About Il Palio
Il Palio is an intimate restaurant in the Siena Hotel. We strive to emulate the best of the great Italian tradition of hospitality and quality at the table and in the glass. Our vision is simple – use the best local and Italian ingredients as purely as possible and serve them with comfort and pride. We cook as an Italian might in North Carolina.
Hours of Operation:
Breakfast: Monday - Friday: 6:30am - 10:00am
Breakfast: Saturday - Sunday: 7:00am - 11:00am
Dinner: - Tuesday - Thursday 5:30pm - 9:00pm;
Friday & Saturday 5:30pm - 10:00pm
Closed: Sunday & Monday
Franklin St. and Estes Dr.
$31 to $50
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
Private dining and meeting space available from 2 - 200. Please contact the Catering & Sales team at 919.929.4000 or via email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Ample, complimentary self parking and valet parking available.
Banquet/Private Rooms, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Chef's Table, Counter Seating, Delivery, Entertainment, Farm to Table, Fireplace, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, 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, Wine Bar
Special Events & Promotions:
Private dining available to up to 100 guests. Please contact the Catering & Sales team at 919.929.4000 or via email: email@example.com
The Ballroom at The Siena Hotel is beautifully appointed with natural light and can set up to 100 and receptions up to 150. It can also be split into two smaller rooms. The Terrace Room off of Il Palio is also available for events of up to 36 people.
Il Palio Ratings and Reviews
Excellent food, wine and service as alwa ...
Excellent food, wine and service as always. Authentic Italian food, great wood fire cooking.
Our waiter and helper were really wonder ...
Our waiter and helper were really wonderful, friendly, courteous, helpful and fun. A real asset to the restaurant. Sorry, I do not remember their names. Thank them for us. Our complements to the chef.
A 5 star celebration
We were celebrating my daughter's graduation from Graduate School! It was also Mothers Day and the four course pre fixe menu was incredible! Food was delicious and served beautifully. Wait staff was very attentive and helpful. A great restaurant for that special occasion!
Mother's Day Disappointment
The 3-course prix fixe Mother's Day brunch menu was very overpriced. $200 for 3 people. The meals should have been spectacular at that price. They weren't. Massimo, our waiter, was delightful, however.
We went for Mother's Day and had a thoro ...
We went for Mother's Day and had a thoroughly enjoyable dinner. The only offering, which we knew beforehand, was a three-course prix fixe menu and, while the food was very good, even excellent, I felt the pricing was high for some of the items on the menu. Had what was contained on the menu been known beforehand, I could have gone in better prepared on what to expect. But overall, the food was excellent, of very high quality, the service top notch, and a good time had by all.
Italian in Chapel Hill
Il Palio's is outstanding Italian cuisine. They use the local meats and produce, along with the freshest seafood from the coast to deliver really amazing Italian dishes. They have a very nice selection of Italian wines, including lesser know wines from Sicily. While service is good, it is the food, and the consistent food experience , that make this place really something special.
Excellent Italian food! Pricey, but definitiely worth it!
It has been a while since I had been to ...
It has been a while since I had been to Il Palio, probably since Adam Rose had left as the executive chef. However, since his departure the entire menu and feel has shifted back to that of a more traditional Italian Trattatoria than the previous fine dining experience that chef Rose offered. That's not a bad thing as it presents a more traditional appeal to the Italian cuisine. We started our meal off with a mix and match off the crostini list and also shared the meatball appetizer. This was something we did frequently in our recent travels to Italy. It was on point with the best we had in the old world. We then each had a pasta dish that was perfectly al dente with rich, flavorful sauce (can be served as small or dinner portion depending on appetite). The wine list offered various domestic and imported Italian wines to fit each dish and every budget. We finished off the dinner with port, coffee, and a dessert - which was also typical of our travels. The offerings were of the modern unique and traditional Italian desserts. The food is not the only highlight of the experience, either. The servers and atmosphere are both great, giving that feeling of being at the center of their world and receiving very attentive service during the meal. It is a bit dark (especially if you leave and it is still light out) but that adds to the romantic setting of the restaurant. Il Palio is a place that needs to be experienced, as it is a true tour de force on your senses. However, that sort of experience comes at a price. You can get in and out of there for a very reasonable price point - but if you go all out then you need to be prepared to pay appropriately for the experience. I never felt that it was unfair or overpriced - but keep in mind that for most people this will be a special occasion or date spot. Either way - however you get there you need to get there and experience the new vision of Il Palio; it is the finest Italian in the triangle.
