About Il Fornaio - Palo Alto
Il Fornaio means "The Baker" in Italian. This award-winning restaurant offers an authentic and unique dining experience. Specialties include wood-fired rotisserie and grilled meats, poultry and game; housemade pastas; pizzas from an oak wood burning oven; fresh salads and housemade soups; a wide variety of desserts; and fresh baked bread made daily from scratch. Winner of the Wine Spectator Award of Excellence 2007.
Palo Alto, CA 94301
Hours of Operation:
Breakfast: Monday - Friday: 7:30am - 10:30am, Saturday - Sunday: 8:00am - 11:00am; Lunch: Sunday - Saturday: 11:30am - 5:00pm; Dinner: Sunday - Thursday: 5:00pm - 10;00pm, Friday - Saturday: 5:00pm - 11:00pm
$30 and under
AMEX, Carte Blanche, Diners Club, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
Off-site catering available. Please contact Event Coordinator for more details.
Valet parking is available for $10. In addition, there is also the hotel parking lot, as well as a public lot available.
Banquet, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, BYO Wine, Cafe, Corkage Fee, Counter Seating, Full Bar, Happy Hour, Non-Smoking, Outdoor dining, Private Room, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine
Celebrating 20 years in downtown Palo Alto, Il Fornaio offers 2 private dining rooms and a heated, covered, garden Piazza. Banquet menus for large parties features the best of Il Fornaio's authentic Italian cuisine and Chef Michele's signature dishes.
Il Fornaio - Palo Alto Ratings and Reviews
The experience was very nice. I didn't finish my tortellini and asked for a container. The waiter took my plate to put it in a to-go container and was disappointed when I opened it later because he didn't put very much of the sauce. I had the butternut squash pasta so my take home container was very dry, and I had made sure I left enough sauce to eat later.
The food was good but the service was horrible. We sat with empty cocktail and water glasses and had to ask several times for a brottle of wine. We were seated on the patio where the heaters were either way too hot or had to be turned off and then it was freezing cold. This restaurant might be better in the summer but they definitely need to improve on their staff.
Even tho Il Fornaio is a chain, it excels at Italian cuisine. We dined at various locations, and they havcen't dropped the ball on any of these visits. We met old friends on a Monday night, so the place wasn't jammed as it is on week-ends. Our server was delightful, a gal from Mexico (although we first thought Italian). The seafood mixed grill was a REALLY good, and I would recommend it when it is on the menu. Everyone was quite pleased with their entrée. A winner!
Nice place for dinner in an elegant ambient. The service was great and friendly.The best thing are wonderful deserts .My friend ordered tiramisu and it was really perfect. We enjoyed the wine too
The place is maybe a little bit too noisy. I would recommend this restaurant always. The complete experience is worth the price. We will come again
My dad and I went for a late afternoon Thanksgiving dinner at Il Fornaio in Palo Alto. It was a very good turkey meal, 4 courses including soup, salad, main course and dessert. The food was quite good considering it was a holiday, where you don't usually get good food. Our waiter was very attentive, once we caught his eye to start off our service. The ambiance was visually nice, but very very noisy, the music was much too loud unfortunately, making it very difficult for my dad and I to talk. Other than that we had a great time and a very good meal. We left happy and satisfied with our Thanksgiving dining experience.
We had our family Thanksgiving dinner for six at 2:00 PM. Since some family were coming from the south bay and others from the north bay, we met in the middle at Il Fornaio.
Most of us had the traditional Thanksgiving dinner and several had food from the regular menu.The food was exceptionally delicious given they were cooking for a lot of people on that day. Though the restaurant was filled, it seemed relaxed and our waiter took good care of our party of six. I have always enjoyed the food at Il Fornaio, have been to all their restaurants over the years, I especially like the ambiance of the Palo Alto location.
The food was very good as well as the service, which was particularly good. This was not a new
dining experience for us at an Il Fornaio. There is one closer to where I live and it, too, has
a very good reputation. We would go there again. Also, a bonus, they have valet parking, which
is wonderful in Palo Alto because of the parking difficulties there.
I have been going to Il Fornaio almost since it opened. I can't say enough good things about it. I have NEVER had a bad meal at any of their places I have been to: Palo Alto, San Jose and Carmel, all in Northern CA. Great, affordable regional cuisine from Ital with an ever changing menu.
Their salads are to die for as is their Pizza Margarita. They were one for the first places to bring good, thin crust Pizza to CA. Growing up in NYC, I'm very picky about Pizza; Red Hat, Papa Johns and the like just don't cut it.
This trip I had green spinach raviolis stuffed with veal under a chopped tomato Brushetta-like sauce. Simply fantastic. A glass of wine with a well made cappuccino afterwards was a wonderful lunch.
Don't miss it if you have not been here yet.
Great restaurant, with great food was recommended by a colleague at work. Highly recommended to dates, birthdays, or just a nice meal with friends and family. The food was tasty and the atmosphere was great. Great place for a nice conversation, not too loud, noise level is great.
While my overall experience was OK, I was a bit disappointed. I booked via Open table and was notified we were a "no-show". Not sure what happened but we were there and spent a fair amount of $$ and left a healthy tip. BUT no one acknowledged our anniversary. Not sure where the dots didn't get connected but I was left with overall unhappy opinion.
My gnocchi with rabbit ragu was good but everything else was terrible. Watery minestrone, flavorless salad, gummy risotto, childish chicken scallopini.
Our clearly inexperienced waitress was nice when she was around, which was rare, but seemed to have little knowledge of food.
The space is pretty, that's the one positive.
We took my MIL, grandmother-in-law, and an aunt here before they left town for several months as an early evening goodbye dinner on a Saturday. Food was very good, but the service was great.
One of our guests uses a walker, and when the staff saw that, they made sure we had a table that was close to the front door with a clear path for her to use. Our server, I believe she was named Ellie, quickly realized that Spanish was the first language of several at the table and she switched easily between English and Spanish depending on each person's preference. It was really impressive. Ellie also paid attention to the small things like when an elderly patron dropped her napkin, Ellie quietly picked it up, folded it neatly and returned it to her side without causing a distraction or drawing attention. I noticed other servers in the dining room doing similar work for other patrons.
We were very early diners, and the bread took a little extra time coming out, but staff were apologetic. I suspect it was still being baked/heated! Everyone enjoyed their food and at that time, the restaurant, despite having hard floors, wasn't too loud, even as our section filled in over the course of the meal. We were able to have normal conversation at the table.
We revisited your restaurant after many years of being away and we were glad that dinner was excellent as we remembered. Our waiter was very attentive and accommodating. The whole staff seemed to be always checking us to make sure we were all taken care of and enjoying our meal. Made the evening experience very nice!
We went to celebrate a birthday, the service was poor to begin with. Except for the hostess, no one even had a smile on their face. We had to keep calling the server, to take the order, to refill oil & balsamic (had to ask three times), to refill water, plates for cake, everything! To top it all, another server crashed a tray near our table, glass pieces flying all over the place, injuring couple in our party, no on even came to apologize, or to clean up, or to even inquire if everyone was okay. Very very bad experience, will never go back. Manager was as bad as their staff, when we expressed our disappointment, he was like, OK. Very, very unprofessional.
This is quite possibly the worst meal I have ever had at Il Fornaio. Granted it was the hottest day of the year and the AC was failing, but the food was not prepared well. I had the mixed grill of fish. The three shrimp were tiny and overcooked, the three scallops were tiny and overcooked and the small pieces of seabass and salmon were just ok. The worst were the shriveled reheated small pieces of potato which I couldn't even eat. i won't be going back there anytime soon.