Permanently Closed - il Tesoro

4.6
303 Reviews
$30 and under
Contemporary Italian

About

This restaurant is permanently closed. Il Tesoro Ristorante, our fine dining restaurant in Sanibel Island, Florida, was established by our head chef, A.J. Black. He was born Antonello Jacopo Maximus Cuoco in a small seaside town in Sicily. Inspired by his childhood on the island, where he fished and cooked with his family every day, Black got his start cooking for neighbors and friends. It was an act of love and a chance to work with masters of cuisine. They taught him to transform fresh ingredients from local gardens, mountains, and seas into delicious fare.
After growing up working in his family's restaurant in Rome, Chef Black refined his talents at the Italian Culinary Institute before completing his training at the famous Grand Hotel. At the age of 19, he opened his first restaurant, Cafe Roma, in the Laterno District of Rome, on the Via San Giovanni.
Featuring fresh, local, seafood-based Italian cuisine with a modern twist, we're Sanibel Island, Florida's, best place to enjoy an intimate meal in
What 303 people are sayingWrite a review
Overall ratings and reviews
4.6based on recent ratings
4.7
food
4.6
service
4.4
ambience
4.2
value
Noise · Moderate
94% of people would recommend it to a friend
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OT
OpenTable Diner
Houston
2 reviews
Dined on June 16, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Incredible evening!!!! Guiseppe the owner Is an incredible host and so helpful in food choices and wine!!!!
Wonderful evening!

BB
BarbaraB
Hawaii
2 reviews
Dined on May 15, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great food as always. Maybe even more quality and portions because of conditions. Considerate of spacing (25%). Felt very comfortable.

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Denver
6 reviews
Dined on March 12, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We love Il Tesoro! Its a staple on our dinner reservation list when we are on Sanibel. We are repeat customers and the other evening was no exception to our past experiences.....it was a wonderful meal. We ordered antipasta, burrata special and artichokes for appetizers yum! Pasta, Zuppa d’pesce and Chilean Sea Bass special for entrees no one was disappointed. We had an excellent waiter who allowed us to take our time and enjoy each course after we ordered.
The atmosphere is very quaint and its a small space (can be a bit loud if later in the evening when the restaurant is full). The kitchen is right at the entrance of the restaurant and you can smell and see all the wonderful meals as they are being created. Everything is made to order and definitely has a homemade taste. They take reservations .....and i would highly recommend making them well in advance during the busy spring break time. A sanibel must!

DK
DeborahK
New York Area
1 review
Dined on March 11, 2020
Overall4food4service4ambience3

Food was good but portions were not that big for the price. Small but cozy. Attentive wait staff. We would definitely go again.

RM
RMS27
Naples
9 reviews
Dined on March 9, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Great food with excellent service in a quaint setting. Our meal was wonderful from start to finish, with every course timed perfectly.

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Charleston
1 review
Dined on March 9, 2020
Overall3food5service2ambience2

30 minute wait even though had reservations. Six people put at a table that would comfortably seat four. Food outstanding.

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
New York Area
3 reviews
Dined on March 8, 2020
Overall4food5service3ambience4

Muy Rica comida italiana

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OT
OpenTable Diner
Columbus
1 review
Dined on March 8, 2020
Overall4food5service4ambience5

Everything was awesome—the short rib special was fabulous! But be warned: this restaurant (like many others on the island) has no liquor license. It’s beer and wine only.

G
Gabriele
Naples
11 reviews
Dined on March 4, 2020
Overall4food3service3ambience4

Mid week reservation ! Crowded, small tight tables , but authentic, like eating in Italian grandmother’s basement! Expect to wait for your table, despite reservation, cuz people just won’t leave ! Maybe they overbook!

Do not choose specials, which are doubled in price, vs menu selections ! A piece of sea bass, with pasta, nothing else, not worth $50! $30 not $50 ! Bread nothing special, but it should be for an Italian restaurant ! And don’t cheap out on the olive oil dip!
Italian wine selection decent ! Probably overpriced !

