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Fornello Trattoria

4.0
57 reviews
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$30 and under
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Italian
Top Tags:
  • Neighborhood Gem
  • Fit for Foodies
  • Romantic

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About

Experience award-winning wine and old style, authentic Italian food made with only the freshest ingredients. Whether you are celebrating family, or enjoying a special night with a date, come in for an unforgettable experience.

Fornello will be the first thing on your mind the next morning.
Dining Style
Casual Dining
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Cuisines
Italian
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Hours of operation


Monday - Thursday: 4:30pm - 10:00pm Friday & Saturday: 4:30pm - 11:00pm, Sunday: 2:00pm -9:00pm
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Phone number
(773) 404-1800
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Payment options
AMEX, Diners Club, Discover, JCB, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Business Casual
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Cross street
Sheridan
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Parking details
Have some available spots please call ahead for info
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Public transit
Next door to Sheridan Red-line stop.
Irving park and Sheridan - 80 Bus
Additional
Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, BYO Wine, Corkage Fee, Counter Seating, Delivery, Entertainment, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Late Night, Non-Smoking, Outdoor dining, Takeout, Wheelchair Access
What 57 People Are SayingWrite a review
Overall ratings and reviews
4.0based on all time ratings
4.1
food
4.1
service
4.0
ambience
4.1
value
Noise · Moderate
90% of people would recommend it to a friend
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5.0Dined on March 26, 2016

Wonderful evening! Great staff, especially Cheryl. She offered great recommendations, took into our attempt at eating healthy, and was very accommodating. Food was delicious, grilled calamari, arugula salad with strawberries with champagne vinaigrette, butterflied pork, rapini and fagioli, tiramisu traditional with a twist.

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2.0Dined on February 14, 2016

The wine list and food were quite quality were quite average at best. The atmosphere felt very old fashioned...and not the good kind. There are much better Italian restaurants out there that have better quality food for the price. Disappointed.

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5.0Dined on January 23, 2016

My husband and I recently moved to the area and we had a wonderful dinner here. Our server was amazing and even took time to chat with us. Great food and service!!

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5.0Dined on January 22, 2016

We were unexpectedly surprised by the quality of the food. We didn't meet the chef but the menu and presentation were delicious.
Kudos Chef !
Service was impeccable, charming and attentive.
As a frequent diner in many fine restaurants I would say Fornello's will easily become a favorite.

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5.0Dined on November 8, 2015

The food was great. Even greater was the service. Our server, Ryan was funny, personable and very knowledgeable. I will go back to have another meal there -- and I will call and find out ahead of time if he's working and will ask to have him as a server. Great night all around.

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4.0Dined on September 26, 2015

Went to dinner with family. Great service( Ryan was great) and the potions were perfect. food delicious and hit the spot.

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1.0Dined on August 27, 2015

Made a 6 30 reservation and was seated by a very harried host in a full restaurant. We waited 15 minutes before a server appeared.
We ordered drinks and waited to order. We had to ask twice to get the server back to order. 35 minutes
after being seated we ordered and waited and waited. We were told by
hosts that they were very very busy.
They appeared to be short staffed.
Our meal hadn't arrived by 7 35 and we were told it would be another 10 minutes. We had 8 00 theatre tickets 5 blocks away We left
and we weren't the only ones.
We ended up eating after the play
at another restaurant in the area
where we were served timely.
A true dining disaster

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5.0Dined on August 27, 2015

Fantastic food. Our server was super knowledgable. We asked her to pace our visit to our needs and she nailed it.

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5.0Dined on August 13, 2015

We love this place. The food is great and so is the staff!

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5.0Dined on July 17, 2015

Best pasta vodka & grilled calamari we have ever had. Been there 3 times in 3 weeks now. Live music was great and the staff was very nice and helpful with their recommendations.

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5.0Dined on June 13, 2015

Have been to this restaurants numerous times in the last 12 years. We have never had a bad meal or experience here. Even though we live in Northwest Indiana, this place is worth the drive. It has become tradition that we always come here to eat before we go to a Cubs game.

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4.0Dined on May 23, 2015

We liked it. The Q’s decided to have a drink and Mr. Q had the lasagna. Mrs. Q had one of the specials of the day. She really wanted the Braised Beef Ravioli that is on their internet menu but not on their restaurant menu. We were told that the restaurant was recently redecorated. The drinks were ok. The decent food, service is worth another visit for a before/or after Theater meal. They have nice outdoor seating, if that what you prefer, or sit at the bar. If in the neighborhood, give it a try. You might enjoy!

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3.0Dined on February 13, 2015


Was looking for comfort food - early on a cold Friday night. Been here once before and loved it.

This time, besides my order, I had one simple request - which was botched: ”When my entrée arrives please bring me a glass of the Barbera.”

I’m in an empty restaurant on a Friday night. No more than 3 tables occupied the whole time I was there. My entrée is delivered - by someone not my server - and I wait for my wine. And I wait.

The restaurant was over-staffed (not a bad thing for diners) and when I first arrived there was intense focus on learning how to fold napkins and place the tableware.

But now I can see at the bar 5 staff standing around. Bartender watching the TV. No waiting glass of wine.

I try to get anyone’s attention - by sitting up frozen and staring intently hoping to will someone to turn their head to you. No luck. The chef comes out and grabs my server’s attention and gets her on a exercise to correct the placement of some wine glasses on an empty table. She moves them about an inch to the left. Then she moves down the row of empty tables - she now has a mission! - away from me, fixing the placement of the glasses.

She finishes and finally walks my way. At this point a 4-top is being seated next to me. My server gets close. I call out "May I have my glass of wine?!" I say it loud enough that the 4-top all look at me. My server’s response isn’t “Yes, sir” or “I’m on it”. It’s “Are you ready for it now?” I say “Yes I am, I had asked for it when my entrée arrived”, motioning to my congealing food.

I watch the bartender pour a white, my server and he confer, and then he puts the white aside and pours the red. She brings it to me. And apologizes by stating that she “asked them to tell me when your entrée came out.”

The restaurant is slow and overstaffed. I hear the manager ask one of the servers if he wants to go home and the server says yes.

At least the empty tables got some attention tonight. They looked lovely and cared for.

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5.0Dined on February 11, 2015

Although I lost my passport there. I will be back for sure!

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4.0Dined on January 8, 2015

really good service and good food. wish there was a marinara sauce for pasta and some soup choices but still good

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2.0Dined on January 4, 2015

Food not very good and they were out of several items on the menu

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3.0Dined on December 13, 2014

My girlfriend and I went here for dinner. The restaurant had nice decor and had a nice vintage Italian feel to it. The staff was friendly and helpful. The food was disappointing for the price. It was just ok. We had bruchetta for an appetizer which looked thrown together very quickly and was essentially bread with tomatoes. It was rather bland. I had the rabbit special, which was rather dry and again - bland. My girlfriend had lobster ravioli which was also bland. If I hear they get a different chef, I would try again. But overall, with the amount of money we spent, we won't be returning.

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4.0Dined on November 29, 2014

The service and food were very good and the owner came over to see how everything was as we enjoyed our entrees. I had the eggplant parmesan which was excellent, it looked like an eggplant lasagna, was the perfect portion size and I had plenty left to take home and enjoy the next evening. My husband had the chicken marsala which was also excellent, the perfect consistency of mushrooms and marsala sauce. Street parking was easy to find and the menu had many options we look forward to coming back and trying.

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3.0Dined on November 8, 2014

Fornello Trattoria had good food, but not good enough to warrant the prices, which were slightly higher than I think they could have been. Our waitress happily gave us samples of the wines that we were interested in, which was a very nice touch. She was very attentive and we weren't left waiting for anything. The owner/manager was also walking around making sure that everyone was having a nice time. Unfortunately, many seats in the restaurant have a view that is drawn to one of the doors to the kitchen, which really throws off the ambience of the restaurant. I wish that I could give it another star, but I just didn't think that the value was there considering good, but not great food, and slightly too high of prices.

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5.0Dined on November 7, 2014

This was our second time here. It was great. We both ordered different things and they were fantastic. I love this neighborhood restaurant. I had the Gnocchi Quattro Formagio and my husband had the salmon. These dishes we would both order again.

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5.0Dined on October 31, 2014

True Italian. Homemade goodness and owners/staff that care. If you love lasagna, you will be in heaven. Also, the mussels in red sauce...so good. Make sure to save your bread just to dip in the sauce.

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5.0Dined on October 18, 2014

Great neighborhood Italian food. Large delicious portions & attentive service will bring us back. 6 out of 6 appetizers and diners were winners.
Enjoyable night.

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4.0Dined on October 11, 2014

Authentic and homemade pasta. We really enjoyed our meal!

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3.0Dined on September 29, 2014

Itallian Waiter a little scattered...he wasn't focussed ..too busy being a goomba. Service provided by him was slow. He tried charging us for drinks we didn't have, Instead of leaving with my date, I had to play auditor retracing everything we did..only to find we were overcharged on drinks. A real Mood Killer!

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3.0Dined on September 21, 2014

Went in for dinner Sunday night & and sat at a table in the bar/cocktail area. Started with the gin cocktail on the menu, extremely refreshing & a great start to the meal. My boyfriend had the artigianale italian golden ale which was great. Our server (also the bartender) gave an overview of his favorites on the menu which were helpful. Ordered the burrata to start & the lobster ravioli and filet for second course. Unfortunately they all came out at the same time. Not the biggest deal but I was hoping to try 2 new wines: one with apps & the other with dinner. Ordered a latte, tiramisu and lava cake to finish. Desserts were excellent but latte was laughable. All being said I would still go back, best italian in the area.

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4.0Dined on July 10, 2014

Reliable neighborhood joint. Delicious, traditional Italian.

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5.0Dined on July 6, 2014

Fornello was recommended to me by a friend. During a weekend trip to Chicago with my children, I looked up how to get there and we made a reservation for 2 pm. Being unfamiliar with the city, we actually got there a half hour early, which was about an hour before they actually were supposed to open at 2:30 pm. However, they let us in and seated us and served us drinks, and as soon as they had enough staff in to start serving us lunch they did (it was still well before 2:30 at that point). The meal was outstanding, and my kids begged to take their leftovers with them even though we were traveling (we did). Even though we are 5 hours away by car I would almost drive back just to have dinner. I wish we could have taken them home with us!!

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4.0Dined on June 25, 2014

The food here is very good, nice-sized portions, and at a reasonable price. Lots of options on the menu, and a great wine list.
The service is very good as well.

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2.0Dined on June 22, 2014

As long-time fans of Fornello, we were there often for many years because it was in the neighborhood and could be depended for perfect mussels, exquisitely fresh and flavorful eggplant and artichoke salads, savory veal cappelacci. The Matinis and the wines were delicious. The wait staff was knowledgeable and had personality, as did the room. Then they decided to redo it. Many of our favorite dishes and servers left. The space is now generic and the few favorite dishes that remain have inferior ingredients. And the servers, well it would be unkind to say how inattentive they are or how little they know. We keep trying the restaurant out of loyalty but it's not the same. Please bring back the old Fornello and all its wonderful elements!

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5.0Dined on June 21, 2014

Great food and service. We like the lemon chicken, chicken marsala, gnocchi with vodka cream sauce. Some things are great, everything is at least good. If you don't see it on the menu, ask and they often will make it for you anyway. They really try to accommodate. Good wine list too.

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4.0Dined on April 25, 2014

Food and waiter were outstanding. We enjoyed our meal very much. Staff was very attentive to our needs. Would definitely recommend this restaurant and will go back.

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3.0Dined on April 12, 2014

Good food, reasonably priced. Calamari was excellent. Other food was average or slightly above average, service could have been better. The night we went wasn't that busy, but the service was less than attentive.

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5.0Dined on March 25, 2014

My friends/family have been coming to this place for over 15 years. I've had everything on the menu more than twice and I can honestly say there isn't one thing that I wouldn't recommend.

I proposed to my fiancé here as well...! The staff made sure that it was a huge surprise by hiding the ring on her entree plate in a tomato cut in the shape of a rose.....!!!!

When the restaurant closed recently for the remodel I can say I was a little upset it would lose its personal charm and family down home feeling you got when you walked into the place. (the always blazing fireplace in front of the bar they cooked pizza in) When they reopened I was pleasantly surprised with what they had done to the place. Check it out...! :)

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4.0Dined on March 15, 2014

Great neighborhood spot for delicious Italian, dine in, or delivery. Freshest Calamari I've had in a while, and not overpriced!

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2.0Dined on March 13, 2014

4 people in the restaurant and I waited over an hour for my dinner. It was the worst meal ever. A gentlemen came in after me ordered the same meal because mind smelled so good. We both were disappointed. It was very salty, over cooked rice, and fishy smelling seafood. Don't waste your time and money.

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5.0Dined on March 8, 2014

Went with my parents, and we were all extremely happy. Our waiter knew his stuff, the owner was very nice. When we were ordering, we asked about a veggie we'd never heard of, eventually choosing against it- they gave us an order for free during the meal. We had an appetizer, salad, and different main courses and loved all of them. Highly recommend! I'll be taking the lady for sure.

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5.0Dined on January 30, 2014

Whenever we are in Chicago we always make a point of dining at Fornello. The spicy calamari is delicious and our favorite dish. I love the meatball salad and usually pair it with baked clams. We shared the sausage and peppers which was authentic. The waitperson recommended an Umbrian red which complimented the meal. The server(Kelsey?) was very professional and warm.

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4.0Dined on December 30, 2013

Went to dinner here with a big party and the staff was very accommodating! The environment was very warm and welcoming. Our entire meal was delicious. Will definitely go back!

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5.0Dined on December 28, 2013

My second visit was as great as the first. All of the seafood/pasta dishes are great. I enjoyed the calamari this time. The spaghetti bolognese is heavenly; order a side of sausage for a treat. This is the place to go for authentic, reasonably priced Italian food--love the eggplant or veal parmesan or any of the marsalas or vesuvios. With live music, free parking on the street, and friendly staff, this has become a favorite of ours, especially when we go to one of the nearby small theaters.

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3.0Dined on December 27, 2013

It seems like they have a new owner or cook? The Chicken Vesuvio did not taste the same? Not sure if it is new owners or new cook.

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