751 Tarpon Bay Road
Sanibel, FL 33957Neighborhood:
ItalianPrice: $31 to $50
- Dining Style: Casual Elegant
- Website: http://www.iltesoro.net/
- Phone: 2393954022x
- Hours of Operation:
Dinner Nightly: 5:00pm - 10:00pm
- Payment Options: AMEX,MasterCard,Visa
- Cuisine: Organic, Seafood, Italian
- Executive Chef: AJ Black
- Dress Code: Smart Casual
- Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
- Additional Details: Beer, Chef's Table, Takeout, Wheelchair Access, Wine
- Entertainment: Open kitchen, Fresh Italian Antipasto display, and colorful original oil paintings.
A word from Il Tesoro-Sanibel
IL Tesoro Ristorante, the restaurant name which means ,"the Treasure" in Italian, features authentic Italian cuisine with a modern sophisticated touch using only the freshest seasonal ingredients. Enjoy a festive experience in a Bistro-style setting, with hundreds of Italian wines and dozens of original oil paintings decorating the walls. Open kitchen flair is added enjoyment of the evening as you can watch your dinner being carefully prepared. Our menu is the total creation of Chef/Owner, AJ Black, where his motto reigns supreme, “Fresh Ingredients, simplicity, love are the recipe for a treasured dining experience."Continued
Foodspotting photosSee all photos
Awards voted by OpenTable diners
- Diners' Choice WinnerBest Overall
- Diners' Choice WinnerBest Ambiance
- Diners' Choice WinnerBest Food
Il Tesoro-Sanibel - Best Restaurants in Sanibel ›
Il Tesoro-Sanibel reviews from OpenTable diners
45 reviews since May 21, 2014
- Ambiance4Noise LevelModerate
special occasion (28)romantic (27)neighborhood gem (21)fit for foodies (19)notable wine list (19)good for groups (3)late-night find (2)great for outdoor dining (1)kid-friendly (1)Show More
- Unexpected FindOpenTable Diner Since 2009Dined on 9/15/2014Dining during the off-season in Sanibel Island some of the restaurants close so choices become more limited. This being a Monday night it seemed that perhaps it was even more limited. We decided on Il Tesoro-Sanibel based largely on the online reviews. We were not disappointed! The food was truly excellent and the service from Steven and Joe made us feel welcome and well taken care of during the evening. We were celebrating our wedding anniversary and the atmosphere had both an air of intimacy but a good low-vibe as well. Really a great balance. Granted, the restaurant was not full that evening so perhaps it could become too noisy for some diner's tastes on a busy night, but we thought it was perfect. Bravo!Special Features:
- A fine findResidentVIPDined on 9/14/2014This remains one of the best eating experiences on Sanibel-Captiva. It's real Italian food, prepared with skill. The wait staff are all knowledgeable; hopefully, you'll be served by the cheerful folks there, and not by the one sullen, grumpy fellow who'd rather be somewhere else. The antipasti special is a real treat.Special Features:
- welltraveleddinerWelltraveleddinerDined on 9/13/2014The only restaurant I've found on Sanibel/Captiva that could be in NYC, Boston, Naples, etc... Very good overall. Can satisfy the craving for a "nice" dinner while on the island.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- sanibel samDeeandsalDined on 9/7/2014good food basic Italian and well prepared. plain exterior, and homey interior.Special Features:
- crowded tables, noisy bus personFloridagalDined on 9/6/2014Clang, bang, was all I heard. Other patrons were loud. Had to climb over staff at cash register to get in, climbing around extra chairs too. Not planning to return. I live in this county.
- dcamwlshDined on 9/6/2014It is unusual to find authentic food on a resort island-good food, good atmosphereSpecial Features:
- Excellent DiningsmurfDined on 9/2/2014We have been to this gem 3 times now and have always been extremely satisfied with the food and service. This trip was the exception as the waiter who served us seemed to be in another world. Could seem to focus on anything we said. Didn't know the beer selection and we had to repeat ourselves a number of times. He kept saying he was just back from 3 days off but appeared to still be "off". Don't let that hold you back from going especially if you have a Groupon since this is not a place for those with a cost concern!!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Great ItalianthecasualdinerDined on 8/31/2014Coming from an Italian family, I know good Italian! Our server was knowledgeable, friendly, and hilarious. We even asked for a special request sauce and the chef made it perfectly.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- OpenTable Diner Since 2010Dined on 8/9/2014The food was very good. The waiters were rushed and not quite on their game as one would expect for a restaurant of this caliper.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- OpenTable Diner Since 2007VIPDined on 8/3/2014Il Tesoro:Dining the way it used to be & the way it should be. Il Tesero is small, eclectic with emphasis on food, family, conversation & far from glitter, video monitors, TV's, loud music & it's a restaurant that makes you want to linger, enjoy some wine, dine well & have fun conversation. That's just the atmosphere! The food: it's all about the food. Our antipasto was excellent, the eggplant stack was fresh, delicious & a take on the traditional Caprese salad. The meatballs, dense, hot, and in a deliciously thick sauce (gravy, a la South Philadelphia) that brought me back to Grandma's cooking. We tried three differnt pasta dishes which were sublime. One diner had lamb chops and could not stop raving. Pricey? Maybe but well worth it!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- OpenTable Diner Since 2007VIPDined on 8/2/2014It's so great to find a restaurant that does it the way it should be: no TV monitors, no loud music, a fun atmosphere with emphasis on well prepared food, and quiet enough for conversation without cell phones and video games. Il Tesoro is not a Florida tourist trap with every over breaded, fried food you can think of. Our shared appitizers of eggplant stack, antipasta and meatballs were excellent. One diner had lamb chops and the portion was enough for 2 people and well worth the price. One diner thought his lasagne was excellent and the paparadelle was delicious and enough for two people. Just a great, intimate, old-fashioned restaurant with fine dining the way it should be. Can't wait to return.Special Features:
- Italian HeritageRicosdaughterDined on 7/31/2014I rarely eat out at Italian restaurants because I am critical of the overall presentation and taste of what often is passed off as Italian food. When my husband and I found Il Tesoro the summer after it opened, I was absolutely blown away by the everything about it! We visit Sanibel Island every summer and always make sure we eat there. The food is authentic, the service is outstanding, and the atmosphere just makes me happy!!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- GREAT OCTOPUSHUNT60Dined on 7/30/2014The octopus is a must, you will not find such tender octopus anywhere.Special Features:
- Expensive, but excellentBkings23Dined on 7/23/2014Small restaurant off the main drag-great Italian food. Lobster ravioli best Ive ever had. Expect to drop 50-75 per person, but worth it.Special Features:
- Top Level cuisineTopcattDined on 7/23/2014Excellent service, great food choices. I would have given 5 stars but withheld due to no liquor license. Wine and beer only. Wine was a little on the expensive side but....Food was excellent. The lamb was great and my wife's fish special was so good - she told folks about it at the next table when they arrived. Dessert of NY cheesecake was very good but pricey at 9 dollars for a slice. However, if you enjoy really excellent food then you don't look at the cost. Enjoy... make reservations - it's small but if u get there early on weekday 5 pm..your in.Special Features:
- Gourmet Italian at its finestMarkVIPDined on 7/22/2014I am not one to eat out at many italian places given my family's italian heritage as nothing really compares to home cooked italian food. Il Tesoro-Sanibel is an exception - authentic gourmet italian food with great atmosphere and service.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Not disappointed...jeffbethdVIPDined on 7/20/2014This restaurant came highly recommended, and we were NOT disappointed! Very quaint, neighborhood atmosphere, very welcoming and comfortable. The wine was very good, but the service and food quality are the stars here. Everything...and I mean everything from soup to dessert are handmade, fresh to order. Nothing pre-made, nothing frozen...all fresh and deliciously prepared. Don't hesitate to give this gem a try, you won't be sorry!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- The TreasureFloridaFlashDined on 7/16/2014Translate Il Tesoro from Italian to English -> "The Treasure." I have dined here multiple times over the years and have never been disappointed. From the antipasto, to the Caprese salad, to the Lobster ravioli to start, to the Lamb Osso Buco, and specialties of the evening, to the wine, the dessert and the Cappuccino, everything was exquisite. This is not the place to bring your four sub-teenage children. You need people who enjoy outstanding cuisine and quiet. The newlyweds behind us and the two retired couples sitting next to us seemed to share our experience.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Much better than the last time!ShirleyPDined on 7/7/2014I have been going to Il Tesoro since they first opened and always go on my wedding anniversary. Up until October of 2013 I had nothing but great food and a great dining experience. However, in October 2013 I was disappointed in the food, the service and even the wine list. While deciding where to dine on our anniversary this year, I hesitated and almost did NOT go to Il Tesoro, especially after hearing from others about less than spectacular food. However, we did dine there on our anniversay and I was happy to see that things were back on track and up to my expectations. When I booked via Open Table, I explicitly noted in the comments that I hoped that they would prove all of the recent bad reviews on Trip Advisor wrong. They did!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Great Food and ServicechuckDined on 7/5/2014Everything went great. Food was great, our waiter was excellent. The only thing I didn't like is that because we used a groupon they added 18% gratuity. It is not that it wasn't deserved, i actually wanted to leave 20% but i don't like when restaurants don't give the choice to leave tip according to serviceSpecial Features:
- Superb!GregoryVIPDined on 7/5/2014Small restaurant but great food and service! Would definitely go back there!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Hidden deliciousnessHiddenDined on 6/28/2014Great food. Everything was delicious. Small quaint atmosphere ... Large portions ... Most staff knowledgeable and friendly.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Special w/eENDORN51Dined on 6/14/2014Very nice staff, answers questions, ALL dishes are made fresh, and all ingredients are fresh. Fantastic wine selection.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Very good!CheriDined on 6/7/2014Quiet place with very good menu. We loved the Cesear Salad especially! Prices are a bit high but overall meal was well worth the expense. would recommend it for the not-so-budget-conscious. "Very Sanibel!"Special Features:
- GemSmoothVIPDined on 6/6/2014Did not know what to expect, I found it on Open Table as a 1,000 point reservation for Friday night. Wow, it was a little hard to find but it was a small 50 seat gem on Sanibel. You can't beat the food, service and enjoyment. I had the sword fish served over risotto with artichokes, mushrooms and sun dried tomatoes, not only was it super fresh it was great. My wife also enjoyed her Fred fish. The restaurant is rustic pleasantly decorated I talked to Taylor the chef afterwards and he told us that their other restaurant is in Manhattan. We definitely tell our friends about this great spot!!!!!!!!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- My favorite restaurant on Sanibel.VinnyCDined on 6/6/2014Whenever we vacation in Captiva/Sanibel we make it a point to visit Il Tesoro twice. Great selection, served piping hot. This is the way Italian food is meant to be done. They offer a wide variety of appetizers, soups and salads and main courses. Their on-line menu for the Sanibel location doesn't show the entire menu. It is not a large place, so reservations are definitely recommended during peak season.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- overpricedsavurbucksDined on 6/6/2014I have been to higher priced restaurants before that were actually worth it, but there was nothing outstanding here in my opinion. A mere glass of wine which they have listed as 187ml starts at $14. My pasta dish was so-so not great by any means, therefore not worth it. My husband's chicken dish was just average as well.
