We have dined at Il Fornaio several times before and made a reservation for dinner expecting to experience a good meal with a great view of San Diego in a pleasant informal atmosphere. Whilst the view and the food were good, our experience on this occasion was very poor.
We had to wait 30 minutes to be seated. According to one of the hosts this was because earlier diners had taken longer than usual to finish their meals. It was impossible to judge whether this was indeed the case or if the restaurant was overstretched resulting in delays to service. Clearly the restaurant was very busy - in addition to the restaurant diners, 4 private functions were taking place on the premises.
While we were waiting to be seated one of the hosts apologised and pointed out that we had waited longer than any other guests - this did not cheer us up! When we were eventually seated it was at a table only 3 feet away from a boisterous birthday party. There was nothing separating the party guests from the restaurant diners. We did not expect a quiet intimate experience but we did expect to be able to talk to each other without straining to be heard over raucous party guests.
Our host said that one of the managers would personally bring over our water. A manager duly arrived with the water and promptly said that we were receiving special treatment to have him serve us! We pointed out that having to wait so long did not in our opinion constitute special treatment. He apologised and promptly disappeared.
The wait rather than increasing our hunger had the opposite effect and we skipped appetizers going straight to entrees. Our entrees were delivered by the chef - not sure if this was another example of special treatment or due to staff shortages! The entrees were good but we had decided to leave as quickly as possible as the noise was so intrusive.
Just as we were about to sign the bill a host appeared with a complimentary dessert and coffee. Whilst this was a nice gesture it was too late to make up for our experience.
We are planning to return to Coronado but we will not return to Il Fornaio.
Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.