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
$30 and under
AMEX, Diners Club, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
Catering services through our take-out retail area are available and include: • Boxed Lunch – sandwich, salad, Italian cookie and drink packaged individually. • Platters – pastries, sandwiches, salads or cookies. Perfect for any social or business meeting held at your location.
Larger off-site full service catering is also available by request. Please contact our on-site Event Coordinator for more details.
Banquet, Bar Dining, Beer, BYO Wine, Cafe, Corkage Fee, Counter Seating, Fireplace, Full Bar, Happy Hour, Outdoor dining, Private Room, Takeout, View, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine
Il Fornaio offers distinct dining options for large or small groups. We will assist in creating a special menu perfectly suited for the needs of your group.
Il Fornaio - Carmel Ratings and Reviews
My cousin and I visited for dinner. The service was prompt and our food was delicious. She had the gluten free pasta and said it was really good with the bolognese sauce. I had the normal pasta with bolognese and it was amazing. She had the gelato for dessert-- very generous serving-- and I had the tiramisu -- also generous serving, and very delicious.
Very good service from Chris the Manager and our server, Jose. Nice local place in Carmel and food is always tasty. I had the seafood pasta special and my brother had the roasted chicken. We are locals and although prices are a bit high, it is a nice restaurant to go to once in a while.
For the price of the food what they give you is rediculous. We paid 17$ 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!
Our dining experience was a complete joke. 3 arrempts to order a certain bottle of red wine they were out. Looked at another, out of that, looked at another out of that. Picked one that was just ok. Manager came over and said they had a new wine list ....well where is it. She said not her fault she wasn’t the one that ordered the wine. What a joke. Waited 2o mins for our waiter to bring the wine. He was not good at all. Excuse upon excuse all night. Other diners were upset also that sat by us. Food was not that great. The Manager was running out of excuses and said “there are plenty of wines on that list you have”. Really! We will not recommend this restaurant to anyone ever. We did however have the best meal and service at another restaurant in Carmel. Napoli was fabulous and best Italian we have had in a long time. Great wine list and very terrific service. Felt like family. Not enough stars for this terrific restaurant.
We got lucky and were the first guest that night, that had not been to Il Fornaio before. We received a free bottle of water, a mixed appetizer, two delicious, fresh ravioli, and a zabaione (for dessert) on the house. Loved it. Attentive waiter, nice table for two, great food.
We spent 2 months in Carmel by the Sea every year, so we've gotten to know the restaurants quite well. Il Fornaio remains our favorite overall, and has THE best brunch. Their version of eggs benedict is different & delicious with their home-made bread instead of English muffins, the ham is lean & much nicer than Canadian bacon, and the hollandaise sauce is lighter with parmesan. They also make great mimosas with our preferred bubbly -- Prosecco.
Impersonal greeting staff, unapologetic delay for seating (in spite of a reservation), no offer of allowing an older member of our party a place to sit while waiting, finally seated in an incredibly noisy, crowded location where our table was adjacent to (and many times literally surrounded by) a very large party group as well as being next to the bar and on the path to the restrooms. Our waiter was very competent, but also very hurried. Food was solid, but the overall experience was that of eating in a busy airport.
We enjoyed dining at Il Fornaio Carmel.
Our server was excellent, efficient, courteous, and very attentive. The bread brought to our table was warm and tasty as we dipped the bread in the olive oil and balsamic vinegar. As suggested on the special menu. the wine from Fruilio paired magnificently with the pear gorgonzola salad, and the prawns and pasta. For dessert we chose the cannoli. It was the BEST cannoli we've eaten this side Sorrento, Italy.
We look forward to returning to Il Fornaio Carmel.
The service was outstanding but the food was, at best, mediocre. The dessert trio, however, was very good. Il Fornaio on Coronado Island was wonderful but this part of the chain had us apologizing to our friends for his 65th birthday dinner being a disappointment. The center divide wall right by us was absolutely dirty/dusty and that didn't help with the experience.
White wine was warm. Lobster tail was old and tough. It was not fresh and gave me bowel distress at 4am. Terrible meal. Never did get the wine chilled to the proper temperature. We've been coming to this El Fornaio for many many tears and this was the worst and very disappointing, it was a celebration of my 81st birthday.
Please sign in to record your input. Thanks!
Report this review as inappropriate?
If you believe this review should be removed from OpenTable, please let us know and someone will investigate.