As if we needed an excuse to indulge, World Chocolate Day is Saturday, July 7! And if you truly want to treat yourself, head over to the Harry Waugh Dessert Room at Bern's Steak House in South Tampa for chocolate desserts that are as decadent as the luxurious interiors.

Whether or not you have dinner at Bern's, visiting the dessert room is a great way to celebrate World Chocolate Day. In addition to their desserts, dining in the Harry Waugh Dessert Room is a treat in itself with its uniquely upscale locale.

Getting to Harry Waugh's is a journey of its own reminiscent of venturing to a speakeasy. After entering Bern’s Steak House and seeing the hostess, you'll walk past the front desk and down a long hallway flanked by the dining rooms on the left and the bustling kitchen on the right. It ends with a room covered in terracotta tile floors, stone walls, and wooden banisters with winding stairs that ascend to the second floor.

Other than the having the same warm, romantic atmosphere as the opulent lobby downstairs, the first thing you’ll notice about the dessert room is that the tufted booths are scattered about and tucked in their own private enclaves like honeycombs in a beehive. If you’re lucky like my husband Jeff and I, you’ll be seated in the Piano Room where six booths surround the instrument, usually frequented by a musician playing everything from classical to jazz as well as requests.

After looking through a menu of nearly 50 desserts, I ordered the most chocolatey dessert to commemorate World Chocolate Day: the Chocolate-Chocolate-Chocolate Classic made with layers of chocolate cheese pie, chocolate cheesecake, and chocolate mousse with a chocolate crust (this dessert really should be called the Triple Threat). Despite having three different chocolate layers, it wasn’t too dense or super sweet so as to not overwhelm a sensitive stomach.

A fan of cheesecake, Jeff ordered their Chocolate Cheese Pie, which is chocolate cream cheese mousse with chocolate chips in a chocolate cookie crumb crust. He also ordered the Semi-Frozen Triple-Chocolate Alexander; I tried a sip, and this specialty drink made with chocolate liqueurs, brandy, and ice cream tastes like an extra-sugary, thick-spoon chocolate milkshake. If you prefer something less sweet, there are over 1,000 after-dinner drinks, cordials, and dessert wines to pair with your dessert.

The enveloping experience of cozy booths, dimmed lights, and luscious desserts at the Harry Waugh Dessert Room at Bern's is enhanced by the music of Kenny Haelsig. When we visited, Haelsig played songs of various styles from beautiful compositions like Canon in D Major and Billy Joel’s “She’s Got a Way” (which I requested) to newer hits like John Legend’s “All of Me” and even Justin Bieber’s “Baby” accompanied by a hilarious falsetto. 

The Harry Waugh Dessert Room at Bern's Steak House is always an excellent choice for dessert, especially on World Chocolate Day. Celebrate by taking a friend or a date with you to one of Tampa’s finest establishments this week! If you’ve been before, let us know your recommendations for World Chocolate Day below in the comments.

Find more dessert restaurants in Tampa like the Harry Waugh Dessert Room and Bern's Steak House by registering on 813area, your free guide to everything in the Tampa Bay area.

Photos taken by author