SANIBEL ISLAND, Fla. (July 17, 2013) – Sanibel Island’s Il Cielo has received an Award of Excellence from Wine Spectator for 2013 honoring the restaurant as having one of the most outstanding wine lists in the world.

Wine Spectator’s Restaurant Wine List Awards recognize restaurants whose wine lists offer interesting selections, are appropriate to their cuisine and appeal to a wide range of wine lovers. To qualify for an award, the list must include vintages and appellations for all selections, including wines available by the glass.

The Award of Excellence is awarded for lists that offer a well-chosen selection of quality producers, along with a thematic match to the menu in both price and style. Typically, these lists offer at least 100 selections.

Meaning “the sky”, Il Cielo is located at 1244 Periwinkle Way on Sanibel Island and features eclectic fine dining as well as the more casual Cloud 9 Grille.

The restaurant features three temperature controlled stand-up wine storage units that house red varietals at cellar temperatures between 55 to 63 degrees. The restaurant’s white wines are kept under refrigeration. In total, Il Cielo has a capacity for 1,000 bottles.

The restaurant’s inventory features 24 varietals with bottles ranging from $25 to $472. More than 75 percent of the wines are priced under $100, with more than a third priced at $50 or less.

Il Cielo’s recently added happy-hour menu in its Cloud 9 Grille with specially priced appetizers and drink specials will remain in effect through the summer. From 4:30 to 6 p.m., patrons can enjoy eight appetizers, priced at $6 each, and two-for-one drink specials on all domestic bottled beer, well drinks and house-wine selections.

Live entertainment occurs in the Cloud 9 Grille on Friday and Saturday evenings.

A three-course $35 per person price-fixed menu, complete with one bottle of house wine per couple, has also been added Tuesday through Thursday evenings from 5 to 6 p.m.

In addition to the two dining areas, Il Cielo’s interior also allows space separate from the main dining room for private functions or community events as well as outdoor patio dining.

Il Cielo features a full liquor bar with a wide selection of wines as well as homemade desserts.

The casual Cloud 9 Grille, located in the lounge area of Il Cielo, is ideal for those seeking a nice, yet relaxed meal. The focal point of Cloud 9 is an original glasswork called “Cloud 9,” which separates the space from the main dining area. The sculpture is a 20 inches tall by 30 feet long rounded glass divided in six sections that sit atop a three-quarter rounded dividing wall with booth seating in the lounge and table seating on the opposite side.

Local glass sculptor Lucas Century created the one-of-a-kind piece for the restaurant. More than 15 of Century’s individual pieces of his fine glassware and original works are also featured throughout the restaurant and are available for purchase.

The compliment to Century’s glass works are the vibrant and colorful paintings by Jupiter artists Carmen Lagos and Gustavo Castillo that are hung throughout the restaurant, all of which are also for sale.

Menu items range from $4 to $38.

Il Cielo is open five nights a week, Tuesday through Saturday from 5 to 10 p.m. For more information, visit or call 239-472-5555.