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 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.
The ambiance is nice. They can accommodate a large party and they are right on Ocean street so it's easy to stroll into. There is better food in Carmel. But if you are a tourist, the food here is consistant and accommodates individual dietary needs. The wine list has a lot of variety both California and European options. My husband and I got our own small portion entrees plus we split the soup and salad. His pasta dish was just ok. Mine was good. We decided against desert. We did appreciate they could host our large party with just 30 minutes notice. If it's your first time in Carmel you'll enjoy yourself.
We have dined here many times over the years. The ambience is great & the servers are pleasant. The food was not good. I ordered the Sardania special for the month of Sept. The food was cold and not well prepared. The half lobster tail was so overcooked it was like mush.
The bread is always delicious. I am hoping this was just a one time mistake.
It is disappointing to pay so much for an inferior dinner
This was a hidden, romantic italian restaurant in downtown Carmel within the Pine Inn. The food was to die for, and only augmented by the restaurant surprising us with sparking water, two (!) amazing appetizers and a dessert - all on the house! We felt so lucky and like we were celebrity guests. The food was so delicious I left absolutely stuffed. Service was obviously incredible, I cannot say enough. We'll be back.
While we love our Il Fornaio experience generally, this last Saturday was quite a mess.
We know that the food is over stated (on the menu) and dinner is a bit over priced, the ambience is friendly, and the room is beautiful. And there are nice options.
Our last experience was well below par.
We had a 5:45 reservation and the restaurant was very sparsely seated when we arrived.
We quickly ordered drinks and the kids' food.
40 min later, we did have drinks, but still no food.
The manager said he was awaiting by the kitchen for the mac and cheese. Wow- I didn't realize it was tough to make or took so many people.
My main issue was with our server.
He never made eye contact, didn't ask if we'd like another drink- YES! - and when I finally waved him over to ask about the boys' food he said , yes, it's coming right out. 15 minutes later it came brought by the manger.
I wouldn't hold it against him when it was the kitchen fail or somewhere else but I did hold it against him for lack of good service.
Always lovely, we had a huge table and 4 of 12 were slightly late (fixing a car during concours week). Concours week is exhausting. We were all tired, sunburned and starving and they couldn't have been more gracious about seating and serving us. Our server was excellent, food is always fresh and delicious, it's always a pleasure.
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