- Terrific Place!!DeDeDined on 6/3/2014I was there a couple of months ago for my Grandson's wedding rehearsal dinner & the food was great. So, I asked my husband to take me for my birthday to try it again, and we were not disappointed. The food & service was great!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Great Experience, AgainMITIMANVIPDined on 5/31/2014This was our second visit to Il Tesoro, which is situated in a lovely tropical setting in the middle of Sanibel Island. Small, reasonably quiet, and comfortable, this place is becoming a favorite for us. We started with the terrific antipasto platter, easily large enough for the four members of our party and loaded with marinated veggies of every sort, Italian meats, and shrimp. Delicious! Dinner choices were tasty, with perfectly al dente pasta, rich tomato and cream sauces, fresh fish and good wine. Service was friendly and efficient. Overall, a very satisfying night out.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- discriminatingdinerDined on 5/30/2014A unique restaurant for the area with a small New York restaurant atmosphere. A relief from the beachy, fast food, cargo pants motif so common on the island. Excellent REAL Italian food, a good wine list and knowlegable waiters. Casual fine dining at its best.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Never disappointsFashionistaVIPDined on 5/28/2014Food is consistently great. A lot of menu options. And an extensive wine list. One of the two best restaurants on Sanibel/ Captiva.Special Features:
- like sitting at the table at homeLpstkbizdinerVIPDined on 5/25/2014Quaint spot tucked away in a strip center off the main drag into Sanibel. Food was good as was the service. Nice wine list by the glass.Special Features:
- The following 313 reviews are from the Il Tesoro-Sanibel reviews archive.
- A Hiiden GemUncinmiDined on 5/17/2014Sanibel has many Restuarant choices and some are always crowed but il Tesoro remains to be the best in town. Right there on Tarpon Road is the best Italian food any one could imagine. This quirky trattoria has it all food atmosphere service and consistent qualitySpecial Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- PriceyOpenTable Diner Since 2014Dined on 5/13/2014Not sure the food was worth the price we paid. Everything was good but not outstanding. Dining room very crowded with tables pretty much on top of each other.
- A definite gem!JhhohmanVIPDined on 5/10/2014We have driven past the restaurant for years and just didn't think to go to an Italian restaurant while on the island, we like to eat seafood when we are here. Last night we decided to give it a try. We weren't disappointed, we split the ceasar salad, it had an amazing dressing. I got the small lobster ravioli, it was delicious. My husband got the shrimp and sweet sausage pasta, his was amazing too. Don't forget the bread, it was fresh and they serve two olive oils, one red pepper that was amazing mixed with the balsamic vinegar. The ambiance was very European, I felt like I was in a quaint little restaurant in Italy. Our server was splendid, attentive, but not hovering.Special Features:
- First Rate and AuthenticOpenTable Diner Since 2010Dined on 5/8/2014We always make a point of Visiting Il Tesoro when in Sanibel. The food is outstanding and the service is always good.Special Features:
- authenticgroselDined on 5/1/2014so nice to have a great authentic Italian restaurant - makes you almost feel like you are in Italy.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Fantastic!!Kmc22Dined on 4/20/2014The food here is absolutely wonderful and the service cannot be beat! From the moment you walk in you receive great service from a kind and helpful waitstaff. Truly a great find on Sanibel and we will definitely be coming back again!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- OpenTable Diner Since 2013Dined on 4/15/2014Great as always!! Great food great service always a personal touchSpecial Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- QuaintOpenTable Diner Since 2007Dined on 4/10/2014Il Tesoro was enjoyable. We enjoyed the meal at Il Tesoro. The restaurant is small so expect to hear everything around you. No bar or great wine list, but the menu was good and cooked well. Prices are a bit high, but it is a island. I would go back.Special Features: