf3rt was clearly raised in an outhouse in the Loire. . . ."

Kenny H (circa 2015)

EricG
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 676
Joined: January 25th, 2010, 10:36 pm

Bern's as solo diner

#7 Post by EricG » February 21st, 2018, 7:36 pm

I'll second what others have said about arrive early. My only experience at Bern's was arriving at 9pm and after waiting ~an hour to eat at the bar and walking out due to hunger. Was not meant to be, I guess!
G = G_e_r_b_e_r

User avatar
Marc Breitenmoser
Posts: 235
Joined: October 28th, 2012, 10:12 am

Bern's as solo diner

#8 Post by Marc Breitenmoser » February 22nd, 2018, 12:36 am

75 fo sho
@wine.rocks
@swissrhonerangers

User avatar
Billy Norris
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 195
Joined: December 21st, 2017, 7:51 am

Bern's as solo diner

#9 Post by Billy Norris » February 22nd, 2018, 9:08 am

Ask for Brad. He's the senior somm there and incredibly knowledgeable, not to mention an old friend of mine. Belly up to the bar and enjoy the ride!

Stuart BeauneHead Niemtzow
Posts: 6375
Joined: April 29th, 2010, 1:36 pm

Bern's as solo diner

#10 Post by Stuart BeauneHead Niemtzow » February 22nd, 2018, 9:12 am

That'll do it......

How long before he started working there did you know Brad?

Old friends/bookends.....

User avatar
Billy Norris
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 195
Joined: December 21st, 2017, 7:51 am

Bern's as solo diner

#11 Post by Billy Norris » February 22nd, 2018, 9:27 am

Stuart BeauneHead Niemtzow wrote:That'll do it......

How long before he started working there did you know Brad?

Old friends/bookends.....
From his days at Island Way Grill in Clearwater...So, early 2000s?

Stuart BeauneHead Niemtzow
Posts: 6375
Joined: April 29th, 2010, 1:36 pm

Bern's as solo diner

#12 Post by Stuart BeauneHead Niemtzow » February 22nd, 2018, 10:47 am

Was Rugers at Bern's then?

User avatar
Albert R
Posts: 640
Joined: June 18th, 2014, 3:12 pm
Location: Ft. Lauderdale, Florida

Bern's as solo diner

#13 Post by Albert R » February 22nd, 2018, 5:42 pm

Billy Norris wrote:Ask for Brad. He's the senior somm there and incredibly knowledgeable, not to mention an old friend of mine. Belly up to the bar and enjoy the ride!
+1 for Brad. He has treated us very well in the past.
Cheers,

@. Re-go

User avatar
RyanC
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 3344
Joined: June 2nd, 2009, 4:20 pm
Location: Houston, TX

Bern's as solo diner

#14 Post by RyanC » February 23rd, 2018, 11:53 am

Bern's was super fun, albeit imperfect in ways that ultimately detracted very little from the experience. First, the good. The bar was extremely lively and fun. Service from the bartenders was top-notch, and the crowd was interesting and outgoing. The wine service was also impeccable. While I waited (we'll get to that), I started with glasses of 1975 Souverain Zin and an old Rhone (never learned what it was). Both were impeccable, fresh, and delicious. Both were $7.

Once I was seated, I asked for a somm, and the wine director came over (maybe Brad?). I've rarely had better wine service. I told him I wanted a great, old-school .375, and that I like Burg, N. Rhone, and Bdx. I said I was willing to spend $200-300. He said that, while I could get great Bdx in that range, he really recommended a N. Rhone because they had some great .375s that were drinking well. I was in no position to disagree, so he brought out a 1964 Jaboulet Cote Rotie. Not on the list and only $90. It was perfect for what it was--fresh, balanced, fully resolved, and Cote Rotie to the core.

[resizeableimage=600,800]https://image.ibb.co/dcywLx/IMG_2662.jpg[/resizeableimage]

The whole experience was loads of fun and one I'd love to do again with a group. I ended with a tour of the cellar, which is well worth it. The wine director lamented that the list was being severely picked over--and I'm sure that's true--but there is still a ton that I would love to drink, and the fact that they have so many mature bottles for cheap is completely unique. I've never seen anything like it.

