Bargain Bites: Sam Buca's, East Windsor

Bargain Bites: Sam Buca's, East Windsor

There are 16 comments on the Hartford Courant story from Jul 16, 2008, titled Bargain Bites: Sam Buca's, East Windsor. In it, Hartford Courant reports that:

We knew we were early for Sunday dinner at Sam Buca's, but we thought we'd been shut out.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Hartford Courant.

Skip

Suffield, CT

#1 Jul 17, 2008
I couldn't disagree more about this place. My wife and I took my mother there for lunch in June and had a lousy experience. The service, by the one waitress working, was slow and when the meals finally came, chicken parmesan, the chicken was burnt from being left under the broiler too long. No explanation or regrets were give. Read the reviews first paragraph again; the reason there was "no signs of life" is because other people, like myself, will not patronize a place again after being served so poorly with bad food.
Benny

Hartford, CT

#2 Jul 18, 2008
Also not sure how a place with $16 entrees and a $35 bill for 2 ends up in 'bargain bites' when there are much better options available..
mdc

Providence, RI

#3 Jul 18, 2008
Skip wrote:
I couldn't disagree more about this place. My wife and I took my mother there for lunch in June and had a lousy experience. The service, by the one waitress working, was slow and when the meals finally came, chicken parmesan, the chicken was burnt from being left under the broiler too long. No explanation or regrets were give. Read the reviews first paragraph again; the reason there was "no signs of life" is because other people, like myself, will not patronize a place again after being served so poorly with bad food.
I 'm sure if you spoke up Pete would taken care of you.
disagree

Manchester, CT

#4 Jul 19, 2008
We regularly eat out and have never had one bad meal here. Signs of life? There was an hour wait last night and it was well worth it. Everyone we spoke to at the bar or in the lobby was raving about the food, from pizza to pasta. I think you would be pleasantly surprised with the quality and value of the food and I feel lucky to have this in our backyard!
Jan

Plainville, CT

#5 Jul 21, 2008
I am not sure who the food critic Leeanne Griffin is or what her culinary credentials are but I found this restaurant hugely disappointing. I treated 2 friends Saturday nite to this restaurant largely on her recommendation. The fried mozzarella sticks were so obviously pre-packaged and frozen, the chicken parm we all got was burned & not pounded, very overdone & nearly impossible to cut...we didnt even wait for coffee & the desert menu, since judging from the dinner the deserts probably would all have been frozen anyway. It was all around embarrasing and I had to apologize for even suggesting it. If anyone wants a great Italian meal head to First & Last Tavern on Maple St in Hartford, It's the same price if not cheaper & the service & quality of the food is outstanding! By the way, we waited 45 minutes for a table, we questioned customers on their way out how they liked it, the best we heard was "it's ok", that should have been a clue right there!
Anthony

United States

#6 Jul 24, 2008
The food has been excellent everytime. One of my favorite dishes is the Chicken Parmagiana. It has a nice crispy layer of breadcrumbs and topped with a delicious tomatoe sauce and melted cheese. Absolutely amazing!!!! I travel all the way from the Bronx, NY to eat at Sam-Buca's and when I do it is always a pleasure.
just a friendly voice

Windsor Locks, CT

#7 Jul 24, 2008
i cant disagree more with the negativity i eat at sam bucas 2/3 times a week there or take out never had a bad meal always was treated like a friend not a patron the owners are very accomidating and the staff is always smiling makes you feel good to know there are still great places to go and close to home!!!!!!
not so cheap

Windsor Locks, CT

#8 Jul 24, 2008
benny,$35 for 2 is a good deal. im not sure where u eat? but the amount of food and the quality in a neighborhood place is quite the bargain im happy to pay always been worth it to me
Lorenzo

Matawan, NJ

#9 Jul 24, 2008
Sam Buca's is an authentic New York style Italian restaurant. I am from NYC and have eaten in many places in the New England region being constantly dissapointed. I do a lot of commuting back and forth and I have been searching for a restaurant comparable to NYC Italian comfort food, and finally I've found that in Sam Buca's. From the pizza to pasta or my favorite dish of a chicken parm everything is deliscious and prepared flawlessly. The wait staff is very knowledgable, the bartender remembers my poison and the chef comes out to ask my about my commute. I feel like Im visiting family. Great place!, Great food!, Great atmosphere! A+++ I highly recommend this place to the newbies in the area.
Linda and George

