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
I have been coming to this restaurant fo ...
I have been coming to this restaurant for years -- decades, actually -- and perhaps that is the problem. I have watched it go steadily down hill. My dining experience on Wednesday (a birthday celebration) was a huge disappointment. Despite a reservation, we were seated in a distant corner of the restaurant which would have been better suited for storage space. Our waiter was disinterested in us and the food was mediocre at best. My entre tasted like it had been left over from the day before, then reheated and promoted as the daily special. I've given this restaurant more than enough chances to prove me wrong, but I keep leaving disappointed with all aspects of the experience. Now I think I've finally learned my lesson and will no longer be dining here. Sad.
To begin with we set a reservation for 8 ...
To begin with we set a reservation for 8:00pm and arrived on time. We approached the maitre de and his assistant and informed them that I had an open table reservations for 8pm. As usual I asked for my open table reservation and announced who I was.They both looked at us as though we were aliens newly arrived from Mars. Before they even responded another group came in after us for a party of six and they greeted them with acknowledgement and sat them down. Then they came back and talked about us right in front of us about where they could seat us. Then I piped up where is our table they asked us if we wanted to eat outside- I said no...5 minutes later they take us on a trip to the very back of the restaurant and there we sat for ten minutes watching the table of 6 who was seated before us get a waiter and bread etc...my wife was finally able to flag down a server who had not been assigned our table but nevertheless took care of us...he did a good job and we ordered and was served our dinner. However we noticed the Maitre D come back to our area with water to personally serve water to an adjacent table...he never came over to ask if we were ok and did we need anything? Incredibly bad service and rude to say the least. We also witnessed a a server bring back a tray of steaks etc. to our small area and perseverated over who to serve it to -never asking us if this was for us...this went on for over 5 minutes until this server figured out it was for a table in the back. This was supposed to be our thanksgiving dinner and a fun night out. And this restaurant was supposed to be highly rated? I don't know about that... and will never go back.
Thanksgiving 2016, 3 people sitting at T ...
Thanksgiving 2016, 3 people sitting at Table 15/1 at 6:38 p.m. Bottled water and bread arrived immediately. Sat 30 minutes waiting for the waiter to take our order for wine. Ordered wine which showed up at least 35 minutes later. Finally the soup arrived which was delicious. Empty soup bowls left on the table, asked a tall fellow in a red jacket would he please take the bowls. He took ONE bowl and then we had to give him the other two (he was in quite a rush). The table at this point was a mess - with bread crumbs etc. which NO ONE came to remove like it is always done in restaurants of this caliber. Next came the salad which we all agreed was bad. Again, no one came to take away the dirty bread plates or the salad plates. My husband then piled them up himself so someone would see this and take them away. NO ONE cleared our table of the crumbs, or all the plates piled up. Disgraceful to see the least. Our "family style" turkey dinner arrived in one big plate. There were six slices of turkey (two slices for each guest). The cranberries were NOT put in a separate serving bowl but were left to run on the plate into the food. Mashed potatoes were definitely only enough for one person and maybe a small child. We were given clean salad plates to put our dinner on. I gather they didn't give you dinner plates because then you would realize how little food there was to eat for $48 per person. There was no room for the turkey, green beans, potatoes and squash on these SALAD plates. You could only eat one or two things at at time. This was the oddest thing I have ever experienced with a Thanksgiving dinner. My husband finally told the waiter to take the dirty salad plates and bread plates away. Crumbs were still everywhere. At this point we lost all interest in staying one more minute and had the food boxed to take home. What could have been a lovely Thanksgiving dinner was a horrendous dining experience I just want to forget.
Il Fornaio in Palo Alto is consistently ...
Il Fornaio in Palo Alto is consistently very good to excellent. They may not be the hippest, and they are a small chain, but the food quality, flavors, and creativity with regional Italian food keeps us coming back. That plus it's not overly crowded and the pricing is very reasonable for what you get.
Il Fornaio gave us the quiet, accessible ...
Il Fornaio gave us the quiet, accessible table we asked for (because one of our party was elderly and used a walker), which was lovely. The food was good and the wait staff were attentive, pleasant, and helpful. We enjoyed a long, leisurely lunch, just what we wanted.
Only upsetting because we were getting a ...
Only upsetting because we were getting a salad - without bacon and requested a substitute of walnuts . The server said we have to charge you for Add-ons.
