About Il Fornaio - Palo Alto
Il Fornaio means "The Baker" in Italian. This award-winning restaurant offers an authentic and unique dining experience. Specialties include wood-fired rotisserie and grilled meats, poultry and game; housemade pastas; pizzas from an oak wood burning oven; fresh salads and housemade soups; a wide variety of desserts; and fresh baked bread made daily from scratch. Winner of the Wine Spectator Award of Excellence 2007.
Hours of Operation:
Breakfast: Monday - Friday: 7:00am - 10:30am, Saturday - Sunday: 8:00am - 11:00am; Lunch: Sunday - Saturday: 11:30am - 5:00pm; Dinner: Sunday - Thursday: 5:00pm - 10;00pm, Friday - Saturday: 5:00pm - 11:00pm
$30 and under
AMEX, Carte Blanche, Diners Club, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
Off-site catering available. Please contact Event Coordinator for more details.
Valet parking is available for $10. In addition, there is also the hotel parking lot, as well as a public lot available.
Banquet/Private Rooms, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Cafe, Counter Seating, Full Bar, Happy Hour, Non-Smoking Area, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Personal wines welcome, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies), Private Room, Smoking Area, Takeout, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine
Celebrating 20 years in downtown Palo Alto, Il Fornaio offers 2 private dining rooms and a heated, covered, garden Piazza. Banquet menus for large parties features the best of Il Fornaio's authentic Italian cuisine and Chef Luigi's signature dishes.
Il Fornaio - Palo Alto Ratings and Reviews
charming, comfortable, quiet, great wait ...
charming, comfortable, quiet, great wait staff, convenient. valet parking but also parking garage across the street, excellent food, they don't rush you out to turn over the table. very nice. one of my favs! I have another resv. for 4 on 8/5
One of the nicest Il Fornio restaurants ...
One of the nicest Il Fornio restaurants we've been to. Downtown Palo Alto just off University Avenue. Next door to Garden Court Hotel. We were en route from SFO to our hotel and were looking for a quiet restaurant for a nice, relaxing meal. This Il Fornio went beyond our expectations! Service was excellent. We will keep it in mind on future visits to Palo Alto.
the lamb did not look or taste of same q ...
the lamb did not look or taste of same quality as some of your other dishes. It looked boiled. I was disappointed as I know you have the open flame and it didn't look like it was used at all to char the lamb. The cut of meat was also not very good quality -- looked like it was pieced together from several different loins and then wrapped in soggy bacon.
We have dined at this location over many ...
We have dined at this location over many years. This will be our last. We went at 5:30 on a Thursday. Had to park in the side parking lot and have to pass a bench where employees smoke and the ground and trash are filled with cigarette butts. Disgusting look and disgusting smell. When we sat at our table the wine glasses were dirty and they had to bring clean ones. We ordered the house chardonnay and it was room temperature - also sent back. The waiter disappeared and the hostess (who did her best) began to serve us and the tables around us. We had to wait far too long for the check. Entrees were OK but appeared to be tossed on the plate from a distance. The food, service and cleanliness are far better at the Burlingame location, so from now on we will go there.
The group (4) all really enjoyed their f ...
The group (4) all really enjoyed their food and thanked me for choosing this restaurant. Our waiter was excellent....friendly, courteous and quick. On our way to the theatre and we were served quickly so we had time to enjoy the ambiance and our meal with time to spare. We will definitely return.
The great meal and customer service are ...
The great meal and customer service are much appreciated. Very lovely and relaxing spot for a good, leisurely meal. Highly recommended. Wonderful new Manager was charming. And attentive. Thanks ! Will definitely return.
My husband and I brought my 96-year-old ...
My husband and I brought my 96-year-old mother-in-law here for dinner because we knew we would have a solid if not spectacular Italian meal. We also chose Il Fornaio for the feeling of being a classy restaurant without being Palo Alto ridiculous, price-wise. Interestingly, none of our expectations were met. The food was better than we remembered, but the ambience downright odd! We were led to a spot the hostess said would be "nice and quiet," but it was actually a bustling area where waiters and bus people went in and out of the kitchen, calling out loudly to each other, laughing uproariously and, at one point, being prepped as a large group for the evening by a manager who should have conducted herself more professionally. We did get to hear that they should "push the mineral water" and "upsell the wine," along with other bits of business wisdom for the evening which was helpful for avoiding those items. Other than that weirdness, loved my salmon risotto and my husband and his mom enjoyed the spinach ravioli stuffed with sausage. My recommendation is ask to sit in the lovely patio area. There are heat lamps and it's much nicer.
Did not enjoy this visit as much as usua ...
Did not enjoy this visit as much as usual. Our server seemed brusk and had no presence. Also, we asked for a specific table and were ignored completely due to some kind of rearrangement. They could have offered some kind of preferred table to compensate. Felt chaotic, like we were at a coffee shop. At this price point, that should not be.
This was my first time dining at this lo ...
This was my first time dining at this location. I've been a big fan of Italian food for year and truly believe that Il Fornaio does it right. The Palo Alto location does it right as well. I had one of the best risottos I've ever had there. Chef Michele was kind enough to modify one of them from their festa regional menu, making it completely vegan. Outstanding.
Beautiful location with a great back patio area. Our server was great too. They all seem to have excellent training and are well versed on the menu and wine list. We had the wine flight from the Campania menu. Wines we normally wouldn't have tried but turned out to be an excellent choice thanks to our server.
If you're in Palo Alto, try this place.
I have been to this Il Fornaio about 10 ...