All of that said, there are a few things Bern's first-timers should know. As Robert and others previewed, the place was *packed* and the wait considerable. I couldn't arrive until 7:20 or so, and it's no exaggeration to say that it was the busiest I've seen any restaurant, ever. And it's quite a scene. I eat solo on business travel almost weekly--often at very popular, Michelin-starred type places--and I have never waited anywhere near as long as I did at Bern's. It took nearly 2 hours to be seated at the bar, which was sort of okay because (1) I had nothing else to do, (2) the crowd was fun, and (3) the wine BTG was great. But it did test my patience.

The food was tasty but not superlative. I actually really liked the old-school approach of the French onion soup and old-school salad (which is in line with the old-school decor), but neither was remarkable. And the steak, while tasty, was nothing special. I had a 14oz ribeye, which was huge and seemingly much larger than 14oz (or other places are short-changing me). It was good but not nearly as good as I do at home routinely with a Whole Foods prime ribeye on the big green egg/cast iron. I guess that's the reality of ordering steak and why I rarely do it--but I didn't find the Bern's steak on the same level as other great steaks I've had at places that really focus on aging/marbling/etc. May also be a product of serving 1,000 covers a night. I was stuffed after dinner so I skipped desert and Madeira. Next time.

A final note: I found it notable how few people seemed to be taking advantage of the wine program. The bar had one guy who was drinking '93 Ponsot CdlR and DRC solo. But the rest, other than myself, were drinking martinis or beer, except two groups who were drinking The Prisoner.
Last edited by RyanC on February 23rd, 2018, 12:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.
C@ughey

User avatar
Robert.A.Jr.
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 21290
Joined: January 28th, 2010, 5:03 am
Location: Orlando, Florida

Bern's as solo diner

#15 Post by Robert.A.Jr. » February 23rd, 2018, 12:03 pm

RyanC wrote:Bern's was super fun, albeit imperfect in ways that ultimately detracted very little from the experience. First, the good. The bar was extremely lively and fun. Service from the bartenders was top-notch, and the crowd was interesting and outgoing. The wine service was also impeccable. While I waited (we'll get to that), I started with glasses of 1975 Souverain Zin and an old Rhone (never learned what it was). Both were impeccable, fresh, and delicious. Both were $7.

Once I was seated, I asked for a somm, and the wine director came over (maybe Brad?). I've rarely had better wine service. I told him I wanted a great, old-school .375, and that I like Burg, N. Rhone, and Bdx. I said I was willing to spend $200-300. He said that, while I could get great Bdx in that range, he really recommended a N. Rhone because they had some great .375s that were drinking well. I was in no position to disagree, so he brought out a 1964 Jaboulet Cote Rotie. Not on the list and only $90. It was perfect for what it was--fresh, balanced, fully resolved, and Cote Rotie to the core.

[resizeableimage=600,800]https://image.ibb.co/dcywLx/IMG_2662.jpg[/resizeableimage]

The whole experience was loads of fun and one I'd love to do again with a group. I ended with a tour of the cellar, which is well worth it. The wine director lamented that the list was being severly picked over--and I'm sure that's true--but there is still a ton that I would love to drink, and the fact that they have so many mature bottles for cheap is completely unique. I've never seen anything like it.

All of that said, there are a few things Bern's first-timers should know. As Robert and others previewed, the place was *packed* and the wait considerable. I couldn't arrive until 7:20 or so, and it's no exaggeration to say that it was the busiest I've seen any restaurant, ever. And it's quite a scene. I eat solo on business travel almost weekly--often at very popular, Michelin-starred type places--and I have never waited anywhere near as long as I did at Bern's. It took nearly 2 hours to be seated at the bar, which was sort of okay because (1) I had nothing else to do, (2) the crowd was fun, and (3) the wine BTG was great. But it did test my patience.

The food was tasty but not superlative. I actually really liked the old-school approach of the French onion soup and old-school salad (which is in line with the old-school decor), but neither was remarkable. And the steak, while tasty, was nothing special. I had a 14oz ribeye, which was huge and seemingly much larger than 14oz (or other places are short-changing me). It was good but not nearly as good as I do at home routinely with a Whole Foods prime ribeye on the big green egg/cast iron. I guess that's the reality of ordering steak and why I rarely do it--but I didn't find the Bern's steak on the same level as other great steaks I've had at places that really focus on aging/marbling/etc. May also be a product of serving 1,000 covers a night. I was stuffed after dinner so I skipped desert and Madeira. Next time.

