Bern's as solo diner [with update]

Tasting notes, varietals, grapes - anything related to wine
Message
Author
Nick Gangas
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 7465
Joined: August 7th, 2009, 6:27 pm

Bern's as solo diner [with update]

#51 Post by Nick Gangas » February 25th, 2018, 7:57 am

François Audouze wrote: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?
I was there in August and Brad took great care of us. I also recently saw a pic here of Berns and Brad was serving them.

User avatar
Neal.Mollen
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 36933
Joined: January 30th, 2009, 1:26 pm

Bern's as solo diner [with update]

#52 Post by Neal.Mollen » February 25th, 2018, 8:56 am

c fu wrote:
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 ;)
Ha! Agreed
I don't have to speak; she defends me

A drunkard's dream if I ever did see one

M. Chacchia
Posts: 309
Joined: May 3rd, 2010, 5:25 am
Location: Connecticut

Bern's as solo diner [with update]

#53 Post by M. Chacchia » February 25th, 2018, 3:13 pm

François Audouze wrote: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 !
You, indeed, are the man. Love it.
Cheers
Marchello

User avatar
mdavis
Posts: 261
Joined: January 1st, 2010, 3:44 pm
Location: Pacific NW

Bern's as solo diner [with update]

#54 Post by mdavis » February 25th, 2018, 4:43 pm

Robert M yers wrote:Wouldn’t a Durand help?
My thoughts exactly. I have good success with mine.


-mark
m=m.a.r.k

User avatar
François Audouze
Posts: 1279
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]

#55 Post by François Audouze » February 26th, 2018, 4:22 am

Durand is really a good tool, but it hurts the cork and as I keep the nice corks I try not to use it.

http://www.academiedesvinsanciens.org/u ... lle-video/
see the corks on this short video.
Kind regards

François Audouze

ITB for # 150 bottles a year, sold through dinners

User avatar
Brandon R
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 1597
Joined: November 10th, 2015, 5:07 pm

Bern's as solo diner [with update]

#56 Post by Brandon R » February 26th, 2018, 1:04 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...
I hope you're joking. I've been to quite a few top steak houses in this country and, with an amazing piece of aged meat from Flannery, I can cook one every bit as good or very close at home. I also know I'm not alone in this on these boards!
B. Redman

Peter Chiu
Posts: 3871
Joined: January 28th, 2011, 1:39 pm

Bern's as solo diner [with update]

#57 Post by Peter Chiu » February 27th, 2018, 5:34 am

Brandon R wrote:
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...
I hope you're joking. I've been to quite a few top steak houses in this country and, with an amazing piece of aged meat from Flannery, I can cook one every bit as good or very close at home. I also know I'm not alone in this on these boards!

Yes you are not alone ....+ 1. [cheers.gif]

Stuart BeauneHead Niemtzow
Posts: 6406
Joined: April 29th, 2010, 1:36 pm

Bern's as solo diner [with update]

#58 Post by Stuart BeauneHead Niemtzow » February 27th, 2018, 12:10 pm

not me

User avatar
Dave McCloskey
Posts: 835
Joined: April 7th, 2011, 10:46 am

Bern's as solo diner

#59 Post by Dave McCloskey » February 27th, 2018, 1:00 pm

RyanC wrote:
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]
You've touched on why I rarely go to steakhouses anymore and when I do my order drifts towards a Veal chop or rack of lamb. Last weekend I went to Sprouts and bought two beautifully marbled Ribeye's I cooked on a Kamado Joe. Few steakhouses could compete.

User avatar
Bret D!sk!n
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 91
Joined: September 11th, 2017, 5:53 pm

Bern's as solo diner [with update]

#60 Post by Bret D!sk!n » February 28th, 2018, 7:54 am

I'm going to be driving through Tampa on a Saturday towards the end of March. Unfortunately, no reservations until 11pm on the day we are looking at. If we show up right at 5 do we have a good chance of getting a spot at the bar or getting a table? Would love to try some of their offerings but need to temper expectations with the Mrs.!