I have been to this Il Fornaio about 10 times and dined in the Burlingame location roughly 75 times because that is more convenient for me. Il Fornaio consistently delivers excellent food, service, ambience, value. It is a wonderful place to go to if you want a great meal whether you are eating alone or with a large group. There are several dining rooms with just the right spot for your party. I recommend it highly.
We enjoyed a father's day dinner at this ...
We enjoyed a father's day dinner at this restaurant. On this day, 06/19, 216, the Il Fornaio Restaurant in Burlingame was booked solid, but the Palo Alto one has available table at 6:30 p.m. We had a good meal with great service and good food food. Off street parking was within 2 to 3 blocks of the restaurant which is right off University Ave. I recommend this restaurant to family gatherings. You get excellent Italian food without having to go to Italy.
Absolutely TERRIBLE service. Worst I hav ...
Absolutely TERRIBLE service. Worst I have had at any restaurant in the Bay Area in years. We were finally seated 20 minutes late, no apologies. It took 10-15 more for the waiter to get to us. My food was cooked incorrectly, had to send it back. My daughter's omelette was terrible. I could go on...
I have been to Il Fornaio several times in the past few years for both work and personal meals. This may be the last. I am extremely disappointed and upset. The food has deteriorated, but words can't describe the level of service it the attitude.
Terrible - stay away. There are many restaurants offering far better food, service and value within a few blocks.
Great meal for the price. We have eaten ...
Great meal for the price. We have eaten there twice; once for breakfast and now for late lunch. Each time, the food and service were great. Not too pricey, the ambience is great, and the food has always been great.
We went to II Fornaio in downtown San Jo ...
We went to II Fornaio in downtown San Jose for our second date and were both less than impressed with the service and food that evening. Our waiter never brought us the additional napkins we had asked for (twice) and had a tear in his sleeve.
However, our experience at II Fornaio in Palo Alto completely redeemed its brand with excellent service and great food. The wine list was impressive and offered wines from literally all over the world. We were very pleased and would recommend this place.
Great brunch spot for family celebration
We went to Il Fornaio for brunch before my son's recent graduation. We were a party of 12 and we were delighted to find that they had put us a in a private room with beautiful painted wall murals. With grandparents in attendance it was wonderful to be in a space where everyone coulee talk and hear each other. The service and food were also outstanding. Everyone found something delicious on the menu and our waiter was very attentive and polite. We were incredibly happy with the whole outing. Excellent spot, reasonably priced for good food, and appeals to young and old. Thank you!
What is with Il Fornaio and the air con ...
What is with Il Fornaio and the air conditioning or lack of? I've been in 2 locations in the last few months and it's been uncomfortable hot. I sat in the bar Saturday night, waiting for my date, and it was sweltering . The bartender apologized saying that he was embarrassed. Very uncomfortable setting.
I contacted the event coordinator, Eva, at the restaurant and told her about our special occasion for friends getting together. She gave us special table and suggested some appetizers which were ordered in advance so that there was no wait when the group get together. Service was excellent and the food very good.
We visited Il Forniao several years ago, ...
We visited Il Forniao several years ago, and enjoyed it very much. We were meeting a special friend in Palo Alto, and decided to go to Il Forniao. We are very happy we did. Everything was Five Star. All of us present have the same response.
We are actually HUGE fans of Il Fornaio. ...
We are actually HUGE fans of Il Fornaio. And it is my stated favorite restaurant. We go here for almost all special occassions. But for the first time, they disappointed me on this evening. It started with a very small service issue. We were brought bread but not oil and vinegar and had to track that down. The food quality was really the disappointment, though. Normally their bread is wonderful, a basket of different kinds, served warm. This evening it was a rather unexciting standard sliced loaf, cold. The soup was rather thin, also not served very hot, and had a sour taste that was unexpected given that it was butternut squash. My entree plate was not served cleanly - there were spatterings of sauce on the plate edges. And the entree itself again was not hot. And the tomato sauce tasted quite acidic, almost like it received little simmer time and not much spice. I had to add salt to both soup and entree for the first time coming here.
Anyway, I certainly won't give up on Il Fornaio. I'll give it a second chance at some point. But I'm a little sad at the potential dip in quality for a place that is normally so wonderful.
We picked Il Fornaio Palo Alto as its close to Lucie Stern Theater., and the place offers a brunch menu. The waiter was attentive, we mentioned we had an hour before our 2 pm show. I enjoyed my omelet, it was perfectly cooked and the potatoes on the side were delicious. My friends enjoyed their meal too.
Terrible drink service
Asked for an espresso Martini and showed lexi a recipe on my phone..he argued and responded that he will make it only "his way". Really didn't like his poor customer attitude especially when il fornaio is supoosed to be more high end restaurant. Some basic lessons on customer service desperately is needed.
fish was old
The fish was old and borderline inedible. The porterhouse steak was cooked at medium instead of medium rare as specified. And the steak was mealy. I got the impression that they were clearing out the stock room. Also, we ordered the Bisteca Fiorentina, and the Ribollita, both are classic Tuscan dishes. Neither tasted even close to what we expected. The ribollita had not developed the multi-layered flavors from slow simmering that were were accustomed to from sampling this dish in Italy. Someone show the cooks how these dishes SHOULD taste.
I have had better experiences in the past. This most recent dinner was a disappointment.
Had the worst lasagna dish ever (tough and doughy)
This is a beautiful and convenient location. I have had a few fairly good meals there in the past but this evening will keep us from returning. I can't believe a chef in that prominant location cannot cook a lasagna properly. My pinot grigio was warm and sweet. I should have returned it all for something else, but didn't. Never again.
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