About Il Fornaio - Carmel

Il Fornaio means "the Baker" in Italian. Located in downtown Carmel, Il Fornaio offers an authentic and unique Italian dining experience and a Wine Spectator Award of Excellence 2007 wine list. Enjoy wood-fired rotisserie and grilled meats, poultry and game; house made and imported pastas; pizzas from an oak wood burning oven; fresh salads and house made soups; antipasti and a wide variety of desserts made daily from scratch.
Reservation Confirmation Message: Thank you for choosing Il Fornaio - Carmel. Should your plans change, please let us know. We look forward to serving you Grazie e Ciao

Ocean Avenue & Monte Verde St
Carmel, CA 93921
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Dining Style:
Casual Dining

Cuisines:
Italian

Hours of Operation:
Breakfast: Monday - Friday: 8:00am - 10:00am; Lunch: Monday - Friday: 11:30am - 4:00pm, Saturday - Sunday: 11:00am - 4:00pm; Dinner: Sunday - Thursday: 4:00pm - 9:00pm, Friday - Saturday: 4:00pm - 10:00pm; Brunch: Saturday - Sunday: 9:00am - 2:00pm

Dress Code:
Casual Dress

Price Range:
$30 and under

Payment Options
AMEX, Diners Club, Discover, MasterCard, Visa

Phone Number:
(831) 622-5100

Website:
http://www.ilfornaio.com/

Catering:
Catering services through our take-out retail area are available and include: • Boxed Lunch – sandwich, salad, Italian cookie and drink packaged individually. • Platters – pastries, sandwiches, salads or cookies. Perfect for any social or business meeting held at your location.
Larger off-site full service catering is also available by request. Please contact our on-site Event Coordinator for more details.

Executive Chef:
Gabriel Rodriguez

Additional:
Banquet, Bar Dining, Beer, BYO Wine, Cafe, Corkage Fee, Counter Seating, Fireplace, Full Bar, Happy Hour, Outdoor dining, Private Room, Takeout, View, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine

Private Dining

Il Fornaio offers distinct dining options for large or small groups. We will assist in creating a special menu perfectly suited for the needs of your group.

Il Fornaio - Carmel Ratings and Reviews

5
4
3
2
1

4.2

Overall Rating

based on recent ratings
food

4.1

service

4.2

ambience

4.2

value

4.1

noise

Moderate

86% would recommend it to a friend

Special Occasion (20)
Romantic (15)
Vibrant Bar Scene (14)
See All
Authentic (14)
Good for Birthdays (13)
Good for a Date (12)
Casual (12)
Neighborhood Gem (11)
Good for Groups (11)
Sunday Lunch (11)
Wood Oven (10)
Good for Anniversaries (9)
Happy Hour (9)
Great for Lunch (9)
Cozy (9)
People Watching (8)
Great for Outdoor Dining (8)
Bar Seating (8)
Fun (8)
Quiet Conversation (8)
Comfort Food (8)
Family Style (7)
Fit for Foodies (7)
Fireplace (7)
Kid-friendly (7)
Local Ingredients (6)
Business Meals (6)
Open Kitchen (6)
Notable Wine List (5)
Historic (5)
Seasonal (5)
Outstanding Value (5)
Great for Brunch (5)
Worth the Drive (4)
Private Room (4)
Scenic View (4)
Hot Spot (4)
Creative Cuisine (4)
Afternoon Coffee (3)
Handcrafted Cocktails (3)
Tasting Menu (3)
Good Vegetarian Options (3)
Gluten Free Options (3)
Modern Decor (3)
Paleo Friendly (2)
Pre/post Theatre (2)
Disabled Access (2)
Healthy (2)
Organic (1)
Quick Bite (1)
Late-night Find (1)
Waterfront (1)
Live Sports (1)
Vegan (1)
Dining Occasion:
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1008 reviews
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Valentine's Day

 
 (Atlanta)·Dined 5 days ago

Valentine's Day

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

I made my reservation two weeks ahead of ...

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on February 11, 2017

I made my reservation two weeks ahead of time. When we got there they were very crowded and we were early so we decided to have a drink at the very crowded bar. There was no seating but the bartender was kind enough to service a bottle of wine. We got our wine and walked around and still could not find anywhere to sit so I asked a gentleman at the bar if he would mind if we put our bottle in front of his seat because it was the only clear place I could see. At that point I was accosted by a heavily intoxicated woman I did not know who screamed that I was trying steal her boyfriend (?). She started to get nuts and the bartender watched and did nothing until the people next to her took her out of the restaurant. Then, after waiting for 40 minutes ( we were early), we were taken to the very back corner of the bar by the bar employee exit. They were seating people without a reservation in the main dining hall. I feel that people who make reservations should be given nicer seatings – that's the point of the reservation. A pecking order. As someone who was in the service industry for years, it is common sense to me – particularly as a host or hostess. The food was what I would consider amazingly bland and all of us were disappointed with our meal. I do not think I will be returning- Bummer because it was one of my favorite restaurants. Perhaps it is just the Carmel one that is lacking.

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food1
ambience3
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value3

Reliably good food and menu to suit all ...

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on February 9, 2017

Reliably good food and menu to suit all tastes. Super convenient location and good bar.

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food4
ambience4
service4
value4

Fantastic food. We were randomly chosen ...

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on February 5, 2017

Fantastic food. We were randomly chosen to be the guests of honor. We were given a free appetizer, bottled Italian water, butternut squash ravioli, and dessert. The ravioli was something that I would not have ordinarily chosen of the menu, but the homemade pasta was delicious. The atmosphere was great. The service was attentive without being overbearing. The wine list was long and there were reasonably priced options. Great overall experience!

Tags: Notable Wine List, Romantic, Good for a Date, Special Occasion
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Amazing dinner as always. Thanks for the ...

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on February 4, 2017

Amazing dinner as always. Thanks for the great service and lovely ambience.

Tags: Romantic, Healthy, Fun, Family Style, Vibrant Bar Scene, Comfort Food, Seasonal, Wood Oven
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

was very disappointed that I had noted o ...

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on January 30, 2017

was very disappointed that I had noted on our reservation that we were celebrating our 34th wedding anniversary and the restaurant did nothing at all to help us celebrate it. No appetizer, no dessert, no mention. why ask if we are celebrating something special when making the reservation if the restaurant doesnt read it. The couple next to us was celebrating their anniversary and their waiter took good care of them.

David Michaels, 650-224-9952, davidjmichaels@comcast.net

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food4
ambience4
service4
value3

Our dinner was not up to par. Generally ...

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on January 24, 2017

Our dinner was not up to par. Generally speaking the food is fantastic. This time average at best!

Might take awhile before we return.

Tags: Special Occasion, Vibrant Bar Scene, Authentic
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food2
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service3
value3

We came to Il Fornaio as part of our ann ...

vip
 (New York Area)·Dined on January 16, 2017

We came to Il Fornaio as part of our anniversary celebration and it was amazing. The service was great and the food was even better. Highly recommend this restaurant for a very special dining experience.

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food5
ambience4
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We eat frequently at Il Fornaio in Pasad ...

vip
 (Los Angeles)·Dined on January 16, 2017

We eat frequently at Il Fornaio in Pasadena, CA - the food in Carmel missed the mark comparatively. My daughter ordered a ravioli dish that fell apart and was very mushy, bland and did not seem to have the ingredients advertised on the menu. I had the linguine del mare...although tasty - there was not enough of the fish in the dish. We also ordered a salad that was over dressed. Our waiter was efficient and pleasant however.

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food2
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service4
value2

Excellent food!

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on January 16, 2017

Excellent food!

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food5
ambience5
service5

We went to Carmel for my husband's 40th ...

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on January 14, 2017

We went to Carmel for my husband's 40th b'day. Having previously dinned at their Walnut Creek location and loving it, I decided to make reservations for dinner here. I'm so glad I did. I called the restaurant the day prior to ensure a great dinner experience for husband's special day. Matt their manager assured me that they'all take good care of us...and that exactly what they did!!

After being seated by the hostess, Matt himself came to our table to greet us and to make sure We were having a good time. Matt sent over complimentary appetizers, pasta, dessert and sparkling water which was very gracious and unexpected! The food itself was beyond exceptional! My husband ordered the steak and I ordered the organic chicken, both were delicious...the steak just melted in the mouth! We had a great time and were very impressed by both the quality of food and service. We will definitely be returning to this location next time we visit Carmel. My husband had a great b'day dinner. Thank you Matt and the rest of the staff at Il Fornaio!

Tags: Paleo Friendly, Good for Groups, Comfort Food, Romantic, Gluten Free Options, Special Occasion, Good for Birthdays, Fit for Foodies, Notable Wine List, Authentic
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food5
ambience4
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another very enjoyable evening - Eduardo ...

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on January 8, 2017

another very enjoyable evening - Eduardo who always is our waiter near the bar, really knows his craft and brings beverages and food quickly and has excellent recommendations from the menu - B

Tags: Afternoon Coffee, Cozy, Quiet Conversation, Great for Outdoor Dining, Authentic, Notable Wine List, Vibrant Bar Scene, Happy Hour, Fireplace, Special Occasion
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food5
ambience4
service5
value4

We came to dine on a rainy night, and Il ...

 
 (Los Angeles)·Dined on January 4, 2017

We came to dine on a rainy night, and IlFornaio was warm inviting and the meal was very authentic and flavorful.

Tags: Special Occasion, Vibrant Bar Scene, Historic, Cozy, Healthy, Creative Cuisine, Good for Anniversaries, Romantic, Local Ingredients, Good for a Date, Authentic, Bar Seating, Business Meals, Neighborhood Gem, Modern Decor
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food5
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We were a party of nine but were extreme ...

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on January 2, 2017

We were a party of nine but were extremely disappointed with the food. I have been to

many Il Fornaio's and have never felt this way about our meals. My family has had many

celebrations at Il Fornaio restaurants in San Francisco and Walnut Creek. We have also

been for dinners many times but this evening was not good at all. I am hoping this was

an off night but this should not happen any night.

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food2
ambience4
service3
value2

Always a great time.

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on January 1, 2017

Always a great time.

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Fun ambiance for New Year's Eve dinner. ...

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on January 1, 2017

Fun ambiance for New Year's Eve dinner. Il Fornaio made it fun with colorful helium balloons everywhere. Always love coming here. Dependably good dinner , bread, service.., always!

Tags: Casual, Good for Birthdays, Private Room, Disabled Access, Historic
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Great job on New Year's Eve! Amazing ser ...

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on January 1, 2017

Great job on New Year's Eve! Amazing service and food was great

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food4
ambience5
service5

Disappointing but Past its prime. Food o ...

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on December 31, 2016

Disappointing but Past its prime. Food overcooked (fish) and too much going on on the plate, fish hiding under a bunch of stuff. Out of bolognese at 7pm, substitute dish recommended by server very plain. I think there was some cannelloni under all that sauce and cheese but couldn't tell. Thanks for all the great dinners in the past 20 years, but should take a cue from pasta pomodoro and call it quits.

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food1
ambience4
service1
value1

Muy regular, la comida muy mediocre.

 
 (Houston)·Dined on December 30, 2016

Muy regular, la comida muy mediocre.

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food2
ambience1
service2
value2

I dined at Il Fornaio-Carmel last Friday ...

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on December 29, 2016

I dined at Il Fornaio-Carmel last Friday with my family. We were staying in Carmel for New Year's, and made a late 8:45 reservation because that is all there was available. When we arrived, we waited by the hostess stand for a few minutes, even though it was not very busy and the hostess seemed to be chatting with her coworkers 50 feet away--NOT a great first impression.

When we finally got seated, our server came over and asked if we cared for anything to drink. We ordered, and he promptly left the table without saying anything else. When I go out to dinner, I like when the server is a little bit more personable but maybe that's just me. He came back with a bread basket and our drinks, and we ordered our food. I got the Pumpkin Ravioli, and it was not nearly as good as it was at other Il Fornaio locations. The caesar salad was very good, though, and so was the penne with vodka cream tomato sauce. For dessert, we got their famous Zabaione Alla Gritti which is basically an Italian custard flavored with rum and mixed with fresh berries and sorbet. It was very good, even though the rum was not as present as it was the last several times I ordered this dessert.

Overall, the service was VERY mediocre, the food was decent, and $120 for three people was way too much for what we ordered. Maybe they were burnt out from the holidays, but I would expect a better experience from an upscale Italian chain like Il Fornaio. Because I have enjoyed meals at other Il Fornaio locations, I will continue to dine at them but will not rush back to their Carmel location.

Tags: Kid-friendly, Bar Seating
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food3
ambience3
service2
value1

It was our first time having dinner at I ...

 
 (Central Coast)·Dined on December 27, 2016

It was our first time having dinner at Il Fornaio and we had a great dinner experience. Efficient and friendly service all together and excellent food.

Tags: Family Style, Good for Anniversaries, Good for Birthdays
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food4
ambience4
service4
value4

Great food, great service.

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on December 27, 2016

Great food, great service.

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food4
ambience5
service4
value5

Terrible Experience- not at all like it ...

vip
 (San Diego)·Dined on December 26, 2016

Terrible Experience- not at all like it used to be

Server was not knowledagble of menu or wines. Ordered a bottle, but it was sold out. Ordered an entree, but it was sold out...Ordered something else and slightly modified it. Asked for no mussels (was supposed to get more shrimp and clams instead). extra shrimp and clams never came (server said chef didn't read the ticket). then server said chef fired extra shrimp but burned them...i got the extra shrimp when i was 3/4 done with my meal...

had to drink the bottled water out of a plastic cup because the dish cleanser was so strong i was choking on it...smelled and tasted like drinking chlorine or bleach....

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food1
ambience3
service1
value2

Happy 2017! Kudos, Bravos, and Applause ...

 
 (Central Coast)·Dined on December 26, 2016

Happy 2017! Kudos, Bravos, and Applause! We really enjoyed our Thanksgiving and Christmas dining experiences and appreciated being seated at our favorite table. The Christmas decor was right on target, and we enjoyed the generous help of hostess Itzel and the trusted and professional service of Jose. Hats-off to your amazing and fantastic kitchen staff, an absolutely delicious experience!! From birthdays, holidays, and car shows you've given us another wonderful year, and we look forward to many more. Wishing you continued success!

Mr. Dennis Volkman and Mr. John Maleta Vukasovich

San Jose, California

Tags: Authentic, Sunday Lunch, Private Room, Special Occasion, Creative Cuisine, Local Ingredients, Good for Groups
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food5
ambience4
service5
value3

CHRISTMAS EVE DISASTER! ( DONT RUIN Y ...

 
 (Orlando)·Dined on December 25, 2016

CHRISTMAS EVE DISASTER! ( DONT RUIN YOUR CHRISTMAS EVE EATING THERE!) The food was horrible on Christmas Eve! We ordered off the Christmas specialty menu! The seafood pasta was so salty it upset our stomachs, an god forbid what would of happened if we ate anymore then the portion of a 1/4 cup they gave us. We ordered veal which was boiled slices flavorless veal with a strong stinky cheese barly any mushroom sauce that was also flavorless... this meal was gross! We didn't even eat more then one slice of veal on the plate it was so bad!Il Fornio "Send your cooks to culinary school THE FOOD WAS NASTY a total Rip Off for the price ! Never again!

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Christmas Eve dinner

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on December 25, 2016

Christmas Eve dinner

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food5
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We love Il fornaio. And go there whenev ...

 
 (Central Coast)·Dined on December 25, 2016

We love Il fornaio. And go there whenever we are in Carmel ca

Tags: Vibrant Bar Scene, Romantic, Special Occasion, Comfort Food
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food4
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service4
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Good food,ambiance We really liked the ...

 
 (Central Coast)·Dined on December 24, 2016

Good food,ambiance We really liked the Christmas week menu.

We usually spend a couple of days in Carmel when we are driving up the coast.

The food is always very good and we appreciate the lively bar scene.Wonderful staff too.

Tags: Good for Birthdays, Fit for Foodies, Worth the Drive, People Watching, Vibrant Bar Scene
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food5
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service5
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The staff are fabulous very accommodatin ...

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on December 24, 2016

The staff are fabulous very accommodating and friendly. Love this place❤️❤️❤️

Tags: Great for Brunch, Fit for Foodies, Fun, Quiet Conversation, Great for Outdoor Dining, People Watching, Romantic, Happy Hour, Good for Groups, Wood Oven, Casual, Family Style, Afternoon Coffee, Handcrafted Cocktails, Sunday Lunch, Disabled Access
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food4
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Excellent service, good food and a great ...

