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: 7:00am - 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, Takeout, 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
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.
I love this restaurant but today was just horrible. It was 90+ degrees outside and just about as hot inside the restaurant. For some reason there was no a/c and they didn't even bother to set out fans to at least keep the air moving around. And the food was only ok because my pasta dish came out so hot it took a very long time to be able to even eat it. and we ordered drinks and one certainly did not have any alcohol in it and the other drink we ordered wasn't made properly but the bar wouldn't admit a mistake was made.
It was a very hot day outside and the restaurant in Palo Alto didn't seem to be air conditioned. It was very hot for everyone, cooks servers and customers alike. I saw a couple of people get up and leave because it was too hot.
The food was good as usual, but due to the heat it was not enjoyable. Probably due to the heat, the service was very slow and unusually poor.
All that said, we love the restaurant and will return.
I have been to Il Foranaio numerous times , usually Sunday brunch and dinners. Almost always excellent (4-5 stars). This time was for a business lunch. Food and service were great. But expensive and uncomfortably hot - not a great experience and value this time.
I had a group of 11 people. The staff were very nice in putting tables together so we could all sit as a group. the bill, however, was a mess. Rather than ask if we wanted separate checks, the bill came as one large bill. I was charge for 4 glasses of wine and I only had one. I think the waitress got confused in splitting out the bill. I was too tired to deal with it all and just paid it. Normally, this is one of my favorite restaurants for sitting at at the bar with friends. I do not recommend bringing a group here however.
Disappointed by the service. We booked a private room for 13 people and only had one waiter waiting on us, doing his best but with one waiter the service was not at the level of the price we paid. I wouldn't recommend it for a private event. The reservation team did a great job, but the service and the quality of the dining experience wasn't there.
The restaurant staff, greeters to waiters, et al handled their duties professionally and efficiently. They were also friendly. The 2 hours complimentary parking was very helpful, especially when one of the friends forgot to bring the disabled placard--less rush eating his lunch. Good place for friends get-together.
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