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Permanently Closed - Il Forno Restaurant

4.1
173 reviews
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$30 and under
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Italian
Top Tags:
  • Fit for Foodies
  • Neighborhood Gem
  • Good for Groups

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About

This restaurant is permanently closed.

Il Forno is an Italian restaurant in Arlington, Washington D.C. Rich, earthy tones dominate the dining room. Combined with the leather chairs and simple natural wood furniture, the whole restaurant has a modern and sophisticated vibe that's pleasant and relaxing. guests can choose to enjoy lunch or dinner with their party at a table or sit at the bar and sip on a fantastic selection of fine international and local wines, beers and spirits.

The Italian food served at Il Forno is presented to guests in an artful display that's both delicious and beautiful. Entrees like pasta, grilled meats, seafood, pizza and sandwiches are all offered on the daily menu. Some of the popular choices include the mushroom ravioli, lobster in white wine sauce, salmon with sweet potato and the veal scaloppine. Pizzas and all other entrees are offered for takeaway meal service from Il Forno.

Dining Style
Casual Dining
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Cuisines
Italian, Contemporary Italian, Pizzeria
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Hours of operation
Lunch
Monday-Friday 11:30am-2:30pm

Dinner
Monday-Thursday 5:00pm-9:30pm
Friday-Saturday 5:00-10:00

Sunday
Closed
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Phone number
(703) 807-2050
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Payment options
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Pay with OpenTable, Visa
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Dress code
Casual Dress
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Executive chef
Jason Mayle
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Neighborhood
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Cross street
9th Street
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Parking details
There is street parking available as well as an underground garage. We offer a 2 hour validation after 5:00 PM.
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Public transit
Ballston metro is walking distance.
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Special events & promotions
Available for group (family/office) gatherings and celebrations.
Additional
Beer, BYO Wine, Corkage Fee, Counter Seating, Farm to Table, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Happy Hour, Outdoor dining, Takeout, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine
What 173 People Are SayingWrite a review
Overall ratings and reviews
4.1based on all time ratings
4.1
food
4.1
service
3.9
ambience
3.8
value
Noise · Moderate
85% of people would recommend it to a friend
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4.0Dined on August 27, 2016

Il Forno has become one of our "go-to" restaurants for Italian cuisine. Good food, well presented, friendly staff and excellent service. Very good without being pretentious. Comfortable dining space, and a good value.

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5.0Dined on August 27, 2016

Nice ambience and tasty food: the manager is an actual Italian and he's super friendly. Overall a great experience.

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3.0Dined on August 13, 2016

Arancine rice balls were incredible! Veal was far too thick and very tough.

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5.0Dined on July 30, 2016

We loved Il Forno! We've been meaning to check it out since trying their Tuna Tartare at Taste of Arlington '15. Everything was fresh and delicious. Our server was knowledgeable about the wine list and menu and our water and wine glasses were frequently refilled.

I do wish they would turn their lights down.

We will be back!

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3.0Dined on July 30, 2016

Ok Italian food, (lasagna too salty), noise level not conducive to conversation, pizzas look good. Table service needs a bit to be desired (they rush to close out theh evening), and a bit full of themselves.

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5.0Dined on July 23, 2016

Il Forno is not a chain or franchise, my dining party was told by Francois, an il Forno fixture. Francois has mastered the menu and wine offerings. He is extremely knowledgeable and eager to help. I ate light - the Branzino main dish. It was exquisite - because I light a lot of seasoning. The pasta menu looked fantastic with many original offerings. I will go back soon.

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4.0Dined on July 19, 2016

Il Forno is a very good restaurant. I had watermelon gispacho which was tasteless & watery. Others in the party had salads which were very good. The entrees were very good but I expected more. All in all the evening was nice.

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4.0Dined on July 9, 2016

We enjoyed the restaurant, the food and the atmosphere. The tuna carpaccio is fabulous.
Only problem was the parking in the basement of the restaurant. We were given a voucher and were told the parking was free, but the meter did not take it so we had to pay 5 $.

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5.0Dined on July 7, 2016

Amazing service and wonderful food.

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4.0Dined on July 7, 2016

We arrived for late lunch, so seating wasn't a problem. The Mushroom Ravioli was to die for as was the Vodka sauce for the other pasta dish. Great pasta selections.

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5.0Dined on July 2, 2016

Came with our college students after they both highly recommended it from their previous visits to DC. We were not disappointed, had a lovely authentic Italian meal and special family time. The staff were very attentive and it is clear the establishment is well managed. Look forward to visiting again in the future.

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5.0Dined on June 21, 2016

It was a fantastic dining experience that made me the hero with a group of friends that I brought there. I was here for the first time a year ago, and remembered the spectacular service that Francois delivered, and that the food was excellent so I brought a new group back this year in hopes that we could duplicate the moment.

Francois did not let me down. His impeccable attention to detail and expertise were as obvious this time as the last , and another server named Alesandro helped us and did a magnificent job as well.

In case he receives this message, I would like Francois and Alesandro to know how much I appreciate their professionalism and artfulness in making our meal a most memorable one. Thank you, my friends.

Dallas Elleman

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3.0Dined on June 18, 2016

the reviews on Trip advisor and open table were good, and the pictures looked good as well.
One person wrote this was the best food they ever had - that is really an over exaggeration. It was good, not spectacular. The waiter was very friendly, maybe too friendly. He was so talkative, at times we thought he should leave. He forgot to put the order in for my husbands starter. When we reminded him, it came after we were done with our meal. The starter was good. the wine was good. I had a drink, also good, considering I had to tell the waiter, who was also the bartender how to make it. He did a good job for not knowing how to make a typical Italian cocktail in an Italian restaurant.

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1.0Dined on June 14, 2016

Waited forever for food, which was average at best. Drinks were wrong. Waiter didn't seem to have a clue. Will not eat there again.

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3.0Dined on June 14, 2016

My husband and I were trying to squeeze in an anniversary date between work and evening meetings, so the location and menu were what we were looking for. My husband is a fan of high end Italian and we were interested in trying out a new venue in Arlington, so this place seemed worth a try. The ambiance was nice and free parking was a plus. The large plate glass windows on the sidewalk side makes you feel like you are dining al fresco. The space is expansive--like a car show room, so it's not very cozy. There was a large work-type group that was easy to fit in.
The specials were well explained and sounded interesting, but the food itself was not special. A seafood risotto was bland and overcooked. Lazagna was bland, too, with not much meat. Cold melon soup was very good. Caesar salad was nothing to write home about. The service was efficient and helpful, but for the price, the meal was just so so, not bad, but not very interesting. We might try the lunch menu sometime, but there are other Italian restaurants in the area that are much better. We didn't try any wine or drinks, but the bar looked interesting. No time for dessert, but they might have been better. Restrooms clean and well-appointed. However, the Ballston area of Arlington deserves much better.

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4.0Dined on June 11, 2016

Service was excellent and friendly. Tuna tartare was more like ceviche than tartare. Pizza was good, as was calamari and the lemon tartufo.

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2.0Dined on June 8, 2016

I went here for a client lunch - so glad it was the client's choice restaurant because it really wasn't that great. The waiter's wine suggestion was PERFECT, but that's where the compliments end really. My client had pasta which she referred to as "OK." Both of my colleagues had the risotto which they both noted was mushy AND flavorless. I had the short ribs, which were tender and decent, but not remarkable.

The experience would have been forgettable, but for the waiter who certainly livened things up - a little too much for my liking. One of my colleagues liked him (and therefore, unfortunately, kept engaging him), but the other three of us in attendance found him intrusive and grating. Not one to read body language well, he kept barging into our conversation and grating on our nerves even though all three of us kept sending him, "please don't" vibes. It's a little bit our fault for not speaking up, but neither of us is a rude person and we couldn't figure out a way to ask him to go away and let us do our own thing nicely.

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5.0Dined on June 4, 2016

After living in Sicily for two years it was nice to talk to the owner who is Sicilian and from Italy. Food was great and so was the wine.
Ciao

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5.0Dined on May 27, 2016

Great spot! The food was pretty good, I had the fish special for the day (swordfish), so I wasn't crazy about it, but overall nice restaurant!

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5.0Dined on May 21, 2016

Would say for those of us living near or in the Ballston neighborhood - this is a really solid choice for dinner with family or couple. Attentive service, very fresh pasta, and nice - balanced wine list. We'll be back.

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4.0Dined on May 20, 2016

Good food at a reasonable price, with a surprisingly good wine list at decent prices, friendly attentive service, and free two-hour parking in the same building: what more can you ask? We have gone three times and have not a had a bad experience yet. In a neighborhood that has too few reasonably priced decent restaurants, this is a real asset.

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4.0Dined on May 18, 2016

Food is excellent. Staff is knowledgeable about dishes and wine. Very attentive. Recommended for a pleasant dinner. Much try soon for lunch.

