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
42 reviews since May 5, 2014
- Ambiance4.1Noise LevelModerate
special occasion (24)romantic (23)neighborhood gem (19)fit for foodies (17)notable wine list (14)kid-friendly (2)late-night find (2)good for groups (2)hot spot (1)great for outdoor dining (1)Show More
- 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:
- 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:
- The following 309 reviews are from the Il Tesoro-Sanibel reviews archive.
- 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:
- Small, quaint,; very personableOpenTable Diner Since 2011Dined on 4/8/2014Small, quaint,; very personable staff. Wine selection and food were excellentSpecial Features:
- Best When Owner is ThereitalianoldenglishDined on 4/7/2014I have been several times, and it is always a better dining experience and more personal when the owner is there. She makes you feel like she is glad you are there. When she is not there, it's fine, but no one seemed all that excited that we were there. But the food was excellent. The wine by the glass menu could be a little more elaborate. But, again, the food is delicious, the atmosphere is quite quaint and comfortable! I really like it!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Nice but not greatBob33Dined on 4/6/2014Very charming restaurant ... not at all ostentatious. The wine list was adequate although the selections were varied with good selections. The food was good although nothing notable ... generally it lacked any signature tastes that would makes you take notice ... somewhat bland. If rated cost as a function of the dining experience ... not very high
- WonderfulLvsanibeldiningDined on 4/4/2014Before dining I had read several reviews of the restaurant. They were mostly critical of service and attitude of the staff. I was greatly surprised with our experience . With our reservation we were seated immediately and given quick attention from the staff. Our entrees were excellent. We chose two of the specials -- swordfish and lobster manicotti!! Our waiter was excellent and gave us marvelous service. The food was priced at the upper end of the scale,however, you get what you pay for!!! We were on Sanibel island and on vacation. A thoroughly wonderful experience! We will return and recommend to our family and friends.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Never disappointszdocDined on 4/3/2014We've dined at Il Tesoro (Sanibel) many times and recommended it to our friends; it has never disappointed us or them! The food is first rate, easily (in our opinion) still the best on the island, where (thankfully) the overall food quality is moving forward. The service is mostly professional grade though we have, on occasion, encountered a sourpuss :-( It is not an inexpensive place to dine. If you have an appetizer or salad or soup before your entree, a glass of wine and dessert, expect to spend $75-85 per person, including tip. BUT, you will leave full, satisfied and definitely game to return! Bono apetito!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- DeliciousoItalianfoodloverDined on 3/31/2014Once you enter you feel transported to a small Italian village restaurant where the locals dine.. I.like that not only did they have a wine list but a separate one for wine by the glass. As you enter, you can see the chef at work in the kitchen and seeing the mouth watering antipasto display as we entered convinced us that we had to have that for sure. It was delicious and tasted as wonderful as it looked but not being all that hungry we shared an entree...big portion and no problem sharing..to end a great meal we had the tiramasu and the cannoli both of which were fantastic. I would recommend to anyone not looking for the typical "American" style Italian restaurant. Service was top notch as well. Would definitely return!!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Good mealRcb61Dined on 3/29/2014Good meal in this Sanibel location that has been home to some of the island's best food in the past decade, (Red Fish & Twighlight). Wine list had choices at lower and medium price point. The Classic Italian dishes are this restaurant's "sweet spot". Pasta and veal are excellent. Small space, so expect to be seated next to someone as you would in NYC.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Best Italian restaurant in SanibelOpenTable Diner Since 2014Dined on 3/29/2014The food here is always exceptional. You can see the chef at work when you walk into the restaurant and see the kind of care and attention he gives to every single plate. If you love top-notch Italian food, you have to eat here. The restaurant is small and intimate, but casual like almost everything in Sanibel. We ate here on our first night in Sanibel and made a restaurant for two days later before we even finished the meal, it was so good.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.