I said check with the manager since we eat here at least 4 to 10 times a month. She said she checked with the chef and it was OK this time.. but in the future they will have to charge. This is not a smart thing for a restaurant to do to their excellent customer - nickel and dime them
Il Fonaio has always been a standby for ...
Il Fonaio has always been a standby for us, however our recent experience just wasn't as up to par. I don't know if it was an off night (Thursday) but everything was just OK, but not as well prepared as I expected. Will give it another chance otherwise we will have to find another regular place to go to.
MY only consistent gripe with this resta ...
MY only consistent gripe with this restaurant—where I have many business meals—is that the service often forgets about you in the last third of the meal and you are then required to 'find' them for coffee, dessert, the check.
I have pointed this out several times over the years and it's still irritating.
We took our grandchildren (9 and 11) and ...
We took our grandchildren (9 and 11) and sat on the Patio where the temperature was maintained at a very comfortable level and the acoustics allow comfortable conversation. The kids always find there favorites, service was prompt and helpful, and the food and drink are great for adults as well. The monthly regional special menu always offers some new treats of food and wine. Always a favorite.
Food was disappointing - kids pizza and ...
Food was disappointing - kids pizza and mac and cheese were good, wife's pasta and my lamb shank were poor. In particular my lamb shank meat was mealy - like it was previously cooked stored them reheated at a later time. If eating here I suggest going for something cooked up on spot like scallapini.
We have been coming to this ll Fornaio f ...
We have been coming to this ll Fornaio for years and always choose it for special events because I has a festive atmosphere to accompany the great menu. This birthday was a pleasure...sitting by the fountain, great service, favorite entrees.. ! ! !
Mediocre food. We got a table 25 minutes ...
Mediocre food. We got a table 25 minutes after the reservation and we had made the reservation two days ahead of time. The table was near a restroom and an area that was being remodeled. Not a very pleasant experience attempting to ignore the long line outside the restroom
The food was mediocre at the best. Go some place else if you want to spend this kind of money.
Having made a reservation I expected bet ...
Having made a reservation I expected better seating. I had also mentioned it was my friends birthday. I did not necessarily expect a free dessert but a candle would have been nice. The service was very unevenly paced and the food was below average.
Our service was the worst....which was ...
Our service was the worst....which was such a disappointment as we have been patronizing this restaurant since it opened.
Our waitperson mixed up our order - brought the incorrect meal and forgot to put in a request from our table.
The overall service was inferior.
We were given comp cards for a free desert for our next visit - we feel the delay in our order and the incorrect meal should have been taken off of our bill - we were a party of 6.
Long Wait For Our Not So Delicious Food ...
Long Wait For Our Not So Delicious Food - Although we've had many great meals at this Il Fornaio, this wasn't one of them. We took our daughter for dinner and the service was almost non-existent. We ordered an appetizer and salads, then waited for a really long time for our pasta entrees. The manager graciously apologized for the lengthy delay and eventually she herself brought our food. My pasta tasted like it had been sitting around a long time and just wasn't good. My husband's risotto was disappointing. Our daughter was just grateful not to be eating dorm food so she didn't mind so much. Anyway, some adjustments with staffing would probably fix this and I will give the restaurant another chance.
Been a regular at Il Fornaio Palo Alto s ...
Been a regular at Il Fornaio Palo Alto since 1990's. Last visit was maybe 2 years ago.
This evening was the pits: we had a reservation for 3 people at 7:15, arrived and were seated promptly - but with a total lack of warmth. Then nothing. Nothing!! Absolutely nobody came to ask if we perhaps wanted to order something - for a good 45 minutes!!!
Unbelievable. In Palo Alto 2016 a restaurant can do this was beyond my imagination.
I actually waved my napkin over my head to get attention - to no avail. Absurd and funny, so I got up to grab any waiter to get us at least drinks. Finally somebody came but the total unresponsiveness and neglect continued throughout the evening.
I have never ever experienced anything like this in my life. We were among friends so just had a good laugh about the absurdity of it all but could easily imagine the embarrassment in a business setting.
Appetizers were ok, mixed seafood bland and the risotto was extremely salty with no other taste. Disappointing.
For $400 spent it was a disgrace,
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.
Please sign in to record your input. Thanks!
Report this review as inappropriate?
If you believe this review should be removed from OpenTable, please let us know and someone will investigate.