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
We picked il fornaio because we wanted good food which could meet the diverse needs of our group and would accept a reservation. We did not want to wait in line! We found instead excellent salads, the best meatballs my 16 year old son says he ever had, table bread so fresh, flavorful and tender that I was hard pressed to only have a taste after the clamor arose about how good it was (and we had some French bread snobs in our group) great salmon, pizza, pasta and... the desserts! We are coming back soon! Seriously, I’m salivating as I type!
Karen, our server was great. Food great as usual. The only issue we had was that we had a table near the door.. Every time the door was opened, there was a cold draft. So, all four of us were not really comfortable the whole dinner. Too bad, Il Fornaio (Palo Alto) doesn’t put up some type of curtain, or something, to block the inflow of a cold wind onto their diners
This was a very "off night" for Il Fornaio Palo Alto. Usually, the food and service are remarkably consistent. Waiter was absent, took a long time between seating, ordering, dessert, bill service. Food was off. Disappointed that the tasting menu was gone. Salad (speciality--farro and greens) was under-seasoned with not enough acid. Small portions for main courses (speciality, salmon) and for the pasta course. I had from the regular menu (seafood grill), so portion was sufficient. I am not sure I would return even though we have been good customers for several years.
There were only two of us so we couldn't sample a lot of the entrees. We ordered the butternut squash ravioli which was quite nicely made and tasty. The letdown was with the Margarita Pizza which was very soggy, cold and lacking in basil. The bread was average. We had to get up and go get our own balsamic vinegar to add to the olive oil because the waiter put so miniscule a dab. If I were to go again I believe I would stick with the pasta entrees.
It was a family oriented restaurant and definitely I am bringing my husband again here for a date night for the dinner. I wish they had gluten free pizza as I rally craved for a pizza but couldn’t enjoy it because they didn’t have gluten free pizza on the menu.
We use to eat at Il Fornaio a lot however moved further away from Palo Alto therefore this was our first time back in a number of years. We've always be pleased with the restaurant and service. We were celebrating our relatives wedding anniversary
Since this was lunch time service was a little slow due to a lot of people. People were nice and polite.
The food was good and we most likely will be back.
The entrees were simply terrible. One ravioli entrée was cold, overly sweet, and mushy. An expensive veal entrée had nice veal cutlets covered with shredded sour artichoke pieces. On the same plate were some greasy, garlic-leaden, cold roasted potatoes and nearly raw over-garlicked green beans and raw carrots. What a mess.
I won't be rushing back.
We went for a birthday dinner with my grandparents, and the food and service were fine, but with the open kitchen it was so loud that my poor grandparents couldn't hear a word all night, which was a little upsetting. The restaurant and staff handled our group of 7 very well, so I would recommend this location for groups of people with great hearing!
I was at Il Fornaio on 1/13/18 with 3 friends to celebrate a birthday. After enjoying our soup/ salad, we had to wait for more than one hour for our entrees. we expressed being unhappy with the long delay. our waitress and manager apologized for the delay giving us different reasons for the delay. In the end , we were generously compensated and walked out thanking the manager for taking care of us . we look forward to going back in the future for dinner.
We had a great team dinner for our organization at Il Fornaio in Palo Alto. The person who helped us set it up was very accommodating and even swapped out an appetizer last-minute for our vegan team member. The food was delicious, and we had our own small private room. I highly recommend the restaurant, and we will be back!
Good food but not much of it. Caprese salad OK, nothing special. It was served on a hot plate which I thought was weird. The venison was tasty. The spinach concoction, what little there was of it, was OK. At least it was all expensive. Service was very good.
We used to frequent Il Fornaio several times a year but haven’t been in several months. Not sure I will go back. Our recent dinner was very disappointing due to horrible service and I mean horrible. The waiter was rude, you know the kind that makes it seem like an inconvenience out to serve you? My food was cold but we waited so long that I ate it anyway. I asked the manager to bring me an item but she never returned. Unfortunate as it used to be better.
One of the worse Italian restaurants we have ever been. The food is bland and the service mediocre and inattentive. We returned the crustini because it arrived soggy and the salmon was overcooked and without flavor. Pasta was generic and the pizza was Pillsbury doughy. The cocktails ere bitter and too strong. A total amateur job.
With all this, the prices were typical Palo Alto: too high but with poor quality food.
Il Fornaio is a very good restaurant that has been in business in Palo Alto for a long time. Dec. 24 was a special abbreviated menu so not the usual long list of many regional dishes. The staff are very pleasant and helpful and the service good. The food is much more authentic than in most American Italian restaurants so it is quite a bit more like being in Italy.
We attended Il Fornaio for Christmas Eve dinner. We were able to snag a back booth for 2. It was a lot quieter than most of the tables in the restaurant, it tends to be noisy there much of the time. The food was great, a good-sized meal, not too big, not too small, just right. Good salad. Overall service was great. We really enjoyed the ambiance and the food was really good. A bit on the pricey side, only for special occasions for us, but overall a great restaurant for holiday dining.
Felt rushed by the kitchen staff, main course came along at the same time than the appetizers.
Waiter was good.
Oh, I was about to forget and this isn’t fair: really nice gesture from the manager, he sent us 2 glasses of champagne upon our arrival because we were celebrating our anniversary.
We had a party of eight for dinner and we were seated in an area in the back, but it was nice because it was quieter back there. Service was excellent but the food was not hot. The bruschetta calda was garlicky and full of tomatoes and was very tasty as were the calamaretti Fritti. The beet salad was also flavorful and full of beets. I recommend the penne with vodka sauce, but not the butternut ravioli. The seafood risotto was good, but lacking in seafood. The steaks were also very good. We were given a complimentary homemade dessert which was like a bread with a cream sauce that was very light and tasty. Overall, it was a nice dinner, but the food needs to be hotter.
The food at Il Fornaio is always wonderful tasting and beautifully presented. One never feels rushed to make a decision, finish a course or leave the table which is refreshing in an area where so many restaurants seem to want to turn over tables as quickly as possible.
Six of us gathered for brunch/lunch. We were all familiar with Il Fornaio so we were expecting a lovely meal. My friend that sat next to me ordered the same omelette as I did. It was barely warm & very dry. The waiter was terrible. He never brought one person’s tea and wasn’t even apologetic when this was brought to his attention. He wasn’t at all attentive to our table & didn’t check back with us until he came for the bill. Very disappointing! I hope you pass this on to the restaurant.
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