East Windsor, CT

#10 Jul 25, 2008
I am thrilled to have Buca's in our back yard. We eat there several times a week and have never had a problem. Great place to chill after a hard day of work. We are always treated well and the food is great, you can't beat the specials. I guess you can't please everyone but the owners always go the extra mile. If you are looking for a place to go that has an older croud(30 to 80)then this is it. We give it a 10
just around the conner

East Windsor, CT

#11 Jan 17, 2009
I also found this restaurant hugely disappointing. I treated 3 friends Saturday nite to this restaurant. The salmon was not cooked, no taste at all and obviously pre-packaged and frozen, my husbands steak was not cooked to order, and I was told it came with a side of veggies that turned out to be plain tomatoes on top of a lettuce, My friends shrimp pasta was no better she got 4 very small shrimps on a bed of water the sauce was so thine and no taste. Very disappointing. I think for the price we paid $70.00 for a to go order we paid to much because my guests and I were still hungry since we didn't eat the food.
I have had Sam Bucas before and it was not as bad as yesterday (Sam) is very polite but he needs to pay closer attention to what his kitchen staff sends out to his costomers
just around the conner

East Windsor, CT

#12 Jan 17, 2009
upps Pete

Since: Feb 09

Broad Brook, CT

#13 Feb 13, 2009
SamBuca's is ok if you want to wait too long for over cooked food.
I would rather go down the road and eat at Elaine's more food for a better price and better atmosphere
Annie

United States

#14 Feb 19, 2009
Just ate there last night with a group of friends and I found the food and service to be excellent. I loved my chicken saltim "buca." My only complaint would be that the menu does not explain what is in the various dishes, but it's easy enough to ask the wait staff. Good food and service!
Dave Soule

East Hartford, CT

#15 Jul 26, 2010
I Have not eaten at Sam Buca's in a few months and not beacause of any bad food or service just logistics. I moved.
I ate and drank there almost everday for 2 1/2 years and have never had a single bad meal or drink for that matter. This restaraunt has some of the best Ny style Italian food and Pizza that this writer has ever had... EVER!!

I would encourage all who have had a bad dining experience to try it again.
You owe it to yourself give them another try!!

Pete and crew are some of the nicest and most accomadating people you will ever meet.

Oh Yeah and Make sure Ya Have A shot Of Sam Buca!!!

The only Gripe I do Have is That Pete is a New York Yankee fan!!
TNF

Lawrence, MA

#16 Sep 17, 2011
I used to frequent the bar at Sambuca's and always thought the food was great. Last night, we decided to take 2 friends there and sit in the dining room.
1. The first drinks took over 10 minutes to arrive.
2. We watched the waitress walk by several times and ignore the empty glasses on the table. We finally had to ask another waitress.
3. There was an employee that was TRASHING the owner and the restaurant right in the middle of the dining room. Telling people she hated it there and was just waiting for her tip so she could walk out and never go back. Talking about the bad food and the worst service. And also calling someone a heroin addict and pill popper! In the middle of the dining room!!!(We later saw this same employee walking out with her purse as promised??!!)
4. Our meals finally arrived but we were still missing the bread and extra drinks we had asked for.(We never got the bread)
5. The pork was RAW. I mean - R.A.W. We had to send it back and the waitress seemed inconvenienced by this.
6. My friend and I spent our time eating talking about how strange our dish was and how "I've never had a restaurant service it this way before - so odd!" Finally, I asked the waitress what it was, because we finally realized it must just not be what we'd ordered. We had both received the wrong meal!!! and all the waitress said was "oh, I'm sorry. Do you want a box?"
7. We were so disappointed with this meal, we just asked for the check after waiting over 10 minutes (yes, by this time we were timing it!) for the waitress to come back. Another 16 minutes later, we finally got the bill.
8.NOTHING had been removed. We were charged for the undercooked pork, AND the wrong meals (which she had never even offered to correct)
9. We spoke to the owner about our experience- he told us "pork that thick will always be raw in the middle" and not to order it next time!! When we asked if he was going to adjust for the incorrect meals, he said "did you eat them?" (We have been eating/cooking/ordering pork for a long time and have NEVER heard anyone say it should be raw in the middle)
10. We finally had to beg for him to at least credit the undercooked pork - which he did and then walked away.
By this time, we were so frustrated and so humiliated at having to BEG for credits for what was OBVIOUSLY terrible service.
Never in my life have I had to complained about service and/or a meal, and to have to do it for the first time and then have the OWNER of the restaurant be so condescending and unhelpful, was despicable!
It ruined what was supposed to be a lovely night out amongst friends, and we ended up leaving separately.

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