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Fort Myers: Need dinner recommendations !

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Hello Foodies: I would like to treat my mother and her friends to a wonderful dinner in or near Fort Myers while on her vacation. Would like something to please all palates. Thank you in advance!

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    1. A huge recommendation for Sasse's, an Italian restaurant with a wood-burning oven. The best eggplant parm I can remember eating, I had a great veal marsala, I also remember a lamb shank and maybe even a pork shank as a special. Great salads (my mom loves the portobello mushroom salad, usually available even if not on the menu) and I liked the Ceasar. Huge portions, but excellent food and very friendly service. On Evans in a strip mall near a couple of hospitals. My favorite dinner in my last few annual weeks in Ft. Myers.

      We also tried Harold's on the Bay near the civic center. I was not impressed. My rib steak was tough and chewy, marred by burnt onions on top. What was worse is that the lighting was so dim that I literally needed a flashlight to read the menu. Place has an attitude, and you have to use a restroom either upstairs (with an elevator that won't stop to return you because they don't want it used by the bar on the building's roof) or go next door.

      Cru is a wine-oriented restaurant in the Bell Towers that is perhaps the biggest deal place that has opened in the last few years. I also like an old reliable there -- Bistro 41. If they haven't been, you could also try Roy's in Bonita.

      But please, do yourself a favor and try Sasse's and report back. My detailed review is here: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/378890

      6 Replies
      1. re: nosh

        Thanks Nosh and Suzie. Although I won't be there- I am treating by way of gift cheques- I will report back. I think I will suggest that the group try Sasse's - it sounds great.
        Thanks again,
        DCF

        1. re: nosh

          I am really surprised about your experience with Harolds. We have gone there numerous times and entertained clients and have never had a bad experience. I have never noticed the lighting problem you have mentioned either. The noise level is the only thing that can be tough if you are near the bar. I hope you give it another chance. Cru is good but its funny - your complaints about Harolds are the same ones I have about Cru, lol. The food is good though so we will go there on occasion.
          As far as Bistro 41 - we went there 2 or 3 times and something always went wrong (overcooked food, poor service, wrong bill, you name it and it went wrong). We went there again not too long ago and it was wonderful! I am still hesitant and would not take clients there but I finally understood what everyone was talking about.

          1. re: Suzie

            Suzie, over the years consistency does not seem to be Bistro 41's strong point -- it goes through ups and downs in comments from my mom's friends and on this board. But I've always enjoyed the starters there, and I have an absolute favorite entree, their meatloaf. I wanted to like Harold's, but it paled in comparison to the place that used to occupy the space, Peter's La Cuisine, our old choice for higher level dining with excellent service in Ft. Myers as opposed to Naples.

            Please give Sasse's a try. I'm not sure it will work best for a client dinner -- I think it shines best for a family or group of friends who will share the salads and desserts and tastes from eachother's entrees. I'd be interested to know what you think, as well as other regular Ft. Myers/Naples posters Revrend Andy and Val.

            1. re: nosh

              I am planning on trying Sasse's based on this board. Unfortunately I haven't heard the best reviews of it from my foodie friends here in Fort Myers but my curiosity is peaked. : )

              1. re: Suzie

                Please note that Sasse's had a change of ownership about two seasons ago. The former owner was known as being idiosyncratic, to put it mildly -- he was known for refusing to seat people if something about their looks or demeanor didn't meet his standards. The new owners appear to be in it for the food and satisfaction rather than the profits -- there are two big hospitals within a couple of blocks and they won't open to take advantage of the local lunch trade. So if your "foodie" reviews go back more than a season, recruit a couple of them to check the place out.

                1. re: nosh

                  I did hear something about that but the reviews I got are pretty recent.

        2. Just got finished with a lovely reasonable Sunday Brunch $7.95 at Daly's Boathouse(West End of Marinatown Complex off Hancock Bridge Parkway. Omlettes made to order, Eggs Benedict, Sausage and Gravy, fresh fruit, The owner Mike Daly is a real nice guy, very clean restuarant, great food 10:00-2:00 on Sundays, Wee waggin small dog rescue is also there with their puppies, from 10:00 till 12:00 everysunday, weewagginsmalldogrescue.org. Try it you will like it, we also adopted a wonderful female Snauzer this morning named Sharon, gentle and loving. Nice Brunch, good event. BillnBarb.