I won’t return, but will instead visit Il Cielo
on the island! Better value, better food & service !

WO
vipWaitOnMe
New England
12 reviews
Dined on March 4, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience4

We generally dislike noisy restaurants, but will forgive a lot for a congenial staff and great food. Everyone thought their dishes--salmon, veal, fettuccini, and angel hair pasta--were fabulous. We're here for a month and will definitely go back. It is small. Crowded. Noisy. But it's a warm and friendly kind of noise and while there was a small wait despite our reservation, the wait staff instantly appeared and there wasn't a long wait for food. If you like delicious food...give it a try.

O
Organista65
New England
32 reviews
Dined on March 3, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

This is our favorite place on Sanibel.The owner and his wife and staff do everything possible to make your dining experience excellent. The food is always delicious and wine selection very good.

5
vip5moons
Cincinnati
62 reviews
Dined on March 1, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Our first time at il Tesoro. A very quaint little gem on the island. We literally felt like we were back in Italy. Very authentic. Anti pasta appetizer and all dinners were exceptional. Seating is a little tight and it’s beer and wine only. We will definitely go back.

TB
TedB
1 review
Dined on February 29, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Food was Amazing! Will be back to try other thing on the menu. Small place so make reservations

B
vipBabbett
Minneapolis
8 reviews
Dined on February 29, 2020
Overall4food5service3ambience4

Compliments to the chef. Our meals were wonderful. Restaurant is quaint. Unfortunately the poor service was a disappointment that overshadowed the evening. For example, I ordered cappuccino at the end of the meal and received a half cup (I could see the other customers received a full cup). Also the dessert we ordered to go never came (but was on the bill). When we asked our server she said it was in the bag. She checked the bag and said it was there. Then she proceeded to go in the kitchen and get the dessert and added to our bag, never apologizing for the oversight. It was towards the end of the night (9:00) and it seemed like they just wanted everyone to finish up so they could go home.

H
Heisenberg
Atlanta
13 reviews
Dined on February 29, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Fantastic find on Sanibel! Our waiter Marco was fabulous and all the dishes were loved by our party. Very small dining area but makes it a nice experience. Can’t find these types of places in Florida much and especially on Sanibel. Nice wine selection as well. Highly recommend the fried artichoke appetizer and the Antipasto is a must. The house specialty Halibut over risotto and the Zuppa di peace were flavorful presented well and made for a terrific dinner. Highly recommend when visiting Sanibel Island.

LF
vipLikeFreshFood
New England
4 reviews
Dined on February 28, 2020
Overall3food3service3ambience3

I wanted to like il Tesoro as we want a new option on Sanibel, but it was too loud for us - just three at a table - and the food was fairly heavy. As an example, I had the veal piccata which was fairly heavily breaded. I also thought the wines by the glass were a little weak for an Italian restaurant.

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on February 25, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Beautiful experience, definitely recommend

JC
vipJayCee
Washington DC
27 reviews
Dined on February 23, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Very enjoyable evening. They were very accommodating when we requested to change our reservation to an hour later despite the fact that they were very busy. The service was outstanding as was the food.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Detroit
1 review
Dined on February 23, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Love this tiny Italian restaurant which feels as if you are in a tiny town in Italy. Incredible food and service. Love this place.

KM
KarenM
Chicago
2 reviews
Dined on February 22, 2020
Overall4food4service5ambience4

Lovely restaurant good food very enjoyable.

O
vipOutstanding
Indiana
8 reviews
Dined on February 21, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We had an absolutely wonderful meal and the service was fantastic. Everyone was friendly and accommodating. The risotto, the scampi, and a lobster ravioli were out of this world great.

DA
DavidA
New York Area
1 review
Dined on February 21, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Indescribably delicious Italian specialties impeccably prepared and delivered with casual but attentive service. An intimate setting reminiscent of a Tuscan trattoria. I would recommend it without hesitation!

