Sanibel's five-star restaurant, Il Cielo, reports it will reopen on Dec. 13 featuring new eclectic menu items and interior upgrades.
"While patrons will continue to enjoy a fine dining experience in our main dining area, a new more casual atmosphere is being offered in our Cloud Nine Grille for our seasonal residents, tourists and families who are seeking a nice, yet relaxed meal," said general manager Bruce Ronty.
Meaning "the sky" in Italian, Il Cielo, 1244 Periwinkle Way, opened last January to rave reviews from local food critics and enjoyed a very successful first season.
Ronty says the Cloud Nine Grille features an aesthetic, three-quarter dividing wall with a signature Luke Century glass sculpture running along the top. Comfortable booth seating has been added inside the lounge area while a number of corner booths have replaced the stand-alone tables in the main dining room. Outdoor patio dining will be available as well.
Diners no longer are required to wear long pants; instead, dress shorts and collared shirts will be allowed. The interior changes also allow space separate from the main dining room for private functions or community events.
The Il Cielo menu has been revamped with grilled additions like yellow fin tuna, local catches, pork tenderloin and free-range chicken. Specialties now include Colorado lamb, yellowtail snapper, blue-crab-crusted black grouper, Zinfandel-braised short ribs and jumbo shrimp and grits in addition to a number of favorites from last season's menu, such as mussels, traditional meatballs, linguini and clams, pastas, filet and lamb.
New items featured on the Cloud Nine menu include Baja fish tacos, lobster mac and cheese, a six-ounce New York strip, wild-caught salmon and more.
"Our goal is to deliver superb food that meets the highest standards of quality, freshness and seasonality and combines both modern creative and traditional Mediterranean styles of cooking," said new executive chef Neil Griffin. "In addition to the most popular favorites from last season, we wanted to evolve the menu for our diverse clientele into the addition of lighter selections featuring local and regional fish and locally grown sustainable vegetables."
Il Cielo will still feature a full liquor bar with a wide selection of wines as well as desserts. It's new executive team has a 20-year-plus history in the restaurant industry.
Menu items range from $4 to $38. Hours are daily from 5 to 10 p.m.
For more information, visit www.ilcielosanibel.com or call (239) 472-5555.