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, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, BYO Wine, Cafe, Corkage Fee, Counter Seating, Full Bar, Happy Hour, Non-Smoking, Outdoor dining, Private Room, 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
The normal experience which features a r ...
The normal experience which features a regional menu (a region of Italy) where new dishes can be experienced or old favorites revisited. This night had some excellent choices from northern Italy which were quite similar to trattorias in the region. The wine was so-so and a bit over-priced. The service was very slow compared to normal (it is never really quick when a crowd is there). We waited almost 20 minutes between our pasta course being cleared away and the main course. Also slow to refill the oil and vinegar for the bread and slow to even bring the wine. It was a full house, but then it should have had more staff present. Some of the delays seemed to be linked to the kitchen having difficulty preparing. Like many of the waiters, ours was eager to please, but slow service was anything but pleasing.
It's a great restaurant; my family and I ...
It's a great restaurant; my family and I had a very good dining experience for my mother's birthday. The food portion was a lot bigger than I had thought. The vegetarian pizza was really good as it was baked in a wood-fired oven. The main courses seem to be a bit overdone though. My chicken was flavorful but a bit dry. My dad's tenderloin steak was ordered for medium well and it was drier than he had liked. Perhaps a bit of a sauce on the side would've helped. My wife's pasta was really good with lots of tenderly cooked and fresh mussels. The tomato sauce was spectacular. The restaurant seems to be on the side street and wasn't crowded on a Saturday night and we were able to have conversation. The open kitchen helped enhance the energy level in the dining room as well.
Wait table personnel could be friendlier ...
Wait table personnel could be friendlier. Please smile when greeting customers at the door and bring them to the table. I wonder why she kept staring (scary stare with no smile) at my party while gathering the menus. Courteous waiters. Price is steep but expected when dining in Il Fornaio.
Love the online reservation, but preferred the Il Fornaio's site (eventually linked back to OpenTable) because it's restaurant's site allows quarter to reservation while OpenTable allows hour sharp or 1/2 hour reservation.
Not really value for money as I can get same ambiance and food quality elsewhere with a cheaper price. Nothing out of ordinary that would me me want to be back.
We used to live two blocks down the stre ...
We used to live two blocks down the street from Il Fornaio. 25 years ago!! We loved it then; and haven't been back since. Until this week. We couldn't believe it was still open.
And still had the same menu cover. And the same delicious aroma. I'm too senile to remember if the menu has changed, though I doubt it has much. Our meal was delicious!
We highly recommend the place. 25 years and still putting out great Italian food!!
Nice setting for brunch. Well prepared ...
Nice setting for brunch. Well prepared food though some items came out cold, which I blame on spotty service rather than the kitchen (we've had this issue before). Pleasant continental ambiance, quiet enough for group conversation. Breakfast items a bit pricey, but would have been worth it if they came out hot!
Were seated on the back patio as request ...
Were seated on the back patio as requested. Eating inside during the summer is not as comfortable. Have had many good meals here but this last visit was given poor service rating. Not sure what the waiter's issue was but he didn't smile and was like a robot going through procedures. Too bad. We'll return but will hopefully get a happier server.
Truly terrible. Nothing about the exper ...
Truly terrible. Nothing about the experience was good. Over 40 minutes to get a simple breakfast. The order was not correct despite going thru things repeatedly with the wait staff. Discussed the poor service with the manager who noted the poor service but didn't really care to have follow up. Seriously overrated restaurant.
Selected to dine at this restaurant for ...
Selected to dine at this restaurant for my husband's birthday as we received a gift card. Waiter was extremely slow and hard to understand. Never acknowledged my husband's birthday, even tho we mentioned it. I ordered the seafood risotto not realizing it was made with squid ink. There was so much squid ink in my dish that my mouth and teeth turned black and it was extremely salty. Ordered the wine flight and something was floating in my cup and couldn't even get the waiter to come over to fix it. He was hard to find if we needed anything. Overall, an ok dinner, I've had better at similar restaurants for 1/2 the price.
Not much to brag about.. We were a part ...
