I know y'all caught Bern's Steak House's Facebook Live video Wednesday morning.
For anyone who missed it, though: The beloved Tampa steakhouse had its uber-rare recent purchase — a crystal decanter, known as the Aevum Imperial Service Ritual, that's a collaboration between Australian winery Penfolds and French crystal producer Saint-Louis — built on-site by Penfolds Winemaking Ambassador, Americas, DLynn Proctor. And the vessel sure is purdy.
One of five in the world, the decanter also allows for the perfect pour with a simple, gentle tilt. No big deal.
While watching the livestream (see above), I realized I'd missed something wine-related myself: Wine Spectator's annual Restaurant Awards, which were announced earlier this month. So, yeah, I'm a little late, but local diners will be happy to know that more than 30 restaurants in the area were recognized by the magazine for their superb wine programs.
Winners receive one of three awards, the highest of which is the Grand Award. Next best is the Best of Award of Excellence, followed by the Award of Excellence. All great nods in the end, really.
Locally, first-time honorees include SoHo's Ava and downtown St. Pete's Annata and 400 Beach Seafood & Tap House. Check out the full list of victorious eateries below.
Bern's Steak House (Tampa)
BEST OF AWARD OF EXCELLENCE
Alfano's Restaurant (Clearwater)
The Capital Grille (Tampa)
Charley's Steak House (Tampa)
Columbia Restaurant (Tampa)
Forlini's Restaurant (Clearwater Beach)
Massimo's Eclectic Fine Dining (Palm Harbor)
Rococo Steak (St. Pete)
Sea Salt (St. Pete)
AWARD OF EXCELLENCE
400 Beach Seafood & Tap House (St. Pete)
717 South (Tampa)
Annata (St. Pete)
Birch & Vine (St. Pete)
Caretta on the Gulf (Clearwater Beach)
Clearwater Wine Bar & Bistro (Clearwater Beach)
Council Oak Steaks & Seafood (Tampa)
Del Frisco's Grille (Tampa)
Donatello Restaurant (Tampa)
Eddie V's (Tampa)
Edison: Food+Drink Lab (Tampa)
Fetishes Dining & Wine Bar (St. Pete Beach)
Ocean Prime (Tampa)
Parkshore Grill (St. Pete)
Ruth's Chris Steak House (St. Pete)
Ruth's Chris Steak House (Tampa)
Salt Rock Grill (Indian Shores)
Seasons 52 (Tampa)
Shula's Steak House (Tampa)