We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Il Terrific”
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 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.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
3  Thank Robin B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviews (53)
Traveler rating
Traveler type
Time of year

28 - 32 of 53 reviews

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.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
2  Thank Paula S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 22, 2013

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.....:)

2  Thank Cliff D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 13, 2013

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.

2  Thank Andrew W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed Il Tesoro also viewed


Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing