Il Fornaio - Palo Alto
520 Cowper Street
Palo Alto, CA 94301Neighborhood:
ItalianPrice: $30 and under
Il Fornaio - Palo Alto
- Dining Style: Casual Dining
- Website: http://ilfornaio.com/
- Phone: 6508533888
- 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.
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
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Il Fornaio - Palo Alto reviews from OpenTable diners
181 reviews since June 4, 2014
- Ambiance4Noise LevelModerate
great for outdoor dining (67)good for groups (65)special occasion (62)great for lunch (62)neighborhood gem (57)fit for foodies (46)great for brunch (42)romantic (34)kid-friendly (25)notable wine list (25)hot spot (14)late-night find (10)vibrant bar scene (6)scenic view (3)Show More
- What happened?OpenTable Diner Since 2014Dined on 9/27/2014One of our party did not get dinner until some time after the other eight people. No explanation. No apology. That's unsatisfactory.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Great value for the money!sushipandaDined on 9/22/2014This place is always up to standard, food quality and service is very good, no surprise, tasty, proper portion size for the money. This time I had their capino and was happy as always ... real pieces of fish, not only soup (like in many other places) .. probably the best capino in bay area.Special Features:
- FussyDinersDined on 9/19/2014We had a birthday dinner. Our party comprised of people who came from all over the Bay Area. This restaurant was a central location for all of us. The restaurant was busy because it was a Friday night. Despite that, we never felt rushed. There were two large parties going on while we were there, so service was a bit slow and our food took a while to arrive. But once we got our food, everything was delicious. The pasta dishes were especially good. Our waiter was very pleasant and accommodating despite the crowd. We enjoyed our evening.Special Features:
- DisappointingJEMBDined on 9/19/2014We have eaten at this Il Fornaio relatively often over the last 5 -6 years and usually have a very pleasant experience. The service is always impeccable with attentive and friendly servers and other waitstaff. The regional special menus with wine pairings are interesting. However we have increasingly been disappointed with the food - mediocre flavoring/spicing, watery sauces and inattentive presentation. My fish was overcooked with a mishmash of garniture, the sauce of my husband's cannelloni was thin and not very flavorful and my brother-in-law's favorite dish, lasagna, has been omitted from the menu. It is a shame that the food no longer matches the great service and ambience.
- Superb!OptimusDinerVIPDined on 9/14/2014We had just seen "The Trip to Italy" so naturally we came here for Italian food as did the older couple who say next to us and when we saw them leaving they recognized us and said that was why they came! We have been here many times, have tried many different dishes and can highly recommend this place for the good food, super-great service and wonderful ambiance - a superb restaurant.Special Features:
- BrunchMaryDined on 9/14/2014We celebrated a special birthday and everyone raved about the food and service. We went at a time when it was not very crowded so it was nice and quiet. The food was delicious. Everyone enjoyed what they ordered. I had a calzone. It was my first but it will not be my last. It was so large I brought half home and had it the next day. I can't wait to return for another meal.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Always GreatJeffDined on 9/13/2014Been to a few of these in various California cities, and the quality, service, and atmosphere is always great.Special Features:
- Good, not greatJulesDined on 9/12/2014Our pork belly was over cooked, probably the last pieces they had, so I'm betting the earlier portions were better. Zablizone (sp?) dessert was the highlight - delicious!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Great for special occasionsggincalifDined on 9/7/2014I have come on and off to Il Fornaio as part of corporate parties, with friends and families. They have always been very gracious and do not rush you through the meal. Wonderful wine list according to the people in my party who drank wine.Special Features:
- Early Fall at Il FornioRuckyDined on 9/6/2014It is a wonderful restaurant! Good service and David is the best waiter! Enjoy his bread trick and warmth! Our entrees were delicious! The gelatos and sorbets are so good! We always have a good time! The filled tables in each room is proof of people enjoying themselves!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Service LackingStevenFVIPDined on 9/5/2014We like this restaurant - the food is good, it is not too noisy and we can usually get a table. This last visit was not good though. The waiter was nice but rushed. The bar could not make my drink. We waited too long for our drinks. Another waiter dropped a glass bottle of olive oil behind me. We couldn't get our oil and vinegar refilled timely or correctly. We will give it another try but may have to cross Il Fornaio off our go to list.
