Popular restaurant founded by an Italian and rival to Olive Garden, closing after 15 years with a heartbreaking message

A beloved rival to Olive Garden in New York will close this summer after 15 years in business.

Tesoro Italian Restaurant, a popular restaurant in Guilderland, New York, will close its doors on June 30 as its owner and chef Raffaele Sainato has decided to retire.

Italian restaurant Tesoro in Guilderland, New York is expected to close


Italian restaurant Tesoro in Guilderland, New York is expected to closePhoto credit: Google
Italian restaurant Tesoro is a competitor to Olive Garden


Italian restaurant Tesoro is a competitor to Olive GardenPhoto credit: Getty

Chef Raffaele Sainato, who was born in Calabria, Italy and emigrated to Albany, New York in 1974, announced the news of the closure in a heartbreaking message this week ABC affiliate News 10.

Sainato said: “I’m retiring so I can be with my family. We just had a granddaughter this year.”

“I want to thank all my customers and everything for following me for so long.

“I’ve been a chef for 40 years and people follow me wherever I’ve gone.”

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The restaurant’s website explains how Sainato started working in the food industry at the Italian American Community Center before becoming Executive Chef at Michele Da Verona.

After working as Executive Chef from 1983 to 1991, he accepted a position as Executive Chef at Lombardo’s in downtown Albany from 1992 to 2008.

“He and his sous-chef, Abdullah Zinneddine, have been working together since 1989,” the restaurant’s website reads. “Their passion for Italian food and a strong work ethic led them to open Tesoro, which means ‘treasure’, in September 2008.”

“Our family-run restaurant would like to invite you to come and show you how much we appreciate the art of cooking, but more importantly, how much we appreciate you,” it said.

The restaurant offers dishes such as parpadelle bolognese, tortellini alla panna and gamberi [shrimp] Fra Diavola.

Luckily, the restaurant is still a few weeks away, so fans of Italian cuisine still have time to eat there, even if they’ve never been there or want to reminisce.

Until the restaurant closes, the opening hours remain the same on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 12:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.

On Fridays, Tesoro is open from 12:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. On Saturdays it is open from 4pm to 8pm.

Tesoro restaurant-goers will probably be sad when they hear that the family restaurant is closing.

There are dozens of good reviews for Tesoro on Yelp. One customer writes, “Great Italian food. They have the best meat sauce.”

“The chicken parmesan is good too. The bread and balsamic olive oil dipping sauce are so delicious.”

Another wrote: “Tesoro is one of the few Italian restaurants I will visit. I can cook Italian at home, so I rarely feel like going out there.”

“However, if you feel like it, Tesoro is the place to be. They have a good wine list, affordable prices and a great atmosphere.”

The Italian restaurant Tesoro is scheduled to close on June 30, 2023


The Italian restaurant Tesoro is scheduled to close on June 30, 2023Photo credit: Getty


PaulLeBlanc is a Dailynationtoday U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. PaulLeBlanc joined Dailynationtoday in 2021 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing: paulleblanc@dailynationtoday.com.

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