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on February 21, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Service and food was exceptional. Physical space was tight but manageable.

s
sdsu98
Chicago
20 reviews
Dined on February 20, 2020
Overall4food5service5ambience4

The service was spot on and the food tasted great. The only issue was the wait was excessive for a 730 reservation with getting seated well past 8pm. If you wait outside, the mosquitos are out already so be aware or prepared.

OT
OpenTable Diner
New England
1 review
Dined on February 20, 2020
Overall2food3service2ambience2

Visit here every year and usually have good experience. This visit, we were seated at two top turned to 3 with one seat directly in front of kitchen door that staff go in and out of. Out three meals came out at three different times with 5-10 minutes in between. Server was unapologetic. Food was good but undermined by discomfort of experience.

Recommend that table in front of kitchen door is removed and timing of food delivery worked out.

D
vipDeshore
Chicago
15 reviews
Dined on February 19, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Delicious food. Small dining room. Attentive wait staff

M
vipMannophone
New England
27 reviews
Dined on February 19, 2020
Overall4food4service5ambience4

A return visit again on vacation. Salads were fantastic. Entrees - bolognese and veal Prosecco were lovely. Service delightful! Recommend il Tesoro along with a reservation at this popular spot.

DN
DavidN
San Francisco
7 reviews
Dined on February 18, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We love this place. We shared the lobster ravioli special and each had a different veal dish. The food was outstanding. Our server was excellent and gave great recommendations. We waited a bit long between courses, but didn’t mind - very European.

OT
vipOpenTableregular
New York Area
16 reviews
Dined on February 17, 2020
Overall4food5service5ambience4

Great service, excellent food, excellent wine list.

EB
ElizabethB
1 review
Dined on February 17, 2020
Overall4food4service4ambience4

A quaint authentic restaurant with a great variety of options at standard pricing.

z
vipzeker1
New England
79 reviews
Dined on February 16, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Excellent cuisine but a bit pricey. Fifty dollars for Bass seems excessive.

b
vipbills
Minneapolis
41 reviews
Dined on February 16, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great food. Felt like were in Italy. Great ambiance. Service excellent. Will be back.

d
vipdine60nyc
New York Area
15 reviews
Dined on February 15, 2020
Overall5food5service3ambience3

Very small Italian Restaurant run by the talented chef and owner. Quality ingredients used to prepare delicious dishes. Highly recommended!

MW
MaryW
E. Tennessee
1 review
Dined on February 15, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The best ever!!! Well worth the wait!!! Our favorite in Sanibel!!

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Columbus
12 reviews
Dined on February 15, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Outstanding!! Great experience. Great service. Great food.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Indiana
2 reviews
Dined on February 14, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

This is a very good Italian. Small place so not many tables but the food was to die for. A little on expensive side but you get what you pay for. Portions are large.

BG
BeemerGirl
Pittsburgh
39 reviews
Dined on February 14, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

This was a lovely ad unexpected dining experience. amazing food in a romantic setting with excellent service.

KS
vipKimS
Naples
122 reviews
Dined on February 14, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Valentine’s Day dinner with out of town guests. Everything was spectacular!

TB
vipTedB
Naples
24 reviews
Dined on February 14, 2020
Overall2food2service2ambience1

We were seated right next to the cafe doors that didn’t stop. No dinning guest should be put through the torture with a swinging door that when opened were too close for comfort.

Asked to have half of my dinner to be boxed and asked for more sauce since my lamb was very dry. Request ignored.

Very uncomfortable, dark, and musty setting. Valentines dinner was most disappointing.

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Toledo
5 reviews
Dined on February 13, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Exceptional food and service, never dissapoints.

FAQs

Permanently Closed - il Tesoro does offer delivery in partnership with Postmates.

Permanently Closed - il Tesoro is rated 4.6 stars by 303 OpenTable diners.