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Il Tesoro-Sanibel
Il Tesoro-Sanibel

Il Tesoro-Sanibel Details

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://www.iltesoro.net
  • Email: iltesoro@me.com
  • Phone: (239) 395-4022
  • Hours of Operation: Dinner Nightly: 5:00pm - 10:00pm
  • Payment Options: AMEX, MasterCard, Visa
  • Cuisine: 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.

Getting there

  • Cross Street: San-Cap Road
  • Parking: Private Lot
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
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Service
  • Diners' Choice WinnerFit for Foodies
  • Diners' Choice WinnerNeighborhood Gem
Diner Reviews
  • "Il 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."
    Dined on 4/10/2014
  • "Small, quaint,; very personable staff. Wine selection and food were excellent"
    Dined on 4/8/2014
  • "I 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!"
    Dined on 4/7/2014
  • "Very 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"
    Dined on 4/6/2014
  • "Before 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."
    Dined on 4/4/2014
  • "We'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!"
    Dined on 4/3/2014
  • "Once 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!!"
    Dined on 3/31/2014
  • "Good 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."
    Dined on 3/29/2014
  • "The 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."
    Dined on 3/29/2014
  • "This was our second year vacationing on Captiva - and we knew we wanted to return to Il Tesoro. We will not forget it this time next year. It's a small space with a huge experience. As soon as you walk in, the fabulous aromas from the open kitchen greet you. Piles of anti pasta offerings tempt you as you are escorted to your table, and the mouth watering begins in earnest. A sautéed lobster tail appetizer with fried arugula had us all grinning, and my Amatriciana pasta was smokey with bacon and spicy with the perfect amount of red sauce. Desserts will remain in our memory for months to come - the lemon cream sorbet was exactly the tart and silky sweetness you'd die for, but the cocoanut tiramisu was the killer standout. Love this place."
    Dined on 3/28/2014
  • "We have been to this restaurant several times and to the one in Manhattan. This was the first time that we were disappointed. The hostess sat us next to the kitchen door. When we asked for a different table, she said they had all large parties (We were a party of three). Within a couple of minutes, she sat a party of two at a four table, in a much better setting. Our waiter could have cared less that we were there and pretty much ignored us much of the time. The food was good, but not the same as other times. I asked to speak to the owner, just to say "hello", since we go to both restaurants. No owner was there at this time. Maybe that was the problem. This was so unusual, but still makes us wonder if we will go back."
    Dined on 3/24/2014
  • "This is one of the best on Sanibel and Captiva! Great food and staff! Never had a bad meal here!"
    Dined on 3/24/2014
  • "From the appetizer to the wine, there are enticing flavors and presentations. We had a table next to the open kitchen and there were mouth watering smells constantly temping the palate. Cannot wait to return and try something new off the menu. the pear and goat cheese purses were delicious!!!"
    Dined on 3/20/2014
  • "Everything was wonderful. We had the risotto balls, chicken with sage sauce and the lobster fra diavolo. Each dish was cooked to perfection. The lobster tail was cooked perfectly, which I know can be easily overcooked and made rubbery. The fra diavolo sauce was even spicier than mine- very nice. It was our first time there and we can't wait to go back."
    Dined on 3/21/2014
  • "This restaurant brings a NYC fine dining italian restaurant experience to Florida. The food is excellent with many different meal choices and a great selection of desserts. The wine list is extensive as well with enough good wine to fit everyone's budget. The atmosphere is warm and relaxed. The service is first-rate. An overall great experience."
    Dined on 3/21/2014
  • "We made a reservation at 5pm to take advantage of the "early bird" special advertised in the paper. When we were seated ( the only customers there ) we were told that they no longer offered it. The ad was apparently a mistake. Nothing else was offered, so we left. We've eaten there several times. A previous experience also indicated that they don't like honoring their specials."
    Dined on 3/22/2014
  • "I finally had the chance to try Il Tesoro on Sanibel Island recently. It is an excellent Italian restaurant with many of my traditional favorites. We had the calamari and arancini for appetizers - it was the best calamari I've had on Sanibel (or anywhere else for that matter) and the arancini was a special treat (my aunt would make these during the holidays years ago). For entrees I had the lamb shank served "oso buco" style over risotto. It was very moist and flavorful. My wife had the sea bass special which was very nicely prepared - she thoroughly enjoyed how perfectly cooked and flakey it was. We will definitely go again....maybe tonight?"
    Dined on 3/21/2014
  • "Delicious fare in a cozy, comfortable setting. Full Italian menu, a dish for every taste with tempting antipasto, a very good Italian chicken egg drop soup, a creative and unusual special of pork chop Marsala on mushroom polenta, house made papparadele pasta and an outstanding Bolognese sauce. Service was good but not obtrusive. A homey atmosphere and friendly vibe."
    Dined on 3/12/2014
  • "Il Tesoro never disappoints. The menu continues to have variety, reasonably priced, very good wines are available and the service is first rate. Even on Valentines Day we found no reason to leave disappointed. One note for the chef would be to further "char" the calamari on the squid salad for greater flavor."
    Dined on 2/14/2014
  • "We had our wine and first course within minutes of being seated. The food is all from scratch Italian. The wait staff is wonderful and always instantly at your table before you knew you needed them! Best valentines dinner ever!"
    Dined on 2/14/2014
