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“I love it!! Tasty, classy, friendly ...”
Review of Il Tesoro - CLOSED

Il Tesoro
Price range: $15 - $50
Cuisines: Seafood
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Private Dining, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Neighborhood: Upper East Side
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.
Reviewed April 8, 2013

It is an excellent restaurant in all the aspects - the interior and the ambiance in the place is wonderful, the food is unforgettable - I still remember the taste of Polpette ‘Siciliana’ - Lamb, Veal and Pork Meatballs and the Lamb Chops. The customer service was excellent. We were the last customers at the end, because we really had a great time and they waited for us very patiently. That this is one of my favorite restaurants in the City.

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3  Thank Antony068
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
iltesoro, Manager at Il Tesoro, responded to this reviewResponded August 2, 2013

Thank you so much and we look forward to serving you again. Come see our new outdoor seating and enjoy a place at the table.

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Reviews (53)
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38 - 42 of 53 reviews

Reviewed March 18, 2013

This is the second time we have visited il Tesoro and it is by far our favorite restaurant in the city! For appetizer we had fritto misto which was the best calamari and scallops I have had anywhere. My husband had the short ribs which I had last time it is an unforgettable dish! I had the spaghetti frutti de mare it was delicious. For dessert we shared the creme brûlée. A fantastic date night! The service is outstanding we will defiantly be back again!

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4  Thank jo_b78
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 2, 2013

We've lived on the Upper East Side for quite some time and have past this restaurant hundreds of times but never ate there. Thinking about something new and close to home, we received an email from Savored and decided to try the restaurant. It was excellent...great atmosphere, terrific service and excellent food. It's a keeper and a go-to stop in the hood.

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4  Thank arthshapiro
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
iltesoro, Manager at Il Tesoro, responded to this reviewResponded August 2, 2013

So nice to see that you had a lovely time at il tesoro nyc, thank you and we look forward to serving you soon, our menu always changes with what's fresh and available. Thank you so much and we look forward to serving you again!

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Reviewed February 27, 2013

The hostess sat my wife and I in a lovely table in a private side of the room. The server came to was right way to greed us and to take care of our drink order. When he came back with our cocktails he told us the special of the evening and also highlighted some of the best dishes. We shared the wonderful house made pasta appetizers nod we both had fish. The server was right on the spot checking how the everything was but he didn't have to worry since everything was done just perfect. We surly recommend this restaurant.

5  Thank internationaldiner88
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 14, 2012

Intimate and Excellent. Not to be missed if in the City. Off the beaten trail but worth the trip this resturant is destined to be a classic. Great food, Great service and Fantastic ambience. Truely one of the best overall dinners I have had in 20 years!

4  Thank Ramblinwreck13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
iltesoro, Owner at Il Tesoro, responded to this reviewResponded August 2, 2013

It feels like my home, thank you come back and see us more often. It is a pleasure to have you here with us enjoying the food and wine like friends do.

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