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.
Palo Alto, CA 94301
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 Michele's signature dishes.
Il Fornaio - Palo Alto Ratings and Reviews
We had the Festa Regionale specials. My wife's fish was delicious, but at $30 for a small piece with potatoes and vegetables, seemed over-priced. When I ordered the pasta dish, one of the specials, the waiter informed us the cook had run out of the shrimp (part of the dish). When we called his attention to the fact that another non-special dish had shrimp, he checked again with the cook, returning to tell us it was the 'special pasta' that was no longer available. I asked that another pasta be substituted--it was--the meal was somewhat soggier than expected, and not 'special'. Also a bit over-priced (but, of course, we are in Silicon Valley).
Historically, Il Fornaio has been our choice of restaurants in Palo Alto for a meeting place for dinner with friends and/or business. While the food was well prepared for everyone, the level of service was unattentive from our server. I asked if the restaurant had a black napkin and we never received any word. I had to repeatedly request my garnish for my sparkling water and a guest at the table had to repeatedly asked about her cocktail. Our waiter seemed put off when the table was not ready to order due to our lively conversation and then when we did order, he seemed to rush one guest that was investigating the menu. Once the food was served, no one checked to see if all of us had utensils and we had to ask another server, who clearly seemed like we were bothering her.
As mentioned, this service was uncharacteristic for Il Fornaio. The food was delicious so we didn't let the service that evening dampen our camaraderie.
My husband and I had a breakfast. I ordered open omelet , the toppings were spinach and tomato very cold. I was very disappointed and could not even eat one third of it. We always enjoyed their pasta and pizza for lunch and dinner. It was our first time disappointment at this restaurant.
We had a party of 8 and I had reserved a table outside in the garden/patio area for Mother's Day. When we arrived they had our table set up inside in the back against the wall. Not the ambiance I was looking for. The rest of our party was so hungry they didn't want to move but it did put a damper on our lunch. Food and cocktails were great!
We let our waitress, Sara, that we were scheduled to make an 8 PM theater curtain, and she made sure our orders were served promptly - the appetizer was set on the table as our guests arrived, and main courses were served with time to meet our schedule without rushing. Food was good, recommend the risotto with shrimp and scallops!
This place is an old standby - been coming here for years. Took my parents for their 53rd anniversary the other night - I had the seafood mixed grill, which I hadn't tried before. It was super simple and perfect - the potatoes had a nice crunch, the broccolini was still a bit crisp and the seafood was great with a squeeze of lemon. The waiter was attentive and friendly but not overbearing. All in all a fun night.
The servers had not been trained and they started clearing before all were finished eating. That is not good. Also, they kept coming to us asking if we were ready to order. Although I believe there was a party in a private room, the rest of the restaurant was empty.
We are here at Il Fornaio as we do every April 17th or thereabouts to celebrate our wedding anniversary.
We got married in 1999 and had reception in Garden Court Hotel.
Server Kenneth was great, attentive, funny and knew when to approach to serve, check on us etc.
Came here for Easter brunch. It was nice that this restaurant had a Easter menu; I didn't find any others in the area that did. It was very busy so it made it hard to have attentive service, and the omelette i ordered was slightly overlooked. But it was overall a good place for a special brunch!
Service sucked!! We have been to this restaurant several times and the service has been what you expect at this type of restaurant. Waiter started off with getting our drinks wrong, then forgot to bring our salads out before the entrees arrive. Then for dessert, we just ordered gelato, he forgets to bring it to our table. When I reminded him, he brings it to our table completely melted. We had to request new desserts. Will have to think twice before going again.
Visitors from Denmark were our guests for this meal. When we arrived 10 minutes early for our reservation we were told that in their computer our reservation was for two persons only and we would have to wait a long time for a table for four in the restaurant proper. We were offered a table on the patio. It was not warm out there and the access was through a door used also by servers, therefore if any of us needed to use the restroom we had to edge by waiters with trays, etc. The person who greeted us and denied us a table inside was not polite or apologetic in any way. When told she was wrong about the reservation she said adamantly -- WELL THAT IS WHAT OUR COMPUTER SAYS!
My wife and I have been dining at Il Fornaio at regular intervals for over 10 years, with relatively consistent, if not entirely refined, food and service. Unfortunately, our experience two evenings ago failed on many fronts. While our server was friendly, service was unusually slow and intermittent. Our cocktails, while generally well-made (although how hard is it to make a gin and tonic and a dry martini?), were small and shockingly overpriced. The calamari appetizer (our one semi-positive experience of the evening: it was free with the use of a Yelp coupon!), was tasty but not any more impressive than something I might purchase from the frozen food aisle at my local super market and heat in my home oven. Our second appetizer, chosen from the seasonal Calabrian menu, was a plate of grilled vegetables and proved to be inexcusably small and very poorly prepared. Two very small pieces of eggplant, two slices of zucchini, a piece of red pepper, a slice of fennel, a few spears of asparagus, and half of a plum tomato arrived on an unadorned white plate; all vegetables were barely cooked (as if they were passed over the flame for about 20 seconds), and had no flavor or visual appeal. We of course returned the dish as asked that it be removed from our check; our server was more than happy to comply. As for our entrées, neither was overly appealing: my wife's black cod special was barely cooked, with soggy skin and swimming in an ocean of tomatoes and olives; and my mixed grill of fish was passable but entirely unexciting and rather bland.
A brief visit to the men's rest room was even more unpleasant; it was very unclean and lacked both soap and paper towels. I reported the bathroom deficiencies to the manager, who immediately pounced on one of his employees to solve the problems, in a somewhat chastising tone.
I'm sorry to report that we will no longer be patrons of this establishment; competing local restaurants offer far better experiences.
Service was excellent. The style of Sicilian cooking was a little different than what I am used to but taking that into account we were satisfied with our meals. The spinach/shrimp ravioli was very good. Level of saltiness was probably normal but we are used to low sodium fare. Lots of olive oil.
This trip to one of our favorites - Il Fornaio - was perhaps our most intimate. We requested seating in the back, and the soft lighting made for a cozy atmosphere. The pennoni alla vodka was delicious, as always.
Unfortunately, the service was a bit sub-par, as I often waited for my coffee cup to be filled, or bread to be replenished.
Came here for a Sunday evening meal with my mother. We had a reservation, but the place wasn't fully packed. I generally don't like waiter that is overly attentive. This was not the case. It felt like he gave us the time to settle in before taking the order.
Atmosphere was conducive to good and slow conversation. We were there for almost two hours.
The food was great and priced very fair. The wine list was a bit expensive, but you can ask for wine by the glass for much cheaper price, albeit more generic.
Highly recommended overall.
My girlfriend recently moved to Sacramento and came into town for business and when we agreed to meet for dinner and i asked her where she wanted to go and without any hesitation she said "Il Fornaio" so we went. We had fabulous and very friendly service, great and delicious food, an energetic ambiance and an absolute good time.
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