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  • Il Fornaio - Palo Alto

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Il Fornaio - Palo Alto
Il Fornaio - Palo Alto

Il Fornaio - Palo Alto Details

  • Dining Style: Casual Dining
  • Website: http://ilfornaio.com
  • Phone: (650) 853-3888
  • 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
  • Payment Options: AMEX, Carte Blanche, Diners Club, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
  • Cuisine: Italian
  • Dress Code: Casual Dress
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Banquet/Private Rooms, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Cafe, Counter Seating, Full Bar, Happy Hour, Non-Smoking Area, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies), Private Room, Takeout, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine
  • Catering: Off-site catering available. Please contact Event Coordinator for more details.

Getting there

  • Cross Street: Hamilton
  • Public Transit: Cal Train
  • Parking: Valet
  • Parking Details: Valet parking is available for $10. In addition, there is also the hotel parking lot, as well as a public lot available.
A word from 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.Continued
Foodspotting photos
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerMost Booked
Diner Reviews
  • "Our dinner was very disappointing. The service was .... NOT attentive, I'm not asking for exceptional but if you order a pasta dish, one would expect to at least be asked if they'd like cheese or ground pepper. The waiter was not around. We had to wait a long time for any attention or for the food. He never came back to ask if we needed anything. Most of that could be forgiven IF the food tasted good, but it did NOT. We were a party of eight and no one had a dish that was good! One GOOD thing was that the hostess was very helpful in finding us a nice table. Thank you to her!"
    Dined on 7/7/2014
  • "Great service. Server extremely attentive and professional."
    Dined on 7/8/2014
  • "Very good, reliable Italian meals. Almost always a crowd pleaser. We especially appreciate the gluten-free pasta for my daughter who has celiac disease. Can be noisy depending upon where you sit. The place is usually pretty full; best to make reservations."
    Dined on 3/9/2014
  • "I cannot say anything particularly bad about the restaurant. The food was good, yet not interesting. The noise of the restaurant became enjoyable as soon as a patron from another table politely asked some parents at an adjoining table to lower their children's voices. Given that this is classy restaurant I would have expected the management to speak to the parents to reduce the loud yelling of their children. Sadly, the restaurant's management took no action. I would say this restaurant is solidly good, yet the menu is outdated. There are so many other inventive restaurants fit for foodies in the Peninsula that unless you are looking for a bland experience look elsewhere."
    Dined on 7/4/2014
  • "Many big tables available, yet they seated our party of six at a small table near the doorway, and brought an extra chair, making it very crowded. We detected racism for this, since everyone else (white) were sitting at the front of the restaurant at bigger tables than ours. The pasta sauce was bland. The calamari was chewy and not seasoned. The pizza was extremely soggy, when we pointed it out, instead of fixing it, the waiter (condescendingly) explained that it was supposed to be so! After I signed the credit card receipt, the waiter was quick to take it away! It doesn't happen in any restaurant. Overall very unpleasant experience, ruined my daughter's birthday! I will not recommend this restaurant to anyone!"
    Dined on 7/3/2014
  • "Food was disappointing. The salad dressing was tasteless and short on oil, the cannellonis were cold inside even though the sauce was piping hot. We had much better experience on previous visits. This one was the opposite. The service was very professional."
    Dined on 7/3/2014
  • "They have calories counts on the menu. Great for people that are health concious"
    Dined on 6/29/2014
  • "My experience at Il Fornaio is always excellent. I love the bar and sitting near the wonderful smells from the kitchen/pizza oven. I have been going to Il Fornaio since it first opened years ago when I worked at Stanford. It's always excellent in food and service and I do a lot of client and colleague dinner meetings there."
    Dined on 4/3/2014
  • "I've been going to Il Fornaio for years now and I love the food there and how unfailingly pleasant it is to eat there. The service is attentive, friendly and unpretentious. I hope it stays there for years to come."
    Dined on 6/25/2014
  • "The ambience of this one is so very nice, each employee is happy to answer any questions & I just love the fresh flowers done in the european style. The food was very nice with ample portions, delicious, & elegantly plated. This was a great experience & a great memory that will always be special. Thank-you!"
    Dined on 6/21/2014
  • "The night we dined the restaurant was exceptionally busy. We enjoy dining at Il Fornaio but because of the restaurant being so busy service was slow and the noise level made it hard to hear people at our table."
    Dined on 6/14/2014
  • "As always, Il Fornia Palo Alto is the place to be to meet someone as the bar patio is hopping and the back dining room is nicely appointed and romantic. Excellent servce and excellent food."
    Dined on 6/17/2014
  • "A very busy Saturday evening during Stanford graduation weekend impacted the service somewhat. However the ambiance and energy in the dining room were great, as well as the food. Would definitely go again!"
    Dined on 6/14/2014
  • "Came here with my 2 daughters. This is one of my favorite restaurants, but not this time. I got the feeling they wanted to get us in and out as quickly as possible. The food was average, somewhat under-seasoned. The service was terrible - the server asked us what we wanted FIVE times in the first 10 minutes we were there, putting pressure on my daughters. Once we ordered and the food arrived (incredibly quickly, as if it had been pre-cooked), he disappeared. I had to ask others for additional items he neglected to bring. Hopefully this is a one-off. If not, I (and others, I assume) will stop going there."
    Dined on 6/15/2014
  • "Made reservation for wrong day. Graciously accommodated party of 12 even though restaurant was VERY busy w Stanford graduation."
    Dined on 6/14/2014
  • "Our waiter (David W.) was cheerful and helpful, and very accommodating to our dietary restrictions."
    Dined on 6/13/2014
  • "We had a graduation party at the restaurant. The service for our group of 14 was exceptional and good delicious."
    Dined on 6/13/2014
  • "We have eaten at this establishment about a half dozen times. On each occasion the meal has been good and the service is consistently good. You can count on the food to be well prepared and to your liking. The restaurant is usually a bit noisey although you can carry on a conversation. The booths for two are really a bit small especially when food begins to arrive. Generally a nice place to eat."
    Dined on 6/1/2014
  • "huge restaurant with different areas for groups, private parties, etc., but our group of 4 really enjoyed the outdoor area covered and under the heat lamps. the carpaccio and calamari appetizers were yummy. loved the calamari sauce! spaghetti with the maine lobster and mussels was good with a great tasting tomato sauce. the beet salad and caprese salad were fresh and delicious. the service was attentive but not intrusive. we hadn't been here in a long time and the experience was very pleasant -- we stayed for quite a few hours with a couple of bottles of wine and great conversation. no wonder it's such a busy spot!"
    Dined on 6/10/2014
  • "It was a lovely evening and the service is excellent! David is their best waiter. His trick with the bread crumbs is entertaining! The ice creams are wonderful! Deep, deep Dark Chocolate, Vanilla Bean and Raspberry! Like music! "
    Dined on 6/7/2014
  • "Il Fornaio is our. Go-to spot for out-of-town visitors. Its consistently pleasant atmosphere, fine service and great food always please. You won't ever be sorry you chose Il Fornaio."
    Dined on 6/7/2014
  • "This place is always great for a nice date. The service is quick and friendly and the food is reliably delicious. I love their "taste of ---" menu's that provide a fixed price 3 course meal, and it always leaves me with leftovers."
    Dined on 6/5/2014
  • "I had the special which was Sea Bass and it was awful. I did not even finish it, It was soggy and no good at all. The salmon salads were average. The calamari appetizer was not very good. The bill was close to $100.00 for lunch. A bill I would not mind for Three if the food was outstanding. This was a speiclal occasion, and I was very disappointed. I would not recommend this restaurant."
    Dined on 6/3/2014
  • "I was so impressed. I think it's the most beautiful Il Fornaio restaurant I've ever been to. I love the outdoor patios with the fountains. I wanted pictures taken there. I feel like I'm in Italy or on vacation somewhere. The food was great and the service was fast. "
    Dined on 6/4/2014
  • "Great food, great service, great ambience, great place for brunch. "
    Dined on 6/1/2014
  • "As usual Il Forniao delivered a delicious Sunday supper to me and my family. The menu has enough variety to please all. The decor is comfortable and service is warm."
    Dined on 5/25/2014
  • "The Palo Alto Il Fornaio has a great ambiance and the courtyard area is great - food is always consistently good, as is the service!"
    Dined on 5/31/2014
  • "Service was awkward but enthusiastic. Food was undercooked (and yes we know what pasta al dente is). Great location and vibrant scene."
    Dined on 5/29/2014
  • "This was my first time at this restaurant. The decor was nice, specially loved the patio seating. The food though was something else. I have never had worse italian food so far! The bread was too salty, the ravioli's outer layer was so think/chewy, the pizza was bland! I don't think I will ever go back to this restaurant."
    Dined on 5/16/2014
  • "My husband and I had lunch at Il Fornaio to celebrate a special occasion. It is a neighborhood restaurant in a quaint hotel in Palo Alto. The menu was great and the food was delightful as always. We live nearby, and we are happy that there is still white table cloth formal dining available in our culture, as it is becoming more rare. "
    Dined on 5/28/2014
  • "Took our stepmother out on her Birthday for early dinner. Service was very good, and the wait person was friendly and efficient. It wasn't the best food in the world but adequate, and the ambiance made it all worthwhile and elegantly fun. "
    Dined on 5/28/2014
  • "I can count on Il Fornaio for the serene atmosphere I need for a business meeting where I can't afford to be distracted from a serious conversation. The food is beautifully presented and consistently good. The whole experience is upscale without flamboyance."
    Dined on 5/21/2014
  • "Il Fornaio is always a great restaurant experience. We happened to go to the restaurant in Palo Alto on both a Friday and Sunday night while visiting in this area. You can always count on the restaurant to be consistently good. Food is good, service is good and the restaurant is just a fun place to be. We have never found Il Fornaio to be lacking in any way no matter what city we find one in. Strongly recommend this restaurant chain to anyone looking for a good meal."
    Dined on 5/11/2014
  • "Great menu and helpful staff. I didn't know what one of the items was on the description and the waiter was very thoughtful in his description."
    Dined on 5/13/2014
  • "I often eat at the Walnut Creek branch of this restaurant so I expected the menu would be similar and the food equally good. Alas, my chicken was tasteless and the veggies meager and limp. The dish was not attractively plated. Perhaps as unsatisfactory was the floor which was littered with junk from previous diners. We arrived early for dinner and the kitchen was not yet busy so the lapse is surprising."
    Dined on 5/10/2014
  • "The server was slow so when I asked about our lunch, he went directly to it. It was just sitting there....we were forgotten. We ordered gelato for dessert and it took another lengthy time. When the cups arrived the gelato was melted . I was never asked if I wanted coffee but my partner was asked. After he took that order the two ladies were overlooked so we did not get my cafe Latte. Not a good experience for myself and guest and we drove all the way from Santa Cruz County and it was not worth it. I am handicapped and the two spots . A while later a young woman drove up in a yellow lamborghini and she was told to park in front. I was also driving a luxury car and I am 75 yrs old and handicapped. e"
    Dined on 5/10/2014
  • "gluten free menu is best in northern calif . super salads and pastas.deserts a must. lovely lovely house wines"
    Dined on 5/5/2014
  • "A disappointing experience. Two in the party, one ordered an omelet that had asparagus in it & ordered it to be without asparagus but it arrived with the asparagus. The other ordered a breakfast turnover, to us turnover is a flaky pastry, it was more like a calzone and that was the first disappointment, the second was that the dough was really tough. The waiter had to be summoned to the table a couple of times - we received good bread but no butter, the credit card sat on the table, we had to point out to the waiter it was there and then the waiter filled one refilled one persons cup of coffee but not the others. This was meant to be an anniversary treat but instead was just an average brunch. Brunch a year ago was much better."
    Dined on 5/4/2014
  • "We had the delicious ministrone soup as a starter. It's filled with fresh vegetables and a flavorful broth. Of course I must not forget the basket of yummy bread and rolls, served with butter and or olive oil. Next we had the rotesseri chicken, which was done to perfection. The vegetables were al dente and perfect. Our waiter was very attentive and charming. We'll be back for sure."
    Dined on 4/29/2014
  • "The restaurant has a nice location,mid-town of Palo Alto, accessible from the freeway. We get together occasionally with friends from different bay area locations. The food is normally good, the service is quick and friendly. Nice terrace during spring time.I recommend it for small and larger groups."
    Dined on 4/28/2014