User avatar
R M Kriete
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 596
Joined: April 27th, 2010, 8:07 am
Location: Indialantic, Florida

Bern's as solo diner [with update]

#61 Post by R M Kriete » February 28th, 2018, 10:55 am

Bret D!sk!n wrote:I'm going to be driving through Tampa on a Saturday towards the end of March. Unfortunately, no reservations until 11pm on the day we are looking at. If we show up right at 5 do we have a good chance of getting a spot at the bar or getting a table? Would love to try some of their offerings but need to temper expectations with the Mrs.!
If you get there RIGHT as it opens, should be able to get 2 spots at the bar w/o a problem

User avatar
H Wallace Jr
BerserkerBusiness
BerserkerBusiness
Posts: 1984
Joined: January 29th, 2009, 7:19 pm
Location: Napa, CA

Bern's as solo diner [with update]

#62 Post by H Wallace Jr » February 28th, 2018, 1:09 pm

Bret D!sk!n wrote:I'm going to be driving through Tampa on a Saturday towards the end of March. Unfortunately, no reservations until 11pm on the day we are looking at. If we show up right at 5 do we have a good chance of getting a spot at the bar or getting a table? Would love to try some of their offerings but need to temper expectations with the Mrs.!
In the bar area, they have 6-7(?) tables at the back. Those are available for walk ins. If you want a table vs the bar, I'd get there at 4:45 and you should be fine.
Hardy Wallace itb
Dirty and Rowdy Family Winery: Mourvèdre and Semillon Together at Last

User avatar
Robert.A.Jr.
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 23408
Joined: January 28th, 2010, 5:03 am
Location: Orlando, Florida

Bern's as solo diner [with update]

#63 Post by Robert.A.Jr. » February 28th, 2018, 1:12 pm

Yup, get there at 4:45. Valet won’t take your car until 5, so find some street parking.

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

Kenny H (circa 2015)

User avatar
Bret D!sk!n
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 91
Joined: September 11th, 2017, 5:53 pm

Bern's as solo diner [with update]

#64 Post by Bret D!sk!n » February 28th, 2018, 2:03 pm

Thank you RM, Hardy and Robert - appreciate the advice!

Tom Gutting
Posts: 1749
Joined: February 28th, 2009, 9:50 am
Location: Houston, Texas
Contact:

Bern's as solo diner [with update]

#65 Post by Tom Gutting » March 1st, 2018, 7:32 am

Great report, Ryan! I've been to Bern's solo once, and it was a treat. BTG was a great deal. I'll never forget having a 1978 Zellerbach Sonoma Cab for $6 that came out, and I swore it had to be the wrong wine, it was so dark in color. Great fun.

Concur there is still a lot on that list that would be fun to drink. Let's plan a trip.
"If you have extraordinary bread and extraordinary butter, it's hard to beat bread and butter." -- Jacques Pepin

Stuart BeauneHead Niemtzow
Posts: 6406
Joined: April 29th, 2010, 1:36 pm

Bern's as solo diner [with update]

#66 Post by Stuart BeauneHead Niemtzow » March 1st, 2018, 9:29 am

"Wrong wine"...LOL.....

I like Bern's...wine and food and have been there many times since 1981. It is important to keep in mind, I think, that one's expectations about how a wine or wines should "show" need to be discarded at Bern's door. The temps they keep their cellars are refrigerator levels, not levels supportive of allowing wines to develop "normally". In essence, Bern's wines are often more "preserved" than "mature", IMO. Fun to drink; interesting labels, but....unique "maturity" levels due to the super-cold cellar temps.

Hard, therefore, to extrapolate much from the Bern's experience, though it is surely fun...and the food, IMO, is good, too.

User avatar
François Audouze
Posts: 1279
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]

#67 Post by François Audouze » March 2nd, 2018, 5:24 am

Stuart,
What you say does not correspond to what I saw. Not about temperature which I found cold but not so low, but about conservation.
I was impressed by the fact that for very old wines (before 1920) many bottles had low levels.
It explains why Brad selected 50 bottles in order that I choose five or six for the dinner.
I would say that between 40% to 50% had very low levels. And some wines had bad colors.
When I compare to my own cellar, with a greater temperature, my wines are better preserved.

It must be said to be exact that Bern's has such a big amount of sales that all the super bottles of the super years have been consumed.
So the ratio of good bottles could be better for Bern's if we consider that the greatest are already gone.
Bern's has more very old wines than I have but I have more old wines from legendary years like 1928, 1929, 1915, 1900. All of them are gone in Bern's and not in my cellar.

So my point is to say that a cold cellar does not mean necessarily perfect conservation.
Kind regards

François Audouze

ITB for # 150 bottles a year, sold through dinners

User avatar
Paul Jaouen
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 4294
Joined: January 30th, 2009, 12:48 pm

Bern's as solo diner [with update]

#68 Post by Paul Jaouen » March 2nd, 2018, 5:41 am

I think it is a myth that Berns keeps their cellars super cold. The storage cellars across the street are not that cold. I've spent time there maybe an hour at a time in just a shirt and was comfortable. If they were at refrigerator levels like Stuart claims then I would have been pretty damn cold.
Best,
Paul Jaouen

User avatar
Robert.A.Jr.
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 23408
Joined: January 28th, 2010, 5:03 am
Location: Orlando, Florida

Bern's as solo diner [with update]

#69 Post by Robert.A.Jr. » March 2nd, 2018, 6:01 am

I have always heard that the cellar was kept colder than what we all perceive to be the ideal, say 55-57. I do not know that for a fact. What I have always thought, however, is that many Bordeaux show younger than they are. The most poignant example to me was a 1961 Pavie that resembled more the richness of an 82 and how 82 are drinking now and have been for a few years. Would have never guessed it was a 50+ year old wine. And that was in a 375 format. I’ve had other wines with similar experiences there.

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

Kenny H (circa 2015)

User avatar
Paul Jaouen
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 4294
Joined: January 30th, 2009, 12:48 pm

Bern's as solo diner [with update]

#70 Post by Paul Jaouen » March 2nd, 2018, 6:07 am

Robert, agreed but not refrigerator temps. That would be below 40 degrees.
Best,
Paul Jaouen

User avatar
D Zurcher
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 436
Joined: June 6th, 2009, 6:11 am

Bern's as solo diner [with update]

#71 Post by D Zurcher » March 2nd, 2018, 8:14 am

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...
Maybe, but the last time I was in a restaurant with a steak that looked like this they wanted to charge over $20 per ounce [wow.gif] . A little salt and pepper, quick sear over a hot charcoal grill-I'll put these up against most any restaurant, anywhere-and no corkage fee here! :)
Wagyu Bone in NY.JPG
DanZ

James Cross
Posts: 347
Joined: May 3rd, 2010, 10:48 am

Bern's as solo diner [with update]

#72 Post by James Cross » March 2nd, 2018, 8:32 am

Hey Dan, great to see your posts. Are you still in Colorado? Every so often someone here in Vegas asks about you and I tell them I'm clueless.

User avatar
D Zurcher
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 436
Joined: June 6th, 2009, 6:11 am

Bern's as solo diner [with update]

#73 Post by D Zurcher » March 2nd, 2018, 8:34 am

James Cross wrote:Hey Dan, great to see your posts. Are you still in Colorado? Every so often someone here in Vegas asks about you and I tell them I'm clueless.
Hey Jim....yeah, been here for about 15 years now. I see your posts from time to time as well...reminds of the good wines (you brought an amazing '82 Prieure Lichine one night) and meals back in LV. Every now and then we threaten to move back, but Lisa loves it here.
DanZ

Stuart BeauneHead Niemtzow
Posts: 6406
Joined: April 29th, 2010, 1:36 pm

Bern's as solo diner [with update]

#74 Post by Stuart BeauneHead Niemtzow » March 2nd, 2018, 1:06 pm

François Audouze wrote:Stuart,
What you say does not correspond to what I saw. Not about temperature which I found cold but not so low, but about conservation.
I was impressed by the fact that for very old wines (before 1920) many bottles had low levels.
It explains why Brad selected 50 bottles in order that I choose five or six for the dinner.
I would say that between 40% to 50% had very low levels. And some wines had bad colors.
When I compare to my own cellar, with a greater temperature, my wines are better preserved.

It must be said to be exact that Bern's has such a big amount of sales that all the super bottles of the super years have been consumed.
So the ratio of good bottles could be better for Bern's if we consider that the greatest are already gone.
Bern's has more very old wines than I have but I have more old wines from legendary years like 1928, 1929, 1915, 1900. All of them are gone in Bern's and not in my cellar.

So my point is to say that a cold cellar does not mean necessarily perfect conservation.
I see your point, Francois. But, if Bern's was founded in 1952 or in that era....all those ancient wines were somewhere else for their first 20+ years.

I didn't say "perfect conservation", just preserved and differently. I've had many 1983 red Burgs there over the years...and they tastle little like they do on the outside.Good, but...very different.