First, the service and attention was superb. They were very helpful in describing the menu options. The food was absolutely outstanding. Very flavorful! The entire experience will bring us back.
Great new menu!
Since Chef Gennaro Villella left Il Palio, we haven't been tempted by Il Palio. But now Teddy Diggs fantastic menu will draw us back frequently. We loved the olive oil drenched focaccia and all of the crostini that we sampled (salt cod, chicken liver mousse, chick peas/balsamico, white beans/soffrito). Each of the pastas we chose was special (Acorn 'Fazzoletti', Cacio e Pepe, Maccheroni alla Chitarra with wild ramps), but it was the Fazzoletti that garnered raves. Ánd the Bombolini for dessert were the perfect finish. The only thing I'd change is the cup in which my Americano was served--cup that is perhaps appropriate for caffè latte. The thing was big enough for lap swimming! Be warned, the menu respects the seasons, so things like stinging bettle soup and pasta with ramps will not be available once spring has passed.
We particularly enjoyed the chicken live ...
We particularly enjoyed the chicken liver mousse crostini, the meatballs, the ravioli, and the cauliflower side dish. The servers were all very gracious and it was a nice atmosphere. My only complaint is that all of our dishes were noticeably too salty; this isn't usually something that I see at nicer restaurants (I.e., I am not someone who normally complains about salt). I don't know if it was an off night or if the chef just has a different set of tastebuds than the two of us do!
Our new favorite restaurant in Chapel Hi ...
Our new favorite restaurant in Chapel Hill.
Excellent service and food.
The pasta was to die for, and the crostinis were awesome. We brought some special wine, shared with staff and chef and they waved our corkage fee!
I like the ingredients and creativity cooking of the food. However, it is too salty. VERY SALTY. If not for the amount of salty in the food, I will give it 4 stars. Disappointed.
Absolutely the best and most authentic Italian food I've had in the greater Chapel Hill area. The crostini from the wood fired oven were delicious: baccala, anchovy butter, fagiolini, etc. Pasta was fresh; dishes were light and very flavorful. Main courses delightful. Great wine list. Chef imports the olive oil from a small producer in Italy - excellent! Great service, cozy atmosphere. took friends there three times last month, and will do again next month. Want to try every dish on the menu!
Lovely place. Wonderful hotel. Very atte ...
Lovely place. Wonderful hotel. Very attentive service at every level. Very good breakfast. I do find the pork sausage overlooked and that goes for both times I've had the pleasure. Looking forward to dinner next!
Dinner was fantastic, service was top notch. Mosimo was our server, and he took great care of us. Everything we ate was divine.
Very nice restaurant. Near to my home a ...
Very nice restaurant. Near to my home and there was good parking.
Italian at its best
The wait staff and kitchen accommodated our request for an antipasti misto start to the meal and helped our group of 4 select diverse primi and secondi that left room for dessert. Pasta was especially was outstanding. A great meal with excellent service.
Good food, bad math
The food was very good, and the service was fine but almost too attentive. However, we asked our waitress to run two tabs and, although the total for each couple was approximately correct, the lists of what we had been served were wrong, leading to confusion and concern.
Excellent dining experience
Dined with family for a birthday. Excellent food and wine. Extra nice service made occasion memorable. Incredible pasta!! Great wine recommendations.
Great as always
This was not our first time here, but the first time since the remodel and the new chef. The food was amazing, the entree was so good I ordered a second helping. Massimo our waiter was great, and great experience all the way around.
Not a great value. The restaurant no lo ...
Not a great value. The restaurant no longer has the Mediterranean ambiance it had years ago. Just a modern, rather cold, over-priced place to eat. The food was good, but not worth the price. Squid's in Chapel Hill would have been much better.
Special night out
Took my husband, son, and a friend to celibrate birthdays for all three. A bit nervous as I had never been there, picked it totally from the website, AND we are from out of town. Arrived a little early so we were seated at the bar. We were immediately given total attention. After going to our table, our fabulous server introduced himself. From the specials to pairings, he helped us with decisions for the entire table attention to detail was great. Did not hover but he certainly checked the table each time he passed withou disturbing us. Portions are huge, sides are for sharing, and we had no complaints. We requested a roomy table and were not disappointed. This is certainly a great place to go for a nice dinner but excels for special occasions. Remember good food is not cheep and good service is not either. Well worth the price. Definitely would go back !
Sienna a little disappointing
We had hoped for a five star experience, but the Sienna restaurant not quite there. The pasta was good and the fish (though very boney!) was flavorful, but the vegetables (served a la carte) were only ordinary. We were not too excited about the desserts that we tried.
A reason to go to Chapel Hill (if you need one)
Whether for a lovely dinner, special occasion, business dinner or celebration - there is no better in Chapel Hill, The staff are professional, courteous and welcoming. You will never be rushed and every need is taken care of. I highly suggest that you take their recommendations - never a disappointment. The food is prepared and presented exceptionally well - and without exception. With several dining rooms, larger parties can be broken out of the main dining area and the noise level is always great for table conversation. I have been coming here for years and Il Palio impresses every time. Thank you !
Everything from my prosecco at the bar till the dessert and limoncello was absolutely over the top. Cant wait to come back
We enjoyed our recent dining experience at Il Palio's . We have dined here before but I was more impressed with the menu this time. It recalled the offerings of another favorite restaurant of ours in town that is unfortunately no longer around(i.e., Aurora). Keep up the good work, Ciao
Recommended dining spot
Everything was pleasing but the bold plate on which the entree was served. And the "sauce" that accompanied it was cool, not hot or at least warm.
Reach for the stars, and sometimes you overreach
Somewhere in Il Palio there's a great restaurant. If only they'd relax the service and nail the staples. I sampled it twice on consecutive nights, once with friends, once with a larger group and a limited menu. Ambience is wonderful - the noise is moderate and it's easy to talk. If only more restaurants were like this! The wait staff is "enthusiastic" - you could substitute "unctuous" - and service felt very artificial. The wine list is nice and interesting. We had two bottles with our first group, one I chose, and for our second wine they recommended a cheaper favorite of theirs that was significantly better (get the Freisa - it's great!). Dishes to recommend: the chestnut soup is beyond superb - it was memorably good. Days later my mouth still waters. The radicchio salad was excellent. The octopus is simple and excellent, and not the usual "battered into submission". The swordfish was well prepared, and the panna cotta desert is very tasty and true. Don't bother with the crostini variations - the salt cod was lacking flavor. I suppose the white bean version was okay. The chicken liver mousse received mixed reactions (I didn't try it). And don't order the pork and veal Cassoncelli ravioli - it tasted primarily of a charred brown butter sauce that bore more kin to soy sauce than anything Italian. In conclusion, my feelings are mixed. Il Palio is not cheap, the food went from sublime (the chestnut soup) to pretty bad (the ravioli), and the wait staff needs to learn the difference between being polite and smarmy. (Actually the dictionary definition of "smarmy" nailed my experience at Il Palio, "ingratiating and wheedling in a way that is perceived as insincere or excessive"). They could fix it and sort out the winners and losers - it should be a great restaurant.
Excellent food and ambiance
This is our second visit here and it was as outstanding as our first. If you are visiting Chapel Hill for an event this restaurant and accomanying hotel are go to places. Food was excellent. Authentic Italian dishes prepare with care. Ask for Massimo as your server. Will return again and again
Could have been great
The menu was very interesting, with varied half portions of pasta antipasto and mains. I ordered the half crab garlic pasta on a tuned pasta. Delicious, more crab than pasta, nice but not overwhelming heat. A bit too much oil. Rosemary focaccia, hot and fresh. My companions ordered a meatball and ricotta starter, cheese risotto (a main), bolognese and the ravioli. All very good less the ravioli. Modest portions, allowing for the possibility of multiple courses. The waiter didn't notice or ask why the ravioli was barely touched. It was greasy, companion didn't like it. Despite reservations, we were seated in what seemed to be an extra room in the restaurant, nearly alone for most of the evening. The bar was filled and vibrant, as was the first dining area. We felt as if we were nearly dining alone most of the evening. It was dimly lit in a deserted, not romantic way. Being out of sight seemed to put us out of mind... Service was slow.. Again not the leisurely romantic slow but they, we felt forgotten slow.. It became a joke as every course was served to one who didn't order it. We would have expected the server to notate designated to avoid this at EVERY course. Shame, it could have been spectacular...
Superb! Beyond Superb Even!
This was my first time coming to Il Palio after the remodel. The remodel is remarkable but even more so is the addition of the wood fired grill items to the menu. Chef Teddy Diggs is a genius and is the Best Chef in the US. NC has never had a more talented chef enter its borders before so look to see him clean up at the James Beard Awards. Chef Teddy Diggs is first rate! I am a bit surprised at reading the complaints some reviewers have over menu pricing. I think this restaurant is an absolute bargain and is actually inexpensive based on what you get for the money. I ordered the two most expensive entrees on the menu and appetizers and didn't even come close to spending the $95 per entree I spend at Bin 54 and Angus Barn which both offer $95 entrees on their menu. Here $28 for an entree gets you an entire wood grilled lobster which I wholeheartedly recommend. For $6 I added the grilled broccoli which was cooked to perfection. An absolute bargain and paired with an amazing Super Tuscan wine which was very reasonably priced for a restaurant (price is similar to what one would pay at Total Wine). So all in all I will start dining here again on a more frequent basis and I highly recommend this restaurant over any other in the State. (And yes I went to Herons the following night so I eat every meal out and have no problem traveling to dine and exploring and hunting out the absolute best our State has to offer). Hands down Il Palio is the pillar of NC cuisine and Chef Teddy Diggs is the shining star.
Tasty but costly
We treated our guests to what we thought would be a great evening with good food and not have to take out a home loan. The food and service were terrific, all four of us had different dishes and loved by all. When I saw the prices on the menu, I thought that somehow we had landed in London or NYC. If you want to spend a lot, you will enjoy the food. It will be a long while before and even if I return.
Menu is unremarkable. Food is good, not great.
For this area, prices are high--acceptable in a wonderful restaurant but the food here is not outstanding or creative.
Citrus salad well balanced-bright & smoo ...
Citrus salad well balanced-bright & smooth, not acidic with a hint of salt. Pasta secondi best as a half-portion. Brasato the perfect portion size for a third course. Wine list approachable & reasonable.
It all started with the drinks at the ba ...
It all started with the drinks at the bar. Great fun and conversation. Moving on to our table, our server (Dave) was both warm and helpful. He explained the menu, answered questions, and then stepped away. We each had a crostini
A new Christmas tradition
With our family "alternating" out for Christmas this year, we chose to have our Christmas dinner at Il Palio instead of Herons, where we have gone in past years. We were completely pleased with the selection on the prix fixe menu and the size of the portions was perfect: satisfying but not overwhelming. We plan to make Il Palio our first choice for future empty-nest Christmases! My only demerit is the lack of tablecloths. I know it's the way things are done now, but for a $68 meal, I think it's fair to expect comensurate linens.
Great Food--Great Place
This was a fantastic find. Well, the restaurant had been recommended to me, but we had never tried it. Looking for something open on Christmas day, my fiancée suggested. Wow--what a special gift she gave to me/us. From the time we entered the restaurant to the time we departed, the staff made us feel like we were their only guests. And the courses? Great choices and great preparation. I found myself thinking I was back in Roma again.
Hurry up and eat
The experience at Il Palio was enjoyable except for one thing--we felt we were rushed through our meal. We were served our 3rd course when other tables that were seated before we arrived were still on their first. Twice our server came to ask if she could remove our plates, and we were still eating. When you spend almost $100 per person for a meal, you don't expect this kind of treatment.
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