TNs: Friday Night at Bern’s

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Brian Tuite
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TNs: Friday Night at Bern’s

#1 Post by Brian Tuite » October 12th, 2019, 6:56 am

In Tampa on business so I took the opportunity to make my second visit to Bern’s with a couple friends who live locally. On my way to the restaurnt I check my Facebook notifications and they send an 8yr Friendversary notice with a picture of us from my last visit to Bern’s a couple yars ago. Weird right? We all arrive and follow the hostess to our table. She brings us into the room we ate in last time, that reminds me of a cross between an aquarium and an ice arena and then proceeds to sit us at the exact same table. Queue Twilight zone music. We ask to be seated somewhere else and she brings us through a super secret dooorway into a small room with only 6 tables. We sit under a photo of Bern and André Tchelistcheff. Now we’re talking.
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I start perusing the wine list while my friends chat it up and I know I can’t give it any real attention so I defer to the waiter and ask for a Sommelier. A couple minutes later a gentleman walks up to the table and says “Hi, I Brad.” My brain does a fist pump and I tell him, “I’ve heard about you Brad.” He gives me this look out of the corner of his eye and says “uh oh.”

So I say, how about we start off with a dry Riesling? His voice perlks up “ooh Alsacian.” Then I asked for a medium bodied red and he asks if I want to stay Old World. I tell him not necessarily, maybe something that represents where I come from in Sonoma County. He says, “How bout a couple Cabs with some age. I have something form one of the early Cab producers in Sonoma. Wanna guess?” I say Arrowood? He says “Close, how about a Zellerbach? And I think I have an Arrowood as well.” Sounds great.
He comes back, “Can’t find the Arrowood, do you like Zinfandel?” I nodded yes and he perked up again and went back to the cellar. He came back with a disappointed look on his face and said, “They must have sold it. I was thinking about an old Joe Swan. But I do have this. Just a single bottle.” And he shows me a ‘94 Simi Cab. We agree and service begins.
  • 2011 Zind-Humbrecht Riesling Clos Häuserer - France, Alsace (10/12/2019)
    Needed a little time to come around. Started out a bit astringent. Nice aromatics of pineapple, lemon and grapefruit. Steely minerality, nice acid spine. Could have used a couple hours but my table mates were not sippers. Got my attention.
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  • 1978 Stephen Zellerbach Cabernet Sauvignon - USA, California, Sonoma County, Alexander Valley (10/11/2019)
    At Bern’s and asked Brad for something from Sonoma County with some age. Wetrock, another 10 years has done this wine well. Cedary, dusty red currants, well inegrated, just shining on this evening.
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  • 1994 Simi Cabernet Sauvignon Alexander Valley - USA, California, Sonoma County, Alexander Valley (10/12/2019)
    This one took an hour to begin to unfold. More dark fruit than the Zellerbach that preceeded it, great overall balance, some tobacco notes, still quite tannic. I carried my last glass through the kitchen and cellar tour and up to the dessert room. Would benefit from 10 more years sideways.
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    Up to the dessert room for Salted Caramel and Madeira.



    1933 Madeira Malmsey Justino Henriques Filhos
    First pour from a fresh bottle. Nutty caramel and vanilla, big whiff of alcohol. The palate was light, elegant and the wine cut right through the richness of the dessert. This was an amazing wine experience for me.
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    It was another fun experience delving into wines that I likley never would have had the opportunity to taste. Will likely be back in a couple years for round 3. Can’t wait.
Last edited by Brian Tuite on October 12th, 2019, 7:25 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Karl K
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Re: TNs: Friday Night at Bern’s

#2 Post by Karl K » October 12th, 2019, 7:17 am

Nice!
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Andrew Demaree
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Re: TNs: Friday Night at Bern’s

#3 Post by Andrew Demaree » October 12th, 2019, 7:24 am

Fun read. I’ve only been there once, as a solo diner, and they sat me in the same room you were in last night.

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Brian Tuite
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Re: TNs: Friday Night at Bern’s

#4 Post by Brian Tuite » October 12th, 2019, 7:26 am

Andrew Demaree wrote:
October 12th, 2019, 7:24 am
Fun read. I’ve only been there once, as a solo diner, and they sat me in the same room you were in last night.
Cool vibe in that room!
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

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Neal.Mollen
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Re: TNs: Friday Night at Bern’s

#5 Post by Neal.Mollen » October 12th, 2019, 7:32 am

Great post! Were the prices Bern's prices, or burn prices?
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Re: TNs: Friday Night at Bern’s

#6 Post by Brian Tuite » October 12th, 2019, 7:34 am

Neal.Mollen wrote:
October 12th, 2019, 7:32 am
Great post! Were the prices Bern's prices, or burn prices?
I wouldn’t say anything was value priced if that’s what you’re getting at. The wine bill including dessert wines was $500.
Bob Wood - 1949-2013 Berserker for eternity! RIP

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

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Neal.Mollen
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Re: TNs: Friday Night at Bern’s

#7 Post by Neal.Mollen » October 12th, 2019, 7:56 am

Brian Tuite wrote:
October 12th, 2019, 7:34 am
Neal.Mollen wrote:
October 12th, 2019, 7:32 am
Great post! Were the prices Bern's prices, or burn prices?
I wouldn’t say anything was value priced if that’s what you’re getting at. The wine bill including dessert wines was $500.
SAD! Sounds like fun though
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Mattstolz
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Re: TNs: Friday Night at Bern’s

#8 Post by Mattstolz » October 12th, 2019, 8:00 am

too bad on the old Joe Swan. That woulda been a fun one

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Re: TNs: Friday Night at Bern’s

#9 Post by F.Daner » October 12th, 2019, 8:02 am

Sounds like an awesome visit and Brad was reaching deep into his cellar.
Fred

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Andrew Demaree
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Re: TNs: Friday Night at Bern’s

#10 Post by Andrew Demaree » October 12th, 2019, 8:33 am

Brian Tuite wrote:
October 12th, 2019, 7:26 am
Andrew Demaree wrote:
October 12th, 2019, 7:24 am
Fun read. I’ve only been there once, as a solo diner, and they sat me in the same room you were in last night.
Cool vibe in that room!
Definitely. I’d love to make it back there again some time.

And next time, I won’t pass on the Madeira.

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David Baum
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Re: TNs: Friday Night at Bern’s

#11 Post by David Baum » October 12th, 2019, 8:34 am

I think I ate in that room. Waiter told us GWB at in there twice as sitting POTUS.

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Re: TNs: Friday Night at Bern’s

#12 Post by Paul Jaouen » October 12th, 2019, 9:22 am

That's the room they use for wine groups. Makes tables into a square with one open side. Very comfortable for a group of 10 or so.
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Re: TNs: Friday Night at Bern’s

#13 Post by Nick Gangas » October 12th, 2019, 12:25 pm

love Brad.

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Troy Stark
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Re: TNs: Friday Night at Bern’s

#14 Post by Troy Stark » October 12th, 2019, 12:41 pm

If you're looking to expand your wine circle in Tampa, we're fairly new in town and looking to do the same. Sounds like a great evening!
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