This is one of my favorite places to eat because...

A) They always have great weeknight drink specials ($5.00 premium martini Wednesday)
B) We always get the best service
C) The food is great and they change up the menu every few months!

Jay and I usually only eat here on Wednesdays because that's our "date night" and I can drink as many martinis as I want and not feel bad about the price. The food is great and we are always taken care of here. You do need to make reservations most of the time or you will be waiting an hour or more! (that's how good it is)
I will usually order a 7 field green salad and sub out the gorgonzola for blue cheese because they have the BEST blue cheese there and always ask for the fresh cracked pepper!! As far as dinner goes I haven't really had a bad dish there and don't be afraid if you don't like something they are always happy to replace it or take it off the bill for you. Below are some of the pictures of meals I have had here I will continue to add more to this post as Wednesdays pass :)

Below Tuscan Chicken and Chicken Scallopini




There is nothing like Bern's steak house. The decor eclectic. Wine list largest in the world. Dry aged beef, fresh salad from their own garden. Service is spot on. Desserts upstairs a life experience (separate post for the dessert room)!!


We spent 3 and a half hours here for dinner! Expect to drop some $$ here though, they do have cheap sutter home white zin if that's what you prefer but this wine list is like 80 pages long and the prices are not that bad. I found a wine we had in Paris it was a 2006 and they had the 1994 year here for $75 not a terrible price if you ask me!!! ( Our server was very informative he could tell you what day they received each vegetable in the salad and help you decide what to order based on how much you want to spend. There are multiple themed dining rooms one of which the presidents eat in when they are in town! The food was delish my steak was about $30.00 but it came with french onion soup, a salad (I couldn't decide on a dressing so he brought me 3), a baked potato with accompaniments, collard greens, onion strings, and cooked carrots! After dinner if you ask they will take you on a tour of the kitchen and wine cellar. Both of which were very interesting for me! They have a bottle of wine from 1946 that they are selling for $30,000!!! Crazy!!

(photos below)


Bottom line

- I would recommend this to anyone who comes to Tampa or Clearwater Florida. It's worth the drive trust me. Such an amazing experience I got to share with my boyfriend and we will never forget it.


They don't have a website setup yet but trust me on this one!!


















Below- Filet Oscar style









Below- My 3 salad dressings the one on the left is a vanilla macadamia nut was so good!!















Below- French onion soups with garlic and spelt toast






Below- Crab cakes with NO filler. I was a little worried after ordering these that they might not be good.. they were to die for!!











We decided to eat here because...
A) It was walking distance from the hotel
B) Right next to the liquor store
C) The valet guy said this place had a beach view
Well... There was NO beach view from here but we still enjoyed this place. I ordered one Cosmo for $6 made with absolute and I was abnormally buzzed afterwards!! They serve them in a gigantic martini glass and fill it up which is exactly what you are looking for after a day of traveling! The food was cheap and OK I didn't have anything there that excited me foodwise. The drinks were ON POINT though and kept us coming back. Saturday and Sunday morning/afternoon they have a Bloody Mary and Mimosa bar!! The Bloody Mary bar included shrimp, 3 seasonings, celery, cucumber, carrot, pickles, banana peppers, 5 hot sauces, Worcestershire, limes, lemons!! Basically the works and it was cheap!  Anyways the service was great the bartender recommend us to go to the Wildflower Cafe for Quiche and an Island Cafe by the Marina that we never made it to.

Bottom line---
I would recommend this place to someone who wants a reasonable price for a lunch with drinks. It wasn't the best but certainly no complaints here!

Here is their website
---------------> http://www.clearskybeachsidecafe.com/

My Bloody Mary

Clearsky Beachside Cafe, Clearwater Florida



This place was ranked #4 out of restaurants in Clearwater. Since Jay and I both love German food we decided to try it! The reviews said there was FREE beer and wine but that's not what drove us to come here. A friend of Jay's always makes this beef dish called Roulade from my understanding it's basically a slow cooked beef roll with gravy and that was on the menu. So we get there and we are the ONLY TABLE in the whole restaurant?!?! This restaurant is #4 and we are the only people there at 7PM on a Saturday!! Anyways the mothers son runs this location (there are 2 locations only) and this guy was a character!! He told me I was only allowed to have water after my 5th glass of wine and kept encouraging us to finish our food. He was very interested in what brought us in, where we were from and gave us advice for what to do while we were here. They don't have a liquor license yet so you get St. Paulie Girl light or dark beer, and red or white wine for FREE!!! As much as you want they encourage you to take full advantage. Right when we walked in we were greeted with complimentary potato salad, cole slaw, and bread. Most places don't give you much right off the bat!

Everything on this table so far is FREE!!
German Bistro, Clearwater Florida



Jay ordered the Roulade and I ordered Potato Pancakes with applesauce and a side of saeur kraut. (I wasn't that hungry after the slaw and potato salad) 

German Bistro, Clearwater Florida

German Bistro, Clearwater Florida



The sauer kraut was AMAZING!! Warm and SOOO tender. I could have easily ate a few bowls of it. Jay got some kind of homemade noodles with his Roulade. I have never heard of them or had them until this meal but they were really delicious!! With the gravy and the beef it was paired nicely and you could taste the love in the home cooking methods. The Roulade had a really great flavor to it although the first roll of beef was not very tender. My potato pancakes were not good at all. My Dad made them a certain way growing up so this might be more traditional but I was not a fan. 

They do not have a website. 
I had the best Quiche of my life here!! It has been ranked the #2 Restaurant in Clearwater so we just had to try it!! I ordered a Sun Dried Tomato and Spinach Quiche and Jay had the Chicken Pecan Quiche with Apricot Chutney. They were both to DIE for great flavor and texture. We also shared a side order of the Belgium Malted Waffles. I had never had a malted waffle before and couldn't really tell anything was different when we had them. Oh and OF COURSE I ordered a Mimosa!! It was vacation after all. The Mimosa was kind of filling itself with all of the fruit and fresh squeezed OJ, I also used the flower skewer in my hair!

Wildflower Cafe, Clearwater Florida




This is their website and it was about a 10 minute drive from our hotel (well worth it)

--------------------->http://www.wildflowercafe.net/



Wildflower Cafe, Clearwater Florida

UPDATE 3/1/13 ---> I recently ordered a glass of William Hill Chardonnay. I don't remember the price at the restaurants but it retails about the same as La Crema with similar flavor. If you were interested in another option this might be right for you.

Here is what I know about Chardonnay..
From what I can taste there are 3 different types that I can tell the difference. What I am going to post about is the traditional rich buttery oaky chardonnay that is my personal FAVE my favorite pairing is a rich cheese like a Gruyere or Parmesan with some roasted tomatoes. Honestly I will drink it with anything though because its my favorite. Don't feel bad about drinking a Chardonnay with a steak if that's what makes you happy its right.
The best Chardonnay like this for the price that I have found is this Sterling Chardonnay its usually on sale at the grocery store for $9.00 and tastes just like the $20 or $30 bottles.

This is what the Sterling bottle looks like
(BTW we have gone to their winery.. and the WINE SUCKS!! This is the only bottle worth buying from Sterling but if you ever get to Napa this is a fun winery we learned alot and had some great views but we did not feel the tasting was worth $65 per person. We paid an extra $5.00 for "snacks" which turned out to be some normal crackers that's it!) 

Kendall Jackson Chardonnay
(about $14-$17.00 in the store) 
This is the Chardonnay that I will order in restaurants because almost every restaurant carries this! It's a good middle of the road usually it will be around $8.00 a glass in the restaurants which isn't that bad and you know EXACTLY what you are getting. Once again if you ever visit Sonoma Valley this isn't worth a stop, it's a beautiful winery but their Chardonnay's are nothing like this one. Here you will find steel barrel aged Chardonnays which almost taste like a Pinot Grigio. The reds are not that good either. I would skip this if you like rich Chardonnays. 



La Crema Chardonnay
(between $18.00 -$22.00 in the store) 
I will order this in the restaurants if they don't have Kendall Jackson I have seen it for as cheap as $33.00 for a bottle in the restaurants but don't be surprised if its $50.00. It's flavor is a bit more tame than first two probably more balanced. It tastes more smokey to me though but I like that. Once again we went to their tasting room in Healdsberg, Sonoma and their wines SUCKED!! They have a Pinot Noir in the store and at restaurants which is delish but nothing in the winery that was worth purchasing. 



Last time I made this I used fresh spinach and I have used frozen before too both came out fine. (if you use frozen spinach make sure you heat it up in advance and squeeze all of the liquid out with a paper towel or cheese cloth.. THIS IS IMPORTANT) I also drain my artichokes too. When I worked at T.G.I. Friday's they always put green onions, parsley and tomatoes on top so I enjoy that addition. When I worked at Maggiano's Little Italy they put sun dried tomatoes inside of the dip which adds a nice flavor. My favorite way to eat this is with red bell peppers and use the leftovers for sandwich spread or on a pizza!

website to recipe ----->http://www.joyfulabode.com/2010/04/26/a-freaking-mazing-artichoke-dip/


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Artichoke dip and cheese crisps
When you go to a restaurant you always hear people ordering "grilled onions" or see them on the menu. So the other day for lunch I thought I would fire up the grill and cook some next to my chicken. A little EVOO, S&P, and I was ready to go! Well about 5 minutes into my experiment my onions started falling apart and sticking to my grill!! Carefully as I could removed them from the grill and after a taste I realized that people don't really "grill" onions. They saute' them and called them grilled.. FYI do not go through all of the work cooking them on the grill.. not worth it unless they are on a skewer.
They look good though!!! :) 

It all started with a horrible sweet tooth craving. Rummaging through my cupboard and drawers looking at all of this baking supplies inspired me to try these. Actually had almost everything on hand I used dried cherries instead of raisins, and pecans instead of walnuts. For the butter milk you can use a few drops of fresh lemon juice or vinegar in your regular 2% milk to sub out for the butter milk. I added some coconut flakes too! It was amazing and I felt good for not having to purchase ingredients for a recipe.

