Il Cielo hosted a VIP festivity and Italian feast last week complemented by deliciously delectable servings of Pesce Spada (Swordfish rolls filled with crabmeat) Entrecorte (beef rib eye on skewer) Arancini (saffron rice with meat sauce and peas) and Polpettine (oxtail meatballs served in a spoon of creamy potatoes with gravy). Then again, some may have savored the flavor of the Petto di Anatra (slow cooked duck) or the Polenta alla Gorgonzola (polenta bites served with a creamy gorgonzola cheese sauce). There was also plenty of fresh garden salads, sausage and pasta galore. No doubt, from the ample sample of menu items, food lovers will find plenty to wrap their appetites around at Il Cielo. A culinary creation of Celebrity Chef Loretta Paginini, the opening of Il Cielo is being described as the fulfillment of a dream she had many years ago. "I've been teaching cooking classes on Sanibel for more than 15 years, and always wanted to open a restaurant such as this," says Paginini. Though much effort has been made to create a menu which can cater to all tastes in the community, Pagnini says her team has given the same amount of consideration in creating ambiance that will allow all to achieve "a dining experience" unlike any other. "People can come and be swept away," she says. "This is going to be the happening place on Sanibel... where something will be going-on all the time," says Pagnini, who acknowledges one component of any successful restaurant is atmosphere. Of course, atmosphere is simply something to be expected at a restaurant named Il Cielo - which when translated to English, means Italian Sky.
Renowned jazz pianist and recording artist John Weber added a little music to the menu during a VIP reception for the opening of Il Cielo, Sanibel's newest destination for fine Italian dining at 1244 Periwinkle Way. A former performer at The Four Seasons in Chicago, Weber was recently named host of National Public Radio's Piano Jazz Rising Stars. Weber will again perform at Il Cielo on the evenings of January 25 and January 26.