A final note: I found it notable how few people seemed to be taking advantage of the wine program. The bar had one guy who was drinking '93 Ponsot CdlR and DRC solo. But the rest, other than myself, were drinking martinis or beer, except two groups who were drinking The Prisoner.
I'm so psyched you did this! Yea the key is arriving at 5 if you do not have rezzies.

Your last point, that I see all the time. Cannot tell you how often i have been and see people drinking new releases of Caymus, Jordan and Silver Oak.

The bar is a blast. Very convivial. And lots of business done right there.

"@lf3rt was clearly raised in an outhouse in the Loire. . . ."

Kenny H (circa 2015)

User avatar
K John Joseph
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 7316
Joined: June 8th, 2011, 11:55 am
Location: Dallas

Bern's as solo diner

#16 Post by K John Joseph » February 23rd, 2018, 12:45 pm

RyanC wrote:And the steak, while tasty, was nothing special. I had a 14oz ribeye, which was huge and seemingly much larger than 14oz (or other places are short-changing me). It was good but not nearly as good as I do at home routinely with a Whole Foods prime ribeye on the big green egg/cast iron. I guess that's the reality of ordering steak and why I rarely do it--but I didn't find the Bern's steak on the same level as other great steaks I've had at places that really focus on aging/marbling/etc. May also be a product of serving 1,000 covers a night.
I'm with you. I almost never order steak of any sort at restaurants, though one must order steak at a steakhouse. I think we're Texas spoiled. Prime beef and steakhouses here are as good or better, wagyu et al. aside, than anywhere else I've ever been.
J0hn-J-K4ne

User avatar
RyanC
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 3344
Joined: June 2nd, 2009, 4:20 pm
Location: Houston, TX

Bern's as solo diner

#17 Post by RyanC » February 23rd, 2018, 1:01 pm

K John Joseph wrote:
RyanC wrote:And the steak, while tasty, was nothing special. I had a 14oz ribeye, which was huge and seemingly much larger than 14oz (or other places are short-changing me). It was good but not nearly as good as I do at home routinely with a Whole Foods prime ribeye on the big green egg/cast iron. I guess that's the reality of ordering steak and why I rarely do it--but I didn't find the Bern's steak on the same level as other great steaks I've had at places that really focus on aging/marbling/etc. May also be a product of serving 1,000 covers a night.
I'm with you. I almost never order steak of any sort at restaurants, though one must order steak at a steakhouse. I think we're Texas spoiled. Prime beef and steakhouses here are as good or better, wagyu et al. aside, than anywhere else I've ever been.
Agree. Exhibit A: this $14.99/lb dry aged ribeye I picked up from Whole Foods last week. Cooked slow on the BGE followed by a cast iron sear, it was leaps and bounds better than just about any steakhouse steak I've ever had:

[resizeableimage=450,600]https://image.ibb.co/cCnCAx/IMG_2223.jpg[/resizeableimage]
C@ughey

User avatar
R M Kriete
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 509
Joined: April 27th, 2010, 8:07 am
Location: Indialantic, Florida

Bern's as solo diner

#18 Post by R M Kriete » February 23rd, 2018, 1:04 pm

RyanC wrote:.

A final note: I found it notable how few people seemed to be taking advantage of the wine program. The bar had one guy who was drinking '93 Ponsot CdlR and DRC solo. But the rest, other than myself, were drinking martinis or beer, except two groups who were drinking The Prisoner.
The first rule of Berns..... [wink.gif]

User avatar
Billy Norris
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 195
Joined: December 21st, 2017, 7:51 am

Bern's as solo diner [with update]

#19 Post by Billy Norris » February 23rd, 2018, 1:08 pm

I'm overdue for a visit. Anybody want to get together and spend some $$?

