The Upper East Side’s Il Tesoro is out to prove that this quiet Italian eatery is not just the replacement for the popular neighborhood restaurant, Primavera, which closed a few years ago.
Headed by James Beard-honored chef A.J. Black, Il Tesoro has just released a new spring menu that puts unusual twists and updates on classic Italian cuisine and seafood, like the tangy and meaty flavor combination of the grilled octopus appetizer served over green apple.
Much of the spring menu takes what a restaurant patron might expect from Italian eatery and flips those expectations on their heads. For instance, the pappardelle, a familiar staple at an Italian eatery, is made with chick peas, and topped with goat ragu.
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One of the appetizers, “prosciutto i melone,” is plated differently than your Italian grandmother used to serve. The fresh prosciutto is rolled around slices of fontina cheese and served with melon balls on the side.
For the pasta course, the fregola, a fairly-unusual Sicilian pasta similar to couscous, is cooked with jalapeño pesto, giving the pesto dish a seriously spicy kick.
“Il Tesoro has become a neighborhood staple for locals who look forward to seeing what’s next from chef Black, who believes that the only art you can eat is food,” said a representative from Il Tesoro.
For updates on Il Tesoro’s menu, check out their website.
Joanna Fantozzi is an Associate Editor with The Daily Meal. Follow her on Twitter @JoannaFantozzi