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
Foodspotting photosSee all photos
Awards voted by OpenTable diners
- Diners' Choice WinnerMost Booked
Il Fornaio - Palo Alto - Best Restaurants in Palo Alto ›
Il Fornaio - Palo Alto reviews from OpenTable diners
195 reviews since April 23, 2014
- Ambiance4Noise LevelModerate
great for lunch (71)great for outdoor dining (69)special occasion (66)good for groups (63)neighborhood gem (56)great for brunch (47)fit for foodies (41)romantic (33)kid-friendly (30)notable wine list (25)hot spot (16)vibrant bar scene (10)late-night find (10)scenic view (3)Show More
- 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:
- 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.
- 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:
- GeoQDined on 7/18/2014Selected Il Fornaio for dinner with another couple. Their comment "We enjoyed your selection of a great restaurant. We all had a good dinner".Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Great Anniversary Spot!DamaruDined on 7/18/2014We celebrated our anniversary here and was not disappointed. Loved the Veneto Regional menu choices. Great food, wonderful atmosphere and fantastic Tiramisu!Special Features:
- Nice dinner spotDougBDined on 7/17/2014A few of us from out of town had dinner here and were impressed by the variety of items on the menu. The butternut squash ravioli, while it may sound a little odd, is actually quite good. You can order the "small" portion and share it as an appetizer if you just want to give it a shot without committing to the full dinner. Three of us ordered three entrees and divided them up so that we could each sample different items: two ravioli dishes and the beef tenderloin, which was excellent. The service was very good and the drinks were well-made and tasty, if a little pricey. I would definitely go back for the food and service. Maybe I would have wine with dinner instead of mixed drinks from the bar.Special Features:
- JoanieDined on 7/13/2014This was the first time our party had brunch. Our party ate in the garden area which was just delightful. Everyone enjoyed their meals and our waiter was just perfect with his service.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Summer at Il FornaioRuckyDined on 7/12/2014My meal was delicious! Crisp, fresh, warm bread and rather good olive oil to dip into. Lemonade. "Caasoonzei Stracchino e Pere" which was ravioli with roasted pear. I closed my eyes to enjoy it and in a delicate 3 cheese sauce decorated with asparagus and toasted walnuts. My dessert of three wonderful flavors of "Vanilla Bean" and "Deep Dark Chocolate gelato" and fruity"Raspberry Sorbet." . My husband enjoyed his meal of "Pollo al Curry con Tortino di Riso al Salto" which was baked chicken in a curry cream sauce with mushroom and cheese risotto and his old favorite dessert of a delicious hot bitter coffee poured over vanilla gelato. All the tables were taken in front with people who were happy to be there and enjoying their meal.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Great serviceCatsladderDined on 7/8/2014Great service. Server extremely attentive and professional.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- disappointing....love2eatoutDined on 7/7/2014Our 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!Special Features:
- solidly good, not very interestingrob3016Dined on 7/4/2014I 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.Special Features:
- Terrible. Bad food.OpenTable Diner Since 2008Dined on 7/3/2014Many 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!
- FoodstolpDined on 7/3/2014Food 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.Special Features:
- OpenTable Diner Since 2014Dined on 6/29/2014They have calories counts on the menu. Great for people that are health conciousSpecial Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Always fubJojoDined on 6/25/2014I'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.Special Features:
- Totally outshines the others!ninaDined on 6/21/2014The 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!Special Features:
- Great place to meetjimoriDined on 6/17/2014As 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.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Disapppointing Father's Day BrunchDaveVIPDined on 6/15/2014Came 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.
- Nice family late dinnerBradfordDined on 6/14/2014A 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!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Fun2eatVIPDined on 6/14/2014The 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.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- First world problems...IAmAnIdiotDined on 6/14/2014Made reservation for wrong day. Graciously accommodated party of 12 even though restaurant was VERY busy w Stanford graduation.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Service greatpeirVIPDined on 6/13/2014Our waiter (David W.) was cheerful and helpful, and very accommodating to our dietary restrictions.I would recommend this to a friend.