User avatar
H Wallace Jr
BerserkerBusiness
BerserkerBusiness
Posts: 1882
Joined: January 29th, 2009, 7:19 pm
Location: Napa, CA

Bern's as solo diner

#20 Post by H Wallace Jr » February 23rd, 2018, 1:19 pm

RyanC wrote: A final note: I found it notable how few people seemed to be taking advantage of the wine program. The bar had one guy who was drinking '93 Ponsot CdlR and DRC solo. But the rest, other than myself, were drinking martinis or beer, except two groups who were drinking The Prisoner.
That's one of the things that I think makes Bern's one of the greatest spots on the planet. You can get a '64 Cote Rotie (375ML) for under $100 and have a great experience or someone can go and get a martini, a bud light, or current vintage Caymus, order a filet well done and butterflied, and still have an awesome time. It is a happy spot for whatever floats your boat.

I am a defender of Bern's food. I love the simplicity / retro, no frills, + value. You get (IMHO) an excellent, straightforward piece of meat simply prepared (that allows the wine to shine) soup, salad, and 2 sides, for the cost of less than a steak at corporate steak house and without being ridiculously over seasoned
Hardy Wallace itb
Dirty and Rowdy Family Winery: Mourvèdre and Semillon Together at Last

User avatar
Matt Latuchie
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 3437
Joined: February 24th, 2010, 5:16 pm
Location: Las Vegas, NV

Bern's as solo diner [with update]

#21 Post by Matt Latuchie » February 23rd, 2018, 1:26 pm

Glad you had a good visit Ryan - '64 Jaboulet? <swoon>. I agree with Hardy re: the food - I kinda dug it.
CellarTracker: tooch
Instagram: mattlatuchie
philadelphia eagles football

User avatar
Robert.A.Jr.
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 21290
Joined: January 28th, 2010, 5:03 am
Location: Orlando, Florida

Bern's as solo diner [with update]

#22 Post by Robert.A.Jr. » February 23rd, 2018, 1:33 pm

I dig the food, too. The Chateaubriand is their speciality.

"@lf3rt was clearly raised in an outhouse in the Loire. . . ."

Kenny H (circa 2015)

Fred C
Posts: 2591
Joined: July 11th, 2011, 10:09 am

Bern's as solo diner

#23 Post by Fred C » February 23rd, 2018, 1:38 pm

H Wallace Jr wrote: I am a defender of Bern's food. I love the simplicity / retro, no frills, + value. You get (IMHO) an excellent, straightforward piece of meat simply prepared (that allows the wine to shine) soup, salad, and 2 sides, for the cost of less than a steak at corporate steak house and without being ridiculously over seasoned
+1. Most places will be charging you an extra $8-15 per soup, salad, side. Food is rarely more than $50pp here and you eat well.

Value aside, that chateaubriand is straight up really good and once they surprised us with a delicious side of pan roasted chanterelles (no extra charge) that would have been a $30+ supplement anywhere else.
Ch!3n

User avatar
RyanC
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 3344
Joined: June 2nd, 2009, 4:20 pm
Location: Houston, TX

Bern's as solo diner

#24 Post by RyanC » February 23rd, 2018, 1:53 pm

Fred C wrote:
H Wallace Jr wrote: I am a defender of Bern's food. I love the simplicity / retro, no frills, + value. You get (IMHO) an excellent, straightforward piece of meat simply prepared (that allows the wine to shine) soup, salad, and 2 sides, for the cost of less than a steak at corporate steak house and without being ridiculously over seasoned
+1. Most places will be charging you an extra $8-15 per soup, salad, side. Food is rarely more than $50pp here and you eat well.

Value aside, that chateaubriand is straight up really good and once they surprised us with a delicious side of pan roasted chanterelles (no extra charge) that would have been a $30+ supplement anywhere else.
The value is indeed remarkable. I had two glasses of 1970s reds, a .375 of '64 Cote Rotie, a huge prime, dry-aged steak (with two apps and two sides included), and all-in it was less than $200 including tax and tip.

Maybe I should have ordered the Chateaubriand. Regardless, it was great fun and I hope to return (with a reservation) sooner rather than later. As unique of a restaurant as exists in America.
C@ughey

User avatar
Jeremy C
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 976
Joined: November 11th, 2013, 11:16 am
Location: El Paso

Bern's as solo diner [with update]

#25 Post by Jeremy C » February 23rd, 2018, 2:10 pm

The Chateaubriand is what we ordered the one time I've been. There were three of us and we shared 22 or 24 ounces. Very yummy.

