Il Fornaio - Santa Clara

4.4
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880 Reviews
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$30 and under
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Italian
Il Fornaio is renowned for its authentic award winning Italian cuisine. 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.

Specials

Thanksgiving Dinner Special Menus & Offers

Celebrate Thanksgiving at Il Fornaio with a traditional turkey dinner or your favorite Italian dish! Large parties welcome upon reservation.

Thursday, November 28, 2019

Christmas Eve Special Menus & Offers

Start your Christmas celebration at Il Fornaio! Join us on Christmas Eve and enjoy the festive atmosphere and your favorite Italian dish.

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

New Year's Eve Special Menus & Offers

Kick off 2020 in style! Join us New Year's Eve and toast to happiness and health in the new year. Salute!

Tuesday, December 31, 2019

What 880 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.4based on recent ratings
4.3
food
4.4
service
4.4
ambience
4.0
value
Noise · Moderate
90% of people would recommend it to a friend
5
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OT
Toronto
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 4food 3service 5ambience 5

Food was just okay and not at the level it should for this restaurant and price. I’ve eaten at the one in Denver and it was better there. Veal scallopini needed a steak knife to cut. Waiter asked and replaced with another choice. My salmon was over cooked.

Might think twice about coming back to this location. This was a special meet up with distant friends and just wasn’t a memorable experience.

Waiter was great 😊

d
Seattle
5 reviews
Dined on October 12, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 5ambience 2

Meal was not memorable. I had just OK ossobucco and wife had underseasoned minestrone soup. Seated in busing section , large table of young adults and family with 2 kids. Have had a reservation here for several weeks so would have liked the option for a better table. Wait staff attentive.

Il Fornaio - Santa Clara
Responded 3 days ago

Apologies about the ossobucco and minestrone. We just did some testing on those dishes and we feel that after some small changes in the seasoning, that those items are much improved, so thank you for the feedback. Your posting on the OT community drives our success. Additionally, we apologize about your table. As you know, we are a very busy restaurant and we do everything we can to ensure guest comfort. Next time, we'd be happy to make sure you have a better table if we are able to accommodate

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WJ
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on October 12, 2019
Overall 2food 1service 4ambience 4

I was very excited to celebrate our 16th wedding anniversary at this restaurant since I came with my kids as well and have eaten at this restaurant several times before at their other locations. I wanted to try their Santa Clara location so we were happy when we got there.
When I made the reservation I was specific that it was our anniversary dinner if we could possibly be seated at the best spot. When we got there, there were only a few people inside since it was only 5pm. We were seated right away in the corner where it was a bit dark and it’s for sure far from “their best spot”. Our waiter is absolutely amazing, was very polite and attentive. We ordered fried calamari and their appetizer combo (grilled squid, scallop, slices of tuna and shrimp) The calamari was gummy and very, very oily. Then we ordered our main dishes. As for me I had the seafood cioppino and it was good but my husband and my son had steak, unfortunately they are very dry and overcooked. Dessert came, I was expecting that they will have a little writing on the plate like “happy anniversary” but another disappointment.. up until we left no one cared to greet us or acknowledged that it was our special day. I don’t think I will come back to this restaurant again, we were very dissapointed.

OT
1 review
Dined on October 11, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 5

Enjoyed the food and will certainly return.

OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on October 11, 2019
Overall 2food 1service 2ambience 3

Food was not good

OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on October 8, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 5

Food was just ok

g
New England
17 reviews
Dined on October 7, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I love the olive bread, and the extra virgin olive oil and vinaigrette. The seafood antipasti appetizer is always great, I order it almost every time I come here. Fresh scallops, very nicely grilled shrimp and octopus, and great sauces.

The tube pasta with vodka sauce entree was delicious. The half-moon pasta stuffed with sausage and topped with bacon sounded great, and for the most part it tasted great except the bacon made the dish too salty.

Service is always superb here.

If you’re celebrating your birthday, the staff will sing to you loudly in Italian ;)

Q
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on October 4, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Date sucked 😂 but food and service was great 😘

JH
San Francisco
4 reviews
Dined on October 4, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Always enjoyed dining here. Food is excellent, service is above excellent. This place is one of my go-to place for a satisfying culinary experience.

SA
San Francisco
6 reviews
Dined on October 3, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 4ambience 4

We ordered the following dishes:
Antipasto di Pesce - Good
Pennoni - Very Good
Grigliata Mista - Very Good
My daughter wanted a custom a Fettucini Alfredo with Shrimps and it was very good too. For dessert we got Tiramisu which was one of the best. Fresh, Light Mascarpone, superbly moist Tiramisu! Awesome. Loved the experience.

WW
1 review
Dined on October 3, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

nice place to have an upscale lunch in silicon valley on a Thursday afternoon. We made reservations and were immediately seated once everyone arrived. Waiters were knowledgeable, attentive, and accommodating about the menu. Food was delicious, arrived promptly, but a little pricey. Upscale interior decor, popular, full and crowded at lunch. Ask for a table along a wall if you want to hold a quieter conversation.

j
San Francisco
4 reviews
Dined on October 3, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Make sure you make reservations. Good for small groups and big groups.

JG
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on October 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We love Il Fornaio! We go here weekly for lunch and every time it is the best food, the best wine and the best service. We will be back many times. They are great at trying to accommodate you as well as any requests. They are great for birthdays or celebrations.

M
San Francisco
32 reviews
Dined on September 27, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Everything was absolutely great especially our Server Sean. Except.., I wished that the scallops in my seafood linguini was a lot fresher. Head chef would want to look into it.

JZ
1 review
Dined on September 26, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The person I spoke with was very accommodating when the team was running late. Definitely will recommend this place. Keep up the good work!

Il Fornaio - Santa Clara
Responded on October 3, 2019

Thank you for the posting your feedback. We understand business meetings run a bit late, so we can usually hold your table and be ready for you when you arrive. Thanks for all the business you bring us! It's the least we can do. Hope to see you soon!

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AT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on September 25, 2019
Overall 3food 5service 5ambience 5

Parking at the venue is very challenging.. Great service and ambiance.

Il Fornaio - Santa Clara
Responded on October 3, 2019

Apologies for the parking. The only solutions we can really offer are the valet, and recommending that our guests try to arrive as early as possible. We are concerned about parking as it can affect our guests' experience and we are trying to work with our property managers, and retail partners on some better solutions to this issue. Thank you for your feedback. -Nick

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BC
Chicago
14 reviews
Dined on September 22, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 1ambience 3

The service was really not great but the food was solid.

Il Fornaio - Santa Clara
Responded on September 25, 2019

Hi Bethany Chi, We are so sorry to hear about the bad service. If you have time, could you elaborate on what exactly went wrong with the service and what we could have done better? Your feedback is extremely valuable to us. Also, we'd love to invite you back for another chance to impress you. Please give us a call and ask for a manager so we can set something up. We'd really like to show you our best. 408.217.8844. Thank you so much!

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d
San Francisco
6 reviews
Dined on September 22, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great! Great food.

Il Fornaio - Santa Clara
Responded on September 25, 2019

Grazie Mille David!

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OT
1 review
Dined on September 20, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 3ambience 3

Food took an excessively long time and came out very average. Service was good.

MN
1 review
Dined on September 20, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We had an amazing anniversary celebration there! We let them know in advance it was our anniversary and let’s just say we were treated so well!!! Wonderful service and wonderful manager that was working that evening (sept 20th).

Il Fornaio - Santa Clara
Responded on September 25, 2019

Thank you so much Mike and Amy! It was so nice to meet both of you and we're glad you two had a great time with us. We hope to see you back very soon, and Happy Anniversary! We really appreciate the wonderful note. Grazie Mille! Nick

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A
San Francisco
14 reviews
Dined on September 19, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 2

The room was way too cold
The salad did not come close to what I have had there before. Lettuce was not fresh enough, shrimp was dried out

Il Fornaio - Santa Clara
Responded on September 21, 2019

Hi Aguest, We're sorry you weren't satisfied with your visit. We do our very best to maintain optimal temperature levels in our restaurant to accommodate every guest's needs. We are also reexamining our processes on the execution of your salad to ensure a higher standard for our future and current guests. We hope that you will give us another opportunity to impress. Please call the restaurant when you have time and ask to speak with a manager. Thank you so much!

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S
San Francisco
26 reviews
Dined on September 18, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Our server was amazing! The food was delicious, they got mixed up with my veggies, but fixed it right away. It is loud in there, so if you are looking for intimate, this is probably not the place for you. Lots of people, friendly service and good food.

Il Fornaio - Santa Clara
Responded on September 21, 2019

Thanks Stephie! Sorry about the mix up on the veggies, but I'm glad we corrected it immediately. Glad you enjoyed yourself! Nick

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d
Minneapolis
29 reviews
Dined on September 18, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 2

A mixed experience. It was clearly a very busy evening for the restaurant, as we were limited to a 5:15 reservation or one much later. There were 2 of us, and we opted for the earlier (reservation was made a week prior) When we arrived they were fairly empty and put us at a much less than ideal table (avoid the table for 2 between the wall to ceiling wine racks unless you like a rolling ladder frequently going by your table!). I asked if we could move to a booth and was told that they were completely full and needed to reserve those tables for larger parties that were coming in. Sounded reasonable - until we watched two parties of 2 get seated at other tables for 4, including the one I asked for. I get reserving for larger parties, what I don't like is being lied to. For the $100+ we spent, I think we deserved more respect. I did speak to the manager, and she gave me a couple of coupons for a free glass of wine on a future visit, and was apologetic. Meal otherwise was fine, and our table service was very good.

Il Fornaio - Santa Clara
Responded on September 20, 2019

We apologize for the mixed experience and are glad you were able to speak with our general manager before leaving our restaurant. Usually our guests with reservations have priority for the main dining room, so we're looking into why your reservation was overlooked. We apologize that it felt like we lied to you, but there are times when our guests change their guest count after they've already been seated. Hopefully we will still be on the top your list when it comes to your future dining plans.

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SL
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on September 16, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 4

The price is high for the lunch

OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on September 15, 2019
Overall 2food 3service 1ambience 3

Subpar service. I filled out a credit card authorization form and called ahead and spoke to the manager so that everything was squared away for the bill so that there would not be a fight over the final bill as it was my father’s 71st Bday dinner with my sisters family and my in laws, along with my family and parents. I was assured by the manager that the credit card was on file and that my waiter would be notified of this when we arrive. When we got there, the waiter had no idea, the food came out very slowly and the service was no prompt. The cod was dry and flavorless and was sent back and then the substituted chucked was no better. Then my father asked for the bill when all was said and done and the waiter presented the bill and my father and father in law fought over the bill, creating a scene. I had to call the waiter over and explain to him I filled a credit card auth form and spoke to the manager. The waiter stated he did not know about this and I asked to speak to the manager, the one I had called earlier in the day to ensure a clean bill exchange, and asked him to correct the situation. He then apologized, gave us a 10% discount and gave me a free beverage card for our next visit and then ran my card. The gestures of apologies were appreciated however I still think this should not have happened. The voicemail at the restaurant boasts how they can handle large parties and will ensure our experience is as optimal as possible. This was hardly the case.

Disappointed Customer.

SJ
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on September 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

It was wonderful!

CK
1 review
Dined on September 11, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 4

I had the grigliata mista, which is not bad, but not exactly outstanding. The service is reasonably good, but the waiting staff can certainly spend less time chatting amongst themselves and be more observant of their guests' needs. The environment and decor is very cozy and comfortable.

JC
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on September 7, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Wonderful experience. Food was great. It is still just a but noisy for my taste. The sound seems to bounce off of the walls.

OT
San Francisco
7 reviews
Dined on September 7, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 4

We arrived at 4:45 and were just about the only people in the restaurant. We ordered cocktails and that took forever! Maybe it had to do with their crew meeting they were having...? Anyway, once we ordered our meal, the meeting ended and more people started arriving, the service picked up. Love the new layout & upgrades.

MG
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on September 5, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 5ambience 3

I was hoping for an Il Fornaio experience like I’ve had at the Palo Alto property. It was the complete opposite starring with the interior design. Santa Clara is influenced by the neighborhood - techy and millennial focuses. Food was just okay. Parking was a nightmare. I was underwhelmed by this venue.

Il Fornaio - Santa Clara
Responded on September 7, 2019

Ciao Magdalena, Thank you so much for taking the time to post your feedback. We apologize that your experience with us didn't meet your expectations. Are you able to tell us more about the food you had and how we could've done better? Your response will help us greatly and we'd really appreciate it. There's not much we can do about the parking situation as it is not within the scope of our control, but there are a few solutions I'd be happy to offer should you decide to return. Grazie! Nick

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SV
1 review
Dined on August 30, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food. Great restaurant. Great atmosphere. Extra special for our friend who was celebrating her birthday. Thank you!

Il Fornaio - Santa Clara
Responded on September 3, 2019

Thank you so much for a great review! We appreciate and look forward seeing you again soon. Grazie, Jasmina Simic

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k
Sacramento
5 reviews
Dined on August 29, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 2ambience 4

It’s hit or miss at Il Fornaio. This visit was ok. Nothing to write home about. They brought a very small amount of bread, and didn’t offer more. The wine we selected had been opened for a while, and was vinegar. Our dinner was disappointing, unlike our last which we completely enjoyed.

Il Fornaio - Santa Clara
Responded on September 3, 2019

Kated, i am so sorry for a poor performance of our team on your recent visit. I would like to hear more about it and invite you to come back again so we can give five star service to you! Please call me at the restaurant when you have a chance. Thank you, Jasmina Simic

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JJ
San Francisco
12 reviews
Dined on August 29, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Best bolognese! I always come back here to get my fix after trying it st other restaurants. Great bread too.

Il Fornaio - Santa Clara
Responded on September 3, 2019

JanJ, Thank you so much for a great review! We appreciate and hope to see you back soon. Grazie, Jasmina Simic

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SC
San Francisco
5 reviews
Dined on August 27, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 4

Good experience overall - Very accommodating for the waitstaff, tasty good and fun ambiance.

w
1 review
Dined on August 25, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Great evening with good food and great service made possible by the chef and team at Il Fornaio - you can't go wrong at this place.

OT
1 review
Dined on August 24, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We had a great time there, plus the food were awesome! I’d like to stop by again soon.

OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on August 23, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Always have a great experience at this restaurant. Service, food and atmosphere are consistent.

DA
Seattle
1 review
Dined on August 22, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

A lovely place to celebrate a special day. Not sure if they were understaffed, but we had a couple of instances when we needed our server and everyone who passed by didn’t notice our bids for attention. Thankfully we weren’t in a hurry and we didn’t let it dampen our celebratory mood.

Il Fornaio - Santa Clara
Responded on September 3, 2019

DeborahA, I am so sorry that our staff did not show attentiveness and five stars performance that we can do! I would like to invite you back and do better on your next visit. Please give me a call back when you have a chance. Grazie! Jasmina Simic

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SR
1 review
Dined on August 18, 2019
Overall 3food 1service 2ambience 3

food was cold and dry. sorry I'l fornaio,would not come back.

MD
1 review
Dined on August 17, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 4ambience 5

Food is overrated & over priced. Too salty & the meat was dry.

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