We have eaten at several Il Fornaio Restaurants in the past, but have never experienced their Happy Hour - 4:30-6:30, Monday-Friday. We arrived expecting to have dinner, but when presented with the option of Happy Hour, with Artisan Drinks and Appetizers at only $5.00 each in the bar, we were easily convinced. There were two pages of regular cocktails including their specialty martinis, and exotic drinks, which were normally priced up to $10 each, for only $5.00. And the entire appetizer menu with items up to $15.00 for only $5.00. We ordered the Calzone with ham, mozzarella, ricotta, mushrooms, and tomato sauce folded in freshly made pizza dough. And, since we knew that would take a little preparation time, we also ordered the tempura fried vegetables for munching while we waited. Our drinks arrived promptly, and I had ordered a Italian Renaissance. For $5.00, I was thinking the drink might be watered down. It wasn't. Shortly thereafter came the vegetables - beautifully fried eggplant, onions, artichoke hearts, asparagus spears, with a tasty dipping sauce, described as a "parsley sauce and tartar sauce". These were downed quickly, so it seemed like a long time before our Calzones arrived - though, considering they were not prepared until ordered, it was expected. We thought, because of the price, that the Calzones might be a small version of a normal order, however, they were not. They were quite large and filled with all the stated ingredients. The party at the next table had ordered the Calamaretti Fritti and pizzas. They were very pleased with their order also. Our waiter was attentive but not solicitous. We would definitely consider coming back. We have eaten dinner and lunch here before, but the Happy Hour would bring us back, for sure.
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