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Il Tesoro

1578 First Ave., 82nd East, New York City, NY 10028
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Special Offer
Half Off Upscale Italian Cuisine at IL Tesoro Ristorante
Ranked #504 of 11,396 restaurants in New York City
Price range: $15 - $50
Cuisines: Seafood
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Restaurant details
Dining options: Reservations, Private Dining
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Cross street: 82nd East Street
Transit: 4,5, 6 trains @ 86th Street & Lexington
Description: Il Tesoro There are nearly twenty thousand restaurants serving food in New York City. But at IL Tesoro Ristorante & Bar at 1578 First Avenue on Manhattan’s upper east side, owner and chef AJ Black isn’t just serving food... he’s creating art. You might even say Black was born with a culinary flair in his blood. Born in Italy, Black got his first taste of the restaurant business on his grandfather’s hip at the tender age of seven years old. Even then, AJ recalls, “I loved it. I saw things he was doing and I was always thinking of ways to do it better.”That passion lead him to the Italian Culinary Institute. From there Black went on to work as a sous chef at the Grand Hotel in Rome before spending time in France learning from some of the great chefs of the era. The results of that unique background have been evident in every undertaking of Black’s impressive career. IL Tesoro on Florida’s Sanibel Island, IL Tesoro at the Terrace on Martha’s Vineyard, and Villa Pazzo in the West Village, on Bleeker Street.But IL Tesoro on the corner of 82nd street and First Avenue is truly this imaginative chef’s crowning achievement. With the help of his wife Jolie, a multi media artist and designer, the couple have joined forces to renovate the 3,500 square foot restaurant. A more airy, etherial feel greets you when you walk inside with mirrors and ambient lighting creating the perfect feel for the experience. Outdoor seating has been added for dining al fresco. But we digress... IL Tesoro is, after all, about the food. And this is where AJ Black has hit his stride. Italian staples are always available along with meats and organic and gluten free pastas. Add an extensive wine list to pair with your meal and you have the perfect fusion of atmosphere and culinary delight. The culmination of a life long quest for AJ Black. The quest for the perfect dining experience. “When you come to my restaurant, I’m not just serving a meal. I’m inviting you to my kitchen. Whatever kind of day you had, I want you to forget it and get lost in the pleasure of a special meal I cook just for you.” Il Tesoro. Treat yourself. Because everyone deserves to get lost, if only for one evening, in sheer pleasure.
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29 reviews from our community

86% Recommend
Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
3 reviews 3 reviews
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 10, 2014

Food and service all were exceptional. My wife and I very happy that we found this restaurant. Highly recommend.

Was this review helpful? Yes 6
New York City, New York
Top Contributor
85 reviews 85 reviews
71 restaurant reviews
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 11, 2014

Went here on a Sunday night with friends and one child. The wait staff were very accommodating as they wanted to make sure even the child enjoyed their meal. Nice cozy place, tables are kind of close together, but all in all, it was a lovely meal.

Was this review helpful? Yes 8
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 27, 2013

We enjoyed a magnificent evening and were able to spend quality time together in the intimate atmosphere. It is very elegant and understated. The food was equisite, the service wonderful and was helped with the choice of wines. We felt totally spoiled.. Will definately return next year when on holiday again

Was this review helpful? Yes 8
Briarcliff Manor, New York
3 reviews 3 reviews
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 17, 2013

This place flies under the radar. It is excellent food in a "fine" restaurant. Very professional wait staff who do not have to be your friend, unobtrusive and there when needed. We had braised short ribs, fried artichoke hearts, octopus salad and tuna. All fantastic.

Was this review helpful? Yes 8
Roanoke, Virginia, United States
Top Contributor
59 reviews 59 reviews
36 restaurant reviews
29 helpful votes 29 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 7, 2013 via mobile

We first dined at the Sanibel location and loved it so much that we promised the owner we would try in New York next time we were there. Well, we're here and we dined there last night. It certainly did not disappoint. From the lovely charcuterie and roasted artichoke appetizer toe the refreshing Vermentino, to the awesome Saltimboca...yum! Service was... More

Was this review helpful? Yes 9
Short Hills, New Jersey
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
18 restaurant reviews
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 20, 2013

Great gem in a great neighborhood...the food was fabulous from start to finish...Branzino, Duck Cornish hen done to perfection. As were the appetizers of artichoke hearts and Bruschetta. The staff is friendly ,warm and welcoming. Its perfect fro date night, family evening get togther or business.

Was this review helpful? Yes 10
New York City, New York
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 7, 2013

This is innovative Italian food. The branzino was prepared in a creative and delicious manner. Also great was the artichoke appetizer. The restaurant is, however, expensive.

Was this review helpful? Yes 9
New York City, New York, USA
2 reviews
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 22, 2013 credit card Amex Card Member Review

A wonderful jewel of a restaurant tucked away on the upper east side. The owner is on premises to assure the experience will exceed your expectations on the food and the service. Menus change seasonally so I make it a regular stop. Great Food! Great Wine! Great Service! Check it out.....:)

Was this review helpful? Yes 9
Brooklyn, New York, Usa
3 reviews 3 reviews
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 13, 2013 credit card Amex Card Member Review

I've been here a few times since it's close by. The service has been good each time. There's a nice selection of wines. The short rib gnocchi was excellent as was the profiteroles for dessert.

Was this review helpful? Yes 5
new york
Senior Contributor
41 reviews 41 reviews
23 restaurant reviews
34 helpful votes 34 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 26, 2013

Went for a pre-theatre dinner and was pleasantly suprised. The place itself is very charming and old world(except for the music) John Mayer while eating italian is not my favorite. The service was fine(waiter a bit quirky but ok). Everyone in our party enjoyed their meals, so no complaints from anyone. Worth the trip uptown and will visit again.

Was this review helpful? Yes 8

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