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New York Post spotlights Il Tesoro’s opening

By Staff | Aug 31, 2011

Chef AJ Black displays some of the sweet treats offered at Dolce Tesoro.

According to Monday’s edition of the New York Post, “The Upper East Side will discover treasure next month, when Il Tesoro Ristorante & Bar opens at 1578 First Avenue.”

The article highlights the latest culinary venture by owner and chef AJ Black, who owns both Il Tesoro Ristorante and Dolce Tesoro on Sanibel. The new Manhattan restaurant, styled to resemble a private Tuscan home, boasts a 2,000-square-foot dining room with 65 seats plus a private dining/tasting room which seats 35 patrons in a 1,500-square-foot wine cellar.

“The design will also include a marble bar, woodwork and Venetian plastered walls,” the article reads, in part.

Asked about what his reaction to the New York City tabloid’s story was, Black responded with a question of his own.

“How does it feel to be headlined and mentioned before Bobby Flay and Todd English?” Black asked. “I say, New York’s beloved son is back!”

Black, whose artist wife Jolie painted the restaurant’s frescoes, continued, “It’s not the first time we have been mentioned in the New York Post or the New York Times, but it feels very welcoming with a lot of expectations – especially mentioning our island home restaurants on Sanibel. (It’s a) great chance for people to know about our great cuisine with many years to come on Sanibel. (We are) giving a chance while others are having a hard time – it’s a dream come reality. Forty families more will have jobs to take care of their lives.”

Il Tesoro Ristorante & Bar will officially open on Monday, Sept. 12.

Black, who previously owned Villa Pazzo in New York City’s West Village, also owns Il Tesoro at the Terrace on Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts.