About Il Palio

1505 East Franklin Street
Chapel Hill, NC 27514
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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.

Dining Style:
Casual Elegant

Cuisines:
Italian

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

Cross Street:
Franklin St. and Estes Dr.

Dress Code:
Smart Casual

Price Range:
$31 to $50

Payment Options
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa

Phone Number:
(919) 918-2545

Website:
http://www.ilpalio.com/

Catering:
Private dining and meeting space available from 2 - 200. Please contact the Catering & Sales team at 919.929.4000 or via email: astruble@sienahotel.com

Parking Details:
Ample, complimentary self parking and valet parking available.

Executive Chef:
Teddy Diggs

Additional:
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: astruble@sienahotel.com

Restaurant Photos

  • Talogonti With Pasta
  • Telagonti With Shrimp
  • Trüffelrisotto
  • Francobolli
  • Pavlova
  • Steak
  • Banana Cheesecake
Talogonti With Pasta
Telagonti With Shrimp
Trüffelrisotto
Francobolli
Pavlova
Steak
Banana Cheesecake

Private Dining

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

5
4
3
2
1

4.6

Overall Rating

based on recent ratings
food

4.6

service

4.8

ambience

4.4

noise

Moderate

94% would recommend it to a friend

Loved For

Romantic
Raleigh / Durham / Chapel Hill
Special Occasion
Raleigh / Durham / Chapel Hill
Italian
Raleigh / Durham / Chapel Hill
7 More
Best Overall
Chapel Hill
Best Food
Chapel Hill
Best Service
Chapel Hill
Best Ambiance
Chapel Hill
Best Value
Chapel Hill
Fit for Foodies
Chapel Hill
Special Occasion
Chapel Hill
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fit for foodies (39)
special occasion (39)
romantic (29)
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notable wine list (18)
good for groups (14)
neighborhood gem (10)
great for lunch (5)
great for brunch (4)
vibrant bar scene (3)
hot spot (2)
great for outdoor dining (2)
kid-friendly (2)
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Newest
697 reviews
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food4
ambience4
service5
value4

An excellent dining experience. Since ou ...

Dined on June 18, 2016

An excellent dining experience. Since our party of 7 wanted to try everything, we ordered a lot of things to share, beginning with four different crostini -- white bean, beef dripping, chicken liver and mashed green pea. All of them were tasty, but not particularly memorable. Next we ordered two antipasti -- wood grilled octopus and braised lamb meatballs. Both were excellent. Then we shared four of the pastas -- pappardelle with ragu, pork and veal ravioli, spaghetti cacio e pepe, and bucatini all'Amatriciano. The pastas are really the strong suit of Il Palio. All of the ones we tried were outstanding. For dessert, we had two dark chocolate souflees, as well as a dark chocolate torta and a slice of olive oil cake. The souflee was a bit of a disappointment. The texture was very nice -- light and fluffy -- but the chocolate was unsweetened and didn't really hit the spot for dessert. The olive oil cake was terrific. Top marks to the wait staff who were knowledgeable, attentive, and paced the service perfectly. A special shout out to the wine steward. Even though I told him I was not a fan of Nebbiolo wines, he made a strong recommendation for a Barolo which he said was drinking very well. When he poured me a sample, I told him that I just didn't care for it. He could not have been more gracious in agreeing to take it back. He then steered us toward a delicious super Tuscan that we all enjoyed very much. Not surprisingly, the wine list tilts heavily toward Italian wines. It is not extensive, but has a good sampling of the major wine regions of Italy and is not over priced. One more shout out to the wine steward. While eating, he heard me mention that I preferred my pasta Amatriciano with a bit more spice, and before I had a chance to take another bite, promptly brought over some ground hot pepper. That's the kind of service that makes a restaurant special and makes me want to come back.

Tags: fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
food5
ambience4
service5
value5

Great anniversary dinner, superb service ...

Dined on June 16, 2016

Great anniversary dinner, superb service, good wine. Overall great experience.

Tags: special occasion, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
food4
ambience4
service4
value4

Some exceptional items on the menu. Ever ...

Dined on June 11, 2016

Some exceptional items on the menu. Everything was good. Excellent service, nice atmosphere, reasonable prices for a high quality meal.

Tags: fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

20th anniversary dinner

Dined on June 3, 2016

Il Palio was the perfect location to celebrate our 20th anniversary. We are Italy-lovers and the food and ambience were perfect. The staff were very attentive and made it an enjoyable evening.

Tags: romantic, special occasion
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Excellent food, wine and service as alwa ...

Dined on May 20, 2016

Excellent food, wine and service as always. Authentic Italian food, great wood fire cooking.

Tags: fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
food5
ambience5
service5
value4

Our waiter and helper were really wonder ...

Dined on May 17, 2016

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.

Tags: fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
food5
ambience5
service5
value4

A 5 star celebration

Dined on May 8, 2016

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!

Tags: fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, special occasion
food3
ambience4
service5
value1

Mother's Day Disappointment

vip
Dined on May 8, 2016

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.

food4
ambience4
service5

We went for Mother's Day and had a thoro ...

Dined on May 8, 2016

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.

food5
ambience3
service3
value2

Italian in Chapel Hill

Dined on May 6, 2016

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.

Tags: fit for foodies, special occasion, notable wine list
food5
ambience4
service5
value5

So good!

Dined on May 5, 2016

Excellent Italian food! Pricey, but definitiely worth it!

Tags: fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
food5
ambience5
service5
value4

It has been a while since I had been to ...

vip
Dined on May 5, 2016

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.

Tags: fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, notable wine list
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

50th Anniversary

Dined on April 30, 2016

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.

Tags: fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
food5
ambience4
service5
value5

Great new menu!

Dined on April 29, 2016

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.

Tags: fit for foodies
food4
ambience5
service5

We particularly enjoyed the chicken live ...

Dined on April 16, 2016

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!

food5
ambience5
service5

Our new favorite restaurant in Chapel Hi ...

Dined on April 16, 2016

Our new favorite restaurant in Chapel Hill.

food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Excellent service and food.

Dined on April 7, 2016

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!

Tags: fit for foodies, good for groups, notable wine list
food2
ambience3
service4
value3

food

Dined on March 30, 2016

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.

Tags: fit for foodies
food5
ambience5
service5
value4

Buon appetito!

Dined on March 29, 2016

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!

Tags: fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
food4
ambience3
service5

Lovely place. Wonderful hotel. Very atte ...

vip
Dined on March 27, 2016

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!

food5
ambience4
service5
value4

Thoroughly enjoyable.

Dined on March 26, 2016

Dinner was fantastic, service was top notch. Mosimo was our server, and he took great care of us. Everything we ate was divine.

Tags: good for groups, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
food4
ambience4
service5
value3

Very nice restaurant. Near to my home a ...

vip
Dined on March 15, 2016

Very nice restaurant. Near to my home and there was good parking.

Tags: special occasion, neighborhood gem
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Italian at its best

Dined on March 12, 2016

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.

Tags: fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
food4
ambience3
service3
value3

Good food, bad math

Dined on March 11, 2016

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.

Tags: special occasion
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Excellent dining experience

Dined on March 9, 2016

Dined with family for a birthday. Excellent food and wine. Extra nice service made occasion memorable. Incredible pasta!! Great wine recommendations.

Tags: great for brunch, fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, notable wine list
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Great as always

Dined on March 5, 2016

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.

Tags: fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
food4
ambience2
service4
value2

Not a great value. The restaurant no lo ...

Dined on February 27, 2016

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.

food5
ambience4
service5
value4

Special night out

Dined on February 27, 2016

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 !

Tags: fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, notable wine list
food4
ambience4
service4
value4

Sienna a little disappointing

vip
Dined on February 23, 2016

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.

Tags: special occasion
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

A reason to go to Chapel Hill (if you need one)

Dined on February 21, 2016

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 !

Tags: fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, notable wine list
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Eva

Dined on February 19, 2016

Everything from my prosecco at the bar till the dessert and limoncello was absolutely over the top. Cant wait to come back

Tags: fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
food5
ambience4
service5
value3

Pleasurable Evening

Dined on February 13, 2016

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

Tags: special occasion
food4
ambience4
service4
value4

Recommended dining spot

Dined on February 6, 2016

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.

Tags: special occasion
food4
ambience5
service4
value4

Reach for the stars, and sometimes you overreach

vip
Dined on February 4, 2016

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.

Tags: fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, special occasion, notable wine list
food5
ambience4
service5
value5

Excellent food and ambiance

Dined on January 31, 2016

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

Tags: fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, notable wine list
food4
ambience3
service3
value3

Could have been great

Dined on January 31, 2016

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...

Tags: fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Superb! Beyond Superb Even!

vip
Dined on January 20, 2016

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.

Tags: fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, scenic view, neighborhood gem, hot spot, notable wine list
food5
ambience3
service5
value1

Tasty but costly

Dined on January 19, 2016

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.

Tags: fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion
food3
ambience3
service4
value3

Menu is unremarkable. Food is good, not great.

vip
Dined on January 9, 2016

For this area, prices are high--acceptable in a wonderful restaurant but the food here is not outstanding or creative.

food4
ambience4
service5

Citrus salad well balanced-bright & smoo ...

vip
Dined on January 2, 2016

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.

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