- Love Il FornaiogpaulgrayVIPDined on 9/4/2014Il Fornaio is one of my go-to's for business lunches and dinners. Great location in Downtown Palo Alto, close to a parking structure, great service, great food, amazing ambiance out on the patio, AND the happy hour, with (if I recall correctly) $6 woodfired pizza and $5 glasses of wine, is one of the best in town.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Great for company lunchjaybeeDined on 9/2/2014We booked a table for 8 and did not have to wait to be seated. Service was spot-on and the food came quickly, even for such a large group. Everyone liked their food A LOT (which is saying something for a group of that size). The prosciutto and truffle oil pizza was fantastic. Definitely worth the price.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- A disappointing Il FornaioLrbgDined on 8/31/2014Dined on Sunday evening and ordered from their special menu-- described as "ribbons of tagliatelle pasta with wild boar meatballs." Imagine our surprise when the waiter plopped down plates filled with seashell pasta that looked like a kids meal. When we pointed out the pasta problem he seemed bewildered--- he had no idea what we were talking about. He returned them to the kitchen with no apology offered and brought out our "ribbons" of pasta 10 minutes later, again with no apologies, after the rest of the table had finished their dinners. No offer to comp a dinner or offer a glass of wine. Amazing the kitchen doesn't know their pastas--- nor the waiters. Will not come again.
- Bummer of a dinnerUnhappyDined on 8/24/2014My family of 5 went out to celebrate my husband's birthday. Our waiter was impatient and rude to us much of the time. When my daughter wanted to know what they had to drink, he rolled he eyes. When she took a moment to decide, he left! I saw him give the specials and be very engaging with other tables. It was really strange. He pretty much ruined our dinner. Our entire family felt his negativity. My husband had wanted wine with his meal but gave up on trying to engage with our waiter. Truly a sad night on what was supposed to be a fun outing.Special Features:
- Always outstanding and predictableLoveToEatDined on 8/24/2014Haven't been there in years since we moved south to Los Gatos, so decided to go back to celebrate a very nice meal for our anniversary. We were not disappointed. Service and food outstanding, a real class act. We had the seafood on spinach and it was perfect - seafood with a slightly crispy savory outside and juicy inside and slightly spicy from chili flakes. Wow!!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Good foodLinSDined on 8/22/2014Service a little slow but the food was very good. Good place to go with friends.Special Features:
- Nice place, stay for dessertFoodieVIPDined on 8/15/2014The food was average considering the restaurant. Our waiter didn't seem like he wanted to be there, the bus boys were way more helpful and friendlier. Luckily when the dessert came out, now that was worth waiting for!Special Features:
- Never DisappointsSkkyupDined on 8/14/2014Went for an early rendezvous dinner with family from San Francisco and Campbell. As always, the food was excellent from the roasted beet salad, fresh baked table breads, capellini with fresh tomato basil and the pesce misto. Our service was a bit off that Thursday but not enough that a little wine and some affogato al caffè couldn't cure.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Have had better experiencesEastmeetswestVIPDined on 8/14/2014Our experience was totally based on our server. We arrived before 5pm and inquired about specials. Was told not available until 5pm which was understandable. But his service was so slow that we hadn't placed our order yet by 5pm. And when we asked again he basically ignored our request. Brought a bottle of wine we wanted with dinner, and told him as much. He didn't bother to offer us cocktails before dinner, we had to ask. He seemed hurried and distracted although the place was fairly empty. Am sure if we went back we would have a better experience but it was disappointing for our first visit to this Il Fornaio.I would recommend this to a friend.
- Old ReliableKensCuisineDined on 8/11/2014We know we can always depend on Il Fornaio in Palo Alto for a delicious dinner in a comfortable setting. It is so nice to be recognized by the personnel there who are always welcoming and knowledgeable.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- OpenTable Diner Since 2012Dined on 8/11/2014Nice place - food good, although could have been hotter. Service was really great!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Great foodJujubaDined on 8/10/2014I went with my kid, and we loved the food. The service was also good.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- A Late Summer evening at Il FornaioRuckyDined on 8/9/2014It is a pleasure to visit Il Fornaio! Friendly but professional service. David is the best! Icy mugs of lemonade. Hot breads and rolls to tear and dip into olive oil. I ordered Culingiones, which is ravioli filled with cheese, mint and potatoes in a delicious tomato sauce with basil. It was so good that, I closed my eyes for each bite to savor it. My husband enjoyed his meal of meat and vegetables. He choose Affogato al Caffè which is hot coffee over vanilla ice cream in a fluted goblet and I chose Gelati e Sorbetti Gelati Misti, one scoop of Dark Chocolate and one scoop of Vanilla Gelato and one scoop of Raspberry Sorbet for our desserts. Every month we come back to enjoy our meals. We have come to Il Fornaio for over six years.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Il Fornaio - Palo AltoDisappointedDined on 8/9/2014I made a reservation for 7 people @ 5 pm on Sat. 8.9.2014. We were seated immediately in the beautiful patio area. Our waiter Max H., unfortunately, was abrupt to the point of almost being rude. Had he assumed we weren't going to be big spenders or big tippers? He provided no information about the special Aug. menu, rushed to take our orders & then strangely brought out 2 different flavor combinations when we ordered 2 of the same sorbet dessert item. My mom described her pasta & chicken dish as "just okay," & my sea bass was served semi cold. We were especially disappointed b/c we had dear family w/ us & had raved about this restaurant to them. We have always loved dining at this particular Il Fornaio. Our bill total was 235.22.Special Features:
- OpenTable Diner Since 2008VIPDined on 8/8/2014Horrible new menu, it has been reduced far too much. The salad and entree selections were pathetic. The Caesar salad was one of the worst that I've had.
- Great foodccauctionDined on 8/7/2014The service was top notch, menu extensive and diverse with gluten free options for all noodles. Prices are reasonable, especially for the neighborhood.Special Features:
- Monthly varietyOpenTable Diner Since 2012VIPDined on 8/7/2014We go for the monthly regional specials and wine flights. The dinners have been well thought out with excellent flavor.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- My new favorite restaurant!LacisMomDined on 8/7/2014Il Fornaio is amazing. Walking in feels like entering your favorite neighborhood restaurant. You are greeted warmly and taken to your table where all around you are talking about their day and sipping wine or cocktail. Your waiter is right at your table to get you started with your evenings food adventure. I never order the same thing twice because I want to try it all. Desserts are in a word - heavenly! A nice cup of coffee, the evening is complete. LOVE Il FornaioSpecial Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Great dining experienceCapitoladiner2Dined on 8/7/2014Really enjoyed the food the ambiance and excellent service, reception, bar and restaurantSpecial Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Well ServedCasualDinerDined on 8/7/2014Had a business dinner/meeting in the rear patio. Service was excellent, great Italian food and perfect ambience for quiet conversation.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Menu was good, now better ...MarkSTDined on 8/7/2014Interesting new choices ... and the good old ones remain.Special Features:
- BeautyDined on 8/3/2014the food is so so depends on the dish and the day. service was good we tend to go there with kids and for basics pizza pasta and salads. Sometimes the menu of the day can surprise with better choices the main menu is constant no changes gets boring. the wine list is limited but by the glass is ok and not too expensive. all and all on a day when you don't wish to cook go for it!Special Features:
- Lovely brunch on the patiodinerinPAVIPDined on 8/2/2014Consistently good food and service. Brunch is delightful out on the patio. Perfectly made lattes, attentive wait staff, well prepared food with generous portions.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- love it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!RubenDined on 7/30/2014Great place in lovely Palo Alto, good for groups and great for outdoor dining Also good for special occasion, late-night find...love it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Special Features:
- Best French Toast Ever!OpenTable Diner Since 2012VIPDined on 7/27/2014Got to have the French Toast with mascapone cheese and a drizzle of maple syrup. OUTSTANDING!! Oh, and order a sausage with it and you're all set for the best breakfast ever.Special Features:
- excellent as alwaysbrunchDined on 7/21/2014Service was very good as was the food. Manager came and spoke with us and found out it was our anniversary so one dessert was comped which was nice. The table next to us was pretty loud but thankfully they left half way through.Special Features:
- A delight on all frontsKhunkalDined on 7/21/2014Wonderful interior garden courtyard dinning space, impeccable service and flavors, tastes and textures that delight the palate. Definitely two thumbs up!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- A HabitKensCuisineDined on 7/20/2014Il Fornaio's passport tasting menus has made it a monthly habit for us. But unless the food and service was as excellent as it is the chance to win a trip to Italy would not keep us coming back.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Great classics and new tastes!MarinaDined on 7/19/2014We've been to the Seattle location and are pleased to see the same outstanding service, quality food, and interesting selections (ordered from regional menu, roasted pear ravioli was wonderful). As 1st timers to that location, the manager sent us a starter, personally welcomed us and checked in after our food came. Staff were all attentive and I overheard them graciously accommodating the diet restrictions of the table behind us. Food came out timely, not rushed. It is a chain and our expectations weren't a 5 star experience, we wanted a pleasant night out with predictable quality but something other than the usual. They more than met that with tasty food, SERVICE, and quiet table where we could easily talk. Only con- it was a little warm.Special Features: