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
166 reviews since June 28, 2014
- Ambiance4.1Noise LevelModerate
great for outdoor dining (60)special occasion (56)good for groups (54)neighborhood gem (54)great for lunch (49)fit for foodies (46)great for brunch (39)romantic (33)notable wine list (25)kid-friendly (24)hot spot (11)late-night find (10)vibrant bar scene (5)scenic view (2)Show More
- I found my dining experienceOpenTable Diner Since 2008Dined on 4/16/2008I found my dining experience at Il Fornaio quite enjoyable.Special Features:
- Overall Il Fornaio was a disappointOpenTable Diner Since 2007Dined on 4/14/2008Overall Il Fornaio was a disappointment. The waiter was slow and poorly trained. It was a business dinner and I was rather embarrassed. Will not use this restaurant again.
- We were seated in a tableOpenTable Diner Since 2005Dined on 4/12/2008We were seated in a table right near a wait station -- that table should be removed from the restaurant.
- We always enjoy I fornio.OpenTable Diner Since 2005Dined on 4/11/2008We always enjoy I fornio. The food is consistent and the bread is the best.Special Features:
- service was very slow. waitedOpenTable Diner Since 2008Dined on 4/11/2008service was very slow. waited almost 40 minutes for our orders to arrive.
- The chicken special was tastyGeorgeVIPDined on 4/11/2008The chicken special was tasty but dry. The noise level was high and I had trouble having a conversation. The waitress was OK, but not attentive.
- We've eaten at other Il FornaioOpenTable Diner Since 2005Dined on 4/9/2008We've eaten at other Il Fornaio restaurants and enjoyed them much more than this one. The service at our table, while not poor, was indifferent (some other tables fared much worse with multiple accidents and spills). We liked the idea of featuring different regions of Italy with special menus: we each ordered different specials. Unfortunately, while the food was well prepared and well presented, it arrived only barely warm and on cold plates; it soon turned cold (before it could be even half consumed). We were both surprised and very disappointed. We will not be returning. Fortunately, there are significantly better Italian restaurants in the area.
- We are enjoying the "tour"OpenTable Diner Since 2007Dined on 4/9/2008We are enjoying the "tour" of Italy via Il Fornaio's monthly special menus.Special Features:
- This is a restaurant for largeOpenTable Diner Since 2005VIPDined on 4/7/2008This is a restaurant for large groups which makes having a smaller table difficult. It was hard to hear because of all the noise and we were put on a table behind the waiters station so there was constant activity behind our table.Special Features:
- a solid Italian restaurantOpenTable Diner Since 2002Dined on 4/4/2008a solid Italian restaurant that is part of a chain. Quite good but I would not go out of way to eat hereSpecial Features:
- Outstanding and well aboveOpenTable Diner Since 2006Dined on 4/4/2008Outstanding and well above front desk hostess personell - men and women who serve the reseption are always very friendly and accomodating. The best I have ever experienced any where.Special Features:
- The food was great. The serviceRei808Dined on 4/2/2008The food was great. The service was good, but we would have appreciated our waiter checking in on us more often. We finished our meal and were left alone for a little longer than we would have liked. In all it took us 2 hours to complete dinner for just two people. The waiter was very polite, but just coming back and asking how we are and if everything is fine would have been a little nicer. I drank my first drink pretty quickly and didn't get a refill into the half-way point in dinner. And I got the drink during appetizers.Special Features:
- The restaurant may have beenOpenTable Diner Since 2008Dined on 4/1/2008The restaurant may have been recently remodeled, because the moment I stepped in I sensed a subtle but noticeable chemical smell, which was likely paint. It bothered me until I received my food, which tasted pretty good. Thankfully the smell didn't greatly affect how the food tasted, but someone more sensitive than me might have had larger issues.Special Features:
- We were there with 6 and 3OpenTable Diner Since 2004Dined on 3/29/2008We were there with 6 and 3 1/2 year old grandkids. il fornaio does a great job of making kids welcome and providing an adult and very pleasant dining experice for the grown-ups. Food is consistent and good for kids and adults.Special Features:
- We love it! Great place toGinaDined on 3/28/2008We love it! Great place to meet friends for a fun night out!Special Features:
- We enjoyed sitting in thePhilDined on 3/23/2008We enjoyed sitting in the patio area which is very pleasant and a reminder of the old Lehr's Greenhouse in the City, The food was very well prepared and just enough leaving room for a shared dessert. We did not feel rushed making it a relaxing intimate dinner experience.Special Features:
- The two of us sat at a tableSpenceDined on 3/23/2008The two of us sat at a table in the main room that would run paralell with University Avenue. The table was more rectangular than square and becasue the table was so long, it was hard to talk to one another. Not very intimate, you might say.Special Features:
- Food quality price and serviceOpenTable Diner Since 2004Dined on 3/23/2008Food quality price and service have stayed consistent.Special Features:
- Dinner for two was a wonderfulJohnMartinVIPDined on 3/22/2008Dinner for two was a wonderful experience from the maitre d greeting, friendly wait staff and very good selection of menu items.Special Features:
- We had a great time at IlOpenTable Diner Since 2003VIPDined on 3/22/2008We had a great time at Il Fornaio. It serves good food in a very nice atmosphere. It is well worth the price.Special Features:
- Service was good and waiterOpenTable Diner Since 2007Dined on 3/21/2008Service was good and waiter was extremely friendly and helpful. There is a full view of the kitchen which is always nice, but a little too noisy and bright to make a romantic night.Special Features:
- The food was absolutely incredible.OpenTable Diner Since 2007Dined on 3/20/2008The food was absolutely incredible. The best way to describe it is: even if you go out with no intention of "splurging"/eating dessert, you can't help yourself, since all is so good from the beginning... you can't pass up the end.Special Features:
- It is always good ambianceOpenTable Diner Since 2006Dined on 3/19/2008It is always good ambiance for business casual lunch. I hope their pasta dishes would be more al dente.Special Features:
- There seemed to be a littleOpenTable Diner Since 2006Dined on 3/19/2008There seemed to be a little confusion about who is responsible for our table, and somehow my espresso got lost on the way. No big deal. The food was great - as always.Special Features:
- One dish was not preparedOpenTable Diner Since 2007Dined on 3/17/2008One dish was not prepared well, but the waiter noticeed, and suggested another -- that was OK. We appreciated that he noticed.
- I always enjoy Il FornaioHoiSumDeeDined on 3/16/2008I always enjoy Il Fornaio in Palo Alto. I particularly like the patio sitting outside. It was so warm and comfortable.Special Features:
- Waiter was disappointed whenOpenTable Diner Since 2007Dined on 3/15/2008Waiter was disappointed when noticed that we had complimentary $80 instead of the hard cash (and only had to pay portion of the total amount from out pocket). He couldn't resist to laugh which was very rude. Didn't even bother to hide his attitude. We were good customers and returned to Il Fornaio about once a month or every other month for special family outings, but this was our last time to Palo Alto location.Special Features:
- I've been going to this restaurantOpenTable Diner Since 2006Dined on 3/15/2008I've been going to this restaurant since it opened in 1989. I think that about says it.Special Features:
- Good dining experience overall.helenDined on 3/15/2008Good dining experience overall. They were very busy that night and the service was not up to their usual standard, a little bit slow on the follow ups. Food was very good and the staff friendly and accomodating.Special Features:
- We are enjoying the "visits"OpenTable Diner Since 2007Dined on 3/11/2008We are enjoying the "visits" to regions of Italy and discovering new dishes each month. Kathleen is one of our favorite servers; she is always cheerful and prompt to meet our requests.Special Features:
- Last visit was very nice,PostsymphonydinerVIPDined on 3/10/2008Last visit was very nice, but this visit the staff were rushing us, and there was a markedly dirty fork at my place setting.Special Features:
- My teenage kids love the dessertsOpenTable Diner Since 2008Dined on 3/9/2008My teenage kids love the desserts and pizza (the pizza is really good), my parents like it (and they live in Manhattan -- food central), and my wife and I like it too. You can't go wrong here. My one complaint is they don't change the menu very often except for one page of specials. We are vegetarians and the options are limited, but it is ok since we only eat there two or three times a year. We have been going there for years and plan to continue. The service is friendly.
- I have always been pleasedOpenTable Diner Since 2008Dined on 3/9/2008I have always been pleased with the food and service at Il Fornaio. And that is not just the Palo Alto location. Our server was very attentive to our needs, and listened to what we were asking and requesting. That is very important to me. We had a very lovely lunch seated outside looking into the courtyard. Since it was my birthday, I had the choice of where I wanted to eat. And after our lunch, I knew I had made the right choice.Special Features:
- We have been fans of Il FornaioOpenTable Diner Since 2006Dined on 3/9/2008We have been fans of Il Fornaio for years, usually going to the one at Levi Plaza in San Francisco. Although our Sunday brunch experience at the Palo Alto location was enjoyable, the service let a lot to be desired. We were seated in the outdoor patio and it appeared as if they only had one waitperson and one bus-person covering the entire room. Coffee cups and wine glasses remained empty while the entrees took a long time to appear. When they arrived, one needed to be sent back because it was cold. I would still recommend Il Fornaio due to many pleasant past experiences. However, if this was my fist time, it would be my last!Special Features:
- I enjoy the regional monthlyOpenTable Diner Since 2010Dined on 3/8/2008I enjoy the regional monthly menus. Il Fornaio used to offer a fixed price "tasting" regional menu with either wine or dessert which was very good. I regret that they discontinued this menu selection. I have eaten here once a month for the past 8 years. The food has been consistently good, and ocassionally very good. The service depends on the night. They have many long time wait staff who are very good. Some nights they appear to be under staffed and that has significantly affected the service. I also enjoy lunch here about two times a month. I especially like their roasted chicken salad. My husband and I have breakfast in the bar on many Sundays. We love the eggs with the tomatoes on toasted bread.Special Features:
- Waiter brought antipasto dishOpenTable Diner Since 2006Dined on 3/8/2008Waiter brought antipasto dish that was "on the house" since it was our first visit... but of course it appeared on the bill. I ordered a Coke that was never brought to me... and of course was still included on the bill. Makes me think some restaurants do this on purpose. I paid for the entire bill since I was too involved with my date to even notice the mistakes. $60+ for a $35 dinner. Grade: D-Special Features:
- Disappointed in the serviceOpenTable Diner Since 2005Dined on 3/8/2008Disappointed in the service when dining for lunch. It was poor service. We were not offered ground pepper for our salads, we were given one small plate of vinegar and olive oil to dip the bread which had to be shared by three people and then it was never refilled. One of my guests finally got up and went and got the bottles and filled the plate. We asked for more bread and it was almost at the end of the meal when it was delivered to our table. We saw our waitress three times - when she took the order, when she brought the bill and when she picked up the bill. Because of the poor service I rate this experience as Fair/Mediocre, because no matter how enjoyable the food, it was not a pleasant dining experience because of poor service
- Fun lunch spot in Palo Alto.OpenTable Diner Since 2004Dined on 12/22/2007Fun lunch spot in Palo Alto. One of the better Il Fornaio's.Special Features:
- This is one my regular spots.OpenTable Diner Since 2007Dined on 12/13/2007This is one my regular spots. Food is dependably good, sometimes really good. Stick with the specials.Special Features:
- This is casual, somewhat noisyOpenTable Diner Since 2010Dined on 8/25/2006This is casual, somewhat noisy place for breakfast or brunch. Service is good, but it's not very private for business meetingsSpecial Features: