About Il Fornaio - Carmel
Il Fornaio means "the Baker" in Italian. Located in downtown Carmel, Il Fornaio offers an authentic and unique Italian dining experience and a Wine Spectator Award of Excellence 2007 wine list. Enjoy wood-fired rotisserie and grilled meats, poultry and game; house made and imported pastas; pizzas from an oak wood burning oven; fresh salads and house made soups; antipasti and a wide variety of desserts made daily from scratch.
Reservation Confirmation Message: Thank you for choosing Il Fornaio - Carmel. Should your plans change, please let us know. We look forward to serving you Grazie e Ciao
Carmel, CA 93921
Hours of Operation:
Breakfast: Monday - Friday: 8:00am - 10:00am; Lunch: Monday - Friday: 11:30am - 4:00pm, Saturday - Sunday: 11:00am - 4:00pm; Dinner: Sunday - Thursday: 4:00pm - 9:00pm, Friday - Saturday: 4:00pm - 10:00pm; Brunch: Saturday - Sunday: 9:00am - 2:00pm
$30 and under
AMEX, Diners Club, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
Catering services through our take-out retail area are available and include: • Boxed Lunch – sandwich, salad, Italian cookie and drink packaged individually. • Platters – pastries, sandwiches, salads or cookies. Perfect for any social or business meeting held at your location.
Larger off-site full service catering is also available by request. Please contact our on-site Event Coordinator for more details.
Banquet, Bar Dining, Beer, BYO Wine, Cafe, Corkage Fee, Counter Seating, Fireplace, Full Bar, Happy Hour, Outdoor dining, Private Room, Takeout, View, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine
Il Fornaio offers distinct dining options for large or small groups. We will assist in creating a special menu perfectly suited for the needs of your group.
Il Fornaio - Carmel Ratings and Reviews
We had high expectations but were underwhelmed by our experience. The service was OK but the food was quite ordinary. The pasta served was not the type posted in the menu and the dish was very dry. The fish dish was mediocre and the polenta accompanying it was served as a liquid pool ... almost the consistency of a thin sauce or gravy. The ambience was fine.
The food was okay. I ordered the minestrone and cappellini with chicken- both were pretty forgettable. Ambience wasn't all that great, sitting next to the bar with a constant draft from the door. Service was okay, cordial but not attentive or friendly.
Overall average, a bit disappointing compared to our previous experience with the restaurant (both food and ambience). We were here on December 31 for New Years Eve and the place was devoid of any celebratory feel; service while courteous was a bit dull and lacking enthusiasm. Location is terrific, wine list is good, not a great selection of food for vegetarians, and the pizza was served lukewarm. Will think twice again before choosing this for a special occasion.
We had dinner there on Christmas because it's one of the few restaurants in town that is open on Christmas day. The staff did a good job of handling the over-capacity conditions. Servers were cheerful and attentive. The ambiance is holiday-nice, but the food only mediocre. Certainly not worth the price.
Service on a busy Christmas Eve dinner time was excellent. Attentive, but not bothersome. The meal was as expected and the portions were ample to share so that we could taste all components of the meal. It was also nice to just walk to dinner while staying at the Pine Inn. I look forward to going back.
This was such a disappointment. 13 of us went to celebrate my daughter who had just finished her final show of the nutcracker. We waited for OVER and hour and a half for our meal. Server was awfuk. He never even took our menus and when our appetizers were done never cleared the table. We will not return. Our guests were so frustrated. The kids were starving.
Really bad service.
What a disappontment! The restaurant has nice ambience but that's the only positive note. Service was perfunctory but without charm. The prices for appetizers, salads and wine were all ridiculously high for what you get. Only the entrees were reasonably priced. However, the entree I ordered isn't what I was served so even that failed to meet expectation. Not even close.
I ordered one of the monthly specials described as pasta with scallops, shrimp and crab. What I received was pasta with scallops and bay shrimp (not shrimp), and no crab at all. When I pointed this out to the waiter he disappeared, returning about 5 minutes later with a small dish containing white mush and said, here's your crab. There was absolutely no meatiness, no resemblance to crab, and no appeal in this tiny dish of nondescriptness blandness. A short while later the manager visited our table and presented us with 2 vouchers for a complimentary drink or dessert on a subsequent visit. Really??? Substitute inferior bay shrimp for shrimp and omit the crab altogether and there is no reduction in price? Do they really think we'll return to use a coupon? Newsflash - we will not be back.
I go back to this restaurant from time to time because I like the ambience, and hope it improved since the last visit, but alas... the food is bland, the service is poor. Case in point: seafood pasta with gluten free noodles. The pasta was so soft it melted in my mouth. The tomato broth tasted like plain crushed tomatoes straight out of a can. Our server made trips to our table as infrequently and for as short a visit as possible making no eye contact or any pretense of care. Honestly, I don't know how they still pull in guests. This was pretty much my experience last time, about a year ago. Luckily there are many alternatives in Carmel.
My cousin and I visited for dinner. The service was prompt and our food was delicious. She had the gluten free pasta and said it was really good with the bolognese sauce. I had the normal pasta with bolognese and it was amazing. She had the gelato for dessert-- very generous serving-- and I had the tiramisu -- also generous serving, and very delicious.
Very good service from Chris the Manager and our server, Jose. Nice local place in Carmel and food is always tasty. I had the seafood pasta special and my brother had the roasted chicken. We are locals and although prices are a bit high, it is a nice restaurant to go to once in a while.
For the price of the food what they give you is rediculous. We paid 17$ for a plate of spaghetti and it looked like someone took a handful and threw it in a bowl. For the price of the meal the food was not great and the service is very slow. I would not go here again.
We went for Thanksgiving dinner at 7:00 pm. I ordered the fixed price turkey dinner, and my wife got a filet mignon. We we seated promptly. Overall, the food was mediocre to poor. The salads we both had were fine. My sliced turkey was not good. Maybe I’m wrong, but I’d guess the restaurant didn’t actually roast any turkeys. It was served with some type of sauce, rather than traditional gravy. I didn’t care for it. The mashed potatoes had chunks of unmashed potato, and the middle was actually cold.
My wife’s filet was cooked medium rare, as requested, but the filet had a mushy, not merely tender, consistency. There was nothing close to a char on the meat. It was like a home-prepared steak that was cooked without high heat.
The pumpkin pie that came with my dinner was uninteresting enough that even with the two forks supplied by our waiter, we didn’t finish it. It looked and tasted a lot like a Mrs. Smith’s frozen pie. Nothing wrong with it, but it obviously was not prepared by the restaurant from scratch.
There was no ambiance—period. I understand that it was a very busy night, but it was extremely noisy and unbelievably bright. We were seated between the bar and the kitchen.
We each had two glasses of wine with dinner. With tax and tip, the bill was well over $150. I guess that doesn’t buy much anymore, but there was just nothing special or interesting in our meal. And clearly, the preparation must have been rushed. I very rarely send food back, but both the poorly cooked steak and my cold potatoes would qualify.
By the way, we we staying at the Pine Inn in Carmel, and breakfast was included at this same restaurant. It was excellent each day.
We ordered a bottle of wine and it took about 25 minutes to get it. We had finished our salad course when we finally waived our waitress down to inquire. She fed us some line about the bar tender sending the manager down to the basement to get it. Then she came back and said that they were out. So we picked another bottle. Ten minutes later no wine so we waived her down again. Manager came to table with both bottles. Turned out they had it after all. Wine is opened and food arrives at same time. Had to ask for water refills, parm , and pepper for salad. Just not nearly an attentive enough waitress for the scale and price level of the restaurant. Food was just ok. Won’t return.
We were staying at Lobos Lodge, which is right next door to this restaurant, so we walked over to try it. We would have been satisfied with the delicious warm Italian bread! The Ravioli alla Lucana was a spinach ravioli that was so light and creamy...perfect. My Pennoli alla vodka was rich with flavor and a generous amount of bacon. The wine selection was varied and we only ordered 2 glasses, instead of a bottle (had just taken a wine tour) The gelato desserts were not too sweet and they were a great finish to the night. Our server was very friendly and attentive without a rushed attitude. We had a relaxing, delightful evening and we walked back to our hotel...so easy!
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