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We Celebrate in Style

by Meghann on April 9, 2011

For my parents’ 25th anniversary (in November 2007) my Dad had this fun idea to take my Mom to this really fancy steakhouse in Tampa. It was a legendary institution in Florida, but neither of them had ever been.

My Dad spent months planning that fancy meal and what my Mom didn’t know was that all four of her children (one was living at home at the time, one in Miami, and two in Tallahassee) were waiting at the hotel room to surprise them when they walked in the door.

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We hadn’t all been in one room since that Summer. My Mom burst into tears as soon as she saw us all standing there.

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We ate at the fancy restaurant, had one of the best meals of our lives, enjoyed each other’s company, and Mom and Dad still recall it as their best anniversary ever.

Since I’ve moved to Tampa that fancy steakhouse that made such a good impression on my family has always been in the back of mine. It’s definitely a special occasion sort of place, but what better special occasion is there than Derek’s birthday? πŸ˜‰

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The plan all along had been to eat in the dessert room (yes, Bern’s has their own dessert room seating area), but last minute we decided to eat at the restaurant. Unfortunately by the time we figured that out it was too late to make a reservation and our 9:00pm arrival at the restaurant would have resulted in an hour and a half wait.

Change of plans again.

Instead we went across the street to Ciccio’s for dinner then return to Bern’s for dessert.

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My brother and his girlfriend, Adena, just took their final med school test (they still have boards and other exams, but this was their final schoolwork test) and decided to drive up from Miami to celebrate with us. We had lots of celebrating to take care of!

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Also, random reality dating show film crew were celebrating with us too! If only we knew what the show was! πŸ˜‰

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Dinner began with a glass of cab.

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and I ordered the seared tuna lettuce wraps for my meal.

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They were ok. The tuna and sauces were nothing special.

After dinner we headed back to Bern’s for the main event.

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Bern’s dessert room is incredible. It takes up the entire second level of the restaurant and each table has it’s own little private cubby. It’s the perfect romantic spot for an important date or just a really fun way to celebrate a special occasion.

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We got to business ordering a bottle of wine for the table from their 500+ page wine list!

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The dessert menu was three pages long itself and incredible difficult to choose from. Each dish sounded more decadent than the last and I would have been happy to enjoy anyone of them. We made a rule in the beginning that none of us would order the same thing and shared bites were allowed.

I ordered the King Midas, which was a slice of carrot cake topped with macadamia nut ice cream (yum) and a chocolate fudge sauce drizzle. Amazing.

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Derek ordered a Chocolate Chocolate Chocolate flourless fudge cake that was rich, decadent and required equal amounts of the fresh whipped cream in each forkful.

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Josh ordered the Keylime Pie. It was tart, sweet, and a deep contract to the rich, chocolate based desserts the rest of ordered it.

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Last, but not least, Adena ordered what would have been my second choice – the Caramel Chocolate bread Pudding. Incredible.

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Our dessert room experience ended with complimentary birthday shots for Derek and my brother.

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One of the best things I remembered about Bern’s was the kitchen and wine cellar tour they offer each restaurant patron. We were all very excited to get another glimpse of what goes on behind the scenes at this fancy steakhouse.

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Everything is made fresh on premise. They even butcher their own beef! (though, I think that’s done off site)

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The wine collection is one of the largest in the world. They only house about 10% at the restaurant and the rest of the 120,000+ bottles are stored at a local warehouse.

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The wine cellar is twice as big as my condo and includes a rare room with on bottle of wine that retails for $30,000 on the menu.

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We joked that next time we would order the highest bottle in the far back corner just for kicks.

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And just for fun, 2007 versus 2011.

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All in all it was an amazing night of celebrating. We got home late and this morning I can definitely feel all those glasses of wine (I think I had 3 in total?) coming back at me. I’m such a light weight. πŸ˜‰

1 Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat April 9, 2011 at 8:46 am

WOW what a great night! That is a TON of wine and Derek’s dessert looks absolutely phenomenal!! Have a great Saturday Meghann!
Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat recently posted..Lunch date at The Bauer Kitchen

2 Gabriela @ Une Vie Saine April 9, 2011 at 8:46 am

That looks like such a fun night- I love that you get to see the kitchen and wine cellar! And I think the birthday boy absolutely ordered the best dessert. That super chocolatey cake looks to DIE for!
Gabriela @ Une Vie Saine recently posted..A Long Walk- The More-Fitness Half Marathon

3 Hats @ See How She Runs April 9, 2011 at 8:57 am

Wow, what are FANTASTIC wine cellar! I’d be overwhelmed if I had to order a bottle from a wine list that long.
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4 michelle April 9, 2011 at 8:58 am

Love love love your hair! You look great. Such a fun night from the pictures.
michelle recently posted..Know Your Body- Know Your Limits

5 Cara April 9, 2011 at 9:00 am

That looks like an awesome celebration night! That wine cellar rocks!!!! I’d be feeling those 3 glasses of wine this morning as well, no shame!

6 Kristy @ KristyRuns April 9, 2011 at 9:05 am

A 500 page wine list!?!? Dang! How did y’all choose? Looks like a fun night! πŸ™‚
Kristy @ KristyRuns recently posted..Running in Europe

7 Meghann April 11, 2011 at 12:47 pm

i narrowed it down to just the cabs and looked for a decently priced bottle. It was tough.

8 Claire April 9, 2011 at 9:06 am

You are SO cute Megan. haha. I love this post! Those desserts look AMAZING!!
Claire recently posted..Meal Makeover- Chicken Tetrazzini

9 Averie (LoveVeggiesAndYoga) April 9, 2011 at 9:08 am

What an amazing night! Looks soooo fun!

Chocolate Chocolate Chocolate flourless fudge cake and the drinks and the fun times…love it all!

10 Mimi April 9, 2011 at 9:18 am

There are so many awesome things about this post! I bet Derek had an incredible birthday!
Mimi recently posted..True Lady

11 Cassie @ Tofu Meets Her Match April 9, 2011 at 9:42 am

Oh, that wine cellar is my heaven.

12 Dina @ DinaRuns April 9, 2011 at 9:48 am

I love Berns! We go about once a year for my husbands birthday. It really is a fantastic place to eat. The dessert room is to die for. The Cappuccino Bern’s Steak House is literally the best coffee drink with alcohol I have ever had anywhere and I completely crave it every year.
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13 Melissa @ TryingToHeal April 9, 2011 at 10:14 am

i love that you guys ate “California cuisine” in Florida…whatever California cuisine is! hahah!

Looks like a great night! Tell Derek I said Happy Belated Birthday!
Melissa @ TryingToHeal recently posted..Best Homemade Meal In A While

14 Meghann April 11, 2011 at 12:49 pm

TO Florida, California cuisine is sushi and anything with avocado in it πŸ™‚

15 Jenny @ Fitness Health and Food April 9, 2011 at 10:19 am

looks like a great celebration! πŸ™‚

16 Kate (What Kate is Cooking) April 9, 2011 at 10:33 am

Looks so fun! The picture of your parents at the beginning is so cute. You look exactly like your dad and Kelly looks exactly like your mom!
Kate (What Kate is Cooking) recently posted..Modesto Half Marathon Recap

17 Megan April 9, 2011 at 10:48 am

Looks like such a fun place to celebrate! The desserts are making my mouth just WATER.
Megan recently posted..Boysterous Boys Action Figures Review &amp Giveaway

18 Christine @ Burning It Off April 9, 2011 at 11:01 am

I don’t know what I would do with a 3 page dessert menu… I’m bad enough at deciding when there are only a handful of dessert options lol.
Christine @ Burning It Off recently posted..Sometimes you’ve just gotta have beer

19 Katie @ Healthy Heddleston April 9, 2011 at 11:17 am

I have to say, your sister looks just like your mom!!! In that picture of your mom crying, you could really tell!

20 Shannon April 9, 2011 at 11:23 am

Those desserts look so good right now. It looks like everyone had a great time. I would love to go to a wine cellar or vineyard some time. I don’t drink wine very often but they look so intriguing.
Shannon recently posted..Wedding

21 Lauren @chigallauren April 9, 2011 at 11:26 am

Holy wine cellar awesomeness!!
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22 Courtney April 9, 2011 at 11:35 am

Your parents are so stinking cute! πŸ™‚ Congrats to 25 years! Hahaha, hubs and I have 24 more to go! πŸ™‚
Courtney recently posted..Midterms- done! &amp Urban Agriculture

23 Lucy @ The Sweet Touch April 9, 2011 at 11:36 am

Looks like a really fun night – way to celebrate in style!

A $30,000 bottle of wine, now that’s for someone with wayyyyy too much money! It better have a chunk of solid gold at the bottom of the bottle!;)
Lucy @ The Sweet Touch recently posted..Blood Orange Basil Olive Oil Cake

24 stace April 9, 2011 at 11:44 am

That is such a cute outfit you wore for the birthday dinner!
stace recently posted..Asian Fusion

25 carolyn April 9, 2011 at 12:27 pm

Love the shirt! Where’s it from?

26 Meghann April 11, 2011 at 12:50 pm

It’s from anne taylor loft. I bought it off the sale rack in October.

27 Samantha @ Bikini Birthday April 9, 2011 at 12:06 pm

Happy anniversary to your parents!!

28 Samantha @ Bikini Birthday April 9, 2011 at 12:08 pm

Belated I mean.

29 Maryann (The Balanced Bean) April 9, 2011 at 12:25 pm

You look so gorgeous in all those pics!! How fun, happy bday to Derek!
Maryann (The Balanced Bean) recently posted..A Tribute To Salads

30 Miranda @ Working Mom Works Out April 9, 2011 at 12:42 pm

Holy cow, that’s a lot of wine!! ANd the desserts look fabulous!!
Miranda @ Working Mom Works Out recently posted..Jelly Beans 35 Miles

31 Kiran April 9, 2011 at 1:20 pm

Holly Molly! Look at those wines!?! Love the ambiance and desserts looks scrumptious πŸ™‚
Kiran recently posted..Evening of 06-04-2011

32 Christine April 9, 2011 at 1:59 pm

I love places that specialize in dessert. I feel like the dessert menus at most restaurants are such an after thought and you end up getting thawed out cake or brownies.
Christine recently posted..Top 40- Part I

33 Karolina April 9, 2011 at 2:33 pm

Oh my gosh- that win cellar is wicked awesome! I’d love to go there. The desserts look delicious too:)
Karolina recently posted..Thankfulness Project Monday

34 Annette @ EnjoyYourHealthyLife April 9, 2011 at 2:44 pm

Fancy smchanzy!! I love it πŸ™‚ Your desserts look MARVelous–so yummy. I would have chosen yours or the carmel one. Yumm.

35 Allie {Cook Read Run} April 9, 2011 at 2:56 pm

Eeek! That wine cellar is the greatest place on earth!!
Allie {Cook Read Run} recently posted..37 Reasons To Quit My Job

36 Allie April 9, 2011 at 3:04 pm

You DO celebrate in style! I cannot believe how much your mom and your sister Kelly look alike. When I saw the picture of your mom I was like WOAH that looks like your sister!
Glad you had soo much fun and Happy Anniversary to your parents !
Allie recently posted..Usually

37 Hilary April 9, 2011 at 3:06 pm

A DESSERT ROOM?!?!….AND 3 page dessert menu?!?! I want to go there! Looks like so much fun and very cool tour also!
Hilary recently posted..An F’in Friday

38 Emily @ Savory and Savage April 9, 2011 at 4:34 pm

That looked like a lovely night – that was an impressive wine cellar!!
Emily @ Savory and Savage recently posted..Baked eggs in puff pastry

39 Katy (The Singing Runner) April 9, 2011 at 4:54 pm

Awww how fun! πŸ˜€
No worries about being a light weight… I am too…. my 21st birthday on Thursday should be interesting. πŸ˜‰

