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“Good Food, service needs improvement” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Il Tesoro

Il Tesoro
1578 First Ave., 82nd East, New York City, NY 10028
2128619620
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Ranked #1,064 of 11,776 Restaurants in New York City
Price range: $15 - $50
Cuisines: Seafood
More restaurant details
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.
New York City, New York
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
“Good Food, service needs improvement”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 21, 2012

We bought a Bloomspot voucher for dinner and made a reservation for 9 PM. We were waiting at the entrance for 30 minutes until a table was free. We got the Menue right away, ordered 15 minutes later. We were promised by the server that we get some bread and olive oil right away. When we asked for the bread and wine 2- minutes later, the server informed us that the bread is in preparation, still in the oven. The wine arrived 30 minutes later, a upgraded bottle as the one we have ordered was not available. The appetizers arrived 1 hour after we were seated. The food was tasty. After finishing the appetizers and main dishes, our plates were removed by a server without any words, he did obviously not care if we have enjoyed our food or not. Another server, obviously with much more experience, asked us after we were done with the dessert the question how it was. I thanked him for asking us, and commented that none of the other servers cared to ask this evening. He replied that the reason for that is that they were very busy. What an excuse! We finished our dinner at midnight (3 hours after our reservation!). So, in conclusion, a restaurant with a nice atmosphere and good food, the servers and staff need seriously more training. I would recommend to visit this restaurant, on a less busy evening, the servers might maybe provide a better service.

  • Visited October 2012
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
iltesoro, Owner at Il Tesoro, responded to this review, October 24, 2012
Service is as important as the food we serve you and we are committed to doing our best everyday.We always wish you , our valued guests and friends to enjoy the food and the atmosphere here at IL Tesoro, we hope that you were served in a delightful and happy way that we all want to be cared for and hope to see you back soon. Thank you.
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40 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    23
    12
    4
    1
    0
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Russian first
  • Any
English first
Atlanta, Georgia
Senior Contributor
40 reviews 40 reviews
18 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
“Wonderful time”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 21, 2012

Staff were professional and gracious. Food was good. Great ambience - perhaps a tiny bit too dark for my taste, but not something I'd insist they change. Easy to get to location.

Visited July 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“We had a great party”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 17, 2012

30 of us got together and had a great party in their wine cellar room. We were very happy with how the staff and chef took care of us, the menu is excellent, and the wine list is great. No hitches all smooth. We will return.

  • Visited February 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
iltesoro, Manager at Il Tesoro, responded to this review, February 21, 2012
We thank you for the time you took to review our restaurant, and look forward to pleasing you again in the near future.
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Fort Myers
1 review
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
“Perfect Neighborhood Addition”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 26, 2011

I was pleasantly surprised by IL Tesoro since I was a repeated customer at Primavera. They remodeled the downstairs private room into a Tuscan villa but kept the same beautiful wood panels on the main floor. The service was excellent with fresh vibrant servers and bartenders. The food was exceptional and I might say better than the previous restaurant. I had the steak while by wife had the Sea Bass. The prices were moderate for the area and the experience. I will be back again and recommend my friends to visit.

  • Visited December 2011
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
iltesoro, Manager at Il Tesoro, responded to this review, January 7, 2012
We appreciate all our guests and hope that you will return again for another chance to make you happy. Great dining is our passion.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Media, PA
Top Contributor
83 reviews 83 reviews
64 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 32 cities Reviews in 32 cities
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
“It is no longer Primevera”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 14, 2011

We made reservations at Primevera. When we arrived at the address there was no Primevera. I went up and down the street looking for Primevera only to discover that the location is now IL Tesoro. I told the manager that I was very unhappy that they did not tell me that the restaurant was now operating with a new name. The phone number was now changed so that all Primevera calls were being accepted without telling me that I was making a reservation at a new restaurant. Since it was on the upper side we decided to give it a try. The next surprise was that the first floor seating area was taken over by a private party and we had to navigate a very steep set of stairs to the basement seating area. The food was good but the table was next to the wine rack and the waiters kept coming over to the wine rack for bottle of wine. There are better places in New York.

  • Visited December 2011
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
iltesoro, Manager at Il Tesoro, responded to this review, January 7, 2012
Change is sometimes a hard pill for some, and we welcome you to start to be a friend of IL Tesoro like you were a friend of Primavera. Nicola comes around often, as he is dear to us also. We appreciate all our guests and hope that you will return again for another chance to make you happy. Great dining is our passion.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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