Ingredients: 
1/2 cup raisins (you could use other dried varieties such as, cherries, apricots, or cranberries)
1 1/2 tablespoons dark rum or apple juice (Rum is the better than apple juice. Experiment with other liquors)
1 cup all-purpose flour (use wheat or cut this with 1/2 cup of almond flour to lower carbs and increase nutrition)
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup butter, softened -I used coconut oil and it was fine
1/2 cup mashed ripe banana
3 tablespoons low-fat buttermilk (do the lemon juice in the milk trick or don't worry about it)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large egg whites
1/3 cup chopped walnuts (any kind of nuts you feel fit is fine)
Cooking spray
1 tablespoon powdered sugar (for topping)

Monkey Bars Recipe

Click to continue reading -- 
This is the only chicken chili recipe I made and it was alright. I ended up adding a TON of cheese so it wasn't healthy anymore which was the plan. It was mostly just bland. Honestly tasted like salted chicken water with beans but once you add the sour cream and cheese its OK. haha The second recipe I made had a kick to it. I still added a lot of cheese but I didn't feel like I spent all this time to spoon out plain chicken broth for dinner.

watery recipe ---->http://www.howto-simplify.com/search/?q=white+chicken+chili&q.x=0&q.y=0

This is the recipe you want to make ---------->http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/patrick-and-gina-neely/white-chicken-chili-recipe/index.html

White Chicken Chili
Randomly happened to have a HUGE wok laying around decided to give this recipe a go. Personally I think it would be fine in a non-stick pan but since I had the wok I used it. First thing you should know is that this recipe is extremely time consuming for a "stir fry." Secondly I added a TON of bell pepper and onion to my dish which took extra time to chop. Thirdly you have to make rice to serve on, which I started making AFTER I cooked the beef so it took a long time!! Once again as the recipe says to use LOW SODIUM soy sauce otherwise it is way overpowering on the salt. Lastly I used a flat iron steak the store I went to did not have any flank steak and skirt steak is too tough for me but it turned out GREAT! I have made this dish quite a few times I love it.

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mongolian1



Recipe to website ----->http://www.pinkbites.com/2009/01/mongolian-beef.html
OK OK I know you are thinking cornmeal in pound cake ?!?! It's delish and adds some nutrition so JUST TRY IT. The prep on this recipe is a CINCH too, luckily at my store they had a bag of berries that was exactly 2 cups so I had no waste. If you are not this lucky you can always make yourself a smoothie to pair with your pound cake ;)  One reviewer said the pan was not big enough and it billowed outside of the pan and burned. I have never had this issue. Although mine only cooked for about 45 mins each time instead of the noted 65 mins. The second time I made this I added some lemon zest it was pretty nice.

*cooking times VARY always check your baking items before the noted time*



I have made this cake about 4 times, you need to listen to Martha's words, "This loaf gets its lift from the thorough beating of the butter and sugar (a full eight minutes) and eggs, instead of leavenings such as baking powder or baking soda."




link to the recipe ------> http://www.marthastewart.com/351494/berry-cornmeal-pound-cake
One of my favorite dishes to make are these Coconut Chicken pieces. The only thing I need to buy from the store is chicken because I usually have coconut flakes and sweet chili sauce on hand. (they don't really go bad and great items to have on hand) This recipe you NEED THE SAUCE the chicken is just bland without it. This recipe calls for coconut milk but I don't see the need to open an entire can of coconut milk for a 1/4 cup unless you have other plans to cook with it this week. Also I put a little sugar in the breading to add a little sweetness. I always use the egg beaters when I have to bread something it seems to help things stick better than beating an egg. I baked these instead of frying them, for some reason every time I cook breaded food in the skillet it falls apart. SO I baked these at 400F until 165 inside about 10 minutes on each side. And spraying them on both sides with pam beforehand gives them they same golden color.

 I would serve this with some green beans and orange slices for dinner.

This picture on the top is from when I baked them. You can see they look similar and are not fried in a ton of oil like the ones below. I still bought the same sauce at Kroger. You need the sauce with these or they are pretty flavorless. Next time I might try and marinate the chicken in some coconut milk for more coconut flavor. 

Baked Coconut Chicken


link to recipe -----> http://budgetbytes.blogspot.com/2010/01/coconut-chicken-w-sweet-chili-sauce-691.html
I guess I will start with why I decided to do this?
---I have always loved to cook and try new recipes. Sometimes they work and sometimes they don't. I plan to post the good, the bad, and the ugly. Same with wine too! I LOVE WINE but sometimes looks or reviews can be deceiving  just because a bottle of wine has good reviews doesn't always mean it's good or worth the price. When I travel I like to try out the best known restaurants and food stands, I try to order what they are known for and again sometimes I find gold other times I find myself unsatisfied. People will post anything on tripadvisor.com you cannot always rely on that to plan your vacation. I plan to give you the honest 411 on recipes I have tried, restaurants I have ate at, and wines I have tried. My plan is to lay out the facts and not obscenely ramble on and take your requests for recipes, wine, or travel.