Reviewed October 2006 by Natalie Moore
Sam-Bucco Bistro has achieved the yin and yang of the ideal Gulfshore restaurant, melding stylish surroundings and gracious service with a relaxed attitude that affords those who don't feel like getting dressed up the opportunity to still wine and dine well. Make that very, very well.
The restaurant takes its name from the chef/owner, who formerly ran the kitchen at La Fontanella in Bonita Springs. Sam-Bucco joins a growing corps of noteworthy Mediterranean eateries cropping up around the area, places such as Cin-Cin and Mille Sapore in Fort Myers. Sam-Bucco distinguishes itself through chef Bucco's surprising combinations of ingredients that turn out to be right on target.
Like so many restaurants these days, the bistro is situated within a shopping center, but you lose that sensibility immediately after stepping inside. A handsome and well-stocked bar sits right next to the door, adjoining a wine cellar. Plush banquettes line caramel-hued walls on three sides of the dining room. Three sets of double glass doors along the back wall open onto a lovely covered alfresco dining area.