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Nov 13, 2009 06:42 AM

Fort Myers or Cape Coral: need decent restaurant with a private room for 8-12 people ASAP

Well, The Veranda has a private party on 11/19 and the whole place is closed. There is a right sized room at Stonewood but it is booked that night. I had a reservation I thought at Cibo, who also has a room for 10 but it was double booked and we are bumped!

We have had less than thrilling feedback from the 3 dinners held at Sasse's and the room is too large for a small group.

I am trying to find somewhere with edible food at this point. We do have a $50 pp budget that must include tax, tip, etc. We did this successfully at Cibo, Angelina's and the Veranda. The food at Angelinas was not up to par the night we were there and thus the host does not want to go back.

Any help? Suzie, Insatiable? Less than a week. I'm calling all sorts of places and may compile a list. We want to stay in central Lee county if possible as we are hosting people who mainly live in Cape Coral and Fort Myers proper. LMF

12901 McGregor Blvd, Fort Myers, FL 33919

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  1. try ristorante fabio on hancock. they might dedicate one of their two rooms that evening.

    2 Replies
    1. re: alkapal

      thanks for the speedy reply. I'll look at them today. I'm looking at Rao's also.

      1. re: LilMsFoodie

        they may be willing to "really work with you" as i know the economy has really hit hard.
        the wife-owner's tiramisu alone is worth booking there. it is oh-so-far-above-typical-tiramisu. (ps, one can buy a tray of the tiramisu for home entertaining.).

        i love their fresh italian sausage with cherry peppers in tomato sauce on fettuccine. mr. alka LOVES the chicken livers in wine sauce on linguine.

      1. re: alkapal

        Wewent with Rao's. They were very accomodating with a special menu, wine selection, etc and had a dedicated room that will be quiet. I will look at your recommendation in the future though. I am surprised that there were no other suggestions. Dismal in Fort Misery and Crap Coral. LMF

        1. re: LilMsFoodie

          yeah, i hear ya, LMF.

          what was the menu and cost?

          1. re: alkapal

            I'll reply here as I do not want to do a negative review as a stand-alone. but Rao's was a huge disappointment. Imagine an Italian kitchen with no garlic.....

            We ended up being under their minimum to do a set menu. It would have been nice if they had mentioned it when I confirmed the number. Strike one.

            Our budget was $50 PP including one glass of wine with dinner and tip. It looked very doable from the Rao menu. We ended up letting everyone order what they wanted. I will say that no one said they would come back and the pharma rep has no interest in returning. That he prefers The Veranda says it all, at least to me. Strike two.

            I had pasta puttanesca and carpaccio for an appetizer. The appetizer was just ok. Actually the carpaccio at Brio is 10X better and comes with a superior parmigiana.
            Where was the garlic in the puttanesca? I could taste the anchovies and I know they use good ones as I buy them in their adjacent market as they sell them in small amounts and they are packed in salt. No capers that I could find. Dull dull dull and the pasta was way over cooked. No al dente.

            My husband had a veal dish and he said it was stringy. The woman next to me is from Boston and was looking forward to an old fashioned Italian restaurant. She was civilized enough to eat part of her pasta with bolognese and did not ask for it to be packaged for later. One man ordered steak. He asked for steak sauce and was told they had none. That attitude was the kiss of death for me. If you are going to offer a traditional steak presentation, then you swallow your "pride" and offer two or three sauces. What do they cost? This is not some red hot foodie restaurant where all entrees' are served with a side of attitude. Strike three, four, five, etc. etc.

            Ghastly espresso and a very cheap sambucca. Shame. Shame...

            Also, crap wine. They used to have one of the best Italian wine selections in their adjacent deli, Taste of Italy. I'm thinking we had Cribari. LOL


            1. re: LilMsFoodie

              LMF, that's a shame. sorry it turned out so rotten.

              1. re: LilMsFoodie

                As a follow-up , I noticed that there is yet another name on this restaurant space. I didn't care enough to make a note of the name. That it only lasted 6 mos or so as Rao's says it all I think.

                1. re: LilMsFoodie

                  Alkapal, I'm so glad you and LMF chatted on Rao's.

                  They were Mamma's Pasta for a long time, then Rao's Italian Restaurant for a couple months, named after the owner, but the name was apparently too close for comfort in name to the famous Rao's in NYC. Latest name is Mastello Ristorante.
                  It's been the same chef and owners, despite the name changes.

                  LMF's write up sums up what I've heard about the place. Ugh.

                  1. re: An Insatiable Appetite

                    I need suggestions for higher quality restaurants in Naples (only) that can handle a private group of 30-40. Whether in a "side" or "back" room (ideally). or reserving/closing down the place so the group could have dinner and talks/conference. We pay for a fixed price per head for apps, main and dessert, including wine and tip.

                    We've been happy with Capital Grille, Flemings, McCormick & Schmick, IM Tapas, Escargot 41, and look for new spots to vary the settings.


                    1. re: An Insatiable Appetite

                      I think you may not be a fan but there is a nice room behind the main dining room at Cafe Lurcat. I have attended dinners there in the past, but not recently. Campiello has a room upstairs, or at least they used to. You have many more choices than we in Fort Misery.

                      What sort of groups do you make arrangements for? Just curious. LMF

                      1. re: LilMsFoodie

                        Thank you for the heads up. I never knew of Campiello's upstairs room. Bistro 821 has one that may hold 25 or so. Some places I checked are short staffed going into season, and can't handle the exttra business in season.

                        My groups are medical/dental conferences where there's speakers and sometimes slide shows. The "before and after" anatomy photos showing on screen are a bit much for most diners, but not these! It gets fun when different docs disagree with a study, or with each other. Conference budgets are tight, so we and the chefs work out a happy medium. They tell me they get very good repeat business as the attendees later bring families or take their clients to dinner..

                        If a place turns around, I'm happy to reverse my opinion. Sometimes all it takes is a new chef or menu. I wish 5th Ave South would turn around, but I'm told the landlords rarely will give a potential restaurant a break on the high rent. The newest spots on 5th are a pizza place and Jolly Cricket, serving British food where Trilogy and Zoe's once stood. Another burger place is expected to next more in. The times they are a changing..