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4.0Dined on May 18, 2016

The food was excellent -- I had a seafood dish with pasta and the other one had the special of the day, and we split an excellent arugula salad with mushrooms and small slices of cheese. The wine that was recommended -- a Pinot Noir from the Russian River -- was full bodied and very, very good. The idea that one can take home what one doesn't drink is superb. A stalwart addition to Ballston. It is nice to have a high end restaurant there.

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3.0Dined on May 6, 2016

Il Forno was OK, nice décor, but even though most of the tables were full, there was just no energy in the room, especially for a Friday night. We both decided to get the seafood risotto special, which the server described as having three large grilled scallops on top, but it didn't. Instead there were several small, non-grilled bay scallops mixed in, but it was still tasty, so there was no real cause to complain. Interestingly, a short while later, we heard the server at the next table provide the correct description to the neighboring party, so I don't know if management realized the error and fixed it, hoping we wouldn't notice, or if the other server was just better informed. In any case, we also asked for some parmesan to top our risotto, and the server told us it wouldn't go with the seafood; if I thought it wouldn't go with the seafood, I wouldn't have asked for it, but he eventually grated a tiny bit over our plates to appease us. Honestly, nothing majorly wrong with the meal, but nothing to make us want to return either.

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4.0Dined on May 6, 2016

Had a small group luncheon for our retiring boss. Excellent food, good service. Things were a bit slow but that was because the Washington Capitals hockey team was having a team lunch there after their workout.

Il Forno is alwayd enjoyable and the food is first-rate.

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5.0Dined on May 6, 2016

This was my second visit to Il Forno. Food was great as was service. Decor is a little "industrial" but overall a very nice experience.

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2.0Dined on April 12, 2016

The service was horrible. They forgot the orders we placed. we had to ask for the waiter everytime. The waiter came when we didn`t want to come and felt we were pressurized to place an order. Few other people in the restaurant were not happy with the serive.

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5.0Dined on April 2, 2016

We were thrilled with our experience at Il Forno. My sea bass and burrata were outstanding. My husband's pasta dish was one of the best. We were so pleased to have tried it; we will be back. And, the staff were friendly and helpful.

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5.0Dined on April 1, 2016

Good space, good drinks, great food, attentive and friendly service

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5.0Dined on March 19, 2016

Absolutely love this place! Food is phenomenal, service was impeccable and atmosphere super friendly. We stumbled upon this place one year and have been a fan ever since. We purposely stay at the hotel beside it just so we can enjoy a late meal with a bottle of wine and walk home. My personal favorite is the orecchiette pasta meal-absolutely delicious! I have introduced this restaurant to many people who are now a fan as well. This is a must try place!!

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5.0Dined on March 19, 2016

A small group of us had dinner here on a Saturday night, and were pleasantly surprised by the level of service. Extremely professional but still quite friendly. The food was excellent, and reasonably priced. Everyone left satisfied. Highly recommend.

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5.0Dined on March 18, 2016

The service was great and the food was delicious! Will definitely be dining there again in the future!

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3.0Dined on March 9, 2016

I was disappointed with the food. Only the bread and olive oil were good. I had the arancini appetizer--it was overly sweet. I had the Tagliatelle Nostalgia entrée. The shrimp were overcooked, the scallops were miniscule, and the pasta was WAY overcooked. Didn't they ever hear of al dente? The cannoli dessert was OK, but there was too much orange for my taste. The waiter took forever to bring my espresso, and it was lukewarm--he probably let it sit on the counter too long.

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5.0Dined on March 9, 2016

Excellent pasta and sauce. Wonderful service by the waitress, as well as the host and other staff. This is a large restaurant with floor to high ceiling glass windows. Not everyone would consider a busy street scenic, but we like to see people walking by. The Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, and Andrea Boccelli Italian music was an especially nice touch.

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5.0Dined on March 8, 2016

Everything was delicious, from the surprisingly tender swordfish to the tasty orichette with sausage. You MUST try the lemoncello (so?) tart, which is impossibly light.

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5.0Dined on February 27, 2016

Great, well made food and very attentive service.

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5.0Dined on February 24, 2016

Romantic, very good waitstaff, we brought our own wine and they were very nice about it. We loved the food, the Sea bass was amazing as was the seafood medley. And the risotto was delicious.

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4.0Dined on February 19, 2016

This was our second trip to Il Forno, and won't be our last. Just up the street from Mussel Bar you'll find superior food served at a much more comfortable pace. You will find a solid variety menu that is well prepared. The price is right as well.

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3.0Dined on February 14, 2016

Took hour and a half het my food and the greens was salty.

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5.0Dined on January 16, 2016

Great neighborhood gem. The food and service were both amazing. Would definitely get dinner here again

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