751 Tarpon Bay Road
Sanibel, FL 33957Neighborhood:
ItalianPrice: $31 to $50
- Dining Style: Casual Elegant
- Website: http://www.iltesoro.net/
- Phone: (239) 395-4022
- 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
63 reviews since July 29, 2014
- Ambiance4.1Noise LevelModerate
special occasion (40)romantic (37)fit for foodies (35)neighborhood gem (27)notable wine list (22)good for groups (2)late-night find (2)hot spot (2)great for outdoor dining (1)kid-friendly (1)great for brunch (1)Show More
- Have the Anti pastileroy999Dined on 11/23/2014We were stoked to have dinner at Il Tesoro full on a Sunday night in late November. This is a long standing favorite for special occasions and out of town visitors. The restaurant was full, which contributes to a fairly loud venue. The anti pasti, which changes every visit/night, was truly outstanding. Waiter was a little aloof and/or strange. But got the job done nicely. Meals excellent. Super Tuscan wine excellent and reasonably priced. This is an island gem that must be visited.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Mancha!SuzijacuzziDined on 11/20/2014Excellent service. Food is very good - had special of the day - sea bass over parmesean rissotto , cooked to perfection. Shortribs were excellent. Nice Italian selection. Appetizer of anti-pasto good, but limited "goodies" on plate - ordered for 2 people - came with 1 shrimp, 3 small rings of calamari, lots of olives, 2 pieces of meat, grilled vegetables. Tasty but small. Overall you'll enjoy your food since it's prepared very well.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Good findDinner56Dined on 11/20/2014El Tesoro on Sanibel is a hidden neighborhood gem. Small inviting restaurant with good variety of italian food. Enjoyed the antipasto as an appetizer which you can see the variety included as you walk in the door. The kitchen is open so can see chef preparing the food. Menu offers appetizers, primi (pasta) and (secondi) entrees. Would not say the food is complex just good italian at a reasonable price point. Only had antipasto and Primi this visit which was adequate with glass of house wine. House wines were also just fine.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- The food was absolutely fantastic!OpenTable Diner Since 2014Dined on 11/15/2014The restaurant was completely packed. Service was outstanding. food was outstanding and presentation could not have been better. If you go you must have the Egg Plant Tower. You must make reservations and I would suggest up to a week in advance.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- One of Three Decent places in SW FLLuv2dineDined on 11/7/2014Always a good meal. In the Fort Meyers, Sanibel/Captiva the food scene is deplorable. Il Tesaro, Sangria Grill, and Sweet Melissa's keep us from despondancy. The Antipasti is always great as is the Lasagna. A very nice wine selection. However, the heavy wine glasses don't do the wine justice. So forgo the $100+ selections. Otherwise always well done in an intimate setting.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- FabulousOpenTable Diner Since 2014Dined on 11/4/2014This is my absolute favorite restaurant. The atmosphere is quaint, country Italian and a bit artsy. The food is awesome. Been there about 6 times and always a perfect experience.Special Features:
- True Italian Treasure on SanibelBarryVIPDined on 11/2/2014This was our second time dining at Il Tesoro on Sanibel. Both experiences have been superb. The ambiance is quirky-classic with musak reminiscent of The Godfather era. The service is very attentive and helpful. We took a bottle of Amarone with us, and the waiter expertly decanted it through a Venturi aerator. The cuisine is absolutely authentic classic Italian. First courses were superb with house made mozzarella featured in the Caprese as well as the Eggplant Tower. My wife's swordfish Toscana style served over risotto was perfect, as was my Mare e Monti of shrimp and Italian sausage. The meal came to an appropriate climax with cannoli fit for the gods. Don't miss it.Special Features:
- Tony saysTonyDined on 11/1/2014Amazing food, this place is always on top of our list for Italian food in the area.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- OpenTable Diner Since 2014Dined on 11/1/2014Pleasant atmosphere and excellent service. Entrees were very good but calamari was quite rubbery. No liquor here just wine...Special Features:
- Good italian foodOpenTable Diner Since 2013Dined on 11/1/2014Food at Il Tersoro - Sanibel is quite good. However, the restaurant is so crowded and small that it ruins the dining experience. When you hear the waitstaff say that they need to turn tables quickly ( this is not a low cost italian eatery), it is not a good sign. My suggestion is to try and get there when they first open before it fills with customers.Special Features:
- A little taste of Italy in SanibelJhhohmanVIPDined on 10/30/2014I wouldn't normally order EEG while on the island, but their short ribs are amazing, braised in a tomato sauce with onions and carrots, the gnocchi are good,though i am not normally a fan of gnocchi. Husband got the linguini mare, sausage and shrimp, quite the combo. If you are wondering, yes the antipasti is worth it.Special Features:
- Glen&JeanneHappyguestDined on 10/25/2014OUR FIRST VISIT, HOPE TO RETURN TO THIS GEM OF A DINNING EXPERIENCE!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- We always eatatIl TesoroDBV52149Dined on 10/22/2014When our 4 year old didn't like his meal they made pasta and sauce, which is not on the menu, for him to eat.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Real Italian Food In Southwest FlMozziVIPDined on 10/12/2014Being from New England and also being Italain always make it difficult to find great Italain food that measures up to our expectations. We had an incredible meal here while on vacation with me family. The atmosphere was excellent with the open kitchen and the meals were cooked to order with amazing flavor and fresh local seafood. The Linguine Ai Frutti Di Mare was homemade and was done perfectly. Our appetizers were the Meatball with Eggplant, Grilled Octopus and Tomatos, mozz cheese and eggplant tower.....all were fantastic. Bravo!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Superb!!the4boysDined on 10/4/2014The wine, the appetizer, and the entree were fantastic. The service was great. Great place for an intimate night out. Looking forward to our next evening there!!!!Special Features:
- Always our best dinner outwaynoandjonDined on 10/2/2014We generally have dinner at il Tesoro every year as we vacation with our best friends. It never disappoints. The recommended red Italian wine was very nice and a steal at $40. The ladies both had the fish special and raved over it. I had the braised short ribs which also were great. They were recommended by a server an upscale restaurant on Captiva and she was spot on. My best friend had a nice pasta dish. The apps were also tops. This place is a gem and we will continue to dine here on our annual Sanibel/Captiva vacation.Special Features:
- DissapointedLeeGDined on 9/24/2014We were very disappointed since the last visit. The service was not on par with other restaurant on the island. Waiters were disinterested with an attitude. Appetizer was very good, but entrees were fair. Red sauce was spice and had a burnt flavor. Will not make the effort to return.
- romanticOpenTable Diner Since 2012Dined on 9/22/2014the Italian egg drop soup was divine. followed by two amazing entrees and finished off with a coconut tiramisuwill definitely will be a regular spot on our vacation every yearSpecial Features:
- OpenTable Diner Since 2012Dined on 9/20/2014Been here many times, this time the food was alittle disappointing. The mussels and clams were very delicious, however the salmon with tomatoes was disappointing. Salmon by itself was very good, but the tomatoes over powered the salmon. It was like a can of wholes tomatoes was just used. We will be back, this was the 1st disappointing dinner.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- The best Italian on the islandOpenTable Diner Since 2008Dined on 9/17/2014My husband and I have been vacationing on Sanibel Island for many years but somehow hadn't eaten at Il Tesoro until this visit. We were so pleased to find this gem. The restaurant itself is intimate and quaint, and the food and service were fantastic. The octopus appetizer was tender and delicious. The pork belly with gnocchi was amazing, as were my husband's braised short ribs. The portions are generous. Highly recommended!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Sanibel GemOpenTable Diner Since 2014Dined on 9/16/2014We have eaten at Il Tessoro-Sanibel three times and everytime it was excellent. The food and service is excellent. We prefer to go in "off" season because it is less crowded.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Unexpected FindJohnDined 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:
- The following 332 reviews are from the Il Tesoro-Sanibel reviews archive.
- 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.