Not much to brag about.. We were a party of 6 celebrating dear friends anniversary with dinner here (their choice). We had reservations and we seated early (squeezed) into a table that due to its location was very tight - and the restaurant was nearly empty.
Our server missed a chance to show off the restaurant by failing to observe that this was a large group, in a good mood, who was willing to spend to have a good time. His manner was dour at best, with no suggestions or guidance as to what appetizers were best to share, what wines were special.. nothing. Just like ordering a McDonald"s. We were well done with our appetizer when the food arrived. Several complained that the food was not cold but not hot either. The food made up for it by being bland and generally unremarkable... think Olive Garden. The desserts did end the evening well. despite having to beg for the dessert menu. Oh... no cream and sugar with the coffee as requested (they did take it off the bill). $400 later we left unimpressed and vowing not to be back. Oh.. as our dinner wound toward 9.30 ish, the service really dropped off..as the staff was too busy pre-closing for an early exit on a Saturday night. Guess I can't blame them ... I wanted out too.
The ambiance was dull...Lots of people w ...
The ambiance was dull...Lots of people walking around in suits but did not observe the customers needed service. The service was unprofessional slow and poor. Water refreshment was slow. Table clearing was slow. Check was slow. The management did not observe that tables needed attention they just kept walking around being "busy". The kitchen was obviously slow as the chefs were chatting...but the food took too long to come out.
The food was good, but it will take much to get me back there.
A delicious meal as usual. Refilling oil ...
A delicious meal as usual. Refilling oil and vinegar for the bread was bit slow, but otherwise the courses arrived in a timely fashion. Tried the special Amatriciano pasta where a portion was donated to earthquake victims in Italy. The pasta was great and the cause was to be applauded. Recommended wine was nothing special and a bit overpriced. We'll be back for a sample of Venetian cuisine.
Restaurant was quiet on the evening we v ...
Restaurant was quiet on the evening we visited, only about 1/4 filled. Hope this is not an omen of declining business. Made for delightful conversation and ambiance. Food not quite as good as last time due to a chef's error in omitting a key ingredient on the entree and disappointment with the salad and soup (both bland and uninteresting) and one of the daily specials was NOT available that day. Service top notch as usual. We often visit because of the changing menu featuring different regions, but no special region this time, thus the daily menu.
The table was ready when we arrived. The ...
The table was ready when we arrived. The waiter was attentive to our needs. When the food arrived, both plates and the the food were cold. My friend had salmon and I had seafood w/pasta. The salmon was not even warm to the touch, the clams and mussels were room temperature. The waiter took them back and it appears the plates were microwaved. The salmon was now over cooked so the waiter replaced the dish while I ate my pasta, which was now dried out, while waiting for the salmon. We did not eat together. The waiter, without being asked, offered us a free desert. It was not a fair trade.
I wasn't happy with our dinner. There wa ...
I wasn't happy with our dinner. There was a problem with the order and it took forever to get the food. Any restaurant would have offered a discount given the very long wait but Il Fornaio didn't. I also found that the place was overpriced.
third time we our group (6-12 of us) ha ...
third time we our group (6-12 of us) have come to Il Fornaio for our business meeting and monthly gathering...we have been graced with great service - food - and making sure not only the grown ups are taken care of - but the kids that need to come - during the summer -
we will return - thanks to the staff for making sure the 9 month to 90+ year olds are taken care of in a most gracious way...
Horrible experience. We ordered and wait ...
Horrible experience. We ordered and waited 45 minutes before the food came. At that point only 3 of the 4 plates arrived. The waiter then said, "sorry, we are out of your pasta and are getting more." So 3 of us ate while the fourth sat and watched. Finally the last plate arrived as everyone else was done. I also had noted on open table that it was a special occasion, a bday lunch, and no one at the restaurant even acknowledge such.
Service was very slow! One waitress fo ...
Service was very slow! One waitress for our entire crowded section. Took a very very long time to bring one drink! I got it right as I received my meal and it wasn't made right so they remade it and delivered it as I finished my meal
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