Hopefully I’ll see you tomorrow at IronGirl! πŸ˜€
Katy (The Singing Runner) recently posted..Honorable

40 melissa (fitnessnyc) April 9, 2011 at 4:59 pm

that wine bar is really one of the coolest things I have ever seen. Very impressive. And I assuming you went ahead and threw the 30K bottle on your tab? πŸ™‚
melissa (fitnessnyc) recently posted..Favorite Things- Travel

41 Meghann April 11, 2011 at 12:51 pm

haha – you know it!

42 Morgan April 9, 2011 at 5:07 pm

That wine cellar is what dreams are made of! And a dessert room? Amazing!
I love your skirt by the way!

43 Ash Bear April 9, 2011 at 5:42 pm

It looks like y’all had a wonderful time last night! I also love that “our” skirt made an appearance. Have a great rest of your weekend!

44 Mandy April 9, 2011 at 6:34 pm

I hope that wine cellar isn’t in an earthquake zone!

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45 Katie April 9, 2011 at 6:54 pm

Oh yummm I love Bern’s! Seriously, the smell of the roasted macadamia nuts as you walk towards the dessert room is absolutely heavenly. I’ve been lucky the few times I have been there to have someone else select the wine…because that menu seriously intimidates me!

I also love that they always give you a tour of the kitchen and the wine cellar! Their staff is always great; I don’t know if it is still the same way nowadays, but apparently in order to become a waiter/waitress, you first have to work at the farm where they grow all of their food! You really have to work your way up…haha!
Katie recently posted..Lovely Tonight- Anniversary Dance- and a Spotlight!

46 Meghann April 11, 2011 at 12:52 pm

I’ve heard the same thing and the people giving the tours of the kitchen are all servers in training. At Berns serving isn’t just a side job while in school – it’s a career!

47 erica April 9, 2011 at 8:02 pm

um…hello. any place with a dessert room is someplace i NEED to try!!!
if i’m ever in tampa, i’m heading there for dessert! πŸ™‚
i always say, i should just eat appetizers and dessert!

looks like a great night of celebrations!
erica recently posted..our engagement photos…

48 Amy April 9, 2011 at 9:09 pm

Holy wine! That restaurant looks so cool and I love the dessert room concept and the fact that you are offered a tour as well! I love when a restaurant does something “different”.
On another note – I love your outfit. I always am puzzled as to what to wear to a fancy dinner – and I think you nailed it.
Amy recently posted..It’s like a holiday…

49 Meghann April 11, 2011 at 12:53 pm

Thanks πŸ™‚

50 Alaina April 10, 2011 at 12:31 am

That looks like such an amazing night! I would have gone for the bread pudding too. That’s my favorite. πŸ™‚
Alaina recently posted..Working My Way Back- 1369 Coffee House

51 Sarah April 10, 2011 at 9:07 am

Looks like SUCH a fun night!
That was a really sweet way to surprise your mom for their anniversary (back then) My parents anniversary is coming up and my sister and i have been trying to find a way to celebrate with them! they happen to live in the middle of NOWHERE so it should be interesting!

By the way I LOVE your shirt! Is the flower attached or was that part of the sweater, so cute πŸ™‚
Sarah recently posted..happy friday!

52 Meghann April 11, 2011 at 12:53 pm

Thanks! It’s part of the shirt.

53 River April 10, 2011 at 4:52 pm

Great photos! The desserts looks amazing!
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54 Kacy April 11, 2011 at 9:03 am

Sounds like an amazing celebration! All the desserts look insanely good!
Kacy recently posted..A Healthy Habit Journey- Post 9 from the SIL- Eat More Fiber!

55 Brittney April 11, 2011 at 9:25 am

Looks like you guys had an awesome time! I have that SAME Ann Taylor shirt, and wore mine over the weekend to a birthday celebration as well! πŸ™‚
Brittney recently posted..Chillin and Grillin

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