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on December 18, 2016

Excellent service, good food and a great meal for 10 of us! I made the reservation just 30 minutes in advance and they were ready. Only caution I give is to ask not to be seated near the door. We were and it was chilly every time the door opened.

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food5
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service5

Overpriced for experience. Far nicer sma ...

 
 (Tahoe)·Dined on December 10, 2016

Overpriced for experience. Far nicer small places in Carmel w a warmer atmosphere. Food quality ok. Wine by the glass bad.

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food2
ambience2
service2

Always a 5-star consistent! Save room fo ...

vip
 (San Joaquin)·Dined on December 5, 2016

Always a 5-star consistent! Save room for spumoni ice cream - simply the BEST!

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Noisy. Decent italian food.

vip
 (Baltimore)·Dined on December 4, 2016

Noisy. Decent italian food.

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food3
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The food is always very creative and exc ...

 
 (Los Angeles)·Dined on December 4, 2016

The food is always very creative and excellent quality. The staff is very friendly, knowledgeable and provides excellent service. We always make it a point to include at least one meal here on every trip to Carmel. You will not be disappointed if you also include Il Fornaio in your trip!

Tags: Cozy, Fun, Creative Cuisine
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food5
ambience4
service5
value4

Always good...Always spot on! Great se ...

 
 (Central Coast)·Dined on November 28, 2016

Always good...Always

spot on! Great service, and food. We had a lovely Birthday Dinner❣️

E

Tags: Great for Outdoor Dining, Good for Birthdays, Special Occasion, Modern Decor, Good for a Date, , Good for Anniversaries, Creative Cuisine, Authentic, Worth the Drive, Romantic, Sunday Lunch, Quiet Conversation
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food5
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service5
value5

Maybe because it was because we had 8:00 ...

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on November 25, 2016

Maybe because it was because we had 8:00 reservations on Thanksgiving and the kitchen was ready to go home, but my mixed seafood grill was inedible except for two shrimp. The scallops were not fresh (I actually spit it out because I was afraid I would get sick) and the sea bass was dry and had a not-so-fresh taste as well. The yams were undercooked and chewy. Since I had only 2 shrimp and some overcooked yams for dinner, I tried the pumpkin pie for dessert and was sorely disappointed in the tiny, not very tasty slice. One bright spot was that my daughter's vodka sauce pasta and minestrone soup were very good.

Tags: Bar Seating, Vibrant Bar Scene
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food2
ambience4
service5
value3

The place we normally go for Thanksgivin ...

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on November 24, 2016

The place we normally go for Thanksgiving didn't have any convenient appointment times left so we took a chance on Il Fornaio. My significant other ordered the mixed seafood plate which was a good choice. I unfortunately ordered the traditional Thanksgiving meal. Turkey loaf? They couldn't be bothered with actually roasting a turkey apparently. There was absolutely nothing on my plate that said they cared about their customers. I spent a month in Italy last summer and never encountered this type indifference in the restaurants there. It seems like some restaurants recognize a holiday celebration and others just go through the motions. I would put Il Fornaio in the later class.

Tags: Casual
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food2
ambience3
service3
value2

Great for family setting with a variety ...

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on November 24, 2016

Great for family setting with a variety of options. Only one slight problem: ordered an Arnold Palmer with cranberry instead of their awful lemonade. I was double charged for an Arnold Palmer, but remediated the issue by taking the unscrupulous charge out of the server's tip.

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food5
ambience5
service5

Our waiter Romero was the best. Great se ...

 
 (Phoenix)·Dined on November 19, 2016

Our waiter Romero was the best. Great service. It was great place to enjoy our last night

of a long vacation in Camel.

Tags: Wood Oven, Worth the Drive, Vibrant Bar Scene
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food5
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service5
value5

Food was excellent & service very good b ...

 
 (Central Coast)·Dined on November 17, 2016

Food was excellent & service very good but the time between the salad course & the entree was very long. We arrive early (at 5pm ) and seated immediately. It wasn't busy when we arrive so shouldn't have taken so long between courses.

When food arrived, it was hot and tasted great.

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food5
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