il Pomodoro Cucina Italiana - Fort Myers

Il Pomodoro Italian Cucina Fort Myers

Just slightly out of the way, on Gladiolus Drive in South Fort Myers, is where you'll find the attractive building housing il Pomodoro Cucina Italiana -- a family owned restaurant specializing in home cooked Italian cuisine.  Opened and operated by the former proprietors of Pasta & Pizza on Metro Parkway (mind you, we're going back a couple years now); Il Pomodoro is poised to take advantage of an area certain to see a growth spurt once our Southwest Florida economy revs itself up again. Attractive landscaping leads you behind the restaurant, where there's plenty of available parking.  You'll pass a gurgling fountain and tropical foliage on your way to the entrance.  The outdoor setting of this restaurant is sure to put you in a Florida frame of mind.

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CLOSED - Vesuvio Italian Grille - St. James City

Vesuvio Italian Grille St. James City Pine Island Review


Perhaps it's the Sunday morning Soprano reruns I've been watching for the past few weeks. Or maybe it's those flashy commercials I've been seeing pop-up on the local cable stations. Whatever it was, I found myself heading out to St. James City on Pine Island to sample some of the food and service at Vesuvio Italian Grille.

Operated by Chef/Owner Giorgio Lanese, who previously owned Giorgio's Italian Ristorante in the Santa Barbara Center plaza in Cape Coral, Vesuvio Italian Grille has been plating up delicious dishes on Pine Island for over four years.

Read more: CLOSED - Vesuvio Italian Grille - St. James City


Siam Hut Thai Restaurant in Cape Coral

Siam Hut Thai Restaurant in Cape Coral Review

So many new restaurants open up in the trendy Southwest Florida lifestyle centers with colorful signage, opulent interiors, mood lighting, service staff in colorful costumes, and gimmicky menus -- only to close down a few months later when the expected business fails to appear.  The owners don't understand what went wrong.  The location was right.  Their staff was friendly.  Their restaurant was attractive.  They placed colorful advertisements in all the right magazines.  They even had a frequently updated Fan Page on Facebook.  They were focused on the details...just not the right ones.  In the end, independent restaurant success and longevity is all about two things...consistently great food and perceived value.  Get those two ducks in a row and everything else becomes icing on the cake.

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Sanibel Island - The Sunset Grill

Sunset Grill on Sanibel Island

According to popular consensus, breakfast on Sanibel Island is a locked topic.  The jury is in.  You've got three options to choose from, a trio of Cafe's.  The Lighthouse Cafe, the Sanibel Cafe, and the Over Easy Cafe.

Today I'm going to buck the trend, defy convention, shock my readers, and head to a breakfast spot on Sanibel which exists outside the holy trinity of bacon and eggs.  Today I drive to Santiva, the small community where Sanibel meets Captiva, and take my sunrise chances at the Sunset Grill.

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Captiva Island - The Mucky Duck

The Mucky Duck on Captiva

At the heart of Captiva Island lies a bustling town square of sorts called Captiva Village.  Home to quaint boutiques, colorful art galleries, al fresco dining, and a picturesque chapel...this is where the true community character of the island shines.  This is where quirky meets chic.  Where cheap tourists with sunburnt children bump up against the insane wealth of Captiva homeowners.

Smack dab in the middle of Captiva Village runs Andy Rosse Lane.  This road runs the full width of Captiva Island, from the bay to the Gulf of Mexico, and acts as the epicenter of activity in the Village.  It's laid-back.  It's vibrant.  It's tropical.  It smells like fresh air, and salt water, and suntan lotion.  This is the type of place vacation fantasies are made of.

Our focus today is the Mucky Duck, a destination restaurant located at the sunset end of Andy Rosse Lane.

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