  • "Il Tesoro is a small restaurant, tucked into the heart of Sanibel Island. With only about 14 tables, it's intimate and cozy. The style is old Florida. We went early for Valentine's Day dinner. From the friendly greeting and prompt seating, we were served by a courteous and engaged waiter who paid attention to us, but never seemed to hover or rush us, despite the busy evening. The food was wonderful, starting with the best antipasto we've ever had anywhere (except, maybe, in Italy). My wife enjoyed a delicious braised beef rib, served with a rich sauce, over gnocchi, while I had shrimp scampi, which was light, fresh and flavorful. Dessert was a frozen limoncello concoction that was lightly sweet & smooth-textured. Highly recommended."
    Dined on 2/14/2014
  • "OK but way overpriced.. $35 for 4 raviolis.. YGTBM! Wine list large but limited selection by glass.. Better places for dinner on Sanibel.."
    Dined on 2/10/2014
  • "Good food with unusual twists...Love the choice between small and large plates....A very fun place for new styled entrees. Highly recommend!"
    Dined on 2/6/2014
  • "Food is very medoicare and the service can best be described as snobish."
    Dined on 2/8/2014
  • "Great food, good service, quaint location in an old home on sanibel. Art gallery next door is very nice as well."
    Dined on 2/8/2014
  • "3 guests had pasta dishes that pleased each of them. One had the braised short ribs which were excellent. Great bottles of Italian white (Pinot Grigio) and red (Montepulciano). Service was very good and attentive. A good night out."
    Dined on 2/3/2014
  • "My wife and I decided to give this spot a try. The staff was very friendly but our food just didn't have much taste or flavor. Given the price point of this restaurant, I would not recommend it."
    Dined on 1/27/2014
  • "Last Saturday was our 1st visit to Il Tesoro, an experience so pleasant we made reservations for Valentine's Day. As middle-aged, frequent travelers who dine out at least twice weekly year-round, we have an expectation of quality at this price point. Il Tesoro did not disappoint. Wine list is short but adequate & menu offered several tempting options. Service was impeccable, our waiter pleasant & informative. Antipasto beautiful & delicious, Caesar salads crisp & flavorful. We both chose sea bass-it was perfect. Affogato and cannoli for sweet endings, & the cannoli was better than any I've had outside NYC or Italy. You'll find less pricey options on Sanibel, but dress up a bit & enjoy a memorable meal in a lovely little restaurant."
    Dined on 1/25/2014
  • "We have lived on Sanibel Island for nine years and this was our first visit to Il Tesoro. it is a small restaurant so it does get noisy and it is very popular so the night we were there, all tables were filled. The food was very good. Prices are expensive but most of the nicer places on the island are a little overpriced. Our waiter was a bit absent minded and it seemed as it each waiter had too many tables assigned to them because when you needed something, you really had to track your waiter down vs. what you would find at Sweet Melissa's restaurant where they come around consistently to see if you need anything. We would go back, we like good Italian food. On Sanibel, Il Tesoro is as good as it is going to get!"
    Dined on 1/26/2014
  • "Despite a small space, or possibly because of it, this restaurant hits the mark of worthy dining. The wait staff is friendly and professional; the food - especially the sauces- fresh and well prepared; the ambience reminiscent of a small neighborhood NYC restaurant."
    Dined on 1/18/2014
  • "I would not recommend to a friend. Overpriced for quality received. Much better restaurants in the same area."
    Dined on 1/16/2014
  • "Pequeno notável, excelente comida e serviço impecável."
    Dined on 1/16/2014
  • "We were 15 minutes late and they made it seem like we should be punished. My wifes wahoo was dry but the rest of the food was good. Not to friendly of a staff."
    Dined on 1/14/2014
  • "Il Tesoro is my favorite Italian restaurant. The food is awesome and we love the owner and chef AJ and his wife Joelene. My favorite is the Lobster Tempura Agrodolce. It's so good I don't even know how to put it into words. You should go try it!"
    Dined on 1/13/2014
  • "reminds me of Amelindo a seaside restaurant in Fiumachino, Italy"
    Dined on 1/12/2014
  • "The pear and goat cheese with greens salad was fabulous. Fresh made pasta frigatonni and a good Caprese even out of season with very fresh basil. Specials and wine by the glass are posted on a daily board so make sure to note those. Wine list is above average in cost. $55 plus per bottle. Atmosphere is lively as it is a small restaurant and tables are close but it feels cozy not cramped. We enjoyed ourselves and will go back."
    Dined on 1/12/2014
  • "Ambience nice. If the food and service had been better, and/or the prices lower, this would have been fine. The food was good, but uninspired, service mediocre and the bill to high for what was offered. Went with high expectations. Left diappointed."
    Dined on 1/10/2014
  • "An evening at this place will not be memorable at all. the food was just ok, but even more unfortunate, the waiter was abrupt, not friendly, and hurried us along, being insensitive to discussions going on at the table. A simple request for a small side of pasta versus potatoes was met with "we don't make any substitutions" Eating out a fair amount, we believe we're reasonable patrons, and try to be aware of the vagaries of different places, this just wasn't special. Instead, a little ways down the road try Il Cielo, a real italian restaurant, complete with wonderful food, ambience, and wait staff."
    Dined on 1/5/2014
  • "We booked this restaurant based on reviews on Open Table for New Year's eve well in advance of our trip to Sanibel. This was outstanding in every way. My wife had the lasagna which was traditional and delicious. We split a perfect Caesar salad. I had the best Osso Bucco. It was tender and tasty and fell off the bone. We coupled the dishes with a bottle of Amarone (also excellent) followed by a cannoli. You couldn't ask for better..."
    Dined on 12/31/2013
  • "Odd experience with service-we wanted to order appetizers and drinks prior to ordering our entrees- we were told no -entire meal had to be ordered at once"
    Dined on 12/31/2013