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“Excellent food, elegant atmosphere” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Il Fornaio

Il Fornaio
302 S Market St, The Hotel Saint Claire, San Jose, CA 95113
(408) 271-3366
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Ranked #41 of 1,922 Restaurants in San Jose
Price range: $30 - $50
Cuisines: Bakery, Italian
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romance, Large groups, Entertaining clients
Dining options: Breakfast/Brunch, Dinner, Reservations, Late Night
Dining style: Casual Dining
Cross street: San Carlos St.
Transit: City bus stops are located nearby
Description: 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 2013.
Palm Bay, Florida
Top Contributor
419 reviews 419 reviews
298 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 120 cities Reviews in 120 cities
171 helpful votes 171 helpful votes
“Excellent food, elegant atmosphere”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 19, 2013

We were in the area of the St. Claire Hotel and had lunch with a group of people at Il Fornaio, which is located in the hotel. The atmosphere is elegant and it is part of an old, elegant building with high ceilings and much atmosphere. The food was very good. I had a great spinach salad and shared some pizza. Neither could have been any better and the prices were reasonable given the location and atmosphere. The service was friendly and attentive and I would like to go back.

  • Visited August 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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181 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    64
    58
    40
    15
    4
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
California Bay Area
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
18 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
“Authentic food and great service”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 29, 2013

I love the Italian food here and the ambiance. We love the building with it's high ceilings and seating by the windows. This is our go-to place for a special breakfast, before an event downtown or birthday dinner.

Visited November 2012
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Eagle River, Alaska
Senior Contributor
38 reviews 38 reviews
29 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“Return visit”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 25, 2013

We are staying at the St Claire hotel where the restaurant is located. My wife had dined here several times in the past when she was here and wanted to try it again. I had lasagna and she had salmon. Both meals are wonderful and the service matched. I now know why she wanted to return.

  • Visited July 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
frederick, maryland
Top Contributor
379 reviews 379 reviews
237 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 126 cities Reviews in 126 cities
427 helpful votes 427 helpful votes
“Superb italian food experience”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 14, 2013

We were looking for a light but tasty dinner; what a great treat this place was! Our server, Ryan G., was warm, attentive, and professional. He set just the right tone for an excellent meal.

I tried a new menu item which turned out to be absolutely delicious, the chard ravioli with a delicate artichoke sauce. My wife enjoyed her wood oven fired Margherita pizza. Even a small caprese salad seemed particularly good - some combination of the olive oil, fresh basil, and the mozzarella worked well together. A glass of the Nero d'Alba nicely complimented the meal.

My wife is patient but an obnoxious customer next to us with a continuous torrent of foul language and too much alcohol was finally just too offensive - the wait staff immediately moved us to a new table on the other side of the restaurant. They handled the situation with prompt and smooth action.

We will definitely come back to this restaurant. I want to come back to try one of the special italian regional multi course menus that the chef puts on in two week intervals.

  • Visited July 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Antioch, California
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
20 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“Worth a Second Visit”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 5, 2013

I have walked past this place many times over the years, but I never went inside until last weekend. I'm glad I did!

I should mention the bread is really good. You get three choices, and my favorite was the pine nut bread. It just had something super compelling and delicious about it. They're always willing to bring out more, as well.

My husband and I split two meals. I'll just copy/paste from the menu. We chose:

Calamarata Melanzane e Pesto: Large ring pasta tossed with diced eggplant, tomatoes and pesto; topped with Greek yogurt.

This is not your traditional Italian dish! It was saucy in a way you don't normally expect. It tasted like Mediterranean/middle eastern food, actually. SO GOOD!

Pennoni alla Vodka: Large pasta tubes with bacon, vodka-cream-tomato sauce and Parmigiano.

Holy cow, is this rich. The sauce hilariously almost looks like a bright orange cheez-wiz, but the taste is good. It's definitely something you would want to share, however, because I don't think most people could eat one portion of this in a single serving.

The price was reasonable for how much you got. I know some people would think the portion size was probably too small, but I think it was just right. And it's certainly far less expensive than a lot of Italian places in San Jose.

I would go again.

Visited May 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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