This week the JW Marriott Marco Island Beach Resort begins welcoming resort guests to Tesoro, its new “adult-exclusive culinary gem.”

The unveiling of the restaurant is being called a “major milestone” in the resort’s $320 million renovation, which began in 2015 and included a new grand front entrance, reimagined lobby, transformed guestrooms and suites, expanded pool decks, and exciting additions to the property’s culinary offerings.

On Sept. 15, the JW Marriott Marco Island Beach Resort unveiled 10K Alley, a combination gastropub and state-of-the-art gaming emporium located on the fifth floor of the new Lanai Tower. 

Fittingly named after the Italian and Spanish words for “treasure,” Tesoro expects to dazzle guests with its “inventive menu, chic decor and panoramic fifth floor views of the Gulf of Mexico.” The second syllable of its name – “oro” – means “gold” in Italian and Spanish, which, according to a press release from the company, is appropriate “as one of Marco Island’s true treasures are the golden sunsets that guests and locals can experience at new heights on the outdoor patio while enjoying this experiential dining destination.”

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“As we continue to redefine paradise with the amenities we introduce at our new Lanai Tower, we seek to push the boundaries of what guests can expect to find here,” said Charles Albanos, director of food and beverage. “Tesoro will offer an unmatched culinary experience alongside an atmosphere fitting of our luxurious resort. From the moment they walk in the door, guests will feel as if they have been transported to a seaside Mediterranean locale, replete with delicious tapas, handcrafted cocktails and a contemporary lounge ambience not found anywhere else in the destination.”

The new restaurant will showcase coastal Mediterranean cuisine prepared to highlight the essential flavors of France, Italy, Spain and Greece. JW Marriott Marco Island Executive Chef Eric Vasta describes Tesoro’s menu as one that was designed to “celebrate the bountiful offerings from the neighboring Gulf, such as whole grilled local catches and a fresh raw and chilled display serving local and imported seafood.”

These items accompanied by fresh baked pita, black baba ganoush, sliced pata negra, carbonara flat bread and a selection of fine cheeses.

The kitchen at Tesoro will be led by “Chef de Cuisine” and Season 14 “Top Chef” contestant, Gerald Sombright. Previously the head chef at Ario, the resort’s signature steakhouse, Chef Sombright will bring his experience to the new outlet, putting a personal spin on the Mediterranean delicacies.

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“The Mediterranean region holds a special place in my heart,” said Chef Sombright. “I have always been inspired by this cuisine, but it was not until I spent time in Spain that I fully grasped the diversity of flavors that transcend boundaries and borders. Much like restaurants along the Mediterranean, we are blessed with plentiful fresh seafood and local produce. It is thrilling to use these and be able to see my vision come to life for guests and visitors every night.”

At the sleek indoor-outdoor bar, guests can choose from specialty cocktails utilizing rare Mediterranean liqueurs such as Italicus Bergamot and Pavan, Sangrias served with a modern twist and a variety of Spritzers created with house-made sodas.

Tesoro will also offer wines by the glass from Portugal, Spain, Italy, Greece, as well as a reserve selection drawn from some of the most well respected producers in the region including Lebanon and Israel. Each bottle and glass can be enjoyed at the table, at the bar or in Tesoro’s contemporary lounge. 

 Tesoro will offer mixed seating to accommodate every dining style, from intimate dinners to larger group settings  – up to 140 people can be seated indoors and 100 people outdoors. The bar and lounge will be open from 5 p.m. until midnight daily and the indoor dining room will host guests from 6 until 10 p.m. (reservations are suggested).

Tesoro will welcome resort guests and members of the public aged 21 and up. Dalio Calado, the resort’s director of restaurants says “Tesoro is an immersive experience in a warm, sultry and modern setting. The ambience here will be beyond comparison and introduce an all new way to experience Marco Island’s famous golden sunsets with an atmosphere reminiscent of a seductive coastal scene.”

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Tesoro’s unveiling brings the luxurious beachfront property one step closer to the completion of its new Lanai Tower, which also features “Paradise by Sirene, a curated escape exclusively for adults, at the JW Marriott Marco Island.” 

The hotel reopened as a JW Marriott on Jan. 1, 2017 and began once again hosting large corporate meetings this spring, but the new Lanai Tower on the south end of the property has continued to undergo extensive construction and finish work.

The Lanai Tower is slated to open in November 2018.

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