User avatar
François Audouze
Posts: 1279
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]

#75 Post by François Audouze » March 2nd, 2018, 2:32 pm

I have the same feeling as Paul.
I have spent more than one hour opening wines in the cellar of the restaurant and I was not cold.
Image

Image

Some pictures of their cold room for meat where they mature (colors could be approximative) :

Image

Image

Image

Image
Kind regards

François Audouze

ITB for # 150 bottles a year, sold through dinners

User avatar
Eric Ifune
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 3680
Joined: June 19th, 2009, 7:43 pm

Bern's as solo diner [with update]

#76 Post by Eric Ifune » March 2nd, 2018, 3:01 pm

I love pictures of meat aging almost as much as wine!

User avatar
Steve Gautier
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 1651
Joined: November 6th, 2010, 6:29 am
Location: Malvern, PA

Bern's as solo diner

#77 Post by Steve Gautier » March 31st, 2018, 11:12 am

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.
We ate at Bern's earlier in the month. What an experience. The evening is certainly not only about the food or wine. Interesting place, fantastic kitchen tour and a long cellar tour (our interest and conversation extended this for some time). The bar, dining rooms and dessert booths are a throwback in time.

I had the Chateaubriand (thanks to the comments here) and thought it was wonderful. Agree with above comments that the additions of soup, salad and sides also made it a "reasonable" price especially considering the level of overall service from the front of the house to our waiter. The one negative was that one person in our party ordered a smaller delmonico which they served butterflied without asking. I had some and thought it was OK at best.

Wine, from a '75 Zin by the glass to a '85 Bourdeaux (375 ml) and a '85 Napa Cab, all seemed to show much younger than I expected.

Would certainly recommend to anyone who hasn't been there and I am sure I will get back again sometime.
Good wine is a necessity of life. - Thomas Jefferson

User avatar
Paul Jaouen
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 4294
Joined: January 30th, 2009, 12:48 pm

Bern's as solo diner [with update]

#78 Post by Paul Jaouen » April 2nd, 2018, 6:15 am

I was there with friends last month. I really wish we could have cloned all the bottles we drank in the past. Still the Somm found us a few nice bottles and we had a good time.
Best,
Paul Jaouen

User avatar
S. Stevenson
Posts: 667
Joined: February 4th, 2016, 3:05 pm
Location: Los Angeles

Bern's as solo diner [with update]

#79 Post by S. Stevenson » April 2nd, 2018, 4:09 pm

Neal.Mollen wrote:
c fu wrote:
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 ;)
Ha! Agreed
Try the Japanese Pure Wagyu | Hokkaido Prefecture at Cut in Beverly Hills and get back to me.
Stan

User avatar
c fu
Moderator
<dfn>Moderator</dfn>
Posts: 31625
Joined: January 27th, 2009, 1:26 pm
Location: Pasadena

Bern's as solo diner [with update]

#80 Post by c fu » April 2nd, 2018, 5:00 pm

S. Stevenson wrote:
Neal.Mollen wrote:
c fu wrote: Or you’re just not very good at cooking steaks at home ;)
Ha! Agreed
Try the Japanese Pure Wagyu | Hokkaido Prefecture at Cut in Beverly Hills and get back to me.
I’ve done the full wagyu tasting at Cut for work events.
I get A-5 wagyu at wholesale also

So I don’t actually need Cut to make it cause I make it just as well as they do.
Ch@rlie F|_|
"Roulot is Roulot"©

ITB -Salt Vine Wines

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

p. raghib
Posts: 595
Joined: June 8th, 2009, 11:49 am

Bern's as solo diner [with update]

#81 Post by p. raghib » April 3rd, 2018, 10:44 am

François Audouze wrote: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?
cheers'

-paul r.

p. raghib
Posts: 595
Joined: June 8th, 2009, 11:49 am

Bern's as solo diner [with update]

#82 Post by p. raghib » April 3rd, 2018, 10:45 am

Brad is still at berns and doing well. I am going tonight
cheers'

-paul r.

User avatar
S. Stevenson
Posts: 667
Joined: February 4th, 2016, 3:05 pm
Location: Los Angeles

Bern's as solo diner [with update]

#83 Post by S. Stevenson » April 3rd, 2018, 10:26 pm

Try the Japanese Pure Wagyu | Hokkaido Prefecture at Cut in Beverly Hills and get back to me.
I’ve done the full wagyu tasting at Cut for work events.
I get A-5 wagyu at wholesale also
So I don’t actually need Cut to make it cause I make it just as well as they do.
Good for you. I trust Cut instead. Tough choice(sic).
Stan

User avatar
Brian Tuite
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 20168
Joined: July 3rd, 2010, 8:53 am
Location: Podunk CA RRV

Bern's as solo diner [with update]

#84 Post by Brian Tuite » April 4th, 2018, 6:37 am

S. Stevenson wrote:
Try the Japanese Pure Wagyu | Hokkaido Prefecture at Cut in Beverly Hills and get back to me.
I’ve done the full wagyu tasting at Cut for work events.
I get A-5 wagyu at wholesale also
So I don’t actually need Cut to make it cause I make it just as well as they do.
Good for you. I trust Cut instead. Tough choice(sic).
Attachments
3D7312CB-AB0C-4F8F-BBDF-6676AF04057A.jpeg
Bob Wood - 1949-2013 Berserker for eternity! RIP

"On self-reflection, I think a big part of it was me just being a PITA customer..." ~ Anonymous Berserker

"Something so subtle only I can detect it." ~ Randy Bowman

2020 WOTY Candidates

- 2018 Once & Future Old Hill Ranch

User avatar
Craig G
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 15722
Joined: March 6th, 2011, 10:57 am
Location: Town of Cats

Bern's as solo diner [with update]

#85 Post by Craig G » April 4th, 2018, 10:50 am

Brian in rare form. Well done.
“You need to look down to the bottom shelf where they keep the Fighting Cock” — Corey N.

C. Gle@son

User avatar
c fu
Moderator
<dfn>Moderator</dfn>
Posts: 31625
Joined: January 27th, 2009, 1:26 pm
Location: Pasadena

Bern's as solo diner [with update]

#86 Post by c fu » April 4th, 2018, 10:51 am

Brian Tuite wrote:
S. Stevenson wrote:
Try the Japanese Pure Wagyu | Hokkaido Prefecture at Cut in Beverly Hills and get back to me.
I’ve done the full wagyu tasting at Cut for work events.
I get A-5 wagyu at wholesale also
So I don’t actually need Cut to make it cause I make it just as well as they do.
Good for you. I trust Cut instead. Tough choice(sic).
Damn. Probably the wrong picture to post? Time to check that privilege.
Ch@rlie F|_|
"Roulot is Roulot"©

ITB -Salt Vine Wines

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

Dawn Sparks
Posts: 1
Joined: April 6th, 2020, 12:20 pm

Re: Bern's as solo diner [with update]

#87 Post by Dawn Sparks » April 17th, 2020, 5:46 am

Spam

D@ve D y r 0 f f
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 1170
Joined: May 14th, 2016, 9:22 am
Location: St. Louis, MO

Re: Bern's as solo diner [with update]

#88 Post by D@ve D y r 0 f f » April 17th, 2020, 5:59 am

How does one choose which thread to spam? So many choices...

User avatar
Brian Tuite
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 20168
Joined: July 3rd, 2010, 8:53 am
Location: Podunk CA RRV

Re: Bern's as solo diner [with update]

#89 Post by Brian Tuite » April 17th, 2020, 6:01 am

D@ve D y r 0 f f wrote:
April 17th, 2020, 5:59 am
How does one choose which thread to spam? So many choices...
And only 1.
Bob Wood - 1949-2013 Berserker for eternity! RIP

"On self-reflection, I think a big part of it was me just being a PITA customer..." ~ Anonymous Berserker

"Something so subtle only I can detect it." ~ Randy Bowman

2020 WOTY Candidates

- 2018 Once & Future Old Hill Ranch

Mich@el Ch@ng
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 4905
Joined: March 31st, 2017, 9:57 pm

Re: Bern's as solo diner

#90 Post by Mich@el Ch@ng » April 17th, 2020, 6:17 am

RyanC wrote:
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.
thanks for the spam person resurrecting this post, I noticed that the last time we went to Bern's in december we actually had the same 1964 Jaboulet Cote Rotie in 375 and it was spectacular.

User avatar
Robert.A.Jr.
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 23408
Joined: January 28th, 2010, 5:03 am
Location: Orlando, Florida

Re: Bern's as solo diner [with update]

#91 Post by Robert.A.Jr. » April 17th, 2020, 6:46 am

Michael I had a 1962 Delas Hermitage from 375 some time back when I went solo:

viewtopic.php?f=1&t=138538&p=2227545&hi ... s#p2227545

Love these selections.

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

Kenny H (circa 2015)

Mich@el Ch@ng
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 4905
Joined: March 31st, 2017, 9:57 pm

Re: Bern's as solo diner [with update]

#92 Post by Mich@el Ch@ng » April 17th, 2020, 7:41 am

I also liked the 62 Debost hermitage and cote rotie I had in 2018

User avatar
Rich Brown
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 3243
Joined: January 5th, 2015, 3:38 pm
Location: Phoenix

Re: Bern's as solo diner [with update]

#93 Post by Rich Brown » April 17th, 2020, 8:09 am

Brian Tuite wrote:
April 17th, 2020, 6:01 am
D@ve D y r 0 f f wrote:
April 17th, 2020, 5:59 am
How does one choose which thread to spam? So many choices...
And only 1.
Ughhh. I missed it. What was she schlepping?

User avatar
Brian Tuite
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 20168
Joined: July 3rd, 2010, 8:53 am
Location: Podunk CA RRV

Re: Bern's as solo diner [with update]

#94 Post by Brian Tuite » April 17th, 2020, 8:19 am

Rich Brown wrote:
April 17th, 2020, 8:09 am
Brian Tuite wrote:
April 17th, 2020, 6:01 am
D@ve D y r 0 f f wrote:
April 17th, 2020, 5:59 am
How does one choose which thread to spam? So many choices...
And only 1.
Ughhh. I missed it. What was she schlepping?
If I told you I’d have to kill you.
Bob Wood - 1949-2013 Berserker for eternity! RIP

"On self-reflection, I think a big part of it was me just being a PITA customer..." ~ Anonymous Berserker

"Something so subtle only I can detect it." ~ Randy Bowman

2020 WOTY Candidates

- 2018 Once & Future Old Hill Ranch

User avatar
Rich Brown
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 3243
Joined: January 5th, 2015, 3:38 pm
Location: Phoenix

Re: Bern's as solo diner [with update]

#95 Post by Rich Brown » April 17th, 2020, 8:29 am

Brian Tuite wrote:
April 17th, 2020, 8:19 am
Rich Brown wrote:
April 17th, 2020, 8:09 am
Brian Tuite wrote:
April 17th, 2020, 6:01 am


And only 1.
Ughhh. I missed it. What was she schlepping?
If I told you I’d have to kill you.
Do you take bribes? I have wine ;)

User avatar
Arv R
Posts: 3939
Joined: January 11th, 2015, 3:53 pm

Re: Bern's as solo diner [with update]

#96 Post by Arv R » April 18th, 2020, 5:27 pm

Is the consensus that Berns has the best wine list for older French wines in the US?
R_@_0

User avatar
Ramon C
Posts: 3990
Joined: October 23rd, 2010, 6:34 am

Re: Bern's as solo diner [with update]

#97 Post by Ramon C » April 18th, 2020, 5:33 pm

At some point, I was going with Rudy K and his friends.

No first-hand knowledge at Berns, but given the circumstances with Rudy and friends, it's now Bern's.
@brera

Mich@el Ch@ng
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 4905
Joined: March 31st, 2017, 9:57 pm

Re: Bern's as solo diner [with update]

#98 Post by Mich@el Ch@ng » April 18th, 2020, 6:52 pm

Arv R wrote:
April 18th, 2020, 5:27 pm
Is the consensus that Berns has the best wine list for older French wines in the US?
It’s not what it was but it’s still very good... pricing isn’t fantastic on everything but is good on some more obscure things.

User avatar
c fu
Moderator
<dfn>Moderator</dfn>
Posts: 31625
Joined: January 27th, 2009, 1:26 pm
Location: Pasadena

Re: Bern's as solo diner [with update]

#99 Post by c fu » April 18th, 2020, 8:32 pm

Robert.A.Jr. wrote:
April 17th, 2020, 6:46 am
Michael I had a 1962 Delas Hermitage from 375 some time back when I went solo:

viewtopic.php?f=1&t=138538&p=2227545&hi ... s#p2227545

Love these selections.
alfert - how many times have you been told not to talk about what you drank at berns [snort.gif] [snort.gif] [snort.gif]
Ch@rlie F|_|
"Roulot is Roulot"©

ITB -Salt Vine Wines

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

User avatar
Robert M yers
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 2983
Joined: March 10th, 2010, 8:24 pm
Location: Cleveland

Re: Bern's as solo diner [with update]

#100 Post by Robert M yers » April 18th, 2020, 9:02 pm

At least He didn’t mention the special tour. You know where you go back past the kitchen and on the left around the corner from the 1945 1st growth stacks. That secret bar will just blow your mind the first time you Get the invite. Ask for Brad when you get there, he never leads me wrong.

Post Reply

Return to “Wine Talk”