I plan on ordering that again when I return this May.
Last edited by Jeremy C on February 23rd, 2018, 6:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Cuth.bert.son

Tom G l a s g o w
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 4689
Joined: February 19th, 2010, 2:01 pm

Bern's as solo diner [with update]

#26 Post by Tom G l a s g o w » February 23rd, 2018, 5:41 pm

This is timely, I’ll be there next week. I was thinking veal chop but maybe it’s Chateaubriand time.

Mark Senn
Posts: 263
Joined: January 24th, 2011, 10:31 am
Location: Lima, Peru

Bern's as solo diner [with update]

#27 Post by Mark Senn » February 23rd, 2018, 6:31 pm

Matt Latuchie wrote:Glad you had a good visit Ryan - '64 Jaboulet? <swoon>. I agree with Hardy re: the food - I kinda dug it.
Matt - we need to plan another weekend visit!

User avatar
Chris V.
Posts: 512
Joined: July 31st, 2012, 6:40 am
Location: Hamilton, Ontario, Canada

Bern's as solo diner [with update]

#28 Post by Chris V. » February 23rd, 2018, 8:05 pm

I visited for the first time last week. First a family dinner, with wine service by Brad who was a treat. Started with foie gras (both preparations were very nice), and 1978 Raymond Lafon BTG ($12/glass, nice but not complex). Then tried the '75 souverain which I found a tad rasin-y and port-like. The Rhone BTG when I was there was an '82 Cotes Du Rhone which eventually opened up and to be lovely for it's modest pricetag ($9.70).

Of course we had an old bordeaux with our mains, and I completely agree that the food was nice, even a good match for the wine but ultimately unremarkable. Having said that I don't think I'd have it any other way. This way you can focus on the wine.

Finished in the dessert room with some BTG '70s port, a '76 Mosel Riesling, and younger Royal Tokaji. Quite a nice experience.

The second night I went solo. I ordered the 375 of '62 Delas Hermitage that's been discussed on here a few times. I'm convinced they don't have (m)any good bottles of this left. I like old wine but IMO mine was shot. Madeira nose. I managed to send it back. Later that night someone down the bar had ordered it as well. I asked how it was and they shrugged and handed me their glass. I smelled it. Same.

After that I settled on a 750 '79 Guigal Cotes du Rhone, which was nice, but IMO the '82 Cotes du Rhone BTG I had earlier in the week was better and way cheaper. Drank some but not all, stuck the cork back in, then moved on.

Had a 375 of Morey St Denis from J. Thorin ($59), which held up nicely, but didn't have much in the way of complexity. Mellow, mature and fruit in tact. Then over to a 375 '64 Fixin 1er from Jehan Joliet ($47). Amazing that it had such punchy vibrant red fruit, but not a ton of complexity.

All in all a great experience. Though I can't help but wonder if the somm I was working with on my solo night couldn't have steered me in a better direction now that I see this Jaboulet was pulled. After he smelled my '62 Delas, he said all of the 375 60's Cote Roties were getting tired like that. I found this quite surprising given the reputation here and elsewhere. He did work to find me a couple mature 375 burgs at nice prices so I suppose I can't complain too much.
V a n d e r m a r e l

User avatar
François Audouze
Posts: 1244
Joined: July 26th, 2010, 2:49 am
Location: near Paris (picture : Tokay 1819 not Hungarian drunk in May 2010)

Bern's as solo diner [with update]

#29 Post by François Audouze » February 24th, 2018, 4:03 am

I have had two dinners in Bern's and the idea was to drink old wines.

In the first dinner we drank : Clos Vougeot Meunier 1918 - Château Langoa-Barton 1893 - Château Durfort 1895.

In the second dinner we drank : Château Léoville-Poyferré 1909 - Château Palmer 1910 - Château Lagrange 1914 - Château Brane-Cantenac 1887 - Château Mouton-Rothschild 1907 - Château Haut-Bailly 1913

I know no place where you could order such wines for prices which I found extremely affordable for what we had.

And in which restaurant would I be allowed to go and choose by myself the wines to drink after a preselection made by Brad of nearly 50 bottles of wines corresponding to my wishes?

And even more Brad allowed me to open the wines in the cellar and he was the one who handled a light in order that I can work properly!

here is my daughter, me and Brad
Image

The first time Brad accepted that I opened the wines in the restaurant!
Image
Kind regards

François Audouze

ITB for # 150 bottles a year, sold through dinners

User avatar
François Audouze
Posts: 1244
Joined: July 26th, 2010, 2:49 am
Location: near Paris (picture : Tokay 1819 not Hungarian drunk in May 2010)

Bern's as solo diner [with update]

#30 Post by François Audouze » February 24th, 2018, 4:07 am

I am not sure that Brad is still there in the restaurant, because on my blog I had put a photo of Brad which was through a link to their website and this picture cannot be seen on my blog. Have you information about the presence of Brad in the restaurant?
Kind regards

François Audouze

ITB for # 150 bottles a year, sold through dinners

Herwig Janssen
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 851
Joined: June 19th, 2009, 10:02 am

Bern's as solo diner [with update]

#31 Post by Herwig Janssen » February 24th, 2018, 4:45 am

Francois , does the Tour d’Argent not have a similar impressive wine list ?
Thank you

User avatar
François Audouze
Posts: 1244
Joined: July 26th, 2010, 2:49 am
Location: near Paris (picture : Tokay 1819 not Hungarian drunk in May 2010)

Bern's as solo diner [with update]

#32 Post by François Audouze » February 24th, 2018, 9:57 am

The two cellars are great with a big difference on prices.
I would never have been able to drink the wines I had in Bern's if they were available in Tour d'Argent.

The old wines in Bern's have been devastated because the prices were cheap. Tour d'Argent has still more vey old wines.

Both cellars are spectacular.
Kind regards

François Audouze

ITB for # 150 bottles a year, sold through dinners

Fred C
Posts: 2591
Joined: July 11th, 2011, 10:09 am

Bern's as solo diner [with update]

#33 Post by Fred C » February 24th, 2018, 11:21 am

François Audouze wrote:The two cellars are great with a big difference on prices.
I would never have been able to drink the wines I had in Bern's if they were available in Tour d'Argent.

The old wines in Bern's have been devastated because the prices were cheap. Tour d'Argent has still more vey old wines.

Both cellars are spectacular.
Tour d'Argent will also raise the price for every certain number of bottles sold. I had the price raised on me within 24 hours just 2 weeks ago!
Ch!3n

User avatar
François Audouze
Posts: 1244
Joined: July 26th, 2010, 2:49 am
Location: near Paris (picture : Tokay 1819 not Hungarian drunk in May 2010)

Bern's as solo diner [with update]

#34 Post by François Audouze » February 24th, 2018, 12:30 pm

The son of Claude Terrail has completely changed the price policy.
It is sad.
Kind regards

François Audouze

ITB for # 150 bottles a year, sold through dinners

User avatar
larry schaffer
BerserkerBusiness
BerserkerBusiness
Posts: 7718
Joined: January 28th, 2009, 9:26 am
Location: Santa Ynez Valley, CA

Bern's as solo diner [with update]

#35 Post by larry schaffer » February 24th, 2018, 12:58 pm

it's tough to blame them for raising prices on wines that they purchased and held for as long as they do. From what I understand, diners are still getting incredible deals on wines compared to current auction prices. and I think it's okay for the restaurant to make money on these as well, don't you?
larry schaffer
tercero wines

User avatar
lleichtman
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 1367
Joined: June 28th, 2014, 6:28 pm
Location: Santa Fe NM

Bern's as solo diner [with update]

#36 Post by lleichtman » February 24th, 2018, 1:19 pm

I do not recommend the chateaubriand for one as it is a large steak and you will be taking it home from Bern's. For 3, it was just perfect. And we had some amazing wines including Taittinger ‘Comtes de Champagne’ Blanc de Blancs Brut 2002, Léoville Las Cases 1978, and finished up with a Taylor Fladgate Vintage port 1963. Great meal and wines in December 2017.
Lawrence G. Leichtman

User avatar
S. Stevenson
Posts: 643
Joined: February 4th, 2016, 3:05 pm
Location: Los Angeles

Bern's as solo diner [with update]

#37 Post by S. Stevenson » February 24th, 2018, 2:01 pm

Anyone who thinks their home cooked steaks are better than any restaurants they've been to, haven't been to the right restaurants...
Stan

User avatar
Ian H
Posts: 156
Joined: February 7th, 2018, 3:57 pm
Location: New Jersey

Bern's as solo diner [with update]

#38 Post by Ian H » February 24th, 2018, 2:21 pm

Damn I just flew into and out of Tampa on a golf trip a few weeks back and didn't know about this place. Does anybody have rec's for similar-ish places in NJ/NY/Connecticut (particularly with the big and well-curated by the glass and 375 menus)?

I've found the quality of restaurant steaks to be as variable as Burgundy. You pay a lot and it may be transcendent, or just ho-hum! On steak, I discovered the Rib Cap in the not too distant past and if ever I can find that on a restaurant menu, and the chef knows what he's doing, oh boy.
@@S

User avatar
c fu
Moderator
<dfn>Moderator</dfn>
Posts: 30827
Joined: January 27th, 2009, 1:26 pm
Location: Pasadena

Bern's as solo diner [with update]

#39 Post by c fu » February 24th, 2018, 2:46 pm

S. Stevenson wrote:Anyone who thinks their home cooked steaks are better than any restaurants they've been to, haven't been to the right restaurants...
Or you’re just not very good at cooking steaks at home ;)
Ch@rlie F|_|
"Roulot is Roulot"©

Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/clayfu.wine

User avatar
John O'
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 759
Joined: October 30th, 2011, 4:24 am
Location: Skaneateles, NY

Bern's as solo diner [with update]

#40 Post by John O' » February 24th, 2018, 2:51 pm

How many places on this planet do you tell a Somm you've never met before that you're willing to spend up to $300 on a split and they bring you a great bottle for $90. That's impressive.
O Sullivan

User avatar
Scott Watkins
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 1827
Joined: June 20th, 2011, 7:49 am
Location: Sherman Oaks

Bern's as solo diner [with update]

#41 Post by Scott Watkins » February 24th, 2018, 3:25 pm

Ian H wrote:Damn I just flew into and out of Tampa on a golf trip a few weeks back and didn't know about this place.
?! What rock have you been living under ;)
“Freedom is something that dies unless it's used” Hunter S Thompson

james l moleberg
Posts: 321
Joined: October 8th, 2015, 5:01 pm

Bern's as solo diner [with update]

#42 Post by james l moleberg » February 24th, 2018, 5:07 pm

Personally, I find it rude to go into a restaurant of the caliber of Bern's, which possesses such a talented group of wine servers and ask that you open the wine. But maybe that's just me.

Michael Martin
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 6338
Joined: August 28th, 2010, 3:35 pm

Bern's as solo diner [with update]

#43 Post by Michael Martin » February 24th, 2018, 7:19 pm

james l moleberg wrote:Personally, I find it rude to go into a restaurant of the caliber of Bern's, which possesses such a talented group of wine servers and ask that you open the wine. But maybe that's just me.
Francois is a legend. It is an honor to let him open any wine he wants.

User avatar
Robert.A.Jr.
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 21290
Joined: January 28th, 2010, 5:03 am
Location: Orlando, Florida

Bern's as solo diner [with update]

#44 Post by Robert.A.Jr. » February 24th, 2018, 7:24 pm

Michael Martin wrote:
james l moleberg wrote:Personally, I find it rude to go into a restaurant of the caliber of Bern's, which possesses such a talented group of wine servers and ask that you open the wine. But maybe that's just me.
Francois is a legend. It is an honor to let him open any wine he wants.
Knowing Brad and Eric, I'm sure they enjoyed the interplay with Francois. He was not ordering the Caymus.

"@lf3rt was clearly raised in an outhouse in the Loire. . . ."

Kenny H (circa 2015)

User avatar
François Audouze
Posts: 1244
Joined: July 26th, 2010, 2:49 am
Location: near Paris (picture : Tokay 1819 not Hungarian drunk in May 2010)

Bern's as solo diner [with update]

#45 Post by François Audouze » February 25th, 2018, 3:13 am

James,
I am not arrogant, by no mean.
But when Brad, whom I respect, began to open the wines that I had ordered which were of 1918, 1893 and 1895, I asked him if I could operate because I saw that with his tools we would have problems.

And it is the intelligence of Brad, and his immense openness, which made him accept that I operate. He looked how I did and was convinced that he would never have had the same result.

And imagine a man who is at the head of a fantastic cellar who told me after the first dinner: "when you come back, tell me your desire, I will make a selection of 50 bottles, you will choose what you want and you will open as you wish".

And it is what we did. And he was the one who oriented the light in a proper way in order that I have enough light to open the wines that I had chosen.

The relation with Brad was completely friendly and natural. For the first dinner, at 3 pm we spent one hour to study together the wine list and we talked and talked.
For the second visit I visited the main cellar which is not the cellar which is in the restaurant, and we spent two or three hours together. He was pleased to meet me as I was pleased to meet him.

If there was not this friendly atmosphere I would never had asked to open wines by myself.
So, no arrogance, just friendship.
Kind regards

François Audouze

ITB for # 150 bottles a year, sold through dinners

User avatar
Ian H
Posts: 156
Joined: February 7th, 2018, 3:57 pm
Location: New Jersey

Bern's as solo diner [with update]

#46 Post by Ian H » February 25th, 2018, 4:59 am

Scott Watkins wrote:
Ian H wrote:Damn I just flew into and out of Tampa on a golf trip a few weeks back and didn't know about this place.
?! What rock have you been living under ;)
A great big giant one. Missed opportunity, reason to go back and play more golf and drink some wine I guess.
@@S

Jayson Cohen
Posts: 1913
Joined: July 9th, 2016, 4:29 pm
Location: New York, NY

Bern's as solo diner [with update]

#47 Post by Jayson Cohen » February 25th, 2018, 5:26 am

François Audouze wrote:James,
I am not arrogant, by no mean.
But when Brad, whom I respect, began to open the wines that I had ordered which were of 1918, 1893 and 1895, I asked him if I could operate because I saw that with his tools we would have problems.

And it is the intelligence of Brad, and his immense openness, which made him accept that I operate. He looked how I did and was convinced that he would never have had the same result.

And imagine a man who is at the head of a fantastic cellar who told me after the first dinner: "when you come back, tell me your desire, I will make a selection of 50 bottles, you will choose what you want and you will open as you wish".

And it is what we did. And he was the one who oriented the light in a proper way in order that I have enough light to open the wines that I had chosen.

The relation with Brad was completely friendly and natural. For the first dinner, at 3 pm we spent one hour to study together the wine list and we talked and talked.
For the second visit I visited the main cellar which is not the cellar which is in the restaurant, and we spent two or three hours together. He was pleased to meet me as I was pleased to meet him.

If there was not this friendly atmosphere I would never had asked to open wines by myself.
So, no arrogance, just friendship.
Wonderful as usual.

Will you show us (photos of) your tools?

Doug Schulman
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 5106
Joined: October 21st, 2009, 9:42 am
Location: MA

Bern's as solo diner [with update]

#48 Post by Doug Schulman » February 25th, 2018, 6:00 am

Ian H wrote:Does anybody have rec's for similar-ish places in NJ/NY/Connecticut (particularly with the big and well-curated by the glass and 375 menus)?
I don't think there's any other restaurant anywhere with a wine list and pricing that's comparable to what they have at Bern's, especially for BTG and 375 mL bottles.
ITB - retail sales and education

User avatar
François Audouze
Posts: 1244
Joined: July 26th, 2010, 2:49 am
Location: near Paris (picture : Tokay 1819 not Hungarian drunk in May 2010)

Bern's as solo diner [with update]

#49 Post by François Audouze » February 25th, 2018, 6:07 am

Image

I use them from left to right :
- a knife to cut the capsule (I have two in order to make one sharper by using the other to sharpen it)
- the normal corkscrew of sommeliers, just to lift the cork by 5 millimeters (useful as many corks stick to the glass)
- then the super tools which help to lift the cork. I have two because if I lift only a torn cork, the other is ready to continue
- then the small tools to lift what sticks to the glass. I have two because if one is dirty I use the second
- I try to never use the spoon, which is there to lift the pieces which would have fallen in the wine. And I am proud that it happens very rarely, even for the Hermitage 1938 whose cork arrived this way :

Image

nothing fell in the wine !
Kind regards

François Audouze

ITB for # 150 bottles a year, sold through dinners

User avatar
Robert M yers
Contributor
Contributor
Posts: 2377
Joined: March 10th, 2010, 8:24 pm
Location: Cleveland

Bern's as solo diner [with update]

#50 Post by Robert M yers » February 25th, 2018, 6:27 am

Wouldn’t a Durand help?

